Sunday, March 21, 2010

Making The Sabbath A Day Of Rest When You Have Energetic Little Children

How can you make the Sabbath a day of rest and worship of the Lord when your life is full of little ones to care for and your husband is a pastor?

My husband has been pastoring a tiny church for 4 years now and it has been our conviction that they should worship the Lord right along beside us and that we need to teach them that the Sabbath can be a day full of joy and not a list of don'ts.  So, you may be asking what are some of the things that we do to make this day a special day?  I want this to be an encouragement to other moms, so I will just list a few things that we do and greatly encourage others to share what you do to make this a special day.

  1. First of all it is our goal to have all the children sit with us throughout the entire worship service.  However, I have found that the more children I have with no other help sometimes it means that I am taking the two youngest with me to sit in the nursery and listen to my husband preach through the speakers while the older ones hopefully sit still upstairs.  Sometimes, despite your own convictions, you just must do what works best for your own family.
  2. We try and begin the morning with a reading of the scripture that my husband will be preaching through (currently it is Titus) and we sing a hymn with the help of cyber hymnal (this morning it was Follow On).
  3. Once everyone has eaten breakfast, I make sure that everyone is fully ready and we listen to music that focuses our mind on Christ.  I prefer hymns, Getty music, Sovereign Grace music, Andrew Peterson, Bob Kaufman, Indelible Grace, and others such as these.
  4. We all try and walk out the door together as a family to go on over to Sunday School.
  5. After worship service, I encourage the children to play outside to release a lot of energy.  If it is terribly cold, then they will watch either a Moody science video, a creation science video, or a Veggie Tale.
  6. We eat lunch together and talk all about the worship service.
  7. I will sometimes read a special book that focuses our minds on Christ and then the little ones will lay down and nap while the older ones will lay down in the front room usually with a book while my husband and I either nap, read, or write letters.
  8. After nap is outside play again, walks, or just play inside while listening to music.  We also sometimes listen to sermons online, watch t.v., or go hiking as a family.
  9. We then have dinner together.  We do not currently have evening worship.  
  10. Everyone does a quick pick up.  I give baths to the little ones.  We then have an extended time of family worship in which everyone gets to request their favorite hymn and we all have fun singing together.  This is followed by catechism questions, verse memory, prayer time, Bible reading, and the closing Doxology.
  11. At this point it is bedtime and the children will read their Bibles in bed.
There have been other things that we have wanted to do like have special toys that are only brought out on the Lord's Day, special books only read on the Lord's Day, and maybe do things like plays, but for now this is what is working.  It may look a lot different during the summer months since we all love being outside then.  The key is to make it an enjoyable and a restful day for everyone in the family and to not feel bound by a list of do's and don'ts.  I want my children to look back and say that Sunday was their favorite day of the week.  What are some of the things that you do to make Sunday's special and restful?  Next week I would like to talk about some of the books that have been most influential in our lives.

1 comment:

Gretchen and John said...

When we were little, my dad started making breakfast for the family on Sunday mornings. He got the idea from our old pastor, who always made pancakes for his family on Sundays. It gave Mom more time to get us ready and made the day special in one extra little way.

I like all your ideas, too!