The Power of Family Time
As a church planter, time is one of the most precious elements of my life. Time is consumed by sermon preparation, by dreaming up outreach projects and by lots of monthly paperwork (which I despise by the way). Add in my volunteer work as a high school golf coach and also as a leader in Young Life, and the week gets shortened more and more. On top of my activities incorporate my wife’s college classes and our oldest daughter’s new dance class and the week is close to being shot. As the great theologian Steve Miller wrote, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’, into the future.”
So in light of this, about 2 months ago we instituted a family Sabbath. Every Saturday is family Sabbath in our household. Some Saturdays we go places…some Saturdays we never make it out of our pajamas. Regardless, we are together. We told our girls Katie and Kenzie about the plan in advance, and made particular efforts of understanding with Kenzie (as 3 year olds sometimes need a little extra). The first Sabbath we had, Alissa and I decided we would have breakfast outside on our back porch. Katie had gone to her room to get something, and we told Kenzie to go get her sister to let her know breakfast was ready. We heard Kenzie say, “Sissy! Today is family day, and you don’t get to stay in your room! So come outside and eat breakfast with us!” You know, 3 year olds can be pretty literal sometimes.
I have to admit to you – some weeks, family Sabbath time is not easy. There have been Friday nights I have stayed up after the girls’ have gone to bed finishing up things so Saturday will stay free. Some weeks I have had to reschedule things early in the week to accommodate all that I needed to get done before Saturday rolled around. When college football season is here, I am tempted to change family Sabbath to family Sabbath morning. (That’s a joke…sort of.) The reality of it, however, is this - taking one day a week and devoting it only to what we want to do as a family is without a doubt the greatest idea I have ever had as a husband/dad. The kids start talking about family Sabbath on Monday – ideas fly all week about what we can do or should do. I know without a doubt, some of my kids greatest memories will be made on family Sabbath…those memories are worth anything it takes to make it happen. You may be reading this and thinking, “There is no way we can do this as a family…we have too much going on.” It is precisely that statement that should prompt you to do whatever it takes to make it happen…I encourage you to find a way, even if it begins as a family Sabbath afternoon. You eat an elephant one bite at a time….
Written by Steve Rose