Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God…
By the time we hit the seventh day of the week, going church can feel like a “have to” rather than a “get to.” We’ve all woken up on a Sunday morning wishing we could stay in bed—but shouldn’t going to church be considerably more refreshing than an hour’s extra sleep?
God didn’t call Sunday a day of rest for nothing. The Sabbath isn’t about “not doing work” (at least not entirely—you can check out what I have to say about that in this post), it’s about resting in His presence and care. This is the one day a week that’s all about clearing out spiritual clutter! Whether you go on Saturday night, Sunday morning, or Sunday evening, here are a seven ways you can experience rest and renewal while attending church:
- Quiet your heart on the way. Our family has chosen a landmark to remind us to be peaceful. As we pass it, we turn off music and electronics, cease conversations, and open our hearts to the Lord.
- Enjoy the childcare. By this I mean the Kids’ Church, Sunday School, or Nursery at your church, where the volunteers are showing God’s love to your kids and teaching them more about Him. In the hustle and bustle of getting the kids dropped off and picked up, moms can miss that this is an opportunity to relax—a weekly date morning! All women can feel burdened with the care they give to others… but not during a church service. Enjoy resting in the presence of your Father, without needing to take care of anyone else.
- Worship with a joyful heart. One of the most relaxing things in the world is fully realizing that we don’t have to be in control because our God is. Even if singing isn’t your thing, embrace the words of praise and let their truth ring in your heart.
- Open up to the sermon. Rather than worrying about whether it’s going to be a “good one,” choose to enjoy the message as a gift prepared just for you (which it is—just ask your pastor!).
- Breathe deeply and be present. Instead of thinking about what’s next (What am I going to make for lunch? What time should we leave to make it to Mom and Dad’s by 4:00?), quiet your spirit. If you’re fidgeting and feeling anxious, purposefully relax each limb and take deep breaths. Try some of the anxiety fighting techniques I mention in this post or in Organizing You.
- Deepen relationships. The one thing about a church service that can make me nervous is the “lite” social interaction of small talk. I’ve found that the easiest conversational foray is, “So, what do you have going on this week?” If you listen well, then the next week you’ll have a natural, loving follow-up question: “How did such-and-such go?” And when you share about your life happenings, you’ll enjoy feeling heard and cared for in the same way.
- Relish it on the way home. Extend the spiritual calm into the rest of your day. Ask your kids what they learned. Tell them something you enjoyed. Talk about how great God is.
Our God is great—and we are invited to rest in Him as beloved daughters! Let Him clear out your spiritual clutter each Sunday morning. Choose rest on the seventh day, and let His Spirit refresh yours.
Lies to Fight: I have to go to church today. It’s one more thing in our busy lives.
Thought Shot: I get to go to church today! This is a respite from our busy lives.
How do you embrace Sabbath Rest?
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We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:5
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