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Sabbath, God’s gift to us, is a time we set apart to rest from work, to worship God, to tend to our spirit, and to bless others. Knowing how much people need rest in order to flourish, God created (and modeled) a weekly time of sabbath rest. Here are five actions that will help you and your family build a life-giving sabbath practice that your kids will look forward to each week.

1. Receive

Sabbath is a wonderful gift from the God who loves us. So start your sabbath practice with gratitude! Set aside part of your sabbath day to remember all the good gifts you received from God in the past week. Pray a prayer of thankfulness for them. 

2. Rest

Experience the presence of God as you enjoy the presence of one another. Determine how to spend your time by talking about family activities that bring each of you joy, and about family activities that make you feel weary or anxious. Some families find it helpful to create a sabbath-time jar filled with paper strips containing ideas of things to do; others prefer a wide-open day in which to go with the flow. Do what works for you. 

3. Worship

Gathering for worship with God’s family at a local church forms a firm foundation on which to build the rest of your week. When you worship at home, a devotional guide such as God’s Big Story cards or Everyday Family Faith are helpful tools. 

4. Celebrate

Remember God’s goodness in ways that are festive and joyful. Eat a special meal; listen to music; share where you’ve seen God at work this week or what you’re grateful for; spend time outdoors; laugh out loud together; and enjoy God’s good gifts. 

5. Restore

God restores our mind, body, and soul through rest. Look for ways in which God might also be calling your family to extend restoration to others; perhaps by inviting people into your sabbath celebrations or easing someone else’s burden.

For more ways to connect children’s ministry and family faith formation, check out the Dwell at Home resources at

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