Of course, we are New Testament people. We are no longer bound to the law, and yet never has the idea of a Sabbath been more needed. As Jesus said, he came to fulfill rather than abolish the law (Matt. 5:17).
As women leaders, a Sabbath is especially important because we are often concerned with accomplishing tasks and meeting needs, making it all the more vital we be connected to the only One who can meet our own needs. With this in mind, I have centered on two reasons to observe a Sabbath regularly: (1) to focus on who God is, and (2) to quiet myself enough to listen to his voice and be refreshed.
Focus on Who God Is
As a young, single person who was simply at church to learn―and had freedom to spend my afternoons as I pleased―it was easy to focus on who God is by taking hours to explore the Bible. When that changed with church and family responsibilities, I couldn’t spend my time so freely. Therefore, Sunday could not be my Sabbath in the same way. I wasn’t willing to abandon long hours of Bible study, so I had to shift my studies to a different day of the week when I had time and energy to think. Sometimes, that meant my husband or a sitter watched the kids so I could get away and study. I have always made studying the Bible a priority, and I’m certain it has made me a better mother, employee, spouse, and leader.
In addition to seeing who God is through reading the Bible, I also began looking for clues as to who God is by observing his people. When I was at church, I noticed the older man who took time to talk to the teenager to see how he was doing. I observed the younger woman who sat next to the older woman so she wouldn’t have to sit alone. I overheard one person inviting another person for a meal after church. I saw a friend pick up another person’s child as the two conversed. All of these things taught me much about who God is, and it made me want to know him more.
When I came home from church, I learned about who God is by spending quality time with my little ones. As they depended on me, I, in turn, depended on One who is far greater than I am. Their childlikeness taught me what it means to come to Jesus as a child, in faith and confidence (Matt. 18:3).