I recently posted a lengthy article which laid out six supracultural biblical parenting principles. To be “supracultural” means they are principles that apply in every single culture. To be “biblical” means they are attitudes we see taught in Scripture, but not necessarily about parenting. I applied them to parenting, however, in my original article.
My original post is found here. It was quite long, so someone encouraged me to rerelease it as six individual posts. This is part three of six; it excludes the original introduction and gets right to the questions.
Does my parenting style cultivate rest?
Supracultural Principle: Christians believe God set aside the seventh day of creation as a day of rest. He ordained it as a weekly Sabbath rest for ancient Israel, and Jesus Christ fulfilled it. He is our rest now, inviting us to rest in Him.
"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," Jesus said.
God modeled the Sabbath centuries before writing the Sabbath law. In the creation account of Genesis, we are told, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.”
God did not need rest, but he modeled rest. This rhythm, this boundary, is crucial to man’s existence. We must pace ourselves.
“So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” — Hebrews 4:9
We are to live balanced lives. This is a challenge at our modern breakneck speed, but God has modeled it for us. Jesus said, “Come away and rest awhile." Oftentimes that is just what we need.
As parents, we try to strike the right balance and rhythm in life. Our children must learn how to work. Laziness is a plague. A strong work ethic must be shown them.
Still, your world will not cultivate rest for you. Soccer games, school fund-raisers, church activities; good things that can all end up being a little much.
Do you often commit your family to things that are unnecessary and unhelpful? The schedule is not meant to be filled every day, at least not in God’s perspective. Family life can be busy, often terribly so, but parents must make sure it is not busier than it has to be.
Don’t use the little word replacement trick, either. You know, “I’m not busy, my life is just ‘full.’” I get it. I’ve said it, and a full life is a good life indeed. Still, don’t self deceive. Sometimes your life is unnecessarily full.
Do you believe a busy life makes you important or valuable? Do you fight for your family to have the space in their schedules to simply be? To be together, to love one another, to laugh together?
Our society didn’t always talk about stress. Now it’s a serious thing. Am I guilty of filling up my child’s calendar to the point of stress? Help your kids. Give them the space and time to create, explore, learn, and play.
Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the good portion. She had figured out a rhythm. As she sat at Jesus’ feet, she heard His voice. Her stopping enabled her hearing.