Core Questions is a monthly dive into different topics that are a core part of our shared human experience. We want to seek and understand who we are in light of God’s revealed truth. This month we are looking at our human need for rest.
We’ve looked at the question of why we need rest, and acknowledged how difficult it sometimes is to find rest. Yet our bodies and our souls benefit from rest, and God would not have created us with a need for rest if it were impossible to find. So today, let’s take a look at how we rest well.
Is it all right to start with the obvious? We need sleep! Typically, you’ll hear the recommendation for eight hours a night, and more for children and teens as they are growing. Here are a few tips for success:
- Create a dark, peaceful, cool environment in your bedroom. Light, heat, and noises distract us from quality sleep. Remove the television, computer, and other distractions.
- Create an evening routine that facilitates good sleep. Get your eyes away from technology for an hour before bedtime. Stop eating and drinking with enough time to prevent digestion from making sleep difficult. Stretch, read a good book, take a hot shower; relax your body.
- Scale back your commitments so that you are home in the evenings for enough time to relax a little and get to bed at a sane, stable time.
God declared the seventh day holy. He included Sabbath in the Ten Commandments. Clearly, it means something to him. Sabbath is regular time for us to purposefully rest and worship. In today’s busy culture, typically the hardest thing about Sabbath is simply making time for it. If your schedule is too busy to allow for regular Sabbath, take this to the Lord and to your family in prayerful consideration of how to scale back. Here are a few helpful articles about Sabbath:
- How to Guard Sabbath For Your Children
- Throwing Sheep Into a Pit: The Discipline of Sabbath Rest
- How to Find Sabbath Rest in Modern Life
We all need sleep, but beyond that, we find rest in different activities and multiple ways. Know yourself! What are the activities that you find most restful? Do you enjoy puzzles, or hate them? When it comes to rest, we need to know what activities will be most restful for us individually and as a family, and then these are the areas where we invest time. Here are a few questions to consider:
- When was the last time you really and truly felt rested? Identify what you were doing, and work that into your schedule on the regular.
- Imagine not just a lazy Saturday, but an entire month of vacation time. A monthly of lazy Saturdays. You’d probably sleep for the first few days and do absolutely nothing. But what about after that? On day 10 of this month-long vacation, what would you like to be doing? This is probably an activity that refreshes and rejuvenates you.
- When do you feel most powerfully connected to Jesus? For some of us, it’s a cup of coffee in our favorite chair reading a devotional. For others, it’s in nature praising God in your mind as you look at the beauty around you. Find that moment that stirs your soul and make this a regular part of your life.