Sabbath Morning Routine Ideas

Sabbath Morning Routine IdeasPracticing the spiritual discipline of Sabbath rest can be so rewarding and enjoyable. And yet it can also be challenging. There are even some days when it can be hard to get into the swing of resting. Believe it or not, we (as humans) tend to resist just stopping and being still. Which is why God introduced the concept of Sabbath margin from the beginning of creation (Genesis 2:2-3) and as a commandment (Exodus 20:8-11): because He knew we both would need rest and that we would resist it!

Just like with any other day, if you get off on the wrong foot, then you can spend the rest of the day struggling to get into the right mindset (and in this case that mindset would be for rest). However, with a little planning you can set up your Sabbath morning with restful routines that can set the stage for the remainder of the day to be intentionally filled with the physical and spiritual rest your body, mind, and soul needs.

The Biblical Sabbath Day of Rest

But before I start getting into some great Sabbath morning routines you can establish in your day I want to clarify something. First off, I have nothing against worshiping God and engaging in fellowship with other Christians any day of the week: whether that is Saturday or Sunday or Wednesday or anywhere in between. Our God is worthy of praise everyday and so we should be worshiping him everyday!

But I want to be clear that the weekly Sabbath Day of Rest described in the Bible is very clearly defined as the seventh day of the week (see Genesis 2:2-3 and Exodus 20:8-11), which to this day remains as Saturday. In other languages the word for Saturday still translates as Sabbath. The day was never changed in the Bible (believe me, I looked).

The Sabbath as the seventh day was kept by both Jews and Gentiles, until around 120 AD when the persecution of the Jews became so great that many Christians in some areas decided to start keeping Sunday, so as to try to differentiate themselves from the Jews, who were still faithfully keeping the Sabbath of the Lord. It wasn’t until well after 400 AD when Sunday eventually took on the name of the Lord’s Day.

But that’s a topic for a whole other post. I just wanted to clarify that the day of Sabbath rest I’m referring to here in this blog post is the Biblical seventh day Sabbath (aka Saturday). And you need to know that, because you won’t be able to do some of these things if you’re heading off to an early morning church service. 😉

Establishing restful Sabbath morning routines

So whether you go to church on Sunday or not, having a restful Saturday Sabbath is still something you can observe as a Christian family. And it all begins first thing in the morning. Let’s explore some restful and intentional Sabbath morning routine ideas that can help you and your family to get into a restful mindset.

Allow yourself to sleep in (if the kids will let you)

This isn’t something I’m always able to do, and sometimes I opt to do a few of the other things on this list instead of sleeping in. But there are some Sabbath mornings that my kids must already be in the Sabbath mindset, because they gloriously let me sleep for an extra little bit. And on Sabbath mornings…I take it! Because this day is a day of rest for your spirit, but also for your body. And having one day each week that you can sleep in a little bit is something special to look forward to and enjoy.

Watch the sunrise with a nice hot cup of coffee (or tea)

Now, if you opt to sleep in you can’t enjoy the sunrise. But every Sabbath doesn’t have to look exactly the same. And sometimes giving yourself the gift of watching the peaceful sunrise with your cozy coffee (or tea) in hand can be such a nice way to set up your Sabbath for restful success. Enjoying and appreciating God’s incredible hand on creation is such a wondrous form of worship. While you watch the sunrise meditate on verses like Psalm 113:3, Job 38:12, and others that talk about the sunrise and how it is God’s glorious hand that makes it rise. Starting your day with this kind of rest and worship is sure to help you to focus on and embrace God’s gift of rest all Sabbath day long.

Turn your phone off (or at least turn alerts off)

I’ll admit that this is one I’m wanting to do more of. But sometimes our phones can be so distracting. We can get so caught up in checking our phones for Facebook, Email, or whatever other alerts we might have on them. And it can distract us from the rest we need to have for the Sabbath day. While I’m not claiming that it’s breaking God’s commandment to have your phone on during the Sabbath, turning your phone off can certainly help you to focus more on resting, your family, and most importantly God. But if you don’t want to completely turn your phone off, then why not compromise and turn off alerts, then stick your phone somewhere not as easily accessible (like on top of the fridge)? However you decide to do it, taking a rest from your phone for the day (as much as you can) can prove very beneficial and refreshing.

Take a nice long shower or bath

Before the kids get up, hop into the shower or tub for a nice long, slow shower or bath. Nothing sets the stage for the day better than such a simple and yet underappreciated routine. If you’re a mom of young kids then you know that having an uninterrupted shower is a luxury and setting margin in your Sabbath morning for such a simple pleasure can help set the tone of rest and stillness for the your entire Sabbath day.

Start the day with prayer and God’s Word

Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30 to come to Him all who are weary and He will give you rest. Sabbath rest isn’t just about physical rest. There is a spiritual rest that we all need to regularly have in our lives. A rest from the world where we lean into God and set aside the things of the world. So starting the Sabbath day of rest with deep prayer and Bible study is a great way to start your day with spiritual rest in mind.

Crank up the worship music (from morning ’til night)

Having powerful and meaningful worship music on can really do wonders for your attitude of praise. It can boost your spirit and help you and your family to maintain a mindset of worship all throughout the day. Even if you’re not able to keep it on all day long, having it on throughout the day can make a big difference in your Sabbath. So wake up, turn it on, crank it up, and make a joyful noise unto the Lord!

Have a big special breakfast as a family

Every family is different, but for our family we don’t often have breakfast as a family. My husband goes off to work really early and he typically isn’t even a big breakfast person at all. He doesn’t usually like to eat until the early afternoon. But after we established doing a big special breakfast every Sabbath morning, he has really embraced it and it’s been an opportunity for us to start the day with something special, different, and extra nourishing. Which helps to set the rest day up to be spiritually and physically nourishing as well.

Listen to a sermon, Bible study, or the Christian Torah portion at breakfast

Along with our big special Sabbath breakfast, we have a routine where we listen to the Christian Torah portion (you can find it here) while eating our breakfast. The Christian Torah portion basically goes through three sections of the Bible each week: 1. A portion from the Torah (aka the first 5 books of the Bible — Genesis through Deuteronomy. It is believed that these books were not only inspired by God like the rest of the Bible, but directly dictated to Moses by God), 2. A portion from one of the books of the prophets that relates to the Torah portion, and 3. A portion from the gospels that relates to the Torah and prophets portion. But even if you don’t read the Torah portion, there are lots of great Bible studies and sermons that you can listen to at breakfast with your family. And doing so can really help to put everyone into a God-centered mindset for the day.

Take the rest of the day S.L.O.W.

Now that you’ve set the stage for a special Sabbath day of deep and meaningful physical and spiritual rest, make sure you continue in that same mindset for the rest of the day. Take things slowly, don’t rush through the day. Try to let the little things roll off your back, put off chores that can wait for another day, and allow yourself and your family to just enjoy each other and this special time with God together. Maintain an attitude of stillness and slowness all day long and enjoy every moment intentionally.

Start your Sabbath Day right with these Sabbath morning routines

There are no specific things that you have to do on the Sabbath. The only commands God gives us in regards to the Sabbath is to rest and do no work (Exodus 20:8-11). Considering work is a very subjective thing, it can be hard to know exactly what’s okay or not. Which is why I think it’s important to observe the Sabbath with the spirit of it in mind: to rest both physically and spiritually. So long as you are striving to accept the gift of God’s Sabbath with open arms, He will be pleased with your obedience.

And getting the day off on the right foot with restful and intentional Sabbath morning routines can get you into the right mindset for rest, worship, and stillness. Which will help you to find refreshment and ready yourself for a new week.

I pray that these Sabbath morning routine ideas help you to have a more restful and enjoyable Sabbath and if you have any other ideas or special things you like to do Saturday morning I’d love to hear them, just leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Thank you for your post. I’ve always known the Sabbath was on a Saturday, but never followed through with rest on this day. Thank you for the ideas. I also include a no internet day. We will watch a movie or two but technology is cut down drastically.

    • That’s a great idea! I try to do no phone sometimes if it’s taking too much priority in my life (like a phone fast). It can be hard to do — but worth it when you do! I should really do that more often, and the Sabbath would be the perfect day to do it. 🙂

  • Ok… so practical question.

    I know what you’re saying about Saturday is factually accurate. I have no opposition to using Saturday as a Sabbath day, on a theoretical level. And I truly honestly want to obey the Lord’s commandments. So understand my questions not as someone trying to evade His Word, but to learn how to best follow it.

    I run into a lot of practical issues with using Saturday this way, but maybe you can help me think outside the box and find solutions…

    Firstly, there are only 2 days in a weekend. And Christians tend to go to church on Sunday (we do, and as my husband is a pastor, there is no changing that for us). Therefore, everything event-wise is scheduled for Saturday. Even with our children still being small and not being involved in much, we still run into this a lot. And, again, husband as pastor means we’re expected to be at these events.

    Secondly, there are only 2 days in a weekend, and Sunday is usually eaten up by church (no hard feelings there), making Saturdays the only day where we can get things done around the house, errands-wise, and spend time together just us as a family.

    Thirdly, we have 3 toddlers. It is physically impossible for both parents to have their Sabbath simultaneously. Children are work! Obviously we love them to death and don’t begrudge them that sacrifice one bit, but it is hard to really focus on spiritual devotion and Biblical reflection when you have 3 toddlers running around like beautiful crazy maniacs.

    As I understand it, you are advocating for families to take all of Saturday as a Sabbath, using that time to reflect on God and His Word and refrain from worldly activities and work. Whereas I love the sound of that…. I have no idea how that is possible.

    • Hi Leeanna! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts.

      I think it all comes down to priorities. All of the questions you’re asking we as a family asked too. We have 2 children under 4 and another on the way a well so I understand the challenges with young kids as well.

      But what it all comes down to is obedience to God because you love God. Jesus said “If you love me, obey my commandments”. And if you believe that Jesus is God come in the flesh then that means the 10 commandments and all of the other scripture in the Bible inspired by God were sent down from Him too. So as a family we choose to observe it — obstacles and all — even when it feels uncomfortable socially speaking. We have had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to observe it, but in the end I assure you that God has blessed us for doing that and He will bless anyone else who does the same.

      To address your questions directly:

      1. I understand your husband being a pastor would make things more challenging. But if you and your family feel convicted, then it’s important to pray and ask God to give you wisdom on how to navigate this path. Sometimes you have to choose to just trust in Him and He will open doors and close doors as needed. Also, why not use his position within your local church to share the Sabbath blessing with the congregation? For us, we do still attend a Sunday church but my husband isn’t a pastor. So if there is a weekend that we need to do something we choose to do it on a Sunday unless it’s something that can aid in our rest without breaking the Sabbath — like going to the park.

      2. As far as things around the house, errands, etc. I tend to work to get those thing done throughout the week. Even if you work during the day, the mornings (depending on when you go to work) and the evenings can be opportunities to fit in those things. I realize it’s not an easy thing…but truth be told Jesus never said that following Him was easy. In fact He says quite the opposite on many occasions (Matthew 7:13-14; John 16:33; Mark 13:13). And when it comes to spending time with family — well the Sabbath is PERFECT for that. It’s a wonderful time to re-connect and just be with each other without all of the other distractions of the world.

      3. I get the young kids. Believe you me. I get it! lol But maybe your definition of Sabbath is skewed a bit. Because even though yes you still have to take care of your little ones, there is still rest to be found. Like I said above, we have 2 little ones with another on the way and do our Sabbaths always look like blissful quiet days filled to the brim with Bible reading and prayer? If only! lol But no…for the time that my children are awake I typically will do a family Bible study with them (not too long for little ones), sometimes I’ll pick a Bible story to focus on on and teach them through crafts and activities, sometimes we will enjoy a day at the park, other times we will just try to keep the focus on God and spending time with each other throughout the day as best as we can. While they are napping (and my 4 year old goes into his room for independent play while my younger naps) then my husband and I will enjoy a quieter rest either together or apart. Sometimes we will choose a Bible or Christian related movie or sermon to watch. We also have a group of Sabbath observing friends that we will sometimes visit and have fellowship with on Saturdays. They are a bit of a hike so not always, but it’s nice to have that option too. Things like that. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s all about making the best effort you can to obey God out of love.

      I hope this insight helps. But like I said in the beginning it all comes down to priorities. Where there is a will to obey God, He will always make a way for you if you desire it enough.

    • You’re very welcome Beth! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. We absolutely love to take Sabbath walks to do the same thing. It’s such a blessing. We’re in Michigan so we don’t get to do that year-round, but when we do it’s such a wonderful way to spend the Sabbath! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

  • Sarah, you are absolutely correct that Sabbath is the seventh day of the week (Saturday) and that the the Lord commands us in the fourth commandment to keep it holy. But it’s even much more important than people may realize. God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it. It is the one day of the week He officially set aside as holy– the day for us to refrain from all our worldly activities– work, shopping, self-indulgent activities. Instead, we are to spend the Sabbath hours [Friday sundown to Saturday sundown– because in the Bible a day is sundown to sundown: “And the evening and the morning were the first day… And the evening and the morning were the second day,” etc.] in worship, Bible study, prayer, enjoying nature, fellowship, helping and showing kindness to others. The Sabbath is a remembrance or memorial that God is our Creator. We are created beings and creation was six literal days — not the millions of years that proponents of evolution believe. God did not rest from His creating because He was tired; Isaiah 40:28 tells us He does not grow tired or weary. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). He made the seventh day in order that He might establish an everlasting memorial of his creation and thus we would remember that we have a Creator who sustains us, protects us, and has a plan for each of our lives and who wants an intimate, personal relationship with us. If you would like to fellowship with other Sabbath-keepers or just obtain more information about the Sabbath day and its important role in God’s plan for the world in these end-time days we are living in, please contact a local Seventh-day Adventist Church. You will be welcomed– and amazed at what you learn. Blessings to you and your family. Your blog is a shining light to others. Thank you for your good work.