We’ve been told to keep the Sabbath day holy, but with a spirited eight-year-old, a flighty Valiant eleven-year-old, and a misunderstood teen, teaching them to choose the right may appear to be more of a cross to bear than a duty to do with a heart full of song. So what can you do to truly make Sunday a special day, other than trimming your nails on Saturday? Here are some ideas for Sabbath day activities.
1. Reserve the day. The Sabbath is supposed to be for the benefit of man. Think of it as a weekly holiday from the world, the day that you don’t have to do your housework. If your kids are in school, help them get their homework done on Saturday. Likewise, if you work, save your job for the weekdays, unless necessity demands otherwise. Keep worldly things for the worldly days and sacred things for this sacred day.
2. Discussion time. Always ask your children what they learned in church. Ask them to relate the lesson they were taught, then find out if they have any questions. Maybe even ask them questions to show your own interest and to get them thinking. Sunday is a day of learning, so give your children a setting in which to learn.
3. The Sunday box. Make a special box and fill it with treats and Sabbath day activities (like acting out scenes from the scriptures, or watching an uplifting movie), then hide it during the week. Especially for younger children, the anticipation for the mysterious delights of the Sunday box, only seen once a week, should help them recognize how unique the seventh day is and how certain things are set aside specifically for it.
4. Family time. If you have family that live out of state, or even simply in another house, another part of your Sabbath day activities could include writing letters to them with your children. Have them write what they are learning in church, in school, what they did on Saturday with their friends. Take pictures to include with the letters. If your family lives nearby, visit them or have dinner with them.
5. Service. Contact your Relief Society president and other leaders to find out if there is anyone in the ward that needs service. Whether it’s cooking meals, singing songs, or just talking, take Sunday as your golden opportunity to teach your children (and maybe even yourself) the importance of service.
6. Be consistent. It won’t do you or your family much good if you do something one Sunday, then don’t do it the next. Children are quick to sense hypocrisy. If you want your Sabbath day activities to succeed, you must do them every week, or else they will become meaningless.
*How do you help your kids keep the Sabbath day holy? Leave a comment below.