Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
We have all learned this verse possibly since childhood when we memorized the Ten Commandments. But, how much thought do we give to the Lord’s Day in our homes? Since it is our Lord’s day, and not our own day it should cause us to rethink how we spend it.
This would include adequate preparation for that high day of the week!
“If a prince were to come to your house, what preparation would you make for his entertainment! You would sweep the house, wash the floor, adorn the room with the richest tapestry and hangings, that there might be something suitable to the state and dignity of so great a person. On the blessed Sabbath, God intends to have sweet communion with you; he seems to say to you, as Christ to Zacchaeus, ‘Make haste and come down, for this day I must abide at thy house.’ Luke 19: 5. Now, what preparation should you make for entertaining this King of glory? When Saturday evening approaches, sound a retreat; call your minds off from the world and summon your thoughts together, to think of the great work of the approaching day. Purge out all unclean affections, which may indispose you for the work of the Sabbath. Evening preparation will be like the tuning of an instrument, it will fit the heart better for the duties of the ensuing Sabbath.”
– Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments
Here are a few practical suggestions for Saturday evening preparations for the Lord’s day…
1. Saturday night baths
This might go without saying but most children by the end of a busy Saturday have enough grime on them to look like something the cat dragged in. Sending them into the tub for a quick dip does amazing things to bring them back to the beautiful little children that they are.
2. Lay out clothes for the morning
If you can do everything from the outfits, belts, shoes, socks it makes the next morning so much easier!
3. Iron any clothes and shine any shoes that need it.
4. Check or pack your church bag (with your Bible’s notebooks, etc).
5. If you carry a diaper bag, refill and get it ready as well.
6. Prepare your main meal for tomorrow. We eat at church and all share what we bring, so usually our dish is chicken that has cooked all night to be savory by the next day.
7. Set your table for breakfast the next morning. Last week we were so rushed that we had yogurt in paper cups and bagels for the children to eat on the way. If you have a long drive, this might be an option as well.
8. Tidy up at least the main areas of the house. Everyone feels better with a straightened up house. Set the tone for the day by having it as orderly as possible. When all our children were little, every Sat. night after the children went to bed, dh and I went through the house like bulldozers doing massive cleanup! Now that our children are getting older, they can all pitch in and it is so much easier.
9. End the day with family worship. If you know what your pastor will be preaching on, it is a blessing to read that passage and have some family discussion on it. You will be amazed at how your children will pick up things the next day. Sometimes our children will look at us knowingly during a sermon remembering what we talked about in that passage.
10. Go to bed at a decent time. This is one of our biggest downfalls. We tend to push it too late and are sleepy the next day. But, we cannot bring the Lord our leftovers.
Does our family practice everyone of these? No. And some weeks we do better than others. We are constantly seeking to be sanctified as a family, just like you. But, even employing a few of these things will be a step towards the right keeping of the best day of the week!
So how do you prepare in your home?