Making the Sabbath Better for Children—Family Home Evening Lesson
Teaching children that the Sabbath is about renewals and not restrictions can be difficult. If Sundays in your home are filled with crying, complaining, or contention, here’s an idea for an upcoming family home evening to help your family work together to make #HisDay a better day in your home.
Scripture: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
Hymn: “Saturday,” Children’s Songbook, 196.
•Begin by asking your family what it means to keep the Sabbath day holy. Ask them what their favorite thing about Sunday is and what their least favorite thing about Sunday is. List their answers on a whiteboard or a piece of paper.
•Read aloud: “What did the Savior mean when He said that ‘the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath’? I believe He wanted us to understand that the Sabbath was His gift to us, granting real respite from the rigors of daily life and an opportunity for spiritual and physical renewal” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Apr. 2015 general conference).
•Ask: If the Sabbath is our gift from God, what would make it feel more like a present to you? What needs to happen to have those feelings in your heart and in our home?
•Make a plan: After getting ideas and brainstorming with the family, put your plan on paper. To help develop your children’s testimonies about the Sabbath day, you might have them lead out on creating your family’s Sabbath plan and focusing on what you could do in your home to make the day better for them.
If some guidance is needed in activity ideas, remind your children to consider these questions:
1.Does this activity lift our family or someone else?
2.Does this strengthen family relationships?
3.Does this help us leave behind worldly pursuits and pleasures to focus on spiritual matters?
4.Does this set the Sabbath day apart as unique, different, and identifiable?
5.Does this rejuvenate us spiritually to meet the demands of the week?
Download and print this template, fill it out, and then display it to keep the plan in mind.
•Do it: Plans don’t make much of a difference until you do something with them. Before your family home evening ends, make a goal of at least one thing your family will do differently next Sunday to make the Sabbath better for your kids. Consider holding yourself accountable (and making it fun) by taking a picture or video of your family doing the activity and sharing it on social media using #HisDay.