The Marriage and FamilyĀ Blog


Do You Need A Time-Out?

category: christian living Feb 05, 2024

Do you remember having to be put into time-out as a child? Or maybe you have disciplined your own kids with the time-out rule.

When my children were little, we had a little blue chair that was used for time-outs. And what did we tell our children after sitting them down? We told them to think about what they had done.

The funniest time-out story involved our oldest child, Ethan. (Sorry, Ethan, but I have to tell it!) Ethan was around two years old when he discovered that mom and dad had real names. Even better, dad’s name, Bryce, was amusing for a two-year-old to say. Therefore, Ethan decided to replace Dad with Bryce – which was really cute at first.

However, the cuteness wore off, and we soon corrected him to call his father, dad, instead of his first name. Ethan didn’t think that was fun and continued to address his father as Bryce. When he repeatedly refused to obey our instructions, we put him into time-out. (We didn’t put him in time-out for what he said, but rather for his disobedience to what we were telling him to do.)

After a couple of contemplative moments, I instructed Ethan to apologize to his dad. He thought about it, looked up at his dad, and said, “Sorry, Bryce!”

As a child, sitting and “resting” had a negative connotation. It was to sit and think about what you did wrong – and who wants to do that? Taking a nap as a child was torture as well! Could this be why taking a time-out from our busy schedules is difficult for some of us to do? However, just as God did after creating the world, a time of rest should be about enjoying the fruit of your labor. When God rested, it wasn’t because He was tired but rather to stop and enjoy what He had done.

It seems that we have become a people who have forgotten how to rest. Or maybe we feel like the world is going so fast that we might miss something if we sit out for a while.

I remember as a child when the TV stations would go off the air in the evening. A picture of the American flag waving was a signal for America to take a collective rest– to disengage from the world. Now the world keeps going 24/7. There isn’t a forced time-out anymore.

As I write this blog, I am looking forward to a week of rest ahead of me. We are having a family reunion, and I am so excited to see everyone and unplug from the world. I can’t wait!!! We all need to take breaks – daily, weekly, and annually. This is more than a good idea; it is a God's idea. Remember, He was the one who did it first. And if God took a rest, I think we all have permission and are actually instructed to “smell the roses.”

1 Timothy 6:17 says, “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment” (NIV).

Did you read that? God gives us all we need for our ENJOYMENT. If you are not taking time to breathe and enjoy life, you are working for nothing! Now, I’m not saying that you should be irresponsible, but we need to get out of the ditches on both sides. One side is working all the time, feeling like you can’t take time off. The other side is being lazy. Let’s be diligent and productive with what God has for us to do, but not let the work overtake us.

The surprising benefit of rest is that you will be more productive in the long run than if you work all of the time. Here are some simple guidelines to help you enjoy your life and use rest to benefit you.

  1.   Rest Hourly. Brendon Burchard, a high-performance coach, teaches to take a little break every 50 minutes. On this break, move around and get a drink of water. This will help energize you and actually help you to be more productive. This is NOT a time to check in with social media. That will just drain your energy.
  2.   Rest Daily. Bookend your day with a time of quiet reflection. In the morning, do my Power 5 to get you energized for the day. (Plan, read the Bible, pray, be thankful, exercise). At the end of the day, turn off technology to allow your mind to get ready for sleep. Turn the lights down, reflect on the day, and read. Since the TV doesn’t turn off for us, we need to be disciplined to turn it off (and our phones) at least a half-hour before sleeping.
  3.   Rest Weekly. This one is a work in progress for me, but I want to purpose to take a day of rest. The Bible refers to this as a sabbath day. Traditionally, the Jewish people observed the Sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening as a day of rest and worship. Today, Christians observe it on whatever day works for them. Still, usually, Sunday is the day of rest and worship traditionally set aside.

Notice that the sabbath is a day of rest AND worship. We are never to take a break from God. He is our source of life. Taking a break from God is like taking a break from drinking water. You can’t do it for too long without it having an effect on you.

4. Rest Annually. Even if you have to take a stay-cation, do it! Take time to unplug from social media and the world around you. Let your mind and body be rested and renewed.


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