I’m sitting in my typical afternoon spot: on the floor in my little boys’ bedroom, lap top in front of me, and one eye on the bunk bed making sure two blond-headed cowboys take a nap today. 🙂
Another Sunday is just around the corner, and since I’m talking about days of grace for pastor’s wives this month, I thought I’d give you a little grace for Sunday. (If you’re like me, then you really need it!)
I’ll go ahead and state the obvious:
Sundays are not a day of rest for the pastor’s family.
Should they be? Probably.
Did God intend for them to be? Obviously, since a weekly “day of rest” was His idea.
But our culture is what it is, and Sundays are anything but restful for the preachers’ family (and anyone else involved in church leadership).
I believe there are ways to redeem a measure of “rest” on Sundays, but that’s not what this post is about.
Today I’m talking about giving yourself grace to embrace Sundays for what they really are- a day that generally feels about three days long.
I remember the first time the horrible thought entered my mind:
I don’t like Sundays.
Not surprisingly, I vocalized my inner most thoughts to my husband, who was trying to fall asleep in bed beside me on a Saturday night.
His eyes popped open and he stared at me in surprise.
“That’s a terrible thing to say,” he said matter-of-factly.
“Well, it’s true,” I maintained.
“Sunday is the Lord’s Day.”
I’m sure I had an answer for that, but I don’t remember what it was. Thankfully. 🙂
I struggled with the I don’t like Sundays feeling for several years as a young pastor’s wife.
I felt guilty for harboring such an awful thought, but the reality was I felt stressed out, overwhelmed, and completely frustrated with trying to juggle the mom hat and the pastor’s wife hat on Sunday.
Not too long ago, one of my good mom friends remarked to me,
“I feel anything but spiritual by the time I feed and dress six kids and finally get them all to church on Sundays.”
I totally agreed with her, and then the irony struck me.
Since when are we supposed to “feel spiritual” on Sundays? Or any day of the week, for that matter?
By “feel spiritual” I simply mean
- feel worthy of God’s attention and approval because we’ve been “good”
- feel extra close to God because we haven’t “messed up”
- feel full of warm, cozy, and holy thoughts without distraction
Kind of like I used to feel when I was a teenager and I’d prayed and read my Bible every day for a week. I felt “spiritual” because I’d done the right things, said the right words, and didn’t mess up.
I’m pretty sure the Pharisee in the temple felt “spiritual” when he was bragging to God about himself, and looking down on all the sinners around him. (You can read his story in Luke 18.)
I used to think I had to feel spiritual or else I wasn’t a good Christian.
That’s why as a young pastor’s wife I told my husband, “I don’t like Sundays.”
What I didn’t like was that I felt less than spiritual on a day when I assumed I was supposed to feel extra spiritual.
(I’m pretty sure God gets fed up with our self righteous ways.)
The truth is, we are flesh-and-blood and we accept the spiritual by faith.
How I feel on Sunday, or any day of the week, is not a gauge of my worthiness or my “spirituality.”
I am broken, remember?
That means I rely on the righteousness of God’s perfect nature just as much on the “good” days
- (when I get up at six in the morning to read my Bible and pray)
as I do on the hectic, crazy Sundays
- (when I nearly forget to brush my teeth before I burst out the front door with five kids, twenty-six minutes before Sunday School).
Sin and disobedience will destroy our unity with Jesus Christ, but missing shoes and fussy toddlers won’t.
Since when do feelings have anything to do with our relationship with our Heavenly Father?
Since when do feelings have anything to do with how we perceive His ways?
He set aside Sunday as His Day.
Yes, in our fast-paced culture we have a hard time really “resting” on our day of rest. But that doesn’t mean our obedience and worship isn’t honoring Him.
And it doesn’t mean we should beat ourselves up for walking in the front door of the church feeling a little weary, wearing toast crumbs on our shoulder, and possibly having forgotten to put a diaper on our baby (true story).
I’m always tired on Sundays.
I’m always busy on Sundays.
I have to fight the urge to not get irritable and frustrated trying to get my kids to church on time on Sundays.
Sometimes, I sit in the nursery with my toddler and cry because I’m feeling so overwhelmed on Sundays.
I lean hard into the grace and joy of the Lord on Sundays.
I don’t necessarily feel like a saint on Sundays, but that’s okay.
Sunday is still His day.
images in this post are courtesy of rgbstock.com
What are Sundays like for you?
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.