10 Ways to Keep the Sabbath Holy

Are you looking for ideas for how to keep the Sabbath holy? Which one of these from our list can you try this week?

Are you looking for ideas for how to keep the Sabbath holy? Which one of these from our list can you try this week? We're sharing 10 ways to keep the Sabbath holy.


A year ago, my husband and I committed to a weekly Sabbath day of rest.

At the time, we felt discontent with life (which had become consumed with work) and disconnected from each other. In an attempt to rearrange our priorities, we declared Sunday our “no work day.”

The phrase “keep the Sabbath holy” summed up the extent of our knowledge about observing the Sabbath. We had no idea about keeping the Sabbath day holy, or how to keep the Sabbath holy! Yet, as we obediently set aside our work every Sunday, God began showing me that the Sabbath is about so much more than not working one day a week.

In Genesis 2, God created the first Sabbath day:

“And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)

From these verses, God gives us two important lessons about the Sabbath.

1. The Sabbath is a holy day.

Holy, means to be set apart as sacred. The Sabbath is different from all other days; on it we are to set aside our normal routine and dedicate our time to God.

2. The Sabbath is a day for enjoying God’s presence.

Have you ever wondered why God rested on the seventh day? The all mighty God did not in need rest, He simply desired time to sit and enjoy his creation. I imagine God walking with Adam on that first Sabbath; “Look at this! Oh and this! I made it all for you! Come, enjoy it with me.”

From this first Sabbath, one thing becomes abundantly clear; God created the Sabbath for our good. Jesus confirms this when he tells the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 ESV).

God created us. He knows our soul needs the rest, refreshment, and fulfillment, which only comes from spending time in His presence. Therefore, the Sabbath is a gift from God. When we choose to accept His gift, we not only honor God, but submit to Him as our creator who knows what is best for us.

If taking a Sabbath day is new to you, here are some practical ideas for keeping the Sabbath holy.


10 Ways to Keep the Sabbath Holy

Are you looking for ideas for how to keep the Sabbath holy? Which one of these from our list can you try this week? We're sharing 10 ways to keep the Sabbath holy.

1. Do not work.

If a work event comes up on the Sabbath, you decline. If you don’t get all your work done before the Sabbath, you plan for an early morning the next day. When thoughts about work pop into your head, promise yourself you will deal with it tomorrow (if you need to, write a quick note so you won’t forget about it). By not working on the Sabbath, you are saying, “God is more important than my job.”

2. No TV.

Remember the Sabbath is about being with God. I don’t know about you, but I don’t often experience God’s presence while watching Television.

3. No social media.

Similar to TV, social media is a distraction from God. Cutting out these types of distractions will go a long way in keeping your Sabbath day holy.

4. Only listen to Christian music.

Setting your music to Christian radio is like setting the mood for the day. It draws you into God’s presence and keeps you focused on His goodness.

5. Spend extra time reading your Bible and praying.

One of the best ways to build a relationship with God is through direct communication with Him. Be intentional about seeking more time to talk with and learn from God.

Try these tips with your family on how to keep the sabbath holy. Read these 10 ways to keep the Sabbath holy & try one this week.

6. Have a family Bible study time.

Read a devotional or passage of scripture as a family. Spend time discussing what you read and then pray for each other.

7. No house work.

Whether it’s cleaning the bathrooms, doing laundry, or mowing the lawn, house work never ends! So do yourself a favor and ignore it one day a week. (If you need some convincing, just remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42; chose what is better!)

8. Spend time outside enjoying God’s creation.

God created this whole world for our benefit! This is why many people experience God more intimately while in nature. So take a walk, play in the park, or climb a mountain and ask God to reveal himself to you through His creation.

9. Have family worship time.

Gather the family together and get creative. Worship God through, song, dance, art, or storytelling.

10. Invite friends over for fellowship.

A Sabbath day does not need to be a day of isolation. Get together with your brothers and sisters in Christ and spend time encouraging each other in the Lord.

Remember, these are just ideas for how to observe the Sabbath, to help get you started, and you do not need to implement them all. I recommend prayerfully considering how God would like you to spend your Sabbath day, and follow His guidance above all else.

Even though I spent the last year taking a Sabbath rest day, I am far from perfect in this discipline. Some weeks still get away from us and Sunday fills with everything we didn’t get to sooner. Therefore, I leave you with these words of wisdom about how to keep the Sabbath according to the Bible, from Matthew Henry:

“The Sabbath is a sacred and Divine institution; a privilege and benefit, not a task and drudgery. God never designed it to be a burden to us, therefore we must not make it so to ourselves. The Sabbath was instituted for the good of mankind, as living in society, having many wants and troubles, preparing for a state of happiness or misery. Man was not made for the Sabbath, as if his keeping it could be of service to God, nor was he commanded to keep it outward observances to his real hurt. Every observance respecting it, is to be interpreted by the rule of mercy.”


Kira Bridges is pursuing joy by seeking the life God intended for us. She blogs at Joy Pursued, sharing lessons learned and resources to help women draw close to God and experience His joy. Living in the sunny part of Oregon with her husband, daughter, and two dogs; Kira believes living with joy is a lifelong journey and would love for you to join her. You can hang out with her on Facebook, and Instagram.


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  1. My husband is a coach and travels a lot. Any ideas on how we as a family can obey this commandment when track meets are in the weekend? We do feel a sense of ministry with the work he does with college athletes.

    1. Don’t do them anymore.Put God first.It’s one of His commandments.Do right.Trust God

      1. Hi laurie, my name is frank, so we keep the Sabbath and we don’t need religion, we don’t need to go to church, we don’t need to give tithes and offerings?
        All we need is our family and friends to worship God on the Sabbath.

    2. It’s a great question for the Lord. He knows your needs and the needs of your family. Ask the Lord to search your heart and ask Him what He would have you do. When the Pharisees would harass Jesus about not honoring the Sabbath their way, Jesus our only savior, reminded them God made sabbath for man, not the other way around. People who dare to judge will recieve an equal measure as their reward. All people are sinners who don’t have a clue (me too!), no one has an answer. Only God has your answer. Pray and listen. Read the bible and He will reveal to you what you need to know.

  2. I greatly enjoyed your article. It has lots of unique and enjoyable ways to keep the Sabbath holy as the Bible instructs us. Since God created it and sanctified it (which means He set it apart as holy), and then reminds us of it in the 10 Commandments; should we not observe the Sabbath day which He Himself created? It is the 7th day, not the 1st and was never changed in God’s word. He went into specifics when He told which day it is. I know that people say “oh it doesn’t matter which day as long as we keep one” but that’s not what the Word says. It is also said that “the Sabbath was for the Jews.” The Jewish nation was not around when God made the Sabbath holy. Anyway, I am not wanting to argue about God’s word, only wanting to point out that we are missing a big part of what God intended by keeping a day He never instructed. May God bless you richly as you teach and inspire others.

    1. You are right! Saturday is the sabbath! And i’ll Glad to hear others keeping it!! May God bless you

      1. I concur. If you haven’t yet learned that Saturday the seventh day of the week is the Biblical Sabbath Day, I urge you to try it. You won’t believe the blessings you will get by being obedient in your worship!

    2. Thank you, this is what I would say also. I hunk many Christians miss this fact, and nowhere in the Bible was it changed. As a Christian raised with Sunday being the day of the Lord, it was hard to make the change to Saturday. It seems to be getting easier. Sabbath begins at sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. This is the sabbath Jesus kept.

    3. Hi there. I read your response to the article about ways to keep the Sabbath holy. I have been learning the things that you were explaining in your comment. It is very important they we know those things. Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. This post was a delight to read! I also observe the Sabbath day, which is and has always been Saturday (biblically and historically). Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. wooow, am glad i have read this post, i have always tried keep the sabbath holy and having read this post will make more improvements, cant afford missing being in Gods presence on a sunday because its through this that i associate with my christian brothers and sisiters,ejonying praise and worshiping and being rejuvinated for the weeks work.

  5. After reading Shelly Miller’s book, “Rhythms of Rest: Finding the Spirit of Sabbath in a Busy World”, I am trying to be more intentional about observing Sabbath. I do not want to fall into the legalistic observance of Sabbath, so I am trying to incorporate Sabbath into each day…a period of time where I am still and quiet before the Lord, focusing on my relationship with Him. Sabbath is most definitely for our good. Wonderful post!

    1. Honoring the Sabbath doesn’t mean it’s legalistic, it merely means we’re obeying God’s Commandments and following His example.

  6. I enjoyed your article. According to the bible, Sabbath day begins sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday.

  7. I actually avoid meeting friends or other meetings. It’s for God, wife and our families. Your other thoughts resonate with me. Thanks

  8. So if I understand this correctly, Kira wrote this entire article?
    I typically don’t do housework or blogging on Sundays, but sometimes it is necessary to do a bit.
    I think God’s point about the Sabbath in telling the Jews to rest from their work, was showing them that God’s redemption of their souls required the people to REST in His work, that they could not acquire it on their own merit. Look at Ezekiel 20:12.

  9. thank sister. however, one critical thing was missing from your sabbath holy.
    you are keeping your sabbath days, not His Sabbath.
    His Sabbath day is from sunset Friday to sunset on Saturday.
    I studied quite a lot to learn what the Right or His Sabbath day is. the main church teaches a false or twisted understanding of keeping sabbath day.
    John 14:15-26, Jesus spoke about specifically who loves Him. “He who keeps my Commandments loves me. ” Keeping His sabbath, the fourth commandment is to love Him as He commanded us and all His people to Love Him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.
    You can enjoy any other sabbath day, but if we do not keep His Sabbath, we do not obey His commandments, and as he states, we do not love Him. Listen to our G-d instead of being persuaded by men.
    Love to see more people to seeking our G-d in His truthful way.
    In His Love.

  10. Beautifully put and practical. Hard but I want to try to get there and start modeling this for the kids and teaching them too.

    Also I think the Spirit of the Law is to rest in the Lord. Do it on the day you can and be consistent about it.

  11. Thank you for the reality check I learn stuff everyday
    I need this thanks for your openness and honesty
    Keep sharing
    May God continue to work through you with theHoly Spirit
    leading you on your journey .

  12. God not only gives us the commandment to keep the Sabbath day, but to keep that day which He blessed and hallowed. That being the seventh day Saturday. Even in death Jesus kept the Sabbath and rose on the third day which was a Sunday. Also at creation God made the night and then the day and that is why the Sabbath is observed from sundown on a Friday to sundown on a Saturday. Matt. 28:1 “After the Shabbat, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb”. i.e. “After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week,…”. “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said….”. (Matt. 28:6

  13. Which day is the “Sabbath” or does it really matter? Your discourse seems to presume that any day may be a sabbath. Please explain.

  14. Ive been doing a bit of research about keeping the sabbath holy and came across this post. I grew up as a catholic keeping Sunday as the Sabbath but after much research have found that Sabbath is in fact Saturday. Sunday is pagan worship to the sun God and the sabbath was changed by the church in the early 1900’s. I am now in the process of changing my mindset and what ive known to keep Saturday as the holy day.

  15. I absolutely appreciate this article and read a lot of the fabulous comments. I believe God made the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Most people work Monday – Friday and do house chores on Saturday so most have claimed Sunday as there rest day aka their Sabbath. Understood. I can see why the Jews celebrate the sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Then do chores on Sunday getting ready for the work week. Both make great sense..I believe we need to pray about when that day is based on each of our situations. The sabbath could be a Wednesday based on your work schedule if your a doc, firefighter, nurse, etc.

  16. The Sabbath is the SEVENTH day of the week. Not the first. You’re being obedient to the law the Catholic Church established. They’re actually quoted in saying they had the authority to change Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. God rested on the Seventh Day and made it holy. Not the first day.

  17. Great article and instruction and comments on Shabbat ! Thank the Lord Yeshua ! our Messiah , The (English transliteration) The Lord Jesus Christ !

    From Tom O.

  18. It’s important to God to keep his commandments which shows you love him, all he wants is your love. Pray on it and God will lead you to the truth. He does not want to lose any so he will lead you to the truth. God Bless

  19. Hello beloved sisters,
    I enjoyed this post. I grew up Greek Orthodox and my husband Baptist. We are both part of the fellowship of a small local church now.
    Getting deeper in the bible study and talking to our pastor friends, we decided to keep the sabbath day holy as it was intended as a commandment from God. We did our research and from God’s Word we understood that falls on Saturday. On March 7th year 421, roman emperor Constantine issued a civil decree making Sunday a day of rest from work. If you think about it, preachers and priests have to work on Sunday, so that falls through. So we decided to keep the sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday and go to church Sunday morning. Needless to say, I encountered much grief accomodating my new schedule, but, having God first on our priority list, we set the line and never derived from it. We spend our sabbath day in worship, prayer and bible study, we watch archived sermons and enjoy nature in our backyard. I have all my meals prepared before hand Friday and we invite our friends over for a day of worship but we never leave the house. As we are new to this, we are still learning, but the joy it brings us is priceless.
    With love in Christ,
    Blessings be upon you,

  20. I love what you guys are doing. Well done. To take it to the next level, try going from resting “one day a week” to resting on what scripture actually says – “the 7th day of the week” — which always has been and will be Saturday.


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