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How A Husband and Wife Took Back Their Sundays

Freelance writer Jason Heller describes how he and his wife made a pact a few years ago:

Every Sunday, we swore to each other, we will abstain from work. We start our morning and end our day by bingeing TV in bed. The door of our apartment is opened only for pizza to be slid inside. Chores go undone. Fitness is spurned. Job-related emails and texts are not read.

Lazy Sunday, as we like to call it, is hardly a revolutionary idea. A weekly time of rest is an ancient staple of several religions. And the five-day workweek has been the standard in the U.S., (but) spillover into non-workdays is common. A 2015 Rand survey found that about half of American employees do work in their free time in order to meet job demands. For many who started working from home during the pandemic, the boundary between labor and leisure has dissolved even further.

We shouldn’t need to actively protect our one day off—but sadly, we do. Rest time can feel indulgent or unnatural. ... The instinct to hustle—whether for success or just survival—is hard to shake. Still, we do need respite—not only from our jobs but from all of the many obligations that crop up in adult life.

Pre-pact, Angie and I often used Sundays to prep for the coming workweek. We thought we were buying time that we could spend later. The problem is that work is a bottomless pit—there’s always more to do. Sometimes, the people we’ve been close to for decades are the very people we tend to take for granted. Taking a break gives Angie and me the opportunity to really see each other again.

That might be the most important reason to pause work: not just to fuel up in preparation for more work later on, but for the sake of the pause itself. Although Angie and I aren’t religious, we really do think of our secular day of rest as sacred; that’s why we take pains to protect it. When you take away all the tasks you might feel pressed to do on a Sunday, what you’re left with isn’t an absence. It’s an opening.

Possible Preaching Angle:

1) Sabbath; Sunday; Rest - Although this article was admittedly written from a secular point of view, and includes excessive time with the TV, the central idea agrees wholeheartedly with Scripture (Exod. 20:8-11; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). Obviously, for the believer, Sunday rest would include gathering with the Lord’s people for worship (Heb. 10:24-25), but also taking the rest of the day for rest and recovery from the week. 2) Labor Day – This holiday is a good reminder to return to God’s guidance of taking one day a week off to rest, not just once a year.


Jason Heller, “How My Wife and I Took Back Our Sundays,” The Atlantic (2-26-23)

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