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Keeping the sabbath day holy is one of the Ten Commandments, yet it is routinely broken every week in every place. Not just broken individually, but broken collectively and societally.
Think about it. It is one of the Ten Commandments, yet it is routinely broken every week in every place. Not just broken individually, but broken collectively and societally.

You can read the title of this column in two ways:

1. Why we are angry about how the Sabbath day is observed (or not observed) these days.

2. Why we are crazy about the Sabbath and love it so much.

The title actually means both. Let us elaborate one at a time.

It is one of our greatest annoyances that Sunday is no longer observed as a day of rest and worship in this country — or in this world.

It used to be better. Stores were closed and shopping center parking lots were empty; churches were open and their parking lots filled. It was even better in England where we lived for three years — where everything was closed except churches and where there were no sporting events or commercial endeavors of any kind happening on Sunday. By then, America had caved in to Sunday commercialism and public recreation, and all the best sports events, including the NFL and the finals of all golf and tennis tournaments, happened on the Sabbath. But in England, it was still pure. The British Open Golf final was on Saturday, and so was the Wimbledon final.

But they couldn't hold out. All the best sports in England are now on Sunday, just like everywhere else. It has become a day of secular recreation and shopping throughout the whole world.

Think about it. It is one of the Ten Commandments, yet it is routinely broken every week in every place. Not just broken individually, but broken collectively and societally.

So what? So we lose, both individually and as a society, the benefits of the Sabbath, that's what.

God said, "The Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath." What he meant, we think, is simply that there are tremendous benefits of resting, of worshipping, of changing our pace one day in every seven.

The concept of Sabbath used to be accepted on many levels. Farmers would leave their land dormant and fallow every seventh year. Professors would take one sabbatical year to re-create and re-invent themselves once every seven years. Communities would shut down at the end (or the first) of each week to give everyone the time and space to rest.

It's all gone now, for society at least, but it doesn't have to be gone for us in our individual families.

We love Sundays. It has always been our family day. Yes, there is a certain amount of time committed to church and to our callings there, but the rest of the day — all of it — is family time.

Not family recreational time, but family communication and planning and rest time. And oh, how we need it. If we take the time to plan, to think, to discuss, to coordinate as well as to worship on Sunday, the rest of the week always goes better.

We started decades ago having individual "Sunday Sessions" where each person (kids as well as parents) would spend a little time alone, reviewing and fine-tuning their goals and planning the week ahead. Then the two of us would have an "Executive Sunday Session" where we would think through our own relationship and review the progress and situation of each of the kids. Then we would have the "Full Family Sunday Session" where we would go through the calendar, coordinate schedules, and each explain what we learned in church that day. On First Sundays, we would have a family testimony meeting.

For us, it was never about what not to do on Sundays. We had the whole day filled up with what we felt were the activities of proper observance, so there was never time for anything else.

It's impossible to be perfect at everything — or even to be good at everything. But if you have to pick one thing to really strive for as a family, pick the Sabbath day, because it will influence and improve and enhance everything else you do.

Richard and Linda are the founders of Joyschools.com and New York Times No. 1 best-selling authors who lecture throughout the world on family-related topics. Visit the Eyres anytime at www.TheEyres.com or at www.valuesparenting.com. Their three latest books are "The Entitlement Trap," "5 Spiritual Solutions" and "The Three Deceivers."