April Motl is a pastor’s wife who loves to laugh, loves her man, loves to talk on the phone entirely too long and most of all, loves her Lord. Collaborating with the efforts of her husband Eric, the two of them share a ministry dedicated to bringing God’s Word into the everyday lives of married couples, men and women. April has been privileged through her own church and ministry outside her local body to share God's Word with women ranging in ages and stages, across denominations, and walks of life. April is a graduate from Southern California Seminary and has written for Just Between Us Magazine, Dayspring's (In)courage, and The Secret Place and also writes regularly for crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com and Women's Ministry Tools. For more information, visit Motl Ministries at: www.MotlMinistries.com
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves. Mark 6:31-32 NASB
Just yesterday my hubby sent me off for a day. I had a fun afternoon appointment with a friend lined up and he was watching our son. But my man thought I should just take the whole day off. Initially, I wrestled against him. He had things he needed to do, I had chores to do, I hadn’t gotten dinner prepared, on and on. Then I decided I would indeed leave early for my fun tea afternoon with my friend, but I would pile the car with returns I needed to make. He said to leave them. Then as I searched for them, I couldn’t find all of them. So I paused and prayed and felt the Lord press in to my heart to just listen to my husband and take the day!
I generally listen to my man... except when he is trying to take care of me. That’s when I usually get the most stubborn and insist I am fine and just need to keep on doing whatever I am doing. But I took the time. Just like he said. I sat with the Lord over extended devotions. I enjoyed and slowed down. I caught my breath. And when I came home, all was well and I was too.
For as long as I can remember, whenever we’ve taken time to rest in our marriage, it’s always “stolen.” There’s never the time or the money. We just take it. Most of our excursions in our early days were inexpensive tent camping sort of adventures. But the benefits of investing into our relationship were rich. Now that we have a little man the adventure has changed. But the need to invest hasn’t.
Not long ago Eric told our little guy, “Momma and Papa need some time to talk. We can’t always play choo-choo with you every moment. It’s good for our relationship to have more in it than your trains, buddy. You need us to have this time.” I was just about to switch gears and take care of our son; our adult conversation was nice, but not as immediately necessary as it is sometimes. Yet Eric was 100% right. We needed to push the pause button for a moment and prioritize our connection - and it was good even for our toddler son to see. So we sat over our coffees a few moments longer and the respite was sweet. Then we got down on the floor to play choo-choo as a family.
The passage above is Jesus’ invitation to His disciples, “Come away...” In the midst of all the need, Jesus said, “Come away.” In the midst of the hectic demands, He said, “Come away...” People needing to be saved and healed are pretty pressing issues. I can’t imagine a higher priority. And the disciples couldn’t either! They were missing meals with their labors. But even in that very needful place, Jesus said, “Come away.”
As labor day rolls around, I am sure there’s family BBQ’s to attend (and make side-dishes for), projects to tackle, classes to get ready for, things to clean, places to go. But I wonder if there’s some time you could steal to rest. Could you and your honey go find a secluded moment to answer the Lord’s call to “Come away?” Rest for your marriage. Rest with your spouse. Rest together for the sake of the kids.
I've not personally counted, but I have heard that there’s two commands in the Bible that are the most frequently repeated: Fear not and honor the Sabbath. God wants His children to not be afraid and He also wants them to rest. I can see how much our fears and worries propel us into unnecessary labor.
As we come to our national day of rest, I hope you find some moments for spiritual rest! It will bless your family and enable you to be the blessing you want to be!