Day 7: Rest

This post is a part of The 15-Day Relationship Challenge. If you’re just now tuning in, click here for the whole series.

Rest. Let all things be.

In the creation story found in Genesis chapter two, it says this: “By the seventh day God had finished his work. On the seventh day he rested from all his work.” 

Rest is scarce in our culture today. We’re bombarded with advertisements competing for our attention (some estimate the average adult sees between 4 and 10 Thousand ads per day). We’re almost constantly available to social media, the internet, and to friends/family/colleagues. Work has replaced family and relationships as a primary focus for both men and women, and the average amount of time adults spend in front of their screens is staggering. It’s no wonder that depression and anxiety are on the rise, and our overall mental well being is so profoundly suffering. 

We know how to vacation (vacate), but we do not rest well. My experience in the idea of rest as a Sabbath day has led me to give up on it for long stretches of time. Quite frankly, rest is often too much work. I like feeling productive. I like accomplishing things. I like being able to get my own food, drink, or whatever else I “need” at the moment. It’s not natural to practice rest except when my body forces me to do so via sleep or getting sick. And even when I’m sick, it’s still hard to rest and not try and accomplish something. 

Rest is difficult because it challenges us to stop doing, and practice being. We’re human beings, not human doings (even though we spend more time doing than being). Rest is also a concept of play, which most of us adults don’t practice any more. If we do play, we require there to be a winner and loser, which turns play into work (competition). 

It was important enough for God to spend an entire day with rest. Perhaps this is an invitation for us to do the same. 

Chick-Fil-A might be the best example of a rhythm of rest in our culture. They are the number 2 fast food restaurant and they are always closed on Sundays. That’s a remarkable accomplishment. And this makes me wonder how successful we all might be if we shut our work down for an entire day each week.

What creativity would come about if we had time to pay attention, and listen? What relationships would prosper if we put down the screen, and played? What new growth would be discovered if we stopped working?

Reflection Questions

  • What did I notice about me in reading today’s material? 
  • Did I have feelings, thoughts, questions, or stories that came to mind? 

Spend some time reflecting on the questions from the last paragraph above, and then answer these questions: 

  • What does play look like for you?
  • When have you felt like rest was a part of your regular routine in life?
  • How can you integrate rest into your life today?


Hello! Welcome back. Great to see you again. How was your day? Was it restful? 

Congrats on finishing your first 7 days of the challenge! 

This morning we talked about rest and play, which are two difficult categories for us important adults. Rest does not have to be a huge production. It doesn’t need to be something we broadcast to all our social channels, but it does involve those closest to us.

Take 10-15 minutes tonight with your spouse to talk through your day. 

  • What were the highs and lows?
  • Where were you surprised? 
  • Was there anything different about your day because of the assignment(s)?
  • From this mornings reading, what stood out to you? 
  • If you’re willing, share your answers from the reflection questions.

Assignment Connection
We’re wrapping up the first week of this challenge, which has mostly been focused on you as individuals. Take some time to reflect over the past week and share some highlights of what you discovered about yourself, or your spouse. 


Sacrifice What’s Easy

A millionaire who gives away $100 does not experience the same sacrifice as a factory worker who gives the same amount. It’s easy for someone wealthy to give away a few bucks, it’s not that significant of a cost to them. 

There is not much sacrifice when we give what is easy to give. Sacrifice is the surrender of myself for the sake of someone else. This how we know someone loves and cares about us. 

Gary Chapmans concept of The Five Love Languages is a great example of how this might show up in a relationship. For instance, one of my love languages is words of affirmation. It is relatively easy for me to show others that I love or care about them with words of affirmation. This comes naturally to me. 

My wife’s love language is acts of service. Words of affirmation might be the last one on her list. Acts of service is probably the last one on my list. If I only choose to love her out of what comes naturally to me, I am going to miss opportunities to love her. 

A great rule of thumb on this principle for Marriage: Work on growing your capacity to do what isn’t easy. This could be how you engage in conflict, your habits in talking and listening (Men speak about 10,000 words per day, Women speak around 25,000), or how you express love.

What do you need to sacrifice today?


The Viewpoint 1.3

The Viewpoint

Vol 1 Issue 3

  1. Book Review: Digital Minimalism

    We are increasingly being bombarded with more and more technological inventions. Sure, some of these technologies do make life easier, but there is a lot of digital clutter in our lives. My main concern is that we’re becoming less human the more we interact with computers (programed by humans).

    If you’re concerned about technology habits in your life, this is a good book to get you started on better boundaries. (Andy Crouch’s book, “The Tech Wise Family” is more geared towards families. That is also a good book on this topic.)

  2. The Relationship in your Brain

    Some interesting thoughts here from Fast Company about how to help our brains work in solving problems during emotionally difficult situations. The two parts of the brain that are at fighting for resources/energy: The limbic (fight or flight — our “autopilot” survival system) and the prefrontal cortex (strategy, reasoning, thoughtfulness). When we’re stressed, in conflict, or feel like we’re in danger, the limbic system takes over in order for us to survive. Especially in relationships that matter, this is not a viable long term solution.

    The author talks about two key warning signs that we have moved into autopilot: Blame shifting, and negative assumptions. Both of these behaviors are about survival. The main problem with a survival first reaction: Everything and everyone is a possible threat. We may not cognitively think this, but our brain is reacting this way. I see this reality all the time in my work with couples. It is so easy to hear the threat and so difficult to actually listen to what’s being said.

    When we go to the gym to lift weights, we are building muscle and endurance. The same concept is true for relationships. When we exercise setting aside our need for survival, we can grow in our ability to operate in both the limbic and prefrontal cortex in our life and relationships.

  3. Leaving Social Media

    Do you have FOMO (fear of missing out)? Can you imagine never again logging into facebook, instagram, snapchat, or twitter? This is a great op-ed about why this author decided to leave social media.

    I’ve spoken and written about this before, but the great lie that social media promises is a more connected life. What it delivers is a more informed life at the cost of true connection with others. Humans don’t have the capacity to handle being omniscient (all knowing). That is a God attribute. Some studies are showing that anxiety/depression are linked to an increased use of social media.

    The bottom line is that we all need better boundaries (on sex, food, work, social media, etc), which makes for better relationships in our lives.

  4. Beauty From the Ashes

    I’m sure you heard about this, but it is a story that is worth retelling. A Dallas police officer enters the wrong apartment, shoots and kills a man, and has just recently been convicted of murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The public got a surprise at the hearing when the victims brother took to the stand to say some final worlds to offender. This is an amazing picture of grace and mercy. Watch the video here.

The Viewpoint is a weekly roundup of content I have come across throughout the week that is worth reposting. This content will often be an article or a book I’ve recently read, or something else that is of cultural significance. One of my good friends talks about the word “viewpoint” as nothing more than a view from a point. When we change our point of view (or sometimes the point of our view — which is a different issue altogether), we can see differently. Relationships grow when we are open to changing our view.

Learn to Struggle

I ran across an article about a chess player (Adam Robinson) who was in a chess development program for teens. He spoke of playing against Bobby Fischer (one of the greatest chess players in history). In playing Bobby, he would often lose. It was this short paragraph that struck me:

“As young teen I played thousands of speed games (each side 5 minutes) with Bobby Fischer, greatest chess player in history. If he got edge early (and my defeat obvious) I’d resign on spot to play again. Stopped me once and said “Don’t resign. You have to learn how to play bad positions.”

Think about what he just said for a moment. Some could argue that chess is just a game, but I think this quote shows that it’s way more than that. “You have to learn how to play bad positions.”

That is the story of life. It’s not always going to go well for you, and if you always resign when it doesn’t go well, you’ll be way better at quitting than you will at succeeding. I love to play golf, and it often happens that when I hit a bad shot (or many bad shots), it takes a lot of emotional and mental work to change the measure of success.

Learning to struggle is just as much a process as it is in learning to win. Most don’t struggle well because they’ve never learned it (and/or never been taught). Don’t resign. Don’t give up. Struggle well. Playing from a bad position can teach us valuable lessons about life that grows our capacity for success. What is it that you’ve been too easily giving up on that you need to struggle with and change your definition of success? 

A Wealthy Marriage

Most of us spend so much time thinking about the wealth of our bank account, or retirement plan. What about the wealth of your marriage? There is not a more important investment in life than that of your marriage and family. Governments and economies can all disappear rendering our financial investments worthless. There is nothing that will disrupt the healthy investment of a marriage, and the dividends paid to future generations.

How to be wealthy in Marriage:

  • Find ways to surprise your spouse. Most surprises are negative. Make them say “you did what” with joyful expectance.
  • Lather them with compliments. What do you like/love about them? Lather them in these compliments two, three, four times over.
  • Follow the golden rule in woodworking: Measure twice, cut once / Listen twice, speak once. Ask questions to make sure you’ve heard them. Don’t worry about being heard, do the hard work of listening.
  • Daily look at them in the eyes long enough to feel. It’s amazing how intimate this is. Share that feeling you just had when you looked into their eyes.
  • Date. Play. Hobby together.
  • Deposit positive experiences into their relational bank account, and difficult times will never bankrupt you.
  • Don’t wait to get help until you have to. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.