As a mom, I treasure my evenings. While I love my children dearly and do enjoy being with them throughout each day, I find myself looking forward to the evening time when the day winds down, and I can enjoy time to do activities that I love and that challenge me as an individual. It’s also the time of day when often my husband and I finally can sit down to have some uninterrupted quality time together, which is always a welcomed treat!
I’ve recently started to reflect on this time between the fading of daylight and nightfall, and have given some thought to the fact that God was the one who created evening and morning. And since He never does anything for no reason, the Lord must have a plan for both; one that I want to slot myself into in order to experience the blessing of each.
Did you know that in the Scriptures (and still according to the modern Jewish world), the day does not actually begin in the morning!Each day begins in the evening. Click To Tweet
For example, the Sabbath is celebrated from Friday evening till Saturday evening. And so it is with every Jewish festival. They all start at sunset and end at sunset the following day.
…from evening to evening shall you keep your Sabbath.
Even though I am Jewish, I must confess that the influence of our modern, western world has caused me to treat the morning as the beginning of my day. However, I’d like to challenge both you and I to renew our mindsets to the Biblical way.
I’d like for us both to realize that the way we spend our evenings don’t only set us up for a good start to the next day, according to the Bible, the evening is the start of the next day!
As I continued to ponder the significance of each evening in my life, I became more and more convinced that it is precious time that God has set apart for specific reasons and purposes (and not solely for writing blog posts :-), watching movies, and snacking – as I’m often tempted to spend this time doing!).Here are the 4 best ways to start your day taken from the most reliable source, God’s Word. Click To Tweet
Please note: This are not a thus-sayeth-the-Lord list. These points are simply deductions that I’ve taken from the principles and examples in the text, and are not direct instructions. But they are great pointers in how you and I could be spending our evenings for God’s glory (4 R’s).
As women, wives, and moms, our work is never done. Honestly, I don’t have a hidden camera in your home, but I can tell you without a doubt in my mind that you could literally keep working in and around your home and with your family for 24 hours each day, and still have more to do than time allows! I know, because I’m in the same boat.
It is the Lord’s particular kindness to you and I as women to mandate that each day a time comes when we are not only permitted to, but even encouraged by God to wind down. We are given the go-ahead to do things that we wouldn’t consider ‘work.’
Man goes out to his work
and to his labour until the evening.
Evening is a time to rest from labour not only for the man who goes out to toil in order to provide for his family, but also for us tirelessly committed wives and mothers! We may do so ‘until the evening’ and then we may rest.
This week, take your evenings to rest, rather than getting as much ‘work’ done as possible while the children are in bed and the floors are free of pattering feet. Replace one or two activities that you are faithfully used to doing out of your wifely and motherly duties, with some restful activities.
Render Thanksgiving and Praise to God
God is so amazing to lay his best for us so crystal clearly in His everlasting Word. I mean how can anyone misunderstand this:
And they were to stand every morning, thanking and praising the Lord, and likewise at evening,
1 Chronicles 23:30
This command was not only meant for the Levitical priests in the Old Testament, who sung songs of praise every morning and every evening.
This is a pattern that you and I would be blessed beyond belief to follow! To stand before our great King and to thank Him and praise Him! Whether you would find it easier to write your gratitude points down, or just to close your eyes and thank God quietly for a handful of blessings that you’ve experienced that day, you will be following a beautiful biblical principle that will magnify your God!
Consider starting a gratitude journal that you can write even a couple of entries into each day. Crystal Paine has a lovely one that may be great to use as a first one since it takes literally a minute to write each day’s entry onto the couple of lines provided:
Repent of Your Sins
In the Old Testament book of Leviticus, a law was passed that the Levite priests who touched physically unclean objects like carcasses, were unclean. Now, I realize that carcasses are not part of our daily lives today as moms, unless we’ve really lost it with our children earlier in the day :-). But get this – the priests were unclean “only until evening” (Leviticus 11:39). In the evenings they would offer burnt sacrifices to the Lord, as repentance to Him.
Uncleanliness in the New Testament almost always relates to sin. Since we no longer have either the Tabernacle, the Temple, or animal sacrifices (don’t worry your pets are safe :-)), we can simply come humbly before our God each evening and confess our sins to Him. He has promised that He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
What more wonderful way is there for you to start your day than to be cleansed of the pollutions of sin that you’ve accumulated over the past 24 hours, and enjoy guilt-free fellowship with God!
Take a few minutes to close your eyes in a private place each evening this week, and to ask your Lord to forgive you for the sins that you’ve committed, bringing those specific offenses that spring to your mind specifically before His Throne of Grace and forgiveness.
Reflect and Pray
Finally, evenings are a time for reflection and prayer. Speaking about one of the Patriarchs, the Bible says that:
Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening.
Isaac had a lot on his mind. He was about to meet his bride, and his desire was drawn to spend solitary, quiet time with the Lord in the evening to pour his heart out to the Lord about his circumstances. I imagine him reflecting on God’s plan, sovereignty, and faithful watch over his life, past, present, and future, and praying to Him with his trusting supplications.
And as if Isaac’s stellar example is not enough, Jesus, our Saviour and Lord Himself laid out the most stunning prescedent for you and I to follow:
After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone.
The evening is the ideal time to take some time alone, and pray.
Either write down a few prayer points that are on your heart, or speak your prayers out to your God (even out loud!), replacing your heavy burdens with His yoke which is easy and light (Matthew 11:29-30).
My dear friend, there are so many ways in which we can fill those special few evening hours, but none can be as meaningful and prepare us for the day ahead as much as taking some time alone to rest, to render thanksgiving and praise to God, to repent of your sins, and to reflect and pray to Him.
These don’t need to take a long time. You can take the ‘quality not quantity’ view, but whatever time you are willing and able to devote to these practices, will be the most God glorifying minutes of your day. I encourage you, as I intend to do, to start your day with your heart bowed before Him in these Scriptural ways.
I truly believe that the ideas that I have laid out in this post will bear eternal fruit in your life. However, I’d like to introduce you to a resource that will also be extremely helpful, practical, and useful in starting each of your days – in the evenings.
I highly recommend this 14-day online course, and know that you’ll be so thankful that you invested into it to complete learning about this new discipline in your life!
What have you been spending your time on in the evening that you would like to replace with a more meaningful and helpful habit?