The New “This is Gonna Hurt” podcast is out, and this week, we talk about a theology of vacation. You can find all the links on all of our platforms at This is Gonna Hurt.
In this episode we discuss:
Is there a theology of vacation? Well, not specifically, but in all things, we should build a theology around what we choose to do or not do.
Scripturally, there is definitive theology of sabbath – the commanded one day of rest in seven. I think this is perhaps the hardest commandment given. We all struggle with God having a say in our life. The moment He says He is the Lord of our time, our hearts rebel, but that is a topic for another day.
As for vacation, Biblically, most people didn’t have the option in their day because they lived in an agrarian or agricultural society. Oh, you can take a week off, but animals don’t milk themselves and crops aren’t harvested without you. Leaving for any extended time might mean the death of your sources of income.
Mark 6:31 shows us Jesus took time away for rest, but no one with integrity could find an American styled vacation in His three years of ministry.
Really vacations are about being a good steward of all that God has given you. As Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
So, how do you approach vacations? I want to offer a few tips, especially as I approach my vacation very soon. Full disclosure, many of my thoughts here are focused on vacations with a family with children. I’ll leave that theology to someone else, but I will offer that some of the thoughts might be helpful to singles and married with no children couples. For the sake of organization, I’ve divided my thoughts into three categories:
Vacation offers some rare time alone. How do you redeem it? I would say three ways: exercising, reading, and spending time with God. You may not get those each day, but if your family schedule allows, take it. If you have small children who require attention, swap out time with your spouse so you can care for yourself. Don’t let vacation be permission to eat terribly and not move. If so, vacations just become a time of regret. Don’t neglect time with God. You won’t have more time when you get back home. And read for goodness sake. Engage those eyeballs in a good book. Your brain will thank you.
Time with Spouse
This one can be tough when you have kids. If you can’t get away from them, steal a few moments when they go to bed or get up. If they are old enough and responsible enough, take a walk without them. Make that time purposeful. Have times where you talk about what you need to talk about. Have times where you talk about interests (what you are reading, etc). Enjoy each other. Sit beside each other. Walk on the beach. Just don’t let vacation come and go without a few moment to be refreshed with each other.
Time with Children
Making vacation fun for your kids can make vacation not feel like vacation to the parents. But here is the thing, there will come a day when your kids can’t take vacation with you because their lives are full. Have fun with your kids. Play board games. Play on the beach. Play, play, play. Read together. Whatever. Just make the time with your kids purposeful.
Hopefully, you and your family can get a vacation this year, even if it is small. Take it seriously. Plan ahead so you can relax. And in the everything, give thanks to God.
If you want to hear more about this thought. Check out the “This is Gonna Hurt” podcast where I talk about this very topic.
Gospel Rich Books
This episode of the “This is Gonna Hurt” podcast is sponsored by Gospel Rich Books. Gospel Rich Books offers a host of challenging and encouraging resources. You can find them below: