Man relaxing in grass on sunny day

Dude Skill #6: REST – Part 1


A Rested Husband Is A Peaceful Husband

Overwork and lack of rest are are attractive to men because they produce results. Even people who are familiar with the Bible may know little about the principle of sabbath, especially its practice. Religious or non-religious, the culture in which we live seems to have forgotten the need for sabbath rest. And it is killing us and our marriages. Without rest, you have no patience to listen and no desire to talk. The fights never resolve, and you grow bitter.

It’s been more than two decades since author Juliet Schor released her book, The Overworked American. But trends she observed in her research do not appear to be slowing down at all. Just read the statistics from the American Psychological Association:

  • In 2001, the median number of days away from work as a result of anxiety, stress, and related disorders was twenty-five — substantially greater than the median of six for all nonfatal injury and illnesses cases.
  • Job stress is estimated to cost US industry more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal, and insurance costs.
  • Eighteen percent of US workers put in more than forty-eight hours a week.
  • Eighty-three percent of employees report going to work even while sick, citing heavy workload, need to conserve time off to meet family needs, and a work environment where taking off is “risky” as their rationale.

And that’s just a fraction of the statistics the association compiled on a Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program’s Fact Sheet in 2013.

Man relaxing in grass on sunny day

i mention Schor’s work because there’s certainly an American flavor to overwork and burnout. It is not as if people in other countries are immune to this issue, but we can learn a lot from them, especially Europeans. the United States is the only nation in a group of twenty-one that does not require employers to provide paid vacation, as reported by the Center of Economic and Policy Research. Granted there are significant economic differences to consider, but as Americans, we can stand to learn how to unplug during off-hours and work smarter. Several European countries are even making significant strides with on-the-job education and subsidized child care.

However, rest isn’t simply physical. What would it look like to take off one day a week? What would it be like to look forward to that day as time that would empower the other six days? What would it look like to be fully engaged in that day? What would it look like to enter the work week having been filled spiritually, emotionally, and relationally?


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