I've been so overwhelmingly busy lately, with my husband at home much more than he usually is, that now I've got a few minutes to myself, I can't help but think G-d knew exactly what He was doing when He gave us the day of Shabbat. He knew that, although there are people who will never work unless they are made to, there are also those who will never rest until they are made to. Even worse, there are people who are very ready to rest themselves, but aren't prepared to grant the same right to their inferiors (slaves/servants/employees).
In Jewish homes, the Shabbat is probably the strongest adhesive glue that pulls the family together. I will be honest with you, during the week we very seldom eat together as a family. I eat together with the girls, but my husband either walks out early and comes back late, or is busy working in the office, or doing errands, etc. On Shabbat, there is a set sequence of meals, and we are all together in a cheerful yet orderly atmosphere.
Some Jews who are not religiously observant claim that the Shabbat limitations are too strict and irrelevant to modern life, but I believe those laws fit right in with human nature.
Driving isn't allowed, so we can only walk. This restricts our activity to leisurely strolls, and prevents us from wasting the day in driving out and about. We stay put just where we are, and interact with our neighbours, which helps build up the community. There is no buying and selling, no business negotiations, even to think and plan for the week is prohibited, so the mind is also at rest. Computers and phones aren't used, so there are no urgent calls, no emails, no distractions in the form of movies or music. The air is filled with Shabbat songs, and because there's nothing to keep us up at night, we go to bed earlier than usual.
Again, some find this restrictive, but I find it perfect, and more relevant to today's hectic pace of life than ever before. Today, if people weren't made to do so, they would hardly put down their cell phones and allow themselves this much-needed spell of undisturbed rest. They might even feel guilty for taking a day off modern technology, right out of the blue. Shabbat brings wonderful balance into our lives.
Illustration from torahtots.com