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Growing up in a denomination that didn’t really emphasize Lent, my first real encounter with the season was in college. The idea of fasting was something I had read about in the Bible, of course, but never practiced in my own life. Fast forward a few years, and I have been truly blessed by belonging to a church that does practice Lent and encourages families to fast, pray and give extra focus to Christ as we look forward to Holy Week.
Maybe you already observe Lent in your home and your church, but maybe you don’t. Here are some reasons I would encourage you to consider it:
• It dedicates 40 days to giving up something that takes our time (TV, social media, other pasttimes) and using the time we have freed up to focus on God. You can take that 30 minutes a day and read scripture, pray, fast, etc.
• It pushes us toward a season of “cleaning house” or repentance. What areas of your life does God want to expose the cobwebs? What have you been holding onto that you need to release control of to Him?
• It gives us an opportunity to really teach our children about Lent, Holy Week, Passover and the spiritual discipline of fasting. In our wild and crazy lives, it is refreshing to set aside time truly focused on God and His word.
• Pick a time to read through one of the gospels together through the Lent season. Our church is reading through the book of Matthew and each day has a set scripture passage to read. We often read this at the dinner table before or after our meal.
• Our worship pastor encouraged us to have a “Technology free Tuesday” where all phones, ipads and computers are put up each evening and we play games, read together, go for a walk, etc. and really spend time focused on our families.
• Another component many weave into the Lent season is a focus on service. Pick a ministry your family can serve through Lent. If you are fasting from chocolate or soft drinks, take the money you normally spend on that and give it to a local ministry.
If you want to know more about Lent and how your family can incorporate this season into your spiritual life, check out these resources:
The Lenten Tree: Devotions for Children and Adults to Prepare for Christ's Death and His Resurrection by Dean Lambert Smith
I pray your family will feel renewed in their relationship with Christ and each other as you experience Lent together!
I want to leave you with this verse –“ Create in me a new heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me” Psalm 51:10
Carrie Beth Tigges