Planning ahead can help make Lent a special time for your family. Here are some ideas you might want to incorporate during the 40 days of Lent that begin with Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14):
- Don’t buy anything that you don’t need. If you can live without it, you don’t need it. Give it up for Lent. Put the money that you would have spent into a jar. You will be surprised at how quickly you build up your savings. Look at how much you saved after the 40 days. Put some into savings and donate the rest.
- Get rid of things for 40 days. Every day, walk around your house and collect things to donate or throw away, until Lent ends. (Try donating, because you are helping others.)
- No gossiping. Give up gossiping for Lent. That means you cannot do any gossiping. None! If someone says something negative about another person, either say something nice or don’t say anything at all. You would think this is going to be so easy, but when you can’t say anything negative about anyone else, you realize how often it happens, sadly.
- Say three nice things to your spouse and kids daily. You may think this is easy, but try to say things that aren’t the normal “Thanks” or “You look nice” or “Good job.” Try for three out-of-the-box things during Lent this year: “I love how you always help the kids” or “I love how you work hard on your homework, even when it is tough.” Remember, your words become your child’s inner voice.
- Don’t eat out for 40 days. Try to make easy crock pot meals or cook ahead on the weekend. Perhaps donate the money you save to a charity that feeds the hungry.
- Replace some TV time with prayer time. Read a devotional or Bible story with your family and have a discussion about it. Even young kids can get involved in this. (The author of the website article recommends Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young.)