Christmas is a wonderful time of jubilee. But for many, it can be a stressful or lonely. Thankfully Easter isn’t usually wrapped up in those entrapments. We are free to enjoy the Easter season as is. You are free to get to the heart of Easter with your family and make Easter more important than Christmas. One easy way to do this is to give something up for Lent as a family.
Why Should You Give Something Up for Lent? That Doesn’t Sound Fun or Celebratory!
You should give up something for Lent as a family because it takes the focus of yourselves and puts it in it’s proper place–on Jesus. Before you decide this isn’t for you, let me make sure you know that Lent is not only for Catholics. The New Testament clearly talks about fasting, a time of giving things up. In fact, it says “WHEN you fast,” not “if.”
And WHEN YOU FAST, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18 ESV
I grew up in an area with lots of Catholic families, but the practice of Lent always seemed strange and burdensome to me. As I got older and forged my own way, I realized that was actually the point. Jesus survived 40 days of temptation in the desert for us. Giving up something for 40 days for Him isn’t a requirement. It just helps us be a little more aware of what He did for us. Self-denial gives us a chance to turn to Him and ask for strength when we are tempted. It can be an opportunity to quote scripture for strength just as Jesus did. If you give something up for Lent, it is a great example to our children that they can say “no” to things they want. In a world of instant gratification, that is a really important lesson!In a world of instant gratification, giving something up for Lent is an example to our children that we can say “no” to things that we want. Click To Tweet
What Could Your Family Give Up for Lent?
- Ice cream or desserts
- Technology time (or 1 particular device or social media outlet)
- Any music that isn’t Christian
- Snacking between meals
- Eating Out
- Junk Food
- Anything you struggle with as a family or wish you didn’t do so much.
Practical Tips to Help You Give Something Up for Lent as a Family
- If you plan on giving something up as a family, make sure you read the scripture about Jesus’ temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11) Discuss it and connect it to why you are making this choice. You could even read on in your Bible to discover how this time prepared Jesus right before He began His earthly ministry. This time of Lent could be preparing your family for great things too!
- Decide on what you want to give up together. Suddenly dropping the bomb that there is no TV for 40 days might get you an angry mob on your hands. Decide together and help each other. Replace what you give up with something good. If you are giving up something that takes time, like television, you could replace it with family time. Game nights, reading great literature aloud, or even singing and playing music together would be much more fun than the TV!
- Don’t just give something up for 40 days and never revisit it. Use this opportunity to strengthen and encourage each other. Reread the scripture together occasionally (or when you hear whining!). Memorize together the verses Jesus used to fight temptation.
- Take advantage of Sunday “off” days during Lent. Sunday is the day Jesus rose, so it is set aside for celebration. If your family gave up ice cream, by all means, have a Sundaes on Sunday party! Make Jesus a real celebration!
Final Thoughts on Why You Should Give Up Something For Lent
Without Easter, there would be no Christmas. We would have nothing to celebrate because that precious little baby in a stable wouldn’t have done anything of life-altering, eternal consequence. Easter is the real star. It deserves more than an Easter egg hunt, fancy clothes, a basket of goodies, and a special church service. All too often we celebrate the SEASON of Christmas and Easter DAY. Since Easter is more important that Christmas, let’s make it a season to remember! A (somewhat) easy way to do this is to give up something for Lent as a family.
We would love to hear what your family is planning to give up for Lent. Please let us know in the comments below. Stop back by or visit us on Facebook to let us know how it is going!
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