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8 Meaningful Ways to Observe Lent with Your Family

The Lenten season is a reminder of God’s eternal love in our lives. Here’s how to celebrate it with those you hold dearest.

How to observe Lent with your family
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It’s the countdown to Easter. Find a way to mark the days. Just as you might have lit the candles on an Advent wreath at Christmas, you can do things together to honor Lent and the coming of Easter. Try these ways to observe Lent with your family:

1)  A Coinbox

In Sunday school, when I was a kid, we were given a little church out of cardboard on Ash Wednesday, and for the rest of Lent we were to put our change into it. Pennies, quarters, a whole dime (when that seemed like a lot), hearing all the coins gathered there when you shook it like a piggybank. On Easter, we brought it to church. Our offering. It made us conscious of the season back before we even knew the meaning of Lent.

READ MORE: 5 More Fun, Easy and Faith-Filled Ideas for Lent

2)  A Charity

I have some of my favorites—I’m sure you do, too. There’s that kid in a faraway land whom you’ve sponsored to help. Or those goats on a farm in Africa you donated for. Or that shelter not so far from your home that could use some help. Put a picture up on your refrigerator door. Have a few pictures there on your kitchen table for when you gather to eat. The awareness of those in need—and the awareness of your own blessings—becomes part of your prayers.

READ MORE: Create an Action Plan to Do Great Things This Lent

3)  A Devotional

Turning the pages in a book as you turn to the pages in your own life. As a contributor to Walking in Grace I’m acutely aware, as are the other writers, of the changing seasons. Each Bible verse, each devotional story and message, each prayer is meant to enhance your faith. “Make each day your masterpiece,” said the legendary college basketball coach John Wooden. You can read a daily devotional out loud to your kids or your spouse. Sharing the faith.

4)  A Prayer List

I tend to scribble on Post-it notes those names of people who’ve asked for prayer or the specific needs they have. To pray for someone is to open up your heart to what they ask for. To seek understanding. To grow in compassion. Feeling someone else’s need, knowing how it links up to some of your own needs, that’s the start of prayer. You offer it up to a greater power.

READ MORE: 10 Inspiring Prayers for Lent and Fasting

5)  A Thanksgiving List

Write down the things you are thankful for. Add to the list every day for Lent. Share your list with your family members. Or come up with a list together. Your Lenten list. It is so helpful, especially on a day when you think nothing has gone right, to be able to see how much has gone more than right. How much you have to be grateful for. How much God has blessed you.

READ MORE: 3 Biblical Prayers for Gratitude

6)  A Bible Passage

We’re so used to reading the printed Bible we forget that for most of its existence, Scripture was largely heard, not read. The words were so precious and when Bibles couldn’t be printed in mass like they are today or when many fewer people could read, there was special community in hearing the Scripture. At the dinner table, at bedtime, even over breakfast, read through a biblical book just a few verses at a time. Share it aloud.

READ MORE: 20 Lent Bible Verses for Reflection and Guidance

7)  A Fast

A fast is something you don’t have to do alone. It’s not something to brag about or talk about with a lot of other people—as Jesus reminds us. But there can be power in sharing a practice with another family member or maybe with the whole family. Fasting also has many spiritual benefits. If everybody gives up something for Lent, like chocolate, think how much that chocolate Easter egg will be savored. At last.

READ MORE: 15 Inspiring Bible Verses for Fasting

8)  A Hug

Pass along a hug for Lent. The season is meant as a reminder of God’s eternal love in our lives. A hug before bedtime. A hug before dashing out of the house in a busy day. A chance to hold tight to what God has given us and what we can give right back.

READ MORE ABOUT LENT:

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