This Lent, Set Yourself Up to Succeed
Sidebar by Sarah Reinhard
Lent is the time of year I love to hate. It’s all too easy for Lenten practices to turn into big, impossible jobs. And yet, after the overload of Christmas, there’s something about the spartan that’s appealing. The three pillars of Lent are fasting, almsgiving, and praying. Each offers a great opportunity for hands-on faith for families.
Have a Reason for Doing
- It’s easier to stick with something when you have a motivator.
- Fast from a particular group of food or drink.
- Donate the money you save to a charity that resonates with your family.
- Offer a daily family prayer for a person or group in need, like the homeless or prisoners.
- Have family discussions about how special service makes a difference in the lives of others.
Do Activities Together
This doesn’t just mean that everyone prays or fasts together but that everyone has a say in what you’re doing. Make sure that what you decide is something that’s fitting for your entire family. Fasting may not make sense if you have dietary issues. Praying together might not work if you can’t coordinate everyone’s schedule.
Keep It Simple
In my house, the road to failure is paved with complications. Less detail yields easier follow-through. And the easier it is to follow through with something, the more likely your family is to continue the practice long after Lent is over.
*Editor’s note: Full print content also includes a column by Geri L. Dreiling. It contains practical advice on how to learn to draw strength from life’s struggles and find God’s blessings in everyday life.