Lent – Reminder not a Rule

It’s the first Friday of Lent.  There will be seven Friday’s in all, including Good Friday.  We went with the concept of Friday’s being a little bit of Lent and Sunday’s being a little bit of Easter.  I don’t know yet if this is a mindset we could carry into the rest of the year, but we are setting our minds on it for this Easter preparation season at least.

I have found with our kids (6 and 8 years old) that simple themes that repeat are the most interesting and effective.  So my husband and I picked the idea of fighting sin.  There are many different concepts you could explore for Lent, but the idea is to take time to stop and think about the effects of the cross with your kids and then pray with them.  We picked 7 passages that have to do with fighting sin and we’ll read one each Friday.  Today we read Psalm 139 “Search me O God.”  It was, again, a conversation at the breakfast table that we ended with prayer.  The topic of fasting came up again and we talked about the sweets we’ve missed eating this week and how many times we wanted to grab some and said no to ourselves.  This visual has had a huge impact on my kids, they get the connection!  But what I found is that they quickly turned it into a rule that they (and everyone else) must follow.  Hmmm…. That’s what I was worried about with this whole idea of “giving up” during Lent.  This is when we began saying, “Lent is not a rule, it’s a reminder.”  The choices we make for Lent are ways to remind our forgetful hearts to stop and think and pray.  And then the awesome part is that we were able to show them this “rule vs. reminder” in action when the kids went to a school party.  Because it’s not a rule, they ate the sweets at the party…and nothing bad happened!

The sweet “reminder” has also created an anticipation for Sunday!  Sunday’s coming!

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