So, what did you give up for Lent? Seems to be the number one question asked by kids. Maybe it shouldn’t be.
Lent is the period of 40 days which comes before Easter in the Christian calendar. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. By observing the 40 days of Lent, Christians replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days. You can read more about Lent here.
So how can you help your child get the most out of the Lenten season? Many times kids are asked to give something up which is appropriate given the nature of self-denial and fasting that is characteristic of Lent. Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness. Our acts of self-denial remind us of that. The question is, why did Jesus do that? Jesus fasted to draw closer to His Father.
Giving something up can do the same for your kids, but the focus shouldn’t be on what they give up. The focus needs to be on what they add. For example, it’s great to give up video games for Lent, but what will fill the time that has been created by giving up video games?
Cutting out video games frees them to spend more time in Scripture and prayer.
Or maybe that time is used to serve others.
Or that time is spent as a family doing a devotional.
Encourage your kids to give something up, but even more than that encourage them to fill the vacuum that was created by their self-denial with ways to spend more time in God’s presence. It is only in His presence that kids can truly reflect and prepare for Easter.