It’s that time of year again. Lent is a time when we can become more intentional, less concerned about ourselves, and more willing to reach out to others. Lent is the perfect opportunity for you and your spouse to grow closer to God, unite with Christ in His passion and suffering, and break free of certain attachments or sins you struggle with. Forty days is the perfect amount of time to form good habits that may stick with you for the rest of your life.
Here are 10 simple ideas that you can do together to make this Lent more meaningful.
1. Read the daily Gospel reading
Going through the daily Gospel is a great way to reflect on scripture in this YEAR of the WORD. Choose one word or phrase from the Gospel that really speaks to your heart and take time to talk about it together.
You can download this free app and have the daily readings right at your fingertips.
2. Write each other little notes of encouragement
This season of Lent is a great time to build each other up by placing love notes on your spouse’s pillow, in a sock drawer, or by their toothbrush. Love words go a long way! Tell your spouse how much you love them and that you will pray for him or her.
3. Clean out your clothes closet
Pick a day or weekend during Lent to purge your clothes closet together. You can ask each other’s opinion about the clothes you never wear and make it your goal to donate 40 items for the 40 days of Lent.
4. Cut down on your food bill
We all know how quickly food items add up at the till, especially at Costco. If you find yourself spending $300 during a typical grocery shop, take out a few things and try to keep it under $200. You can donate the money you saved to a charity. Choose to eat simpler meals by cutting down on meat, dairy and sweets. Try to limit (or completely avoid) eating out for the Lenten period. Put that money aside to bless others and learn to practice gratitude daily for the things you already have in your pantry and fridge.
Prayerfully consider sponsoring a child for as little as $37/month. Sponsorship gives children the support needed to attend and stay in school, and helps families provide nutritious food and better care for their children. We have partnered with an awesome Catholic organization called Chalice who offer sponsorship programs for kids all over the world.
Check out: www.chalice.ca
6. Pray together in the evening
Taking the time to pray together is one of the best gifts you can give each other. Don't get discouraged if you miss a few nights. Lent is a great time to try, fail, and try again. Don't be afraid to start small, even if it's simply praying an Our Father and a Hail Mary.
7. Watch Christian movies
You may want to give up watching Netflix this Lent and replace it with FORMED. www.formed.org It’s an engaging entertainment alternative in support of a Catholic lifestyle. There are excellent movies including ones about the Saints that could inspire you both to GREATNESS. There’s a 7 day free trial and you may continue your subscription for only $9.99/month.
8. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Chaplet is a beautiful reflection on God's love and mercy. It takes less than 10 minutes to pray, and it can be done first thing in the morning or while driving.
Learn to pray the chaplet at www.thedivinemercy.org
9. Go to confession
As Catholics, it is recommended that we go to confession at least once during Lent. But why go only once? We have this beautiful sacrament of mercy available for us to tap into His abundant graces.
10. Cut down on screen time
If you don’t want to cut it out entirely, cut down on your time and use that to do something from the list above. Come up with a couple of your own creative strategies for reducing screen time such as before bed, try keeping your phone in a different room other than the bedroom. It’s amazing how much more time you'll end up spending together as a couple.
Hopefully a few of these ideas inspired you. During Lent we're called to pray, fast, and give alms. Whether it's praying daily, eating simpler meals, going to confession, or befriending the neighbor down the street, Lent is a great time to make some positive changes.
So choose a few things that may have inspired you and integrate it into your family life. Who knows all the incredible things it might ignite in your marriage.
Feel free to leave a comment if you have any other Lenten ideas, or maybe things that have worked for you in the past. We can't wait to hear your thoughts.