The season of Lent is forty days long. It starts on Ash Wednesday and goes through Holy Saturday, the Saturday before Easter, and does not include Sundays. It is a time to step back from the hustle and bustle of daily routine and consider the final steps Jesus walked on this earth. It is also a powerful time to strengthen our relationship with Jesus the Christ by giving up something that is part of our normal routine or by taking something new on.
Here is a suggestion: Give up technology – Turn off all electronic devices in the home by 7:00 each evening and take on a new routine of family time for discussion, devotion, reading or board games. What better way to honor what Jesus has done for us than to tune-out the noise of this world and tune-in to the relationships that matter most in this world – marriage and family.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” – Matthew 4:1-3. Led by the Spirit, Jesus spent forty days in intimate relationship with His Father. In the process, the Father prepared the Son for His first battle in ministry. The devil would use the masterful three-prong attack: First was the obvious physical need for food – Jesus rebuked that saying, “Man shall not live on bread alone.”; Second, the devil attacked His emotional vulnerability saying, “If you are the Son of God, … He will command His angels concerning You.” Jesus rebuked that as well with the passage, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” Jesus was confident in Who He was and Whose He was; The third was a spiritual attack. Jesus would not have to walk the path He was to walk if He would just bow down to the devil. Again, Jesus rebuked him saying, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the angels came. The devil is still at it today, attacking men through their physical, emotional and spiritual vulnerabilities. The season of Lent is a great time to take assessment of vulnerable areas and stop whatever activity feeds that vulnerability. It is also important to take something on to fill the void – time in prayer & scripture is a good option. In the process, the Father will prepare His children for battle.
One dad established a central docking station when he called for all electronic devices to be turned in at dinner time. At first there was push back and that stimulated their first real family discussion time. From there, they enjoyed devotion time several evenings a week, played board games, read and planned family outings. The unexpected byproduct was a decreased level of stress in the home as they tuned-out the noise of this world and tuned-in to each other.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for walking the walk You walked, for obeying Your Father all the way to the cross. And I struggle in my walk as a father in this world? Forgive me. Help me gain perspective of all You have done for me as I fast and pray across this season of Lent and grant me strength to make changes in my life, marriage and family that will glorify You. I pray this Easter will be the best yet for all close to me. Amen.
A faithful father leans into the season of Lent to draw closer to Christ.