MARCH TOPIC: Giving Up to Gain


TOPIC: “Giving up to Gain”

Ask family members for examples of people giving something in order to get something else. If you need to help, use one or more of these examples:

1.    Work – People give their time, talent and energy to get payment that will help them sustain themselves and their families.

2.    Purchases – People give up their money to get something they want or need.

3.    Study – People give their time, effort and attention to learning so they can get an education or gain a skill to enable them to get a job or establish a business.

Explain that March is a month when some religious people observe a 40-day period called “Lent” during which time they give up something in order to break bad habits or become better people. Use the paragraphs below to educate your family about the season of Lent.

Forty days before Easter, not counting Sundays, there begins a religious season called Lent, which means lengthening days. It is observed as a season of penitence. On the first day of this season, Ash Wednesday, some groups including Roman Catholics and Anglicans (Episcopalians) have a cross marked on their forehead with ashes which come from palms that have been saved from the previous Palm Sunday. 

Lent recalls the forty days Jesus spent in the desert, fasting and becoming strong as he thought deeply about his work in the world. During this time, some churches encourage their members to look for ways to become better and stronger, to make a fresh start.  As a token, many give up certain pleasures or try to break bad habits during lent.

 Read or let family members read Philippians 3:7-14 and talk about how important it is for us to make good decisions about what to give up and what to keep. Share the following notes and add others if you think of anything else:

1.    We must not hold on to things that prevent us from getting something better.

2.    Letting go of things is not always easy, but if we want to be better or have a better life, sometimes it requires us to give up something we want to keep.

 Allow family members to comment or ask questions. Then pray that the Lord will help everyone make good decisions and desire to give up what needs to be let go, in order to gain more important things.







TOPIC: “Stereotypes”

Ask family members to talk about what the word “stereotype” means.

Have one member of the family read each scripture and then share the notes below them and add anything else you want to add to it.

 Philippians 4:15-16 NKJV
Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.

 1 Kings 5:6 NKJV
Now therefore, command that they cut down cedars for me from Lebanon; and my servants will be with your servants, and I will pay you wages for your servants according to whatever you say. For you know there is none among us who has skill to cut timber like the Sidonians.

Titus 1:12 NKJV
One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”


In each of these passages we see examples of stereotypes – examples of how groups of people had a reputation, or things they were known for.

 The Philippians – their giving

The Sidonians – their skill in cutting down trees for lumber

The Cretans – their evil behavior, laziness, lying and overeating

 Every group we are a part of is stereotyped in some way. It doesn’t mean they all do the same thing but certain things are prevalent in that group.

 February is Black History month in the US. Accomplishments of African Americans will be highlighted. Significant black figures will be talked about.

  • What are some of the stereotypes of African Americans – good or bad?
    (For African-American families): Ask your family members if their actions are contributing to the positive or negative stereotypes of African-Americans.

    (For other ethnicities or nationalities): What kinds of stereotypes exist for your ethnic group or nation? Are your actions contributing to the positive or negative stereotypes?

  •  Have family members talk about other groups they are a part of – family, church, city, state, country, etc.

  •  Discuss the most important group we are a part of – The Kingdom of God.

  • Talk about how important it is to help create a positive image of every group we are a part of, but especially the Kingdom of God or the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. According to 2 Corinthians 5:20a, we represent Christ.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ…” NKJV