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.