Is lent relevant for non religious families?

Is lent relevant for families that are non religious?

It’s pancake day – one of my children’s favourite days in the calendar.

As I walked downstairs this morning all three of my boys have individually checked that I will be doing pancakes for them this evening – despite the fact that I am teaching tonight!

We have only one rule on Shrove Tuesday – you can eat as many pancakes as you want to – pure gluttony.  My youngest has always been able to eat the most – averaging at about 7 pancakes, usually covered in lemon and sugar, he is a traditionalist all the way!  The other boys will smother theirs in Nutella but only manage 4 each.

As a family that does not follow any one particular church (we tend to take a more “smorgasbord” approach of “bits of belief” from many religions), we observe lent as more of a personal challenge and opportunity to “improve or support” each other.

In the Christian church Lent is a crucially important period of forty days before Easter – traditionally a time of fasting and reflection, although it is more common in modern times for believers to surrender a particular vice.

What could you “give up” if you are looking for something more contemporary?  In 2016 the top 100 things to sacrifice for Lent included alcohol, chocolate, coffee, sex, smoking and dairy.
A really lovely modern list for families includes “Say 3 nice things to your spouse and kids every day” of “Replace 30 minutes of TV time with 30 minutes of devotion” – which could be prayer or time devoted to your family.

It didn’t take me long to work out my “vice” that I will ATTEMPT to improve – any many people that know me will know how hard this one will be for me…  but i will ATTEMPT to stop swearing for lent.  So if you hear me dropping a curse – feel free to raise your eyebrows disapprovingly and remind me of my promise.

What “sacrifices” are relevant for parents of young children?  Will you be giving anything up or observing any changes for Lent 2017??

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