For I desire mercy and not sacrifice

Lenten Challenge: A better gift for your Valentine

 

So next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day which also happens to coincide this year with Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent. Some people choose this time as a period of fasting.  They give up such things as chocolate, sweets, or Starbuck’s lattes (you know who you are) – all of which could wreak havoc on your Valentine’s Day celebration. But, I believe Lent is a time meant to bring us closer to Christ – to serve as a reminder of the sacrifice that He made for us. So, if you are in the habit of giving up something for Lent I want to challenge you to do something different. Join me in using this time to sacrifice something that will show true commitment and be a blessing to you and your family as well.

 

Let’s face it, relationships are hard. Marriage is a challenge. Most of us do not possess the blissful relationships that Instagram and Facebook portray. Life gets messy. But, what if we made one small change beginning this Lenten season?

 

Let’s ditch a negative behavior.

 

First, let’s pick one area of our marriages, or if you’re not married – significant relationship in your life, that needs to change. If you’re unsure and feeling brave, you can ask your spouse. Warning: prayerfully go into this conversation or the entire idea will self-destruct in a prideful explosion of denial and/or finger-pointing (I may or may not be speaking from experience here).

 

Next, decide how you are going to change that behavior. In the spirit of transparency, I confess that I am critical at times. So, for me I need to focus on holding my tongue and replacing negative criticisms with compliments, showing my husband respect and building him up. I am not saying this will be easy and it won’t be done perfectly, but your relationship will be blessed by it. Of course, I should add that I am not speaking to marriages of abuse or other toxic behaviors. Seek wise counsel for those matters.

 

As for the rest of us, let’s start this Valentine’s/Lenten season off right. Let’s give up some of our pride and put Christ in the center of our marriages/relationships and see what blessings come forth.

 

Legal Disclosure: I receive no compensation from Starbucks in exchange for their increased business during this Lenten season.

 

Are you planning on accepting the challenge? If so, I would love to cheer you on in your successes and support you in your failures. Connect with me on my site and/ or like my Facebook page for continued updates and be sure to let me know if you have accepted the challenge!

 

Until next time,

~Barb

 

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

 

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