Lent officially kicks off today. If you are unfamiliar with that term let me explain – “Lent” is the 40 day period (excluding Sundays) prior to Easter. This is part of the Christian year and observed by most Christian traditions. Ways in which Christians observe the Lenten season could be to “give up” something that they love (e.g. chocolate, soda, etc.) or to make a commitment to begin something new that would help strengthen their relationship with God (e.g., pray every day, read Scripture, etc.). This is a holy season that lends itself to personal reflection as Christians seek God’s influence and will for their lives.
If you also observe Lent, as I do, I have a challenge for you over these 40 days. As Christians we pray – we pray at church, we pray before meals, we pray for others in need, and we pray when we need God’s strength. But do we pray every day with our spouse? My guess is that many of us don’t. I’m not sure why that is – perhaps we just get so busy with life that it doesn’t dawn on us to stop and pray with and for our spouse. Why not let this be your Lenten commitment? Why not make this next 40 days a time of daily prayer with and for your spouse?
This could be a very simple thing – every day you commit to sit with each other for five minutes (yes, five minutes is all you need, but take more if you want!). You give each other two minutes to simply share one thing that was awesome about your day and one thing that was frustrating about your day or something troubling you. Then, you take turns praying for the other and lift those specific frustrations to God on behalf of your spouse. So, in five minutes time, you’ve listened to and affirmed your spouse and lifted them in prayer.
That, my friends, is one of the most intimate things you could possibly do with your spouse. And, as with all good habits, after doing that for 40 days you will be surprised how much you look forward to that time together and with God. This could be a wonderful way to strengthen your marriage and your relationship with God. Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to hear your comments and reflections, so if you take the challenge let me know how it is going by commenting!
Rev. Monica Humpal