Every year, we like to propose a challenge for your marriage during Lent: pick one thing to do together throughout Lent. It’s easy to go overboard and pick several things to do, but just pick one or two!
We’ve really come to see the power of doing one small thing together and how that can lead us to holiness. While giving up sweets or alcohol or something like that isn’t a bad thing, just make sure you’re picking something that will have a positive impact on your marriage and spiritual life together.
And remember, it’s not supposed to be easy! When you’re deciding on what to do, it’s also good to remember the three pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. So while we’re encouraging you to pick only one thing to do together, you should still focus on all three pillars throughout Lent.
Ready for some ideas for what you can do during Lent with your spouse? In no particular order, here we go!
- Pray together everyday, if you’re not already doing so. [It might be good to also read Praying For (and With) Your Spouse by the Popcaks.]
- Read Scripture daily. Maybe a Psalm a day or a chapter from one of the Gospels.
- Read Forever: A Catholic Devotional for Your Marriage by the Angels. We did this during Lent one year since it’s 6 weeks long. It only takes 5 minutes a day!
- Do the enrichment program Beloved: Mystery & Meaning of Marriage. If your church parish has a subscription to Formed.org, you could do Beloved for free! There are 6 sessions, so you can do one each week in Lent.
- Sign up for the Pray More Retreat. It’s a self-paced online retreat with talks, videos, and study guides. The topics look so good and would be great conversation starters!
- Wake up earlier to connect and pray together.
- Go on a marriage retreat.
- Take Natural Family Planning classes, if you haven’t done so yet (or have been putting it off!).
- Don’t watch TV. But be sure to replace that TV time with something better!
- Pray a daily Rosary.
- Go to daily Mass during the week (in addition to meeting your Sunday obligation).
- Donate extra money to your church or favorite charity.
- Volunteer at your church and in your community.
- Read Three Secrets to Holiness in Marriage: A 33-Day Self-Guided Retreat for Catholic Couples by the DeMattes.
- Commit to not spending any money (other than necessities and usual bills) during Lent. Have a “no spend Lent”, if you will.
- Pray a Divine Mercy chaplet every day.
- Invite someone over for dinner each week. Maybe it’s time to work on hospitality!
- Pick a day each week to do hardcore fasting, like what’s done on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting together makes for some good accountability.
- Go to bed earlier. Make sure to pray together first!
- Commit to not having your phones by you when you’re spending time together at home. Enjoy each other’s company!
- Pick a person or family each week to bless in some way. Bring them a meal, offer to babysit, whatever you think might help them. (And don’t expect anything in return!)
- Pray an hour from the Liturgy of the Hours each day. This can be done with an app like iBreviary or Laudate, but I’m a big fan of the one-volume Christian Prayer. (And if you want to learn more about the Liturgy of the Hours, I recommend reading The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours by Daria Sockey.)
- Make a weekly visit to an Adoration chapel.
- Learn a new devotion together, like the Seven Sorrows Rosary or the St. Michael chaplet.
- Read from Daily Companion for Married Couples each day.
- Read Intimate Graces: How Practicing the Works of Mercy Brings out the Best in Marriage by Teresa Tomeo and Dominick Pastore.
- Listen to a talk about Catholicism or marriage and family life each week. Catholic Productions has a great selection, and there are several awesome talks in their marriage and family life category. (Both CDs and MP3s are available.)
- Do one small act of love for each other every day. (Ladies, check out our 40 Days of Loving Your Husband!)
- Do the Stations of the Cross together each Friday.
- Do the enrichment program United in Love-United in Christ. We did this one year with a large group of couples at our church, and it was great! You could do it with a small group in your own home as well, meeting once a week for 6 weeks.
What ideas would you add to the list??