Saturday, November 1, 2014

Why We Let Our Kids Go Trick-or-Treating... and other thoughts on Halloween

 Halloween is a very controversial topic among Christians.

*I am not suggesting that this should be the standard for your family. I believe that each Christian should ask the Lord what he/she should do and should base their actions on that.*

My husband and I have done that. We are comfortable with our decision.
I will not judge you for your decision... please offer me the same level of respect.

So, with that said, here's our thoughts on Halloween.

I personally am quite uncomfortable with most Halloween decorations. I place pumpkins around my home, but it pretty much stops there. I don't believe in ghosts or zombies and I don't want my home to be covered in those things. I want my home to always be inviting, warm, loving, and traditional Halloween decorations do not reflect those things.

While we obviously don't want to train our children to participate in evil, we do want to train our children to get in there and actively fight it.

And, while you can make a point by standing on the sidelines, you're not truly in the fight unless you're IN the fight. You can't win a battle if you don't participate.

Jesus didn't sit on the sidelines. He called out the demons. He ate dinner with hookers and corrupt tax collectors. He looked evil in the face and, when it seemed all hope was lost, he rose again and conquered it forever. 

He got his hands dirty.

I was the kind of kid who, if kept away from something "bad," began to fear it. I still fear the unknown. I wish that instead I had someone walk me though scary or controversial situations to show me how to handle it and how to stay above reproach in the midst of it.

Fear and lack of understanding is NOT how I want my kids to face unknown or new situations.

We will accomplish so much more by taking our small children around and showing those who hoped to scare them that our kids are already wise enough to know there is nothing to fear by their decorations and costumes because they have Jesus on their side.

I want my kids to be able to walk into every situation armed with the power of Christ and the ability to bring light into it. And, I want them to show others that we can always have fun and experience joy with them.

I will not send them into situations unarmed or alone. But, my husband and I can walk with them through this and teach them how to be "in the world but not of it."

It's possible.

And, I don't think I'll do it perfect every time, but thankfully God shows me grace and I trust that He can protect my kids even when I fail.

I know that as they grow, situations are going to be a lot harder to discern than 'should I let my kids put on a cute costume and get free candy?' But I believe the principle will remain the same.

Instead of staying in our own little bubble to make a point, we can go out on a night where most of our neighbors are outside, walking around, open to talking and getting to know others. We can introduce ourselves and let them see that we're humans, too. We can be friendly and kind and compliment their children's costumes. We can laugh with them and share some sweets. We can make memories with them. We can set a good example by having fun and creative costumes without the scary/gory aspect. We can "do life" with our neighbors.

We can get our hands dirty. 

What if Jesus had said, "Oh geez, that guy is demon possessed! That's too much darkness and I won't take part in that, because that's just too much! Obviously Satan has won this round..."? I don't ever want my kids to think there is so much bad that the good they can bring isn't worth getting into it.

I don't believe that by trick-or-treating I'm being passive and exposing my children to evils that they don't yet understand. I KNOW I'm being intentional and using this to teach them spiritual principles... and letting them have a little fun and a little sugar-rush along the way is a plus.

If we don't stand up and fight evil, bring light into it, show it that it cannot win, who will?

I believe that by ignoring it or fearing it, we give it more power. We need to get involved. We need to participate. We need to go in armed with God's power and spread His light. We won't be able to share our opinions about the origin of this day if we aren't around anyone who will hear it. And, we'll never be able to speak to someone on a heart level when they are feeling judged. Do life with people. Love them where they are. Stay above reproach in the midst of controversial situations. Be the light that Jesus wants us to be. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Hide it under a bushel? NO! Let it shine.