Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween

As a child I celebrated Halloween. Dressed up in cute costumes and went trick or treating. I grew up in the same neighborhood my whole childhood so we knew everyone and went with all our friends! It was great fun! As I became a teenager I started going to haunted houses and watching scary movies (against my parents wishes!). I also used to mess around with seances and Ouija boards...I mean, it was just for fun!

Then when my kids started getting old enough for trick or treating, we participated. Mr. M did not ever participate in Halloween as a kid so he wasn't real thrilled with the whole thing, but I LOVED Halloween! We went to all the same neighbors that I had gone to as a child and all my friends brought their kids over to our parents neighborhood, it was so much fun!!

Then we moved away, all the way to Washington state. As Halloween grew closer, Mr. M and I both started feeling some conviction about participating. There were scary graveyards all over the neighborhood. Children were talking about the costumes they were going to wear: witches, zombies, characters from movies they shouldn't even know about. Dad's were talking about dressing up like Freddy Kruger from Nightmare on Elm Street and scaring the kids! This wasn't sounding like too much fun anymore. What are we doing to our kids? What are we teaching them? Do I want my kids to think that all this is fun and games and be lead into the same activities that I played around with? Thank the Lord I was protected from the evil that I messed around with, but did I want to put my children into the fire as well?

We chose to hand out candy that year. As I watched these kids coming to my house, I had another thought...any other time of the year we tell kids "Don't talk to strangers!" "Don't ever take candy from strangers!" "Don't ever go to someone's house you don't know!" OH, except this one day! When everyone is dressed up really creepy and you don't know who might possibly be a pedophile!! Yikes!

Then we moved to Virginia. We handed out candy again. This time we had a pumpkin carved with the name Jesus in it and Christian music playing on our porch. No one cared about either. It wasn't a witness. People aren't stopping to have conversations, half the kids were out without an adult anyway! They were with older siblings who weren't even dressed up and wanting candy! That year, Princess had nightmares. We decided that was it. No more Halloween for us.

Since then we have had many wonderful times on October 31st!! Our favorite thing to do though is to have Family Movie Night! We close the curtains, turn off the lights, and don't answer the doorbell when someone doesn't realize our light isn't on. We have popcorn and candy and watch a family friendly movie...it's the best!

Most people aren't bothered at all by the fact that we don't celebrate Halloween...the world that is. Now Christians on the other hand, that's a whole 'nother story! Somehow, us not celebrating is very offensive to other Christians who do. We've been told how legalistic we are. I didn't realize that following God's will for OUR family was legalistic. Who knew?!

Now, I also don't think that we would ever hand out tracks on Halloween or use that day to try to witness to others and tell them how "evil" it is. That's really going to win them over to Jesus!

Here is what I believe, I believe that Jesus is the light! I believe that Halloween celebrates the darkness and death. Jesus overcame death!! So do I want to celebrate the opposite of what Jesus represents? No thanks!

I also don't feel this hurts my testimony at all! People see that I live my faith, yes I make mistakes, but I ask for forgiveness daily! Just cause I don't take part in Halloween isn't going to drive a wedge between myself and my neighbors. In fact, if you are a Christian and Halloween is the only day of the year that your neighbors darken your doorstep...then you've got bigger problems.

A few years ago for Christmas, Tink decided she wanted us to do a manger scene in our front yard. I really didn't want to do it, it seemed like a lot of work on my part and it seemed kind of silly. But she was so persistent! So we did. I made up flyers and she went to every single house in our subdivision and invited people to come and see our "live" nativity and sing some Christmas songs with us. People actually came!! Even someone from the local paper! She reached thousands of people that Sunday when her story and pictures and why she did it were in there! We met so many people in our neighborhood and people thought that it was such a neat thing. You can choose any day of the year to witness to the lost...it doesn't have to be on Halloween.



For our family, we can't argue with scripture!

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22
Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

3 John 1:11
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

Romans 12:9
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

1 Corinthians 10:21
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

James 4:7-8
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Proverbs 22:6
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

4 comments:

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing! I love your emphasis on family!

My family never did the Halloween thing. My parents even pulled us out of school on Halloween day. But we always filled the space with family time - my favorite memories were of us going bowling while everyone else was in school!

Keith on the other hand grew up trick or treating. So when Kory was old enough to trick or treat we really put a lot of thought into what we would do.

Some years we have let Kory trick or treat through our neighborhood. Other years we have skipped it because of our fall travels. This year, Kory was a bit more sensitive to the scary aspects of halloween. He'd say "mommy, I really don't like this." Or "this is so scary." He really hasn't done that in years past.

We didn't want to squash or ignore any sensitivity that he had. Maybe, we thought, it was the Holy Spirit really teaching him right from wrong in a way.

So we decided that this year we would be part of our church's Trunk or Treat night. It was a blast, and the boys had so much fun at the church event! On our drive home I couldn't stop thinking that the emphasis for us that night was really about spending time together as a family!

Annie said...

Great entry!! This would be great to share with the moms at church, somehow....if you were comfortable. I know Pastor Grace would love it. And your life nativity? Beautiful and so touching...what an awesome kid you have there.

Chris Hix said...

"I also used to mess around with seances and ouija boards..."

How I remember this. I was actually trying to talk JJ out of buying that so-called board game. I told him of our experience in the camper and how very real it was. Still scares me to this day.

Our views on Halloween differ now as adults as I let my kids trick or treat our neighbors doors. But I undestand your views and think how you spend that evening is a great idea that works for your family. Kudos!

Heather said...

Chris - Isn't it amazing what the Lord protected us from?! I know many teens who played around with that stuff and really ended up going down the wrong path! I'm thankful that all four of us are okay today...well as okay as four crazy monkey's can get!! Lol

Jess - That is so wonderful that you are seeking the Lord's guidance in your own family...that was my whole point! We are following the leading of the Holy Spirit for our family! I wish more people would pray about it before they just do what they have always done! By the way, loved the Super Hero theme! Super Cute! This year we went up to our church for a great event that I was really impressed with, it was fun!

Annie - Oh I don't know about all that!! Lol! My Mom keeps saying I should write a book...no way! I just write from my heart! Of course if I was asked to speak on ANY subject I would pray and follow the Lord's direction...but speaking in front of others is not my strong suit!! :o)