I'm baaack....hopefully this post will start things off with a bang!
Halloween is approaching and now that we have a baby we have been thinking about how we will handle this "holiday" in our house. What follows are my thoughts so far on this day.
As a Christian parent, it is my desire to intentionally think and pray through the things that I allow Parks to do and not do. I don't want to take away from his innocence or steal any joy from him, but I also don't want to expose him to evil things and make light of it. It is from that perspective that I write this post, not to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't feel about Halloween. Ideally, this will start a discussion about what other families do for Halloween and share what the Lord has put on their heart about this day. I do believe that the Lord convicts us personally and what I may feel convicted of may not be what you feel convicted about.
Halloween is a celebration of darkness. Yes, there are parts of it that are harmless, like children dressing up as princesses and superheros and getting candy. Perfectly harmless, perfectly fun. However, the holiday itself is all about celebrating evil, fear and darkness. There is simply no denying that. You can do research and look into the pagan, satanic rituals and history that are the foundation of this holiday but you needn't look any further than your neighborhood to tell you that it's about darkness. If it's like mine, you see people putting out skeletons, witches, R.I.P gravestones, monsters, ghosts, spiderwebs, etc. Quite frankly, it disgusts me and I hate seeing it. I do not see any good that comes of celebrating these things. As if we don't have enough death and evil in the world that causes us enough pain, why on earth would we make light of it and actually celebrate it? I find it disturbing.
So the dilemma is, although part of Halloween can be harmless, the entire basis for the holiday is anything but harmless. Knowing that, do I allow my child to participate in this dark holiday, even in an "innocent" way? Another practical dilemma is even if I don't allow my child to dress in anything scary or I don't put up any scary decor around our house...they will certainly be exposed to those things while trick or treating. No, I don't believe that completely sheltering our children from any brokenness or sin in the world is good for them. But I also don't believe in unneccessarily exposing them to harmful and scary things at a very young age. Small children can be terribly frightened by these monster and ghost masks kids wear and by the scary decorations people put out and they are too young to understand it's for "fun". I do not want my child to have nightmares about evil things that I could have protected him from.
I know that many people just dress up, get candy, and that's that. It's not something that they think too much about. But as Christians, I hope we will at least think more about this day and what it really stands for and prayerfully consider how or if at all we participate. Scripture says, "Jesus is the Light of the world. His people do not walk in darkness. His perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18) Do you see why it gives me concern that we celebrate a holiday that thrives on fear?
Jackson and I are still praying through what we should do. We have another year to really figure this out because thankfully, 11 month old babies don't ask where their costume is. So, I'm not sure what we'll end up doing. I don't want to be the crazy radical parent just for the sake of being radical but I also don't want to just blindly follow in the pattern of the world, which we all know is fallen. I'm certainly not against kids dressing up in costumes and playing pretend, I'm just not sure I am ok with doing it in the name of Halloween. Thoughts?