A listener asks:
Our child is three-years old and doesn’t know anything about Halloween. My husband and I talked about it and decided we are not going to celebrate the holiday. Surprisingly, my friends are giving me a hard time about our decision. For many reasons, including some experiences in our lives that were dark, we don’t feel comfortable participating. We know this might be more difficult as our child gets older, and our church is providing a Harvest Party. What is your opinion on this?
After researching the roots of Halloween, I am not a fan either. I don’t like the connection to occultic roots, the scary costumes, the gore, and the idea of frightening kids and desensitizing them to the dark spiritual world that does exist.
So, every family needs to decide as to what they are going to do with Halloween. Some people allow their kids to dress up in fun costumes and trick or treat. Others say NO to that activity and attend alternate harvest parties at their churches. Some feel alternatives should not be offered as it assumes kids are missing something. There are many opinions on this topic.
The important thing to do is research the holiday, pay attention to what you feel the Lord is telling you to do, and talk as a family. Pray for wisdom and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, not other people. Then help your children understand the position you take and why.
Other people should respect your decision, especially if you have had any personal encounters with the dark side of the spirit world in your family or through the generations. And if your decision is simply based on the idea that you don’t like what Halloween stands for and do not want to participate, you don’t need the approval of others.
Romans 12:2 reminds us not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In our post Christian culture, taking a stand for what you believe to be true based on Scripture is an important lesson to model for children. Perhaps that is what you will teach your child as he or she gets older.
My caution, though, is not to judge others. Many use this holiday to engage their neighbors and have conversations about spiritual things. Others feel they can dress up and hand out candy because as Christians, there is nothing to fear. Still others see this as an opportunity to talk about the spiritual world, a chance for cultural engagement.
No matter what you decide, know this: Jesus overcame all evil, so we don’t have to fear. He overcame the darkness, and triumphed over death and evil. And every day His overcoming power works in us when we are one of His.
Assure your children that no matter what they encounter, they are covered by the precious blood of Christ. This is comforting, not scary. Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4Thinking through Halloween