There are a million parenting choices, lifestyle choices, and personal convictions that can be used to create division among moms. Virtually every decision one could make can become a point of contention.
How you choose to engage October 31st in your home is your choice, but even so it can become a point of argument between couples and friends and it shouldn’t be.
We all want to be good parents. Often times when someone does something different than we do we take offense as if their actions reveal our mistakes. In Christian circles, we can take it even more personally, as we feel that others actions or the lack of our own reveal something much worse--our sin. But what we need, is to be humble and stop taking offense. Instead we need to encourage one another to follow the convictions the Holy Spirit lays on each of our consciences--personally. And then we need to support one another in taking action in obedience to them when we do!
Why do I bring this up?
When talking about Holiday traditions, particularly ones that many in the Church are divided on, we have to be careful. We need to respect that 1.) Everyone is on their own personal journey with the Lord. 2.) What the Spirit might be convicting you of, might not be something He is convicting another on. 3.) Though we are called to challenge one another to grow "as iron sharpens iron" Prov. 27:17, we are not called to BE the Holy Spirit in one another's lives.
My hope and prayer is that you don't feel overwhelmed as a parent, but rather encouraged with some tools in how to engage October 31st on purpose, on a mission that will glorify our Father in Heaven.
Many think of October 31st as a dark night. So here are some ideas of how to be a light on a dark night.
We are all called to be missionaries. The Great Commission is a call to us all. (Matthew 28) While many of us wouldn’t outrightly have the courage or feel the call to stand on a street corner preaching the gospel and handing out tracks downtown, we are all called to be a light, to be the salt of the earth, it just might look differently for you than I. And that is ok. In fact, it’s beautiful.
I see October 31st as a great opportunity for us as Christians to shine our lights brightly for the Lord. For some of you it may mean abstaining from any and all so called Halloween festivities and doing nothing on that night to make a stand. For others, it may mean finding ways to be a light through hospitality and hosting a gathering that is focused on Christ, the reformation, All Saints Day, or even simply that it is harvest time! And yet for others, this night may come with a heavy burden or the reality of spiritual battle that is being waged. For some they may feel prompted to spend the night in prayer for the lost, for those who are practicing witchcraft and so on.
We have personally felt compelled to do each of these things during different seasons. Some years our family has focused on teaching about the spiritual realm, the battle which wages around us daily, other years we have hosted harvest parties and nights of prayer and worship. Some years we have focused our schooling during those two weeks leading up to October 31st to teach about the Reformation or to remember fellow saints who have gone before and died for their faith. Every year we have used the pumpkin gospel to teach our younger children again, about sin and how Jesus cleans out our hearts, it’s a fun memory and tradition.
Whatever your family’s conviction of October 31st is, let us choose to be kind and to be a light in what we do or don’t do!
And if you are just now trying to figure out what your conviction is regarding October 31st, might I offer a word of encouragement. Those of us who have been parents for a while fully realize how many mistakes we have made over the years. Some of us, have struggled with changing the traditions we grew up with simply because our heart wasn’t to cause division in our families or communities by simply doing or not doing something different, parenting in a way that is counter-cultural. My word of encouragement to you is that God is a gracious God and He doesn’t expect you to have all the right answers or to be the perfect parent. But, He does desire you to seek Him, honor Him, and do all you can to bring Him glory... every day.
Here are some free resources for you to utilize that CAN be a way to Redeem Halloween and reclaim a day that the Lord has made.
This is a great tool to use for evangelism, either in Sunday School or with your children. Whether you decide to carve pumpkins and put Christian images on the pumpkins or simply use this pumpkin gospel while you are cutting up pumpkin to bake pies or breads with, this is a great tool to utilize to teach your children about sin and how Jesus makes us clean!
Candy Scriptures- FREE Printable
If you do live in a neighborhood, putting scriptures on generous sized candy bars is one way to witness! As you and your children print, cut, and tape on the verses, pray for each child receiving the candy that they might know who Jesus is and receive Him as their Savior!
Our families story of learning how to find our sweet spot of being able to live counter-culturally while still being a light.