Halloween will be here before we know it. The stores are already selling costumes, candy, and decorations. Do you plan to celebrate this year? Are you wondering if it’s something you should participate in as a Christian? Is it an opportunity to show your children what it means to be a sold out lover of Jesus Christ?
 If you’re asking these questions, this is an excellent place to get some answers. Today you will hear from some young parents who have done their research and made an informed decision about Halloween – whether or not they will celebrate, why, and what they will teach their kids about this popular holiday. Since they had so many great comments, I’m going to break it up into two posts so you can read the entire conversation.

Family background
Tara and Grae: “We’ve had a gradual adaptation away from Halloween. I grew up not celebrating it with my family but I didn’t want to do that just because it’s what I grew up doing. My husband and I love dressing up, going to parties and doing fun things with friends. Since that’s what most Halloween celebrations look like, we went with the flow the first couple years of our marriage.”
Kayla: “My family never celebrated Halloween (though we also never really learned why – just that we don’t because it doesn’t make God happy).  On the other hand, my husband’s family are not Christians, and Halloween is one of their favorite holidays.  Even though he grew up celebrating it, he was not at all hesitant to suggest we shouldn’t be celebrating with our newly created family.”
Nathan and Sommer: “Nathan and I have always had mixed feelings about Halloween ever since we had our own children. However, because it was the thing to do and seemed harmless, we continued to celebrate it as well as let our children dress up and trick or treat.”
Each couple came to a place when they began to question whether or not they wanted to celebrate Halloween in their new family, and why. They began to ask, “How can we love God and walk in the world’s ways, join in its activities, and espouse its philosophies when they go against all for which God and His kingdom stands?” (from Kay Arthur’s God, How Can I Live?) Here are their conclusions.

Our new family group
Tara and Grae: “When we got pregnant with our first son I figured it was time to actually talk about it. It’s surprising how much more aware we became of the darkness of the holiday when he came into our lives. As we read more into it, we grew to hate all of the lies that the world has put on us and decided we didn’t want that for our children.”
Kayla and Skyler:“We felt challenged to do Halloween differently when our firstborn arrived in the world. We were taking a critical look at all realms of parenting that we do ‘just because everyone does.’ Halloween was a big one.  
“The first couple years, not celebrating Halloween wasn’t a big deal or difficult at all.  Our oldest was still so little he didn’t know what was going on and didn’t notice it from one day to the next.  When he was three, my in-laws suggested we at least come over for their annual chili feed and let our son pass out candy to the kids. We watched how terrified our son was to answer the door and see all of the scary characters on the other side.  Despite my mother in laws efforts to brush it off and tell him they were pretend, he was still scared and didn’t want to partake in the candy giving.  
“That was when we really became serious about discovering what Halloween was about and learning why we didn’t want to celebrate it. Once we learned the origins of the holiday and what goes on that day for many people in the occult, there was just no going back or ignoring it.  We just flat out were not going to do anything that celebrated Halloween or attempted to make it ‘good.’” 
Britney: “As a family, we feel strongly the desire to celebrate holidays based on their deep meaning and purpose. Christmas, Easter, Saint Patrick’s Day, and others have rich roots. We want to raise our children to look deeply into the meaning behind the things they are celebrating. Halloween may be disguised as a fun dress up party, but the roots there are not worth celebrating.
“While Halloween puts on a façade of dressing in fun costumes, we want to clothe ourselves in righteousness. Where Halloween magnifies fright, darkness, and death, we want to want to magnify our Lord who is peace, light, and life! We know through the scriptures that God hates it when his people partake in unholy festivals, and while his grace covers a multitude of sins, we want to be obedient to what He desires from His people.”
Brian: “The factors that my wife and I tend to consider most are these:
1.      In the Old Testament scriptures, we see God caring a great deal for how and what his people, the Israelites, celebrated together. In today’s world we could easily say, ‘They aren’t worshipping Baal, they’re just going to a fun party.’ or, “It used to be worship of some pagan fertility god, but now it’s just a fun thing that everybodydoes, what’s the harm?” – The fact is we don’t know what the Israelites were thinking, we don’t know their hearts. All we do know is that the one true God was not pleased. 
2.      Does that have any bearing on feasts, festivals, and holidays today? I don’t know, but that’s a question my family has considered. 
“The deeper meaning: We expect our children to grow up knowing the real Christmas, the real Easter, and the real meaning behind the holidays. It’s our mission to make sure our kids know that Christmas isn’t about materialism, and plastic-stuff, it’s not even about family and warm memories. It’s about Jesus. That God saw fit to give his one and only son to come and live among us in the flesh. To love, heal, teach, live, instruct, and ultimately suffer and die for his people.
“We want our kids to know that Easter isn’t about bunny-rabbits laying eggs, or pastel sweaters and honey-cooked ham. It’s about that same Jesus, dying on a cross for the payment of OUR sins, being buried, and validating ALL his claims, rising again on the third day, proving himself to be victorious over sin and death. We want our kids to know that by believing in this Jesus that we celebrate we can be saved from our sin, and live forever in heaven with Him. 
“We want our kids to know the rich meaning behind these wonderful days. We want them to be a reminder year after year of what God has done for us. Even non-Christian holidays like the 4th of July and September 11th serve as reminders, with great meaning and significance that we want our kids, and their kid’s kids to know and remember.
“But when it comes to Halloween, there is nothing in the history or meaning of that holiday that I care for my kids to commemorate year after year. No deep meaning to look into and cherish. At best, it’s a costume party, at worst it’s terrifying.” 
Nathan and Sommer: “After reading Taking Back October last fall it brought it back to the front of our minds that it is not a harmless holiday. We learned so much from reading this book. We learned the truth about Halloween. We then asked ourselves how can we claim to be Christians but celebrate a holiday based on something so evil? A holiday where evil events are still taking place every year? We decided that although it was cute to watch our children pick out a costume and parade around the neighborhood collecting candy, it was not worth what it represented.”
In part 2, these parents will tell you what new traditions they have begun instead of Halloween, and how God is using their stand to share the knowledge of Christ – both in their homes and the world around them.

#teachingkidsabouthalloween #halloweenandchristianity #raisingkidsGodsway  #takingastand