Ripe Pumpkins in a Field

Before I start this article, I want you to hear my heart.  I am not writing to judge or say anyone is a bad parent if they celebrate Halloween. You alone are responsible for making decisions that affect your family.  You alone answer to God for your decisions. But I feel that it is my responsibility to share my belief and how we came to decide not to celebrate Halloween.

We don’t celebrate Halloween.  There – I said it.  I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I see the decorations start come out.  There is a family in an adjoining neighborhood that literally transforms their front yard into a horror-fest.  They must have spent thousands of dollars on her props. Seriously??

When I was little we went trick-or-treating.  As my mom began to understand the roots of Halloween, we stopped celebrating.  Now I don’t feel there is anything to celebrate.  Most people have no idea what they are actually saying when they quip, “Happy Halloween”.  Satan is not stupid.  He’s not going to present Christians with something that is overtly satanic.  We would reject it out of hand.  But cute little princesses and clowns?  No big deal.  I would argue that it is a big deal.  This is Satan’s day, his time of year.  Below are the satanic holidays at the end of October [1]:

 DATE  CELEBRATION  TYPE  USAGE
 Oct 28-30  Satanist High  blood  human sacrifice
 Oct 30-31  All Hallows Eve (Halloween)  blood and sex  sexual climax, demons,
animal/human sacrifice
 Nov 1  Satanist High  blood  human sacrifice

 

Halloween has its roots in the Druid rituals of the Dark Ages. Druids terrorized peasants and burned them scarecrow-like structures.  “Trick or treat”-ing is from the pagan belief that spirits awoke from the dead and arrived at one’s door. If a “treat” wasn’t left for them, a trick was destined to follow. “Jack O’Lanterns” were designed to ward off evil spirits looking for a man named Jack.  The holiday is rooted in ideologies which are dishonoring to God. I just can’t bring myself to celebrate a holiday which elevates evil.

From a parenting perspective, Halloween can put you in the position where every answer is the wrong answer.  For example:

Little Dottie dresses up as a princess, you put some cobwebs and gravestones in the front yard and give out candy to the neighbors.   What do you say when Dottie sees other kids dressed up like scary things such as witches and vampires? Do you tell her it is just fun?  If so, you are teaching her it is ok to pretend to be evil.  Do you tell her that they aren’t Christians, and they don’t know better? If so, you are teaching her it is ok to leave the “lost” without Christ.  Both responses could diminish her ability to discern good from evil.  Let’s take it to the extreme…what if she is presented with an Ouija board by a neighbor or classmate?  What if someone offers to do her “reading”?  Will she think it’s no big deal because that’s what you taught her about Satan and the occult when she was younger?

My son will not celebrate or participate in Halloween because [2]:

  • I don’t want him to underestimate Satan
  • I don’t want him to open up to demonic influence
  • I don’t want him to stumble into an area of the occult unaware
  • I do want him to know that I take the Bible literally
  • I do want him to prefer the light of the Gospel to the darkness of the occult
  • I do want him to know that it is OK to stand apart from the world on these issues
  • I do want him to recognize easily what is evil and stand against it in the name of Jesus

If you are a Christian and think I am over-reacting, here are the scriptures that helped me decide against Halloween:

Romans 13:12a “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light!

1 Corinthians 10:20-21 “I say the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in the Lord’s table and the table of demons.

1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.

Galatians 4:8-11 “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Ephesians 5:11-12 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness” / “live as children of light.

Ephesians 6:11-18 “Take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Is it easy standing up against what seems like the entire world (Christian and not Christian)? No.  My 8-year old still doesn’t know what to say when friends and acquaintances ask him what he is going to “be” for Halloween. He knows why we don’t celebrate but isn’t quite old enough to articulate it. Maybe next year he will feel a bit more bold and courageous.

In conclusion, I hope I have not offended you.  That was not my intention.  I do hope I gave you something to think about, pray about and potentially consider for next October 31st.

My son is in 3rd Grade this year at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, TX. His first Bible assignment is to memorize the books of the Bible from the Old Testament. I remember memorizing the books of the New Testament as a kid and STILL know them to this day. I learned them using a song and decided to find a song to help him remember the books of the Old Testament. There were several on YouTube, but this was the best one by far:

outstretched--hand

I am participating in the fantastic online bible study over at Melissa Taylor‘s blog. The study is based on Karen Ehman‘s book Let.It.Go. Boy have I learned a lot.

This weeks’ chapter is called Micromanaging Instead of Mothering…ouch! With an only child it is so much easier to just do it for him.  It isn’t like I have 6 kids and they HAVE to learn to tie their own shoes or we would never get out the door.  I am ashamed to admit that my son didn’t learn to tie his shoes until he was 7.  It was easier for me to do it for him than to teach him to do it himself.  Rather than teach my son to fold towels, shirts and underwear, I did the laundry myself.

That is, until I was challenged otherwise.  My son goes to a private Christian school.  Yes, we are blessed.  The lower school counselor has a book study in the fall and in the spring.  This past October it was the book called Cleaning House by a lovely lady named Kay Wyma (who hails from the great city of Dallas just 20 short minutes from my house!). The subtitle was “A Mom’s 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement.” I almost don’t need to say more, but I will.  LOL

I thought I was helping my child by pampering and doing everything for him.  What kid wants to do chores?? The problem came when he started to expect things to be done:

Him: “Mom, I don’t have any socks.”
Me (thinking): “You’ve been walking past a basket full of white laundry in my room for the last 3 days!”

What starts as an expectation for socks to magically appear in his drawers, can turn into him thinking the world revolves around them. I mean, kids think that way when they are little anyway, then as they get older we reinforce in their developing minds.

  • Junior doesn’t get invited to a party, so we call the parents and ask for him to be included.
  • We “help” with homework because we don’t want him to get a bad grade (he might be disappointed).
  • We give every child a trophy. Heard from the child who actually won a local gymnastics meet, “What’s the point of winning if everyone gets a trophy?”

Entitlement has permeated our culture. It starts out as our tying their shoes because it is quicker, and turns into our clearing away every difficulty before it can slow them down or disappoint them. By the time they are ready to leave the nest, they have no idea what they can do or who they can be. Today’s generation of young adults is self-labeled “Gen Me”.  The world revolves around them, they want what they want and they expect to get it.  And if they don’t get what they want, they will call their parents and they will get it for them!

Stop the madness – teach your child to do things for themselves when they are young. Hold their hand, teach them to succeed. Then they will be able to use their hands to lead the next generation.

An 19-year old Aussie talks about being an only child. This video is a must-see. I love his perspective and his delivery is quite enjoyable. : )

In 1998, Bob Hostetler wrote the 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids for Pray! Magazine. The leader of our mom’s prayer group handed out cards with those virtues so we could pray for our kids.  Well, I just have 1 kid and I found myself having a hard time praying through them so I decided to type up the 31 biblical virtues for an only child. These are not my work and I copied them from the resource listed above.  I just thought other only child moms might appreciate the adaptation.

1. Salvation. “Lord, let salvation spring up within my child, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” (Is. 45:8, 2 Tim. 2:10)

2. Growth in grace. “I pray that my child may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet. 3:18)

3. Love. “Grant, Lord, that my child may learn to live a life of love, through the Spirit who dwells in them.” (Gal. 5:25, Eph. 5:2)

4. Honesty and integrity. “May integrity and honesty be their virtue and protection.” (Ps. 25:21)

5. Self-control. “Father, help my child not to be like many others around them, but let them be alert and self-controlled in all they do.” (1 Thess. 5:6)

6. Love for God’s Word. “May my child grow to find your Word more precious than much pure gold and sweeter than honey from the comb.” (Ps. 19:10)

7. Justice. “God, help my child to love justice as You do and act justly in all they do.” (Ps. 11:7, Mic. 6:8)

8. Mercy. “May my child always be merciful, just as their Father is merciful.” (Lk. 6:36)

9. Respect (for self, others, authority). “Father, grant that my child may show proper respect to everyone as your Word commands.” (1 Pet. 2:17)

10. Biblical self-esteem. “Help my child develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:10)

11. Faithfulness. “Let love and faithfulness never leave my child, but bind these twin virtues around their neck and write them on the tablet of their heart.” (Prov. 3:3)

12. Courage. “May my child always be strong and courageous in character and action.” (Dt. 31:6)

13. Purity. “Create in them a pure heart, O God, and let that purity of heart be shown in their actions.” (Ps. 51:10)

14. Kindness. “Lord, may my child always try to be kind to everyone.” (1 Thess. 5:15)

15. Generosity. “Grant that my child may be generous and willing to share, and so lay up treasure as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Tim. 6:18-19)

16. Peace-loving. “Father, let my child make every effort to do what leads to peace.” (Rom. 14:19)

17. Joy. “May my child be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Thess. 1:6)

18. Perseverance. “Lord, teach my child perseverance in all they do, and help them especially to run with perseverance the race marked out for them.” (Heb. 12:1)

19. Humility. “God, please cultivate in my child the ability to show true humility toward all.” (Tit. 3:2)

20. Compassion. “Lord, please clothe my child with the virtue of compassion.” (Col. 3:12)

21. Responsibility. “Grant that my child may learn responsibility, that each should carry his own load.” (Gal. 6:5)

22. Contentment. “Father, teach my child the secret of being content in any and every situation, through Him who gives strength.” (Phil. 4:12-13)

23. Faith. “I pray that faith will find root and grow in my child’s heart, that by faith they might gain what has been promised.” (Lk. 17:5-6, Heb. 11:1-40)

24. A servant’s heart. “God, please help my child develop a servant’s heart, that they may gain what has been promised to them.” (Eph. 6:7)

25. Hope. “May the God of hope grant that my child may overflow with hope and hopefulness by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Ro. 15:13)

26. Willingness and ability to work. “Teach my child, Lord, to value work and to work at it with all their heart, as if working for the Lord and not for men.” (Col. 3:23)

27. Passion for God. “Lord, please instill in my child a soul that ‘followeth hard after you,’ one that clings passionately to you.” (Ps. 63:8)

28. Self-discipline. “Father,  I pray that my child may acquire a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Prov. 1:3)

29. Prayerfulness. “Grant, Lord, that my child’s life may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Eph. 6:18)

30. Gratitude. “Help my child to live a life that is overflowing with thankfulness and giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:20, Col. 2:7)

31. A heart for missions. “Lord, please help my child to develop a desire to see your glory declared among the nations, your marvelous deeds among all the peoples.” (Ps.96:3)

If you want to carry a printed version to remind you pray, click here.

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