Thursday, October 3, 2013

Family Matters

To BOO or not to BOO, that's the question
By Amy Gentry


How does your family handle the Halloween? Do you treat it like any other night but keep your front porch light off so you won't be disturbed? Do you pass out Christian tracks instead of candy? Do you turn your garage into the neighborhood haunted house? Are you church festival goers? Does your whole family dress up and go trick-or-treating and fight over who will be stuck at home passing out candy? Or do you stay home and pray for all of the pagan children roaming the streets that night and their wayward parents?


It seems like this particular day has 2 general camps: those who look at the day as fun family time stocking up on Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and those who consider it a moral dilemma or a time to take a stand for their faith. Some are concerned about the pagan origins of the holiday and the occult rituals surrounding Halloween, while others are opposed to the gore, guts, ghoulish images that are depicted.


Colossians 3:17 MSG says, "Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way." Each family has their own Halloween customs and convictions, but no matter how you choose to spend your Halloween you can do it in the name of Jesus.


In my family, we have managed this day by setting boundaries. There is tons of freedom within those boundaries, the kids may express themselves and their creativity however they wish. Our boundaries are:

- Costumes cannot have a micro mini skirt, high cut dress slits, bare midriff, or a low cut top. Think modest.

- Costumes cannot depict witches or demons.

- Costumes cannot be gory, bloody or violent.

- Decorations range from jack-o-lanterns, owls, and spider webs to bats and cats. All of God's creatures are welcomed at our house on Halloween.

- Ghosts and ghouls however are not invited. Neither are Freddy or Jason.


I don't know what the perfect solution is to a Christian’s observance of Halloween. I just know what has worked with my family. These boundaries have been beneficial for my high schoolers not to feel alienated from their friends, while still honoring God in every detail in our Halloween evening—words, actions, and whatever (Col. 3:17).


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