Dad, what are ghosts?
My daughter asked her dad this question one morning before school. When my husband replied that ghosts weren’t real, she quickly responded, “My friend says that ghosts are dead people that come back to life.” It is important to be an example to the young people in your life that are misinformed about the presence (and possible dangers) of the spirit world they dabble in.
Every year beginning around the end of September we engage in this battle. My kids’ friends love this time of year. However, this time of year fills my heart with anxiety because I realize that October 31st is more than just a fun night out. It reinforces the daily spiritual battle we as Christians and as leaders of our homes face not just once a year but on a daily basis.
Perhaps you are undecided as to how to handle this day as well. Participating may make people suspect you are dabbling with the Prince of darkness. Not participating may only reinforce the world’s stereotypes are of us: hypocritical, judgmental and superior to everyone, looking down our noses at everyone else.
Whether or not to participate in Halloween is one that many Christians wrestle with. Some refuse to allow Satan to take the glory for himself and seek to glorify God. Others avoid the events altogether, clinging close to Bible verses such as 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14.) Either way you choose, make sure you are at peace with yourself and with God.
The one thing you shouldn’t do is to bow to other people’s expectations on this issue. Do what you feel you are convicted to do. Some devoted Christians feel convicted to “avoid every appearance of evil,” and keep their porch lights off for fear of giving credence to a pagan holiday. Others want God to use them to His redemptive work here on earth. The one thing we can all agree on, however, is that spirit world is real, and whether people are in tune with it through God or ignoring it, people are fascinated by it. It’s in our DNA. We were wired to commune with the Spirit world. It just depends on which spirits people interact with that matters. Seeking the real Spirit on how to approach this day will not only set a good example for others, but will be another opportunity to reconnect you with a loving god who yearn to be known, even on a day where Satan is glorified.
But one day of gorging on sweets and wearing silly costumes is only a small reminder of the spiritual battle that is waging wars in our kids’ souls every day. In an age where The Walking Dead is deemed good TV viewing and new horror movies pop up every month, our children are embroiled in a war far bigger than just one night a year.
If you are torn between avoiding it altogether and seizing the opportunity to reach the non-believers, here are three things you can do to survive the October 31st festivities:
Know the Word- knowing what the bible has to say about the paranormal can help educate your children on what’s right and wrong about the dark side. Deuteronomy 18:10-11, Luke 24:39 and Romans 8:38 are great places to start.
Reach the lost- if you do go out trick or treating, be intentional about meeting some neighbors along the way. As you wait for your children to ring the neighbor’s bell, strike up a conversation. We met some new neighbors a few years ago when we bought our first house. Because of that meeting, my husband officiated their wedding ceremony and we have been friends ever since. You never know what God wants to do when you embark on a journey into the mission field that lies right outside your doorstep.
Redeem it, don’t avoid it- You don’t have to slam a bible over someone’s head to impact someone’s life. If you give out candy, wrap a piece of paper to it with a bible verse. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8) is a great verse, as well as Proverbs 16:24 and Psalm 119:103. Also, let the neighbor kids know, if they ever feel unsafe at any point in the night (other kids harassing them, they get lost, etc.) designate your house as the “safe house.” Reassure the kids that they can come to your house and stay there until you can contact their parents.
Whatever you choose to do when October 31st rolls around, make sure you put Christ at the center of it. It is possible that even on Halloween, Christ’s name can be glorified. What the enemy intends for evil, you can turn into something good.
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-award winning author, speaker, pastors’ wife and mother. She loves helping people reach their potential and writes for various websites such as Christianity Today’s Gifted for Leadership and The Christian Communicator. Her newest book An Invitation To The Table helps people incorporate hospitality into their everyday lives. To learn more about Michelle, visit her website and follow her on Twitter at @mslazurek or onFacebook.