Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why Don't I Just Do It Already?

Our family is undergoing some major changes. Good changes. Changes that have stretched and strengthened our faith. I have been willing to look twice at every single thing we do. Is it what God would have us do? Why do we do this? I have re-thought our dress, my relationship to my husband, my job--lots of things. Why? I want our family to be a godly family. I want to obey and please the Lord in everything.

There are several areas I'm thinking about right now, but for obvious reasons, Halloween is one of them. I've been discussing this with a friend lately who is also struggling with how her family has "always" done things. I told her my "plan" for not participating in Halloween. I told her my why. And then I told her my own personal "alternative" for this year. (Again, why do we need an alternative if there is nothing wrong with the real thing?)

So why can't I just drop it already???! Why can't I just say, "We are NOT participating in Halloween this year. Period."

Because leaving old ways is hard, that's why.

Is it because people will think I am strange? Do I care about that?
Is it because I don't want to "hurt" my children? Is that the best decision for them?
Is it because I don't want to hide myself away from the world? Am I afraid I will miss some great opportunity to share Christ?
Is it because I don't want to be "too" radical? I mean, if I just go and make some statement about how Halloween is evil, I will offend someone! (Gasp) So, we preface our statements with "For me..." or "Well, I felt the Lord convicting me..."But aren't' there some things that God holds ALL Christians to? Or do each of us have an individual plan from Him?

If I really believe that as a Christian, I should not participate in Halloween--then what exactly is the dilemma? And I'm not just talking about Halloween here. Anything that I have read and understood in God's word and need to obey--I should just do it already! Why the hesitation?
Holly, when talking about her own family's transformation, said it well when she said, "Every step that we took outside of the “norm” of our friends felt so lonely." It really is hard changing.
Will I feel the need to have alternatives when my children are old enough to date? Will I stick to my guns? Will I keep the girl's hair long if all the styles change to very short? I could go on and on. Will I continue to hesitate to obey God and His ways?

Here is some perspective:

I recently learned of a festival I had never heard of before. I won't be specific because I don't want to pop up on a Google search, but it happens in a large city in California each year. From what I read, police turn their heads as over 400,000 people walk around in various stages of dress, performing s*xu*l acts and celebrating certain f*tish*s. I literally COULD NOT BELIEVE it when I found out about this annual event. I even went to thinking the e-mail I had just received about it HAD to be a hoax. (Guess what? It wasn't. If you want to know the name of the event I'm talking about, just e-mail me.)

The point? OK. This festival disgusts me. I would NEVER participate in such a thing. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it does not please the Lord.

Should I then think of an alternative so my family will not be left out? A little cleaner version, perhaps?

Certainly not! The very idea is crazy! So why is it so hard to separate from the world and start living by God's standards in every little thing? I know that is an extreme example, but...

...if it pleases God, shouldn't I jump to do it?
...if it does not please God, shouldn't I stay very far away?

What exactly is the dilemma here? I want to be bold enough to unapologetically live my life for Him.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
1 Peter 2:11-12


  1. I will come back and read this again when I can absorb it appropriately, but the verse is so great. EXACTLY what I needed to see. Thank you.

  2. Brenda, I know just how you feel. I read your older posts that you linked to and once again felt like I have kindred spirit. I have come to the conclusion that we have to depend on God's word for guidance. It must be the final authority becuase even within our churches, there are many people unwilling to leave this culture behind for the sake of "living boldly for him without apology". I think that's how you put it.:)

  3. It's a lonely road...that narrow way. Stay true to what the Lord shows you though, and don't worry about what the lukewarm Christians (Revelations 3:16)are doing.

    The Lord bless you...

  4. Brenda, you make some good points here. We have never done Halloween, but that is to my husband's credit, who took a firm stance on that from the beginning. It has taken more time for my views to line up with his. Don't you know I wanted to dress up my first baby in a little pumpkin or something. I didn't...but I wanted to. Now they are 2 & 4 and haven't the slightest idea what Halloween is. Obviously, their naivety won't last forever. Back to your point, yes I often feel a need to "defend" why we don't do Halloween or even just downplay the fact that we don't so that no one will really notice, instead of just calling it what it is.

  5. We tried doing the "alternatives" for several years. I think the most radical thing we ever did was go out and give gifts to all the houses rather than taking their candy. We gave out goody bags full of information about our church, gospel tracts, and a Christmas ornament. Anyway, after about 6 years of "fall festivals" and "trunk-or-treats" we decided we were just going to go all out and not participate at all. Last year, we had a great time at home!!! We played games and ate our own candy. This year we are going to do the same, except I plan to tell the kids about the day Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the Wittenburg door. Remember? That happened on October 31st, too.

    You are absolutely right, and I "amen" the parallel you made to Halloween and that other festival. I had not thought about making such a stark comparison, but you did it well.

  6. Brenda-

    Halloween is a good place to start with obeying the Lord and changing traditions.

    Halloween goes against everything we teach our kids on a daily basis. We say:
    1. Devils and demons are bad
    2. Do not take candy from strangers
    3. Do not glorify things that do not honor Christ.

    When we participate in Halloween we say:
    1. Devils are ok if it's a costume
    2. Candy from strangers is ok once
    3. We are not really glorifying those things if we dress up as something nice like an angel.

    But I agree it's hard to say no when you've grown up with it. Taking the stand and making sure you have a spiritual heritage for your kids is awesome. It will teach them a lot.

    And I think you will find that if you are honest, and explain why you won't be doing it anymore, that God will bless your effort and they may not mind so much.

    (sorry to drone on so long)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)