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 snopes.com 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