My kids were very little when I came across an old friend.
We sat together, and she told me that she had just come to know Christ.
Then she shared with me what I did not know about her past. As she was growing up, some people in her life worshiped Satan and abused her in this practice. Specifically she told me Halloween was a horrific time for her.
Looking me in the eyes she said, How can Christians let their kids celebrate Halloween?
From that moment I decided that – if nothing else than for the sake of this friend who had just come to know Christ – my children would not celebrate Halloween in any way.
This decision met little resistance from my daughter.
My son was another matter.
He wanted to be a part of the school party.
He wanted to wear a costume.
He wanted to go trick-or-treating.
When my boy was five years old and in kindergarten, I battled this decision about Halloween for the first time.
On October 31, I agonized over it all day. I talked to my friend who had a boy the same age, and she was trying to decide what a Christian should do with the holiday, too. We were both miserable.
I prayed all day long, Lord, what do you want me to do with this?
Finally, in the late afternoon, my husband and I agreed my son could at least have the fun of giving away candy at our door. I bought little Christian Halloween pamphlets that we could hand out with the candy, sharing the good news of Christ.
Still I prayed, Lord, is this okay? Am I making a good choice for my kids?
At 5:00 I gathered my two little ones at the table (my husband was still at work). We were eating an early dinner so we would be ready to greet trick-or-treaters.
I said, Son, would you thank Jesus for our food?
He bowed his head.
Then he prayed and said, Dear Jesus, I’m sorry I am a sinner. Will you please forgive me and come live in my heart? And thanks for the food.
I looked at my daughter, who was 8 years old, and said, Did your brother just give his heart to Jesus?
She said, Umm, I think so!
I stared at my son and then laughed out loud with joy.
Caleb, did you just give your life to Jesus?
Yes, he said.
Five years old. October 31. That was the day he decided to follow Christ.
He had been asking me questions about God for several weeks, when I would tuck him into bed. I guess he had finally found his answers and was ready to make a decision.
I still shake my head with joy and wonder to think about it.
I just want you to know this: There will be ever so many cultural situations where there is no nice, tidy Bible verse to tell you exactly what to do for your children.
In those circumstances you have to pour out your soul to God and beg him to help you make a good decision.
Then, we have to be willing to do what pleases the Lord and not what pleases our children or our culture.
But I give you the promise of Jesus, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6 ESV)
If what you want more than anything is to parent in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, He will guide and reward your decision.
Christy Fitzwater is a pastor’s wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the mother of a son in high school (in the picture above!) and a daughter who was recently married. She enjoys when the days get shorter and the weather nasty so she doesn’t feel guilty about not going outside. Days where she can just read books and write words all day. She can even tell you the plots of 15 missionary biographies without batting an eye. You can read her personal blog at ChristyFitzwater. Also find her at Pinterest and Twitter.
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