Today I will be finishing up my post from yesterday on Halloween....
When I mentioned yesterday that I would be speaking about Fall Festivals, I did not mean them in the sense of those hay ride and pumpkin patch style parties. What I mean was more of the "Halloween alternative" parties that are so popular at churches nowadays. Mine and my husband's views on those are also ones of separation.
I do believe that those parties are great ways to reach the lost, and to give other children who would in fact be out trick or treating, or at Halloween parties with their friends. It is a wonderful outreach tool. However, I don't want my children to attend these. Why do you ask?
First off, we again do not want our children to have to see the evil costumes and masks that come to these parties. Like I said before, you will have a lot of lost and worldly people at these festivals. Therefore, you will see a lot of scary and evil costumes. I don't want those images in my children's young mind, nor do I want them to have to be fearful all night while we try to minister.
Secondly, I feel to a child, this could seem as if mommy and daddy are still in a way "celebrating" this holiday. In our home, we choose to ignore Halloween completely.
Last year, while I was expecting our little boy, me and my husband came up with our own alternative. While the world was out trick or treating, we would be inside ( with the blinds down and the door shut to block out the images of people walking down the street ) decorating for the Christmas holiday. Christmas is huge in our house as we love to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. I put up my Fall decorations around the 1st of September, so by the end of October, we are ready for our Christmas decorations to come out. We warm up some hot chocolate, and get out the lights, etc. Then we spend a few hours getting the house ready. While everyone else is outside celebrating an evil holiday, we are inside beginning to celebrate the season of Christ's birth. And we wouldn't have it any other way.
Now, to quickly touch on the Halloween alternative parties at church's. Like I said before, I do believe they are great outreach tools. I also believe that there are plenty of single, unmarried people in church's to work these festivals. I also believe there are newlywed couples without children, and older couples who would also be available to work these. While our children are young, we want to keep them out of this kind of outreach. When they are older ( adults ), we will then let them make the choice to do these forms of outreach if they feel the Lord leading them to do such.
This is not hypocritical on our part at all, we feel. For instance: My husband could be doing a prison ministry every Saturday morning. We would not want our children to go into that sort of environment. However, when our sons are older teens and adults, my husband could then take them with him to minister. There is a time a place for everything depending on age and spiritual maturity.
Ecclesiastes 3:1- To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
My honest prayer is that every family takes a good long look at their own homes and family life, and can see what they can replace this holiday with.
Another good resource I have found on this topic is a Dad's and Mom's Corner from the Maxwell family. You can find that here. You can also subscribe to receive their Dad's and Mom's Corner's every month via e-mail. They are a wonderful resource, and I encourage you to do so.