As part of the sermon Sunday I told the story of when I was a young boy and went to a Halloween party at the American Legion just down the street from my house on Front Street in Seaford Delaware.
The bottom life of the whole story was that near the end of the party they told a very scary story about a headless horseman and at just the appropriate time this Headless Horseman comes flying down the steps right beside where I was sitting. Needless to say the desired effect was accomplished. I was scared beyond description.
I remember screaming, jumping up, dashing out of the door and running all of the way home (one whole block). I went on to say that for years afterwards every time I would pass that building I would walk to the other side of the street because of the fear and fright that lingered.
The thought of that story prompts me to encourage parents to give special consideration to the degree to which you allow or do not allow your child to participate in the upcoming event called Halloween. Without getting into all of the theological and spiritual implications I simply want to encourage you to engage. Don’t go mindlessly along with what “the crowd” says or does.
I am not trying to be legalistic but I also do not want people to be so open-minded that their brains fall out. I don’t want you to miss an opportunity to shape, disciple, and train the great gift that God has given you in your child.
A great place to start is to engage with your child. I know you feed them, cloth them, bathe them and so on but in this case let me challenge you to engage at a deeper level. I encourage you to engage with your child to discern what is both age and maturity level appropriate.
Every child is different, each child develops, and matures at a different rate. Reflect on where their heart is, let’s not push something on them or deny something from them simply because of what we have or have not experienced.
Also, I would encourage you to engage with your social network (notice I did not say “social media” network). Quiz your social network of friends, associates, and your faith community (people that you share a like faith and life with) to see how they process this.
Remember you’re not trying to mimic or replicate what someone else’s doing you’re simply gathering information to be able to make a well-informed decision. Sometimes things seem reasonable, they seem acceptable but maybe they don’t serve the best purpose in our life once we get a different perspective.
It’s amazing to me how many times through the years I’ve talked with people that made decisions in isolation, and from a perspective based on what seems rational or reasonable to them. To often it is only in retrospect that they find the action or decision to be in direct conflict with who they really are and who God has created them to be.
By the way having, God’s perspective on any and every issue, I believe, will always be the best.
Finally, engage with God in the process. Engage with the Word of God. If you have questions, see what the Bible says about it. Read it for yourself.
You may be surprised at how practical the Bible is regarding daily life issues. While engaging with the Word of God I would encourage you to simply ask God to help you to know what is right for your child according to their bent, according to their personality and of course according to what is age appropriate.
God is more than willing to give direction to the things that impact His kids spiritually and at every level. His perspective is always going to lead to what is best.
A God informed decision will always result in what’s most beneficial for you, your child and your family!