November 1, 2013

Any Dead Fish can Go With the Flow

There was a pastor who shared with our family a saying that has stuck. Our society vehemently opposes those who choose to not go with the flow. As Christians, or moral outsets are meant to be counter cultural. We are to be set apart, to swim against the tides or immorality and sin.
He put it this way:

"Any dead fish can go with the flow" 
 and it stuck with us.
In our household we have set a rule, "If it doesn't honor the Lord, we want nothing to do with it." We do our best to apply this to all areas of our lives: what we watch, what we listen to, who we hang out with, holidays that we participate in, traditions we pass on, etc...

 The closer I walk with Jesus, the further I walk from friends and family who don't share my faith. One area I see the biggest distance is with the celebration of seemingly harmless holidays. We have chosen not to participate in most major holidays and traditions. We do not celebrate Halloween, put up a Christmas tree, teach belief in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy, focus on a bunny and eggs for Easter or gifts at Christmas. I fully declare that this is all extreme.

We live in a fallen society, a fallen country, a fallen world. Our choices deeply impact those around us and most importantly our children. My #1 job is to disciple the hearts of my children, this is my mission field. My choices are governed purely by what I feel is best for them according to the Word of God and the leading of the Spirit.

There are many who feel that Halloween is innocent. While I disagree on many levels, some of which I have read elsewhere and others I have come to on my own. There are many resources and articles that I could reference on the Pagan roots of this holiday, the symbolism of dressing up, etc.

My reasoning is simple; I do not believe that Halloween instills anything good in my children.

 My first quarrel has to do with the notion that it's OK to demand a "trick or treat" from a complete stranger. The demand part of it is absurd. There is no other day of the year when strutting up to a complete stranger's door and demanding candy is acceptable. Another question I would raise is why would you want your children to become comfortable with the idea of going up to a stranger's door? Supervised or not, you are still training a dangerous habit.

And though the vast majority of houses you visit will only pass out candy and smile at the kids, what about the ones who take this seriously? The invitation to trick you is not a wise one. I feel that this could be an invitation to possible negative influences to enter into your heart. When is it wise to invite a stranger to play a trick on you?

Then what about the values you encourage while taking your child to as many houses as their little feet can manage to walk to? "How much did you get?" and "I didn't get as much as I wanted to!" or "Next year we will go to more houses!" are common sentiments after trick or treating. I strive to discourage greed in my children. As Christians, greed is crippling. Greed corrupts to the soul. Greed was the downfall of Judas, the betrayer.

Put aside moral complications and lets travel to exposure of small children to frightening things. No Mother wants their child to have nightmares or be terrified of their closet. When we take our children out on Halloween we invite scary images to be implanted in their minds for later terror. People dressed as the undead, ghouls, the grim reaper and so on do not help. Kids see these images and they may not necessarily make them pee their pants in fear right on the spot, but why implant those pictures into their minds for later? When its dark and quiet in their room and they can't sleep their brains pull up these images and haunt them. I choose not to expose myself to scary movies for this same reason. Once its in there, its hard to get out. Why not keep it out in the first place?

Then set aside frightening and move to inappropriate. There are far too many people who dress in ways they never would on any other day. The vast amount of costumes that are available today leave nothing to the imagination.

My heart is to teach my children to walk upright, with their dignity in tact and with humility and modesty. We purposely do not subscribe to cable television for this reason. The suggestive marketing and demoralizing content is harmful to a young developing child. There have been plenty of studies that have demonstrated that the exposure to skewed pictures in advertisements is harmful to young girls' self image. With a rising number of teens (and younger) coming out with eating disorders this has become an epidemic.

Our young girls are being taught everywhere that they should flaunt their bodies. Skirts keep getting shorter, tops keep getting tighter, nothing is left hidden and private. Bikinis have become mere threads covering the body. I refuse to expose my children this way. I have dignity and morals to instill in them that exposure to immodesty undermines.

This week has proven challenging. My convictions have been challenged and my heart has been searched. We did not participate in Halloween this year, and don't plan to ever again. I am thankful to have my eyes open and not be involving my family in harmful practices.

My point is that its important to not allow the popular belief to over rule your job as gate keeper of your home. We are called to walk apart from this world. The Spirit guides and provides for this. We need to be diligent in seeking His heart on matters and not our family, friends or culture.

 From my heart,

No comments: