I’m always glad to see the month of October wrap up. I’ve never quite known what to do with Halloween.
Costumes, candy, and neighborhood trick-or-treating seemed like a fun time when my kids were little, but some people thought Christians should avoid the holiday. I enjoy the babies dressed like pumpkins and kids pretending to be superheroes knocking at the door.
But a lot of the costumes are changing, and so is the Halloween crowd.
Adults are carrying bags to collect candy now too. Most aren’t wearing costumes, and those that do often choose to look downright evil.
One year, a teenager grabbed for the entire bowl I had in my hands, taking most of the candy and spilling the rest on the ground. Sadly, I decided to close my door and turn off my lights.
It just doesn’t feel safe to open my door anymore.
Our culture’s increasing fascination with evil
There seems to be an increasing amount of interest in the darker side of the holiday.
This fall, we have a television show called Evil and a very dark, dangerous movie about the Joker. Theatre managers worried the movie might motivate a mass shooting and hired extra security as a result.
Even the commercials designed for October have become less about jack-o’-lanterns and more about demons. Parents of young children are jumping for their remotes to change channels or avoiding the network shows altogether.
It seems like the goal is to create television and movies that are more frightening than anything produced before. People are dabbling with the occult who don’t realize it is real.
No wonder the darkness is growing darker.
How do we help kids handle the dark stuff?
Kids love to wear costumes and trick-or-treat. It seems sad to have to deny them this fun tradition. I’m sure there are ways to enjoy the holiday safely. I’d love for you to use the comment section of this article and share your good ideas for Halloween.
But, one of my friends shared an idea that inspired this article.
My friend’s daughter went to a MOPS meeting and learned something she is using with her young son. Interestingly, the principle will work for the rest of his life as well.
Teach your kids to look away
The speaker at the MOPS program taught the group to teach their children to look away from the scary ads and television shows. That is a biblical concept for how we are supposed to deal with the things in this world that we shouldn’t be seeing.
That lesson is helping her son handle the scary ads and store displays this Halloween. But the choice to look away will also help her son handle a lot of the video games, movies, and photos he will inevitably come across for the rest of his life.
Our kids can’t avoid evil in this world any more than we can. The apostle Peter warned the early Christians saying, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
And, when we see evil, the Bible tells us how to handle the darkness. The Bible teaches that we should look away.
Looking away is a biblical lesson
Things we see inspire our thoughts and actions.
The psalmist prayed, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (Psalm 119:37). If we teach our kids to look away from worthless things and look instead for the right things, their lives will head in better directions.
There are a lot of evil things to look at, but Jesus wants better for our kids.
Jesus taught his disciples, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
As I often say, your child’s best life is a blessed life. If we teach them to look away from the darkness, they will probably see the better things that Jesus wants them to have.
Paul also wrote that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
We often teach kids the things they see this time of the year aren’t real. But, is that really true?
We know evil exists, and your kids know that too. Some of the dark characters might be fictional, but the character of Satan is very real.
Turning our eyes and lives away from Satan and his very real activities is our safety.
Looking away will keep them safe
James said, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Paul taught, “give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).
The best way to handle Satan is to know his evil exists and to run the opposite direction. We can begin teaching that lesson to our toddlers by telling them to look away and run away.
Mark Twain said, “We may not pay Satan reverence, for that would be indiscreet, but we can at least respect his talents.”
There is a lot that is fun about the Halloween season, but it should be handled with a good dose of wisdom and biblical perspective. A lot of things look downright evil, and it is easier to run from those.
But Satan is crafty. Most of the time his evil looks like something fun, or even good. Most of his lies contain partial truth.
I agree with Mark Twain. I don’t pay Satan any reverence, but I have learned to respect his talents. That is a pretty good recipe for most things “Halloween.”
We would love for you to share your ideas on this subject. And thank you in advance for helping ChristianParenting.org provide that help to others.