To Open or Not Open the Door
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To Open or Not Open the Door
Halloween is coming. Christian, what is your approach to the night? Do you open the door or not? When our kids were little, that question swirled. I knew I didn’t want to celebrate darkness, but “hiding” didn’t seem right, either–although we tried it a time or two! So what’s a parent to do?
Our friends at Living Our Priorities shared recently about their “Light party.” What a neat idea! After reading their description, I knew our family here at KristiWoods.net might find interest–so those Christian parents and friends wrestling with Halloween have an alternative solution. And gosh, these light parties make so.much.sense! So friends, please welcome guest blogger, Timberley from Living Our Priorities.
Be quiet, keep the lights out, and act like nobody is home. We don’t want anyone to think we’re at home.
That was our typical conversation every October 31! Does this sound familiar to anyone?
My Halloween Memories
I was raised in a loving Christian home. In fact, a bi-racial Christian home, which made attending school in those days, let’s just say…uncomfortable.
We were called Oreo cookies and found it difficult to make friends.
Not to mention, going to school the day after Halloween, was no walk in the park. The kids on the block would make fun of us for not opening the door.
However, my most embarrassing memory as a kid was the night my mom posted a note on the door that said…“No candy here. Jesus is your treat.”
Can we say total embarrassment for any kid going back to school the next day?
The funny thing is, I didn’t think much about it until I got older and had a family of my own. I did what most of us do, repeat what we did growing up.
Halloween with My Kids
Yes, that meant we didn’t celebrate Halloween either. We kept the lights off, told our kids to be quiet and acted like nobody was home.
Once in a while, we would attend a harvest festival at church, but we would leave the house early in order to limit the risk of someone knocking on our door.
That worked for a few years. Then our kids got older, and started to ask questions. They wanted to know why we didn’t open the door, and why we had to act like we weren’t home?
Explaining this to our son was easy, he simply said…o.k. Then he told us all he wanted was the candy anyway. Gotta love his honesty!
Our daughter on the other, she wasn’t so simple. She needed to know the details as to why Christians didn’t participate on Halloween.
One afternoon I sat her down at the computer to look up the history of Halloween. I remember sitting next to her and tears rolling down her face as she said, “Mommy, I didn’t know.”
I told her there was no need to be upset. Understanding why we don’t do something gives us better clarity to know how we should do something.
My Halloween Conviction
And it was that conversation that convicted me to my core.
At that moment I knew that hiding out was not what we should be doing. Let me clarify, hiding out was something I knew MY FAMILY should NOT be doing!
I know this is a controversial subject. And I’m not going to debate who is right or wrong on how one chooses to honor God on Halloween.
I simply want to share the internal struggle I had. Just in case there’s someone else like me, who feels a nudging in their spirit to respond differently on Halloween.
What Is God Asking Of Me On Halloween?
That conversation with my daughter caused me to seek God as to how our family should respond to Halloween.
Hiding for some reason just didn’t resonate with my spirit. As I grew in my PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus, the more I felt convicted that hiding did not reflect His love.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16 (NLT)
Since I didn’t know exactly what to do, I allowed that conviction to lead me to dig a little deeper. I began to study the History of Halloween, and turn to God’s Word to see what He says.
Needless to say, God placed it on our hearts very clearly, that we are to be the LIGHT. And I realized our light only shines in the dark.
Therefore, we cannot shine God’s light to the world, if we hide in the dark.
...we cannot shine God’s light to the world, if we hide in the dark. - Timberley of @livepriorities Click To Tweet
It was that revelation that was the catalyst to hosting an annual Light Party!
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
For the last 6 years, we have hosted a Light Party on Halloween; intentionally shining God’s light on the darkest night of the year.
I have to admit, we kind of kept it to ourselves the first couple of years.
That’s because the one thing I’ve noticed is how unloving Christians can be on Halloween. Condemning one another for how they feel God has led them.
However, over the years, as more friends and family found out what we were doing, it opened the door for us to share what we studied and what God showed us through His word.
To our surprise, instead of condemning us, people began to share their conviction to come out of the dark from hiding and be the light in their neighborhoods.
Ending With Love
Friends, no matter where God has led you on Halloween, let’s do our best to not condemn one another, based on our own personal convictions.
Romans chapter 14 tells us that it’s a sin when we do anything that is the opposite of our own personal conviction. So if it is your conviction to stay home, to pray and not answer the door, praise God, you should do that.
If you’re convicted to let God’s light shine among the people, do that.
However God directs each of us to respond on Halloween, we should do just that. When we walk in His will for our lives, we will ultimately lead others to Him.
So, should you open the door on Halloween? My answer to you would be; what is God telling you to do?
PS…If you’re struggling with whether or not to open your door on Halloween, or how to respond to Halloween as a Christian, then I invite you to join me over at Living Our Priorities to read: Why We Host A Light Party And How You Can Too! You will be able to read the details of my study and how we host a light party.
(To purchase practical and faith products from Living Our Priorities or find out more about the Light Party Kit, click here.)
Giveaway Update ~
We have a winner of last week’s book giveaway. Marissa K., congratulations! You’re the winner. Check your inbox, Marissa, for further instructions. 😉
Timberley and her husband, André, do life together as a husband and wife team who raise a family, serve as bi-vocational pastors, and help others find the balance in life through their blog Living Our Priorities.
Like many people, they found themselves frustrated trying to find balance with their faith, family, and work. That’s when they discovered the priorities of God. Once they purposed to live by them, it not only changed their marriage, it changed their life! Now they find great joy inspiring others to live within the priorities of God.
Linking up with other Jesus writers and lovers here: #heartencouragementThursday& #faithonfire.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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Yes, let’s be light, let’s shine with Jesus. Let’s look for every opportunity to reach out to those He brings our way …
P.S. And yes, let’s have some chocolate. It’s ok!
Amen, Linda. Amen.
I love the idea of having a “Light Party.” We never celebrated Halloween, but the few years we live in the States, we always had candy for kids who came to the door.
And all the years in Turkey, we always had candy and coins for kids knocking on the door at their Ramazan festival (end of Ramazan). It wasn’t our holiday, but I wanted to show light. Everyone in the neighborhood knew we weren’t Muslim.
Sounds like you had a Turkish Light Party. 😉
This is such a great idea, Timberley. And you’ve developed it so well. As a mom, my views have changed a bit from my older to younger kids. But making it a celebration of the Light and being lights on the day God owns is a great approach.
Thank you Lisa! It’s amazing how God’s Word reveals itself to us in different seasons of our life. For me, recognizing that God owns everyday takes away any power the devil think he has over our days.
Thank you!!! This is just what I needed even though I do not have children of my own. I have kept the lights off and not opened the door for a long time.
Love that you stopped by today, Linda, and gathered a great idea from Timberley. Think what impact you can make with a simple open door… Blessings, friend.
Love this idea. What a beautiful idea of how to bridge a season that always tears away at the hearts of so many Christians.
Love the idea of a Light Party! It’s always been such a dilemma for us and our kids… now as we are empty nesters, I think showing light and love to our neighbours whenever we have the opportunity, is the way to go. Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from #faithonfire