What to do with Halloween? Does your house go big or go dark? Total immersion or total avoidance? Why does it have to be one or the other?
I’m not a fan of Halloween but there’s something that scares me even more. Missed opportunities while my kids are still at home. Ooooooo… woooooo… Boo! (Imagine floating apparition here.)
Why can’t we use this time to our family’s advantage and teach our tribes to redeem every deadly thought, squash every fear, and practice walking well in darkness? What would teaching and talking through this season look like?
Well, it looks like truth and lots of it. The Enemy–the Adversary, Accuser, Tempter, Thief and Father of Lies– is a liar and he lies about everything. He lies about good stuff. He lies about bad stuff.
He lies about lies and he for sure lies about truth because deception is his very nature. Just as Jesus is “the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE,” Satan is “the DEAD-END, the DECEPTION and DEATH.”
And he does not want you to know the truth, about ANYTHING! Because truth always reveals God. He doesn’t want you to know the truth about fear. The more you understand it Biblically, the more likely you are to overcome it and the more intimately you know your Father. Both are things he hates.
Can I tell you something though? Fearful people create fearful children. I remember once working with a young boy on the Autistic Spectrum in Austin, Tx. He had a major episode every day at recess that ended badly with him overwhelmed, teachers frustrated, and other children frightened. We would have extremely successful mornings that would just unravel after lunch. So, I started going outside with him to observe what was triggering the episodes. It didn’t seem to be other children bothering him, it wasn’t noise, etc… I watched him walk completely peacefully and contently around the playground… until a fly came near him. And there it was– the trigger. He was terrified of flying insects. It didn’t matter if they were big or little, bees or ladybugs. Each and every one horrified him. I put together a strategy to start dismantling this fear and that afternoon I asked his mother to meet me outside my office to discuss our plan. In the middle of our conversation, a fly whizzed by her face and I saw virtually the same reaction as the young boy’s, except on a 35-year-old neurotypical woman.
The more the boy and I worked to overcome his “fear” I realized it wasn’t really his fear at all, it was his mom’s. He actually thought the bugs were quite fascinating, but scream, yell and run as though you might perish was all he had ever seen and so it seemed like the right response.
It doesn’t matter the age or experience, “normal” kids, “special” kids… just kids in general are looking to the adults around them to show them how to respond TO EVERYTHING. How you respond to difficult people, unplanned problems, stress or scary situations is writing the instruction manual for your kids. And their kids.
One more time… YOU ARE WRITING THE INSTRUCTION MANUALS FOR YOUR KID’S BEHAVIOR (and the people around you)… WITH YOUR BEHAVIOR.
I promise you friend, we can talk about fear for a week and at the end you will be less afraid. Avoiding scary things is not the same as being brave. You understanding fear rightly, means you helping your family understand fear rightly and that changes things, forever. You ready?
Read the next post on dismantling fear…if you dare. Muuuaaahaaahaaa! lol
Read all three and I will share my favorite true (Holy) Ghost story!