Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes What You See {Halloween and everyday life}

I don't normally make it a habit to allow my 4 yr old to sit in front of the tv on a regular (non-cartoon) channel, so I was surprised when I came into the living room a few days ago to see a rather creepy cartoon image on a commercial. In fact, my son looked at me with large eyes and said, "mommy, I don't think God likes Halloween". The sad fact is, it wasn't even a cartoon about Halloween, but he assumed, since Halloween is upon us, that they were related.

Whether it is Halloween related or not, we must be careful (especially careful with our toddlers) with the images and things we allow our children to watch, see, hear or do. While some things are perfectly harmless and fun for children, we have to always think in the back of our minds "Is this cartoon or movie pleasing to the Lord? Is this song something Jesus would want my child to listen to? Is this video game appropriate for my child if it involves severe violence or witchcraft?" I understand that not everything we do is 'in the bible', but I truly believe that these small decisions that we do or don't make in our households can be completely and totally spirit led -- be it a good or bad spiritual influence. The Holy Spirit is here to help guide us and lead us by conviction and love, so allow yourself to continue reading with an open mind.
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Satan roams this world like a prowling lion, searching to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children one small step at a time. It is true, what they say, that if you give the devil a foothold in your mind, he will completely take over when you least expect it. These small things will be a bigger influence than you may think. Every small thing eventually adds up to one really big thing. And our minds can be our worst enemy sometimes.

Here are some things you may want to think about during this year's Halloween holiday, as well as everyday things to think and pray on in your household.

Think and pray about the following:

-- Television & Books: If my children shouldn't watch/read it, then maybe I shouldn't get so caught up in it either. TV shows and books that endorse severe violence, witchcraft, magic, sexual intercourse, etc., should be thought about in their entirety. Are they pleasing to the Lord? Are these images something that I, as a child of God, as a witness to my children, should be watching or reading? We each have different maturity levels, but all too often we forget that Christ should be our first source for joy and entertainment, not TV or books. There's nothing wrong with entertainment, but there is something severely wrong with it when it dishonors God or becomes something you long for, or something that replaces our time with God. I've come to the conclusion that fairy tales were the devil's most well thought plans, because while they seem "harmless" they are filled with delusions and magic. And, newsflash, good "magic" winning still means that magic wins, and magic/sorcery is not something we should be caught up in so easily. It's no longer "good versus evil", it's a lesser evil versus a greater evil.

Try not to leave your children alone in the room with the TV on unless you are in ear shot of it. This may be hard to start doing at first, but eventually it will become second nature to you to "listen" to whats going on in the other room. Movie previews now days aren't even rated PG or PG-13 in most cases. They can be frightening or inappropriate even for an adult, none the less a small child. If a commercial comes on while you're in the room with your child, change the channel, or if not possible, direct their attention to something else. Ask them a question, start acting wild and crazy. It is your responsibility as a parent to protect your child's mind from the things of this world. You've been given a gift, cherish it.

-- Video Games: Unfortunately, many people allow their children to sit in front of a TV more than they should, and then they add video games to the mix. There are a lot of amazing video games out there, and again, there is nothing wrong with entertainment and play. But when we allow our young children to play games that involve magical sorcerers, killing people or other things that a child shouldn't even be thinking about, then there is an issue. Seek God's face today about the types of video games in your household. If you find that some aren't appropriate, then take some time to explain this to your children in humility, and be prepared for some kick back. It's hard for children to understand why mom and dad are taking away a video game that they have been playing for so long.

-- Stores and Halloween Costumes: We typically tell people that we are not a "trick or treating" family, but, in many cases, we are. We enjoy the church scene on Halloween, but refuse to go door to door, even in our own neighborhood (because, let's face it, we live in the middle of no where). The easiest way to protect our children from the influence of Halloween is to have Halloween in a Christ like controlled environment. Is there anything wrong with trick or treating? Not really. But it is the place where the activity is held that is the most important for us, and the way in which it is celebrated. It's also important to guard your young children from Halloween stores that celebrate Halloween purely for the joy of fear, the demonic or sexually explicit costumes. Don't allow your children to celebrate the spiritual side of Halloween unless it is the spirit of Christ.

These are just a few of the things we try to do in our family that help tremendously. We certainly aren't as experienced with older children, but we've learned to adapt for a toddler, and that's a start! It is incredibly important for us to be the protectors of our children's minds, because after all, we are the closest thing they will have to Christ on this earth until they are old enough to have their own very personal relationship with Him. It is our responsibility to teach our children, to train them and protect them from the things that they would otherwise be oblivious to. The world is so easily influential on our children now days, even in harmless cartoons or events. And it's just not influential on them, but also on us adults as well. We must first and foremost learn to guard our own hearts and minds from these things that we can so easily get roped into enjoying. There's nothing wrong with being entertained by movies, TV, books or other fun things, but there comes a point when our desire to please God must outweigh our desire to please and entertain ourselves. Always ask yourself these questions: Is it true? Is it honest? Is it appropriate or sinful? And most of all, is it pleasing to the Lord?

As you seek Gods heart about some of these things in your life, please, don't forget to be conscious of what is happening around your children, especially during this Halloween season. Their little hearts and minds are so vulnerable -- make sure you are there to take care of them!

Holistic Health