Recently, I received a message on social media, "You don't celebrate Halloween, correct? Can I ask how you handle the questions and teach your children?"
It is true; my family does not celebrate Halloween. It is also true my children are the minority in their sphere of influence when it comes to celebrating Halloween. They are inevitably asked by a friend, teacher or the nice lady at the check-out counter what they will dress as for Halloween. My kids simply reply, "We don't celebrate Halloween."
Before exploring how we address this topic in our home, I want to explain why. Why don't we celebrate Halloween?
First, my family desires wholeheartedly to worship and celebrate God and His kingdom alone. You see, there are two kingdoms among us. One is filled with the supernatural ways of God, built on His government, His authority and His love. There is a second kingdom filled with the supernatural ways of the enemy, built on perversion, demonic power and hatred. We must come to realize the supernatural realm is more real than the physical. In fact, I propose circumstances we face in the physical realm are a manifestation of the spiritual. If there are only two kingdoms among us, in which does Halloween fall? We do not want to give a single stronghold to the enemy. It is not beneficial, and can even be detrimental, to have one foot in both kingdoms.
Another reason we don't celebrate Halloween is because satanic activity is real. As a second-generation deliverance minister, having worked with severe trauma survivors, it saddens me to see families opening doors to such darkness as they participate in Halloween. There is no light in it. The witchcraft, spells, incantations, curses, rituals, sacrifices—all of this is real, with real victims. If believers only knew what really took place on Halloween, they would instead enter a night of intercession on behalf of God's kingdom and those actively being affected by the night's scheduled events.
Last, from a young age, I've had a strong gift of discernment. I recall a moment in preschool when our scheduled art craft for the day was carving pumpkins. I looked at my teacher and said, "I am not carving this pumpkin." Something about carving a pumpkin into a jack-o'-lantern did not sit well with me. I recall as I grew older occasional moments of wishing I could dress up with my friends to go trick or treating. Yet this same feeling inside of me arose. This feeling of, "I am not called to do this." Discernment through the Holy Spirit prompted me to recognize there was something more to Halloween.
So, what do my 7-, 5- and 2-year-old know about Halloween? They know the truth. Beginning with the two kingdoms, they know there is an incredible kingdom established by God and a counterfeit run by the enemy. They know about witches and demonic power. They know there can be demonic spirits and curses attached to candy, costumes, decorations and other Halloween regalia (see this video). My children are not afraid of this truth. They know God's gift of discernment and use it to navigate through the Halloween season. In fact, if you were to join me for a round of errands, you would see and hear my 2-year-old point to demonic decor and say, "I seal you in the blood of Jesus."
So today, I want to offer five tools for teaching children truth.
1. Start young. Teaching children truth when they're young is key. Over time, healthy opportunities arise, allowing us as parents to build on basic teachings of truth. The truth becomes their normal, and when the entertainment world, school systems and peers present unhealthy information to our children, they will use what they first learned as their standard.
2. Teach children their identity. Our children need to know who they are: children of the one true living God. They are called for God's kingdom and carry an instrumental purpose. Reminding our children daily of who they are sets them up for success in God's kingdom. Here are a few simple kingdom truths we can use to teach identity. These truths were birthed through Olive Shoots, a ministry I co-founded:
— I am a child of God.
— I am deeply loved by Him.
— I hear the voice of the Lord.
— I am powerful in the Holy Spirit.
—I am called to love and serve.
3. Activate children's authority. God imparted into each and every one of us all of His authority to trample on all demonic forces (Luke 10:19). We can teach children their scriptural authority, but we need to activate it in them. Our children are activated in their authority when they speak it out. Remember, what we speak holds power. Here are age-appropriate examples of authority for our children to exercise: "Fear, go, in Jesus' name." "I seal it in the blood of Jesus." "I break every curse in Jesus' name." "No weapon formed against me shall prosper" (Isa. 54:17). "I have all of Jesus' authority and you must leave me alone in Jesus' name." "I wash and cleanse this in the blood of Jesus."
4. Train children to have awareness and flee. Our eyes are the gateway to our hearts (Matt. 6:22). Our heart is our mind, will and emotions. If we aren't careful, darkness "muddies" these areas. Did you know God uses our imagination (in our mind) as a special place to project visions and dreams? This means scary, demonic or sexual images makes receiving from Him difficult. We can explain this to our children and teach them to "bounce their eyes." We simply encourage them to look the other way when they see something yucky and not turn back.
5. Teach children to pray after a negative encounter. Taking a moment to clean up anything wanting to linger in their hearts is a good idea. Proactive clean-up preserves a clear line of communication to the heart of our Father and prevents potential trouble from presenting down the road (fear, bad dreams and so on). We clean up through prayer: "I wash and cleanse your eyes, ears, mind and imagination in the blood of Jesus." If negative images continue to bother our children, we close remaining open doors by breaking agreements with those negative images.
Ultimately, the most important tool we can offer our children for this season, and life in general, is a relationship with the Holy Spirit. To do this, we present the Holy Spirit when our children present questions. "Mom, are jack-o'-lanterns bad?" "Well, honey, I can share with you what I feel about them, but let's ask the Holy Spirit first." Let's encourage our children to communicate with the Holy Spirit daily. These types of encounters go a long way. When our children are grown and out of the home, and when "right or wrong" circumstances arise, they will know His voice and make healthy choices.
I want to leave you with this. Our children need to understand that just because someone celebrates Halloween doesn't mean they don't love Jesus. We aren't wanting them to accidentally judge or condemn others. I'm not saying we teach our children to compromise truth, but we can teach our children people don't know what they don't know, and we get to be the example of God's design for the kingdom.
Jordan Campbell is the co-founder of Transformation Ministry Center and Olive Shoots (a ministry for teaching children the supernatural ways of God) in Windsor, Colorado. She is an ordained fivefold minister and prophetic watchman for the body of Christ. She is well-versed in deliverance, prophetic and healing ministry. Campbell serves to activate believers in their gifting, equip them in their calling and launch them into their promise. She is a wife, mother, speaker, author and missionary.
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