It occurs to me that with all the festivities taking place over the weekend, many families may take for granted what sensitive eyes are exposed to. As adults, we have been so grossly over-saturated by news, entertainment, and social media that we may not be in tune with how things grab hold of our hearts and minds. I believe one of Satan’s greatest victories in the life of a believer is in watering down messages which can lead to complacency, or lead to acceptance of something that should be seen as evil.
We do not have cable in our home, but we do get all of the local channels. Yes, I miss political debates, and my husband would love to see more football, but we chose to cut the cable cord several years ago and haven’t looked back. Of all the options flooding the channels, I have only one show I actually like to sit down and watch when I get the time. And while I typically mute the commercials, this week I managed to hear one—and wondered if what I heard was the new normal, or if it was the new normal Hollywood would like the rest of society to implement.
A commercial for a certain banking institution promoted the idea that Halloween is the one holiday that makes a house a home, and that the traditions surrounding this day are where the fondest of family memories occur. To me, the images of a family smiling boldly in their yard filled with signs reading “spooky graveyard” and “haunted house” with skeletons hanging from their trees seemed completely contradictory to the voiceover copy about the happiest moments. Maybe I am not much fun, but it seems the best of traditions and happiest of holidays involve images that are joyful and uplifting, promoting light instead of darkness. Call me old fashioned, but I still think carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, and having a costume contest is what happy Halloween memories are made of, more than a yard overrun with gravestones, goblins, and gore.
“Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Ephesians 6:11-12
This time of year, the images we should try and shield our children from are obvious, but are we noticing the myriad of garbage they are exposed to all year long? Even when I take my boys walking in the mall, I find myself thinking that what was once seen as X-Rated material is now viewed as nothing more than advertising. Store windows show women wearing only their undergarments, and people walk by as though it were no big deal. Though parents cannot and are not meant to change the masses, we can change our choices and think more proactively about the images our children are frequently exposed to.
When it comes to screens—television, iPad, phone, computer—we know the risks can outweigh the rewards. We pray we make wise choices about how much time they are given, and we download security programs to limit what they should not see. But do we avoid certain stores because of the displays? Do we take the time to explain the silliness of a commercial, or the ideas behind marketing and its goal to captivate our minds and hearts? As companies continue going overboard to gain our attention, we need to be all the more discerning and sensitive to those things the Holy Spirit is asking us to notice and be convicted by. The blood, gore, and death images that often surround Halloween are not what makes a house a home. A mom and dad who love Jesus and try to promote the light of Christ instead of darkness in their house—that is what makes a home.
“Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:5-7
For His Name,
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