Over the last couple of years my family and I have gotten serious about our faith. We’ve made radical changes in our lives, because we want to live for Christ. We learned by submitting our will and aligning our will with God’s will, which is lined out for is in the bible, this was the only path to true freedom.
We’ve made the decision to stop being lukewarm and fully live out our lives according to His standard. Walking the path of saying we believed in God, but clinging to dead things left us starving and struggling in deep rooted sin.
It’s not been easy, but through the power of Christ we’ve been granted freedom from sin that had been killing not only our marriage, but our bodies and our minds. I suffered for years with drug addiction and alcoholism. My husband had a secret pornography addiction. Once we buckled down and obeyed the Word and God’s commands we flourished in His grace and mercy. New life bubbled up inside of us. We began to change from the inside out. The power of Christ and His love breathed new life into our entire being. Through choosing to do the next right thing according to the Word we were both healed from our afflictions. We were changed. Our marriage healed. Everything began changing for the better, but it also opened our spiritual eyes. As we grew closer to Jesus and fell more in love with him, we began to see the things that we were doing and choosing to partake in that just wasn’t okay anymore, and infact led us into deeper sin.
Lying. Cussing. Anger. Whatever it was, we had to begin walking a righteous path otherwise, our flesh would rise up again. The more we grow in Christ, the more the Spirit changes us and begins to align our desires with the Father’s. Choosing God and His way everyday made all of that possible.
It’s not been easy, but there has been so much joy, many miracles, freedom, and healing that we never thought was possible. We are not perfect. We don’t do it well everyday, but it’s a path that we will walk for the rest of our lives and it won’t be completed and made perfect until we meet Christ. We should be striving to obey His Word in all things.
All of this change brought on alot of questions and grief with friends and family. There were some things that our loved ones just couldn’t comprehend.
For instance, our whole life began to be revolve around our church and our church body. Prayer night, church, and bible study became a priority.
That’s way too much church I would hear people say. Why can’t you miss bible study? Just go next week. Why do you spend all Sunday morning in church? That’s ridiculous. Don’t you need to have a life?
Our life doesn’t revolve around church. Our lives revolve around Jesus and we strive to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things and our activities reflect that. Our meetings together as a church body encourage, educate, and hold us accountable to each other.
There’s no time frame in the way the Holy Spirit moves so why do we only give Him an hour on Sunday morning?
Another one I hear often, is why do you always take that person’s advice. Don’t you have your own mind? Why do you want spend so much time with them?
We spend time with our pastors and those further along on this walk we are on, because they have something we want. They have the depth and weight of someone who has been totally transformed by Christ and emulate His Spirit and His goodness. We want that. They deciple us. Show us how to walk the walk. In order to live this path well, we spend time with them often. We go to them for advice. We seek them out. If you want to change your way of life for the better, wouldn’t you spend all the time you can with someone who was living that way? That’s what Jesus says to do.
These were just some of the minor changes that bothered those closest to us. There also some big things that God began to convict us on.
One huge transition in our lives that our family and friends are having issues with is how going forward we will be choosing to spend the holidays.
This has been a huge struggle for me as well. I loved celebrating all the holidays growing up. It was always a magical time where my family got together and we would all spend quality time together and have a blast making memories. It’s been a huge sacrifice in my own heart coming to the realization that how we celebrate these holidays will have to change or be let go entirely.
Christmas was an especially hard one for our family, but it was a no brainer. Santa Claus while fun and magical for children totally takes away the meaning of why we celebrate it in the first place. We also know that it isn’t truly Jesus’s birthday, but we’ve decided to celebrate it in a way that brings attention to Christ and glorifies him. These are our convictions that God has placed on our hearts. I don’t expect everyone to agree or understand. I also don’t condemn other people who choose to celebrate in their own way or the traditional way.
We specifically chose to banish Santa, because we are in agreement that it’s pure idolatry. I know St. Nick is based on a real person, but the Santa Clause we our teaching our children is not even in the same ballpark as the original man and while it’s a nice historical story, I don’t understand how it correlates with the story of the birth of Christ. All Santa does is distract from the main reason it’s celebrated in the first place. That is a tactic of the enemy. Even the Christitan radio stations replace songs about Jesus with songs about reindeer.
Also, when you get down to the facts about what we teach our children about Santa and compare the character with who God is, it begins to get very uncomfortable.
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.
Take a look at Psalm 139. The similarities are striking.
Why at Christmas do we need to teach our children to be good so a man can come deliver them presents? We should be teaching our children to be good so that they can live in eternity with Christ. We don’t need anything more than that. Isn’t the gift of salvation enough?
Well Santa is magical!
If choosing to not celebrate Santa takes away from the meaning of Christmas then we don’t truly understand the gift of who Jesus is to us.
Here is an article that totally solidifies my point for further reading.
We will also be celebrating Easter differently. We will not be celebrating the Easter bunny. Even the word is pagan. Instead we will celebrate Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection. That’s enough of a cause to celebrate for us.
We also struggled with Halloween this year as well.
I personally saw no harm in dressing up my girls and trick or treating. In my opinion, declaring it evil was giving a foothold to the devil. We are covered and saved. We weren’t committing evil. It was all fun and games. We weren’t worshiping another God. As long as we didn’t decorate with dead things, dress up in demonic and scary costumes, and go to haunted houses I didn’t see anything wrong with it. It’s for kids. I felt like going the religious route of banning it was overkill. If we believe in Jesus, we are fine. We are not satanic worshipers. No big deal right? Before leaving to take our girls out on Halloween night I prayed to God to open my eyes and show me the truth.
So we took our daughters to a town safespook. We had a blast. Nothing scary. It was very lighthearted.
Then we took our oldest throughout the neighborhood. Several of the houses had some really scary decorations up. One was based on the movie IT. Red balloons every where and clown costumes. Another house, people had bloody face masks handing out candy to small children. Further down, there was somebody revving up a chain saw. It was kinda over the top, but it’s Halloween. My daughter would not even go to those houses, because she was terrified. I kept telling her it’s not real. I asked her if she wanted to go home, she said no she wanted the candy.
There were some houses that weren’t so scary, but she was still a little spooked. I stopped and told her she didn’t have to go, we could skip. She said no, I want the candy. It’s not real.
Y’all spiritual warfare is real! It’s a battle we fight everyday.
No, we cannot see it, but on day that we can plainly see it, I’m teaching my child to ignore it for the sake of fun and candy.
The Holy Spirit answered my prayer and gave me the revelation I asked for. In that moment the Spirit showed me what I was teaching my child. I was showing her it’s okay to endure things that are scary and demonic if there’s pleasure involved. She’s being desensitized to it. She sees this big scary house with evil decorations, that we as adults totally comprehend aren’t real, but as a child alarm bells are going off in her head, and I’m saying it’s okay, because you’re getting something out of it. Imagine her at 16 deciding on if she wants to go to house party. Her conscious and the Holy Spirit are telling her, hey, that’s not good idea. Not very Godly. Some bad things could happen. Yet, for the first 10 or 11 years of her life I’ve been teaching her it’s okay to partake in unrighteous things as long as it’s fun. The Holy Spirit lives in us all. Her Spirit is warning her that something is off here. It’s not safe. I’m teaching her that it’s okay, as long as you’re getting something from it. I’m teaching her to ignore those warning bells for the sake of candy. I know it sounds stupid, but we can absolutely become desensitized to sin and evil and it starts the moment from when we enter the world.
This is how the enemy sneaks in, disguised as a children’s holiday.
Even if it is just all about children, why are we decorating our houses with scary decorations from rated-r movies that we wouldn’t even let them watch at home? It’s fun and we get a thrill from being spooked. You know what else is thrilling? All kinds of sin. Premarital sex, drugs, porn. Those can all thrilling at first.
No, Halloween is no big deal for adults that know the absolute truth and know who we are in Christ, but our kids don’t know any of that for certain. The enemy can absolutely disguise himself as an angel of light.
I’d rather safeguard my children than have fun for the sake of fun.
I know these are very controversial beliefs and not everyone agrees and some would even go as far to say I’m ruining my children’s childhood. To that I say the road is narrow and we are called to be set apart.
These holidays are deeply secular and rooted in pagan traditions. What does the word say about these kinds of things?
A wise pastor once said:
One man considers one day more sacred than another (eg. Christmas); Another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. (Romans 14:5-6)
I don’t think it’s wrong to celebrate Christ and glorify God. I think it’s how we go about doing that is what matters. When we add traditions of the world to it, it’s no longer about God. It takes away from Him. That’s what we teach our Children. We are teaching them that our lives aren’t all about Christ. The most important thing we can ever share with our children is the salvation we can find in Christ. Why isn’t that magic enough?
These are our family’s convictions. Convictions that didn’t come until we began fully seeking God. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. My advice, pray about it. Ask Him to open your spiritual eyes this holiday season. You might be surprised.