by Lydia Jentzen Will

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
– Romans 12:2

I always loved Halloween growing up.

I never once remember going to a normal store to pick out a ready made costume. Instead my siblings and I would cobble together outfits made up of whatever we could find in the dress up box and a few carefully chosen pieces from a nearby thrift store.

Part of the fun of Halloween for me was always the creativity that went into bringing an idea for a costume to life.

As a result, I handle Halloween with my kids in much the same way. Sure, it would be easy to toss them all in the car and drive to target, spend a small fortune on six costumes and be able to check that off the to-do list nice and early.

But there’s just something about working with a child to make their own unique look using their imagination.  As a result of that, we have been largely unscathed by a phenomenon in costumes that has come up in the past few years.

You know what I mean. How many little girl costumes these days seem more suited for adult film stars than innocent trick-or-treaters?

I had come across a few articles about it online before, but had very little to do with it. It wasn’t until my 9 year old daughter asked to google ideas for a girl nerd costume she was working on that we came face to face with the reality of what “girl” and “costume” mean to the outside world. And I had to figure out just how to explain to my daughter that this is what our culture thinks of femininity.

The lesson here is two fold. First, to raise our own children with the knowledge that they are truly precious, made in the image of God, set apart and meant to reflect His glory.

The second is to always look on others the same way. The girl who comes barely dressed to the Halloween party is more than how she sees herself.

It’s up to the Christians she encounters to show her how God sees her. She is deserving of more than the tawdry attention she may elicit, made for true, pure love. Just like our kids.

She is deserving of more than the tawdry attention she may elicit, made for true, pure love. Just like our kids.

The pattern of this world is use and the absence of love. We resist conformity when we refuse to mistreat people even when they mistreat themselves.

We show God’s way when we come alongside our neighbors in love and treat them as the priceless souls they are, made for love. No matter what they’re wearing.

There will still be unsuitable Halloween costumes marketed to our daughters. And there will be girls wearing them, ringing our doorbells on Friday night. We show His trans-formative love when we open the door wide, smile brightly and say, “My, you’re lovely. Happy Halloween!”