I can’t say that I ever thought about sleepovers as a bad thing.
A group of kids get together, have their parents bring them snacks while a movie is playing behind the roar of laughter. Then when it gets to be late night or early morning, all the kids fall asleep in the livingroom in sleeping bags. In the morning, all the kids eat breakfast and go to their respected homes.
But Tim Challies reminded us that even innocent events like sleepovers aren’t without their problems. And with that, Tim invites Christians to be different. And that’s okay.
Tim explains why he and his wife, Aileen, decided that their kids would never attend a sleepover. Their reasons are twofold.
“The first one was just experience we had had. Neither Aileen and I were ever harmed at a sleepover. We did participate in them when we were young. But we knew people who were very seriously harmed. Either somebody had abused them or hurt them. Or they had encountered things that they should not have encountered. For many people, their first experience of pornography was at a sleepover. Their first experience of sexuality or even drunkenness was at a sleepover.
We became very concerned that we didn’t want our children to experience any of those things. Not only that, we didn’t want to put our children in a situation where they were young and vulnerable and still too immature, still too in equipped to know how to deal with a situation. Often, I think we put very young children in situations they simply don’t have the capacity, the maturity to deal with. So somebody compels them to do something. Somebody encouraged them to do something. They’re simply not old enough, mature enough to know how to deal with it and they end up suffering.”
What a powerful thought. And then to act on it, holding the conviction for years without lapsing. I am astonished that this couples’ commitment to stand by their beliefs.
Now, I’m not saying that Christians need to adopt the Challies’ belief about sleepovers. Nor do Tim and Aileen. Tim concludes his article with this,
“That’s all I say for you. Read God’s word. Think about it. Apply wisdom. Heed your conscience. Make a decision that’s good, that’s the best for your family, for your children.”
To make a wise, good decision for your family may mean that you need to do something different. You may have to skip on sleepovers. You may have to keep your kids at home rather than letting them go out of Halloween. You may have to limit their Internet use or TV time. And that is okay.
What the Challies’ are doing is living out Romans 12:2,
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Read the Scriptures. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you and inspire you to make creative, benifical decisions for your family. Be different than those people who live according to the standards of the world. Even if that means you and your kids miss out on “essential” moments in life.
To live for Christ and in his likeness is what we are called to do. To do that we need to be and live differently. And that is okay.
You can read Tim Challies’ original article here.