Tim Challies and his wife, Aileen, have set what I think is an excellent rule for their children. Challies writes about the rule here. And here is a short section of his post:

Before my children were even old enough to ask, Aileen and I talked it through and decided we would not allow our kids to do sleepovers. Now let’s be clear: there is no biblical command that forbids them, so this was not a matter of clear right and wrong, but a matter of attempting to act with wisdom. We determined we would make it a family rule: Our children would not be allowed to spend the night at their friends’ homes. We believed they would face a particular kind of vulnerability if they found themselves alone and in bed outside our care, and we wanted to protect them from it. So they have stayed at their grandparents’ and have stayed with my sisters when we’ve visited the South, but they have not stayed at friend’s homes.

Some may call this overprotective behavior. I prefer to call it discerning parenting. I have often said that the job of the Christian parent, simply stated, is to prepare your child to leave your home and go out into the world as a participant in the Triune God’s plan of redemption. It seems to me that one of the ways we prepare our children to leave our homes as devoted disciples is by keeping them in our homes when they are young. Of course, I don’t mean for you to keep your child in your home all the time. Just this morning I was trying to think of a way to get my two boys out of the house so I could get some work done in peace and quiet! What I mean is that the more opportunities for families to eat together at the dinner table, the better. The more gatherings for evening family worship, the better. The more words prayed by a father and mother over their children as the children are tucked in at night, the better. You get the idea. Overprotective? No. Loving? Caring? Wise? Yes.


  1. I would call it discerning parenting if they would try to discern when to allow the sleepover and when it is not a good idea. This is just forbiding parenting. I think allowing old enough children to stay overnight with trusted Christian family is a great way to let them learn how other families live. Also, it builds good relationships that are very important for them as they grow up. Are all sleepovers OK? No. But some can be really beneficial, as I have seen in lives of my three now grown up kids.

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