Human sexuality is a good gift from God but from the way many Christians talk about it (if they even talk about it at all) you might think it was a disease spread upon all mankind from Satan himself. Not just one generation back from mine sex was considered to be a non-discussion topic unless you were telling kids not to have it before marriage. This is the generation that raised my generation which is now raising its own generation of kids. Truth be told, our kids will hear about sex and sexuality from somewhere. The question is, who will they hear it from the loudest and most cogently? The world will tell them about it and so must Christian parents.
There is a growing body of literature (that needs to keep growing!) for Christian parents seeking to aid them in their discussions (discussions plural because there needs to be more than one of them!) with their children about their sexuality. Recently, Drs. Chris Richards and Liz Jones have written an amazing pair of new books titled Growing God’s Way for Boys and Growing God’s Way for Girls. Designed for ages 10-14, these Christian pediatricians have teamed up to write a book for parents to help them discuss their kids sexuality with them from before puberty to marriage from a Christian and medical perspective.
Both books follow the same chapter format with one tailored to boys and the other to girls. The first two chapters discuss the bookends of puberty and marriage. These chapters set the stage for further development in the next seven chapters. Chapters three through seven discuss the ways in which a young person’s body changes during puberty: physically, emotionally and relationally. In these chapters everything is covered from zits to sweating, the growth of hair, the menstrual cycle, mood swings and the beginning stages of opposite sex attraction. Chapter eight discusses the various stages of developing a relationship with someone of the opposite sex from dating to marriage. The final chapter concludes with giving practical tips for how young boys and girls can begin now to think about and prepare for their possible future spouses such as living for God where He has you now and saving yourself sexually for your future spouse.
There are several features of these books that make it stand out. First, and most importantly, they are thoroughly grounded in Scripture. Drs. Richards and Jones tie everything from conception to marriage and beyond to what God has to say about it in His Word. God is seen as overseeing our lives and the One who made our bodies and its changes for our good and His glory. Second, while being Biblically based, the books are also very scientific in their descriptions. My wife and I are in agreement that when we discuss our kid’s bodies with them we use proper medical terminology and the authors have done the same in the books. This is a plus! Third, the books are filled with colorful pictures and diagrams to illustrate everything from the difference in boys and girls genitalia to an unborn child growing in a mother’s belly. Literally every page has a picture of some sort. Fourth, the language used in the books is perfect for young readers to grasp if you have them read the books with you or again on their own after you have discussed the material with them. Fifth, because the book is based in Scripture the authors discuss God’s good design for sex within marriage and how to have a Christ honoring relationship with the opposite sex before marriage. The authors also rightly tip their hat to the role of singleness in the life of some people. Finally, many of these changes can be very hard to children to deal with and understand as they happen. Sometimes this can produce frustration and confusion. Throughout the books the authors point out how children can take comfort in knowing that God has designed them to grow in these ways and that they can trust Him as they go through the changes. Puberty is God’s designed way for helping children grow into adults. Each stage has a God designed time and purpose that helps us to fulfill the purposes He has made us for in regards to our sexuality.
I cannot do anything but highly recommend Growing God’s Way for Boys and Growing God’s Way for Girls. This is the kind of book I would want to put into the hand of every parent in my church with young children. I would recommend parents to read through the book with their child first and then if you feel it necessary to allow your child to read through the book on their own with your follow up. Parents need to use this book as a resource in discussing their child’s sexuality with them. It should not be used as an excuse to avoid the uncomfortable conversation by giving it to them and telling them to figure it out on their own. Christian parents need to lead the way in their children’s lives when it comes to everything, especially their sexuality. The world is going to tell them about it so you need to tell them what God says about it. These books are a great place to start!
I received this book for free from Evangelical Press through Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”