Book Review and Giveaway: Mom, Dad...What's Sex?

I'll never forget that day at work when I was told I would lead counseling groups on sex education at the alternative school where I was a counselor.

"Why me?" I thought.

The truth? Because no one else wanted to do it. 

Fast forward a number of years to life as a mom with two boys. I thought having gone through the experience of talking about all things uncomfortable in the past would prepare me to talk about sexuality with my own children. Wrong. It's just as uncomfortable. Perhaps even more so. I guess that's why we have developed all these code words and phrases to refer to such discussions. You know phrases such as: "the birds and the bees," "the facts of life," and "the talk." 

But the truth is, it's so important. If there's one thing I learned from that experience as a counselor is how important it is that our children hear the truth about sexuality from us, their parents, and not from their friends or the culture around them. 

That's why I am so excited about Jessica Thompson's new book she wrote alongside her brother, Joel Fitzpatrick. It's titled, Mom, Dad…What’s Sex?:Giving Your Kids a Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our Culture

First off, you should know, this is not a how-to book. It's not filled with example conversations and check-lists of what to say and not to say. There isn't even an age by age description of what's appropriate for children to learn at different ages and stages. Rather, this book is anchored in the grand story of redemption and helps parents give their children the big picture story of how we were created to love and be loved, what happened to sex and sexuality as a result of the fall, and what Jesus did to redeem and restore what was lost.

Part one of the book tells the Biblical story of sex and sexual identity. Sex was God's idea. It was his gift to us. Chapter one looks at sex and sexual identity in terms of what took place at creation. Next, the authors look at what happened in the fall when Adam and Eve sinned. God's good design for sex was broken as a result of sin. The authors take an honest look at the brokenness of sex and go through some of Scripture's hard stories including that of Tamar and Rahab. But they don't just tell the hard stories, they point to how God redeems such stories: both Rahab and Tamar are in the genealogy of Christ. The author's also speak to the parents reading the book who might bear shame for sexual sins in their past or brokenness over sins done against them with the hope of the gospel.  

"We are truly satisfied only when our hearts are first satisfied in Christ's love for us. Sex is meant to bring pleasure, but only the love of Christ brings identity. When we forget about the love of Christ or when we look to sex to define who we are, we will end up distorting it. We will use it in ways that it was not meant to be used." (p.64)

Part two addresses sexuality in our culture, with particular focus on friendship among teens, the influence of social media, and pornography. The way teens view friendship with others shapes their view of sex. The authors encourage parents to help their children see marriage as friendship and ultimately, how Christ is their perfect friend. Social media also shapes our children's view of themselves and sexuality. The authors encourage parents to remind their children of who they are in Christ, "Every time they go to social media to find their worth, every time they read the comments to be affirmed, you can remind them that through Jesus they have already received the most important comments they will ever read or hear. They are God's children. Adopted. Loved. Cared for. Gorgeous in his sight!" (p. 134) They also address the problem of pornography in our culture and encourage parents to have open conversations about it, teaching them of the dangers, as well as reminding them that all people are image bearers to be respected and not used for our pleasure.

Part 3 encourages parents to saturate all conversations with the gospel of grace. We need to teach our children about sexuality through the lens of the gospel. If we have children who have been tempted or fallen into sexual sin, we need to walk through it with them, in the hope of the gospel and with restoration as the goal. 

Each chapter contains a word to moms from Jessica Thompson and a word to dads from Joel Fitzpatrick. There are also talking points at the end of each chapter of topics we need to talk about with our children. 

"You and I both know how strong sexual desires are, and we need something even stronger to control us. Knowing the right thing to do doesn't stop us from doing the wrong thing. The only way to change our appetites or our desires is to totally and completely fall in love with Jesus and be totally and completely awestruck by his love for us." (p. 186) 

Mom, Dad…What’s Sex?:Giving Your Kids a Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our Culture is a gospel-centered book which focuses on sexuality in terms of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration. It is a book for sinners—which is all of us. It reminds parents of their hope, help, and satisfaction in Christ so they can then speak that hope to the hearts of their children.

I'm doing a giveaway over on my Facebook page. Leave a comment on the post about this book and you'll be entered. US residents only. 

Note: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for this review. The thoughts and opinions are my own. In addition, I am a member of the Amazon Affiliates program and links to books in this post are connected to my affiliates account with 

Nurturing Friendship


Every spring, I look at my neighbor’s yard with envy. Pops of color jump out from every corner. As the season moves forward into summer, more and more flowers and plants come to life. In every nook and cranny of the yard, there’s a treasure, some plant thriving and radiant in its glory.

My neighbor knows each and every flower, plant, tree, and shrub and what they need: when to trim, when to water, and which plants needs protection from what danger. Every day, I walk outside and see my neighbor walking the length and breadth of the yard, checking in with each growing plant and tending to their individual needs.

I, on the other hand, do not have a green thumb. Any plant I buy and bury in the dirt ends up dying. I start out with good intentions but before long, days go by and I forget to water it. In addition, I have no clue what each plant needs, whether sun or shade, fertilizer or not, or what kind of pests to watch out for. Because I don’t tend to my plants and don’t nurture them, they fail to thrive.

So it is with friendship.

In C.S. Lewis’ work, The Four Loves, he described different kinds of relationships, including friendship. He said this about Christian friendship, "In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." This means God has chosen our Christian friends for us. He has planted them in our lives for a purpose. And while God creates those friendships, we have to nurture them.

We all long for close friendships with others. We desire to have people we can count on, people who know and understand us, and people who will stick by us. But such friendships don't happen over night. While a friendship may start out over shared common interests, it won't go any deeper than talking about our favorite television show, the latest silly thing our child said, or the status of our favorite team if we aren't intentional to see that it does. Just as a plant will not thrive without water, sunlight, and rich soil, a friendship will not thrive if left on its own.

We cannot expect a strong, close, and healthy friendship with someone we never talk to or see. We cannot expect a friend to be there for us when we are suffering if they don't know what is going on in our lives. We cannot expect a friend to share their hopes and dreams, their struggles and temptations, and their joys and laughter with us if we've never shared ours with them. 

Do you have a friend you'd like to know better? Invite them out for coffee or to your home for a meal. Perhaps read a book together and talk about it. Pray with and for one another. Share about your life, not just the facts of your life, but what your struggles are—those things that lie behind the mask you wear around other people. When we hear that other people battle against sin and temptation, that other people have been wounded and hurt by life's sorrows, that other people have broken dreams, we realize we are not alone. We are prone to forget that no one has it all together, yet everyone is battling something in their life. When we share those things with one another, we see each other with different eyes. 

Deep friendships take time and are often forged through the fires of trial and suffering. Just as a gardener gets their hands dirty when they tend their garden, tending a friendship may be messy at times. We'll have to sacrifice time. We'll have to hear hard stories. We'll have to walk with friends through painful circumstances. But as we take that time to walk alongside them through their sorrows, we show ourselves trustworthy. As we remind them of their hope in Christ and speak the gospel to them, we lift them up and help them forward in the faith. And that season of sharing in another person's pain will bear rich fruit. We'll learn more about the other person in that season than in any other and they'll learn more about us. Over time, we will each turn to the other to share in our mutual joys and heartaches. We'll look back over the years of that friendship and realize we have a dear friend in Christ.  

I've heard it over and over from readers and people I meet when I speak: many of us are lonely for close friendships. We want friends who know us and accept us. We want friends to share in our sorrows and heartaches. Those friendships exist. God created them for us. We just have to nurture them. We have to tend to them, give them what they need, and devote time to them. And soon enough, they'll start to grow and flourish.