Book Review of Mom, Dad, What’s Sex? Giving Your Kids a Gospel- Centered View of Sex and Our Culture
The best thing I can say about Jessica Thompson and Joel Fitzpatrick’s new book is this: I wish I had had this book before my kids became teens, to prepare me as I prepared them for adulthood and sexuality.
Mom, Dad, What’s Sex? Giving Your Kids a Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our Culture is a treasure. Written with warmth, directness and humor, this guide keeps the gospel front and center at all times, celebrating the goodness of a God who created us for healthy relationships, sexual and otherwise.
Instead of falling to extremes, let’s bring sex into its proper place. Let’s talk to our kids about its goodness when it is enjoyed in the proper context. Let’s give them a view of sex that emphasizes how it gives value to our spouse and displays our love for them. In short, let’s talk about the ordinary view of sex as it was created by God.(p. 35)
Jessica Thompson and Joel Fitzpatrick (who incidentally are brother and sister) are both happily married and parents as well. Their voices will resonate with moms and dads who long to give their children a healthy and even joyful view of God’s design for sexuality. They understand from personal experience how we each bring our own sexual baggage and brokenness into our marriages and parenting, and yet they offer us so much hope through the gospel.
The book is divided into three sections. Part One lays the groundwork with the Bible says about sex: how God intended sex for our enjoyment in marriage, how sex got broken, and the wisdom of adhering to God’s original design for sexuality. Part Two examines our cultural view of sex through the lens of relationship, demonstrating how social media and pornography are wreaking havoc on the healthy relationships we want our teens to have now and in the future. Part Three, How to Have Great Conversations About Sex, helps parents remember that when it comes to teaching our kids, “the Gospel is the point, not sexual purity…”
Jesus Christ Himself said he didn’t come for those who think they have it all together, but for the sick. He loved the immoral ones, he broke bread with the unfaithful ones – and thank God for that, or none of us could sit at his table. The church has often gotten it all wrong. We’ve silenced and ousted the sexually immoral when Jesus spoke love and peace to them. Is this the Jesus your children know? If it is, they will be free to repent, they will desire to live in the light of the gospel, and they will be compelled to be obedient because of his love.(p.153)
One of my favorite things about the book is that each chapter ends with Jessica addressing a word to mothers and Joel, to fathers. While the gospel applies equally to all, there are some things mothers tend to struggle with, while fathers fight slightly different battles. Reading these sections not only helps a parent with their own weaknesses, but reading their spouse’s section can foster understanding and empathy, facilitating conversation between husband and wife even as they work to present their kids with a united teaching on the tender, personal subject of sexual relations.
I’d recommend that parents read Mom, Dad, What’s Sex? as a couple if possible, when your kids are still in elementary school. Keep it accessible on your shelf as your kids age and different issues arise. You’ll want to study the talking points at the end of each chapter and then keep them handy when you do have the tough conversations. You won’t find a better resource to prepare you for talking with your teens about sex.
Theologically sound, realistic, and encouraging, this wonderful book celebrates the beautiful mystery of our sexuality, directing us to the intimacy we will one day enjoy with Jesus,
… the one who has been saving himself for us. Our true bridegroom never engaged in sexual activity when he was a man. And he was a man, tempted just as we are, but he never gave into sexual temptation because he was saving himself for the final restoration- for the day when he will give himself fully to us and we will give ourselves fully to him. And here is the really lovely part: Christ’s perfect obedience in all sexual activity is now our record before a holy God. So we don’t have to be ashamed. We are loved and accepted and forgiven right now, and one day we will be able to understand just how astonishing that is. (p. 88)
Check out our podcast with authors Thompson and Fitzpatrick over on the parent side of the blog!
In addition, Rooted has developed a sex education curriculum for families to facilitate conversations between parents and their kids. This curriculum includes four podcasts that parent and child can listen to and a discussion guide for follow-up. Check it out here.