I want to thank Bethany House for providing me with a copy of Sex Matters in return for my honest review.
Last week, I wrote a review for you of Jonathan McKee’s More Than Just the Talk: Becoming You Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex. I strongly recommend the book for any family with kids at home!
This week, let’s take a look at the companion book for teens: Sex Matters (Bethany House, 2015), also by Jonathan McKee. The book is 125 pages long and written in an engaging, narrative manner that will appeal to teens…..
Much of the material in the book is similar to the information in the second half of More Than Just the Talk, with some specific information just for youth. In Sex Matters, Jonathan McKee covers: how to handle questions about sex, the biblical plan for sex (Why Wait?), biblical boundaries for sex and the physical response to the sexual process (How Far?), responding to sexual temptation (Fleeing), porn and masturbation (by the same chapter title), commonly asked (hard!) questions (Tough Questions), and some final thoughts on biblical sexuality.
I think this is an excellent book, with important information, and well-balanced between boys and girls. The information is packed with statistics, Biblical references, and narrative.
I have read some other biblical sexuality books for teens that I would never recommend to you. My husband and I both think the narrative in those books is too sexual, and could lead to visualization and temptation all on its own. There were two spots in Sex Matters that made me a little uncomfortable that way. I’m going to tell you about them right now so you’ll know what they are. If you’re squeamish, just go to the next paragraph. Ready? Here we go: One is a short narrative about a boy and a girl making out. He touches her stomach and tries to remove her pants. The other is a spot where Mr. McKee discusses masturbation and how it felt good to rub against the sheets. That’s the extent of the material that made me uncomfortable as to its potential for visualization. That may be much tamer than anything your kids have seen on screen. Friends, that is nothing like some other books I’ve looked through.
Mr. McKee does address sex practically using real terms. He talks about anal and oral sex, porn and masturbation. He’s not pulling any punches, but I get the feeling that he doesn’t feel the need to incite problems for young men and women that don’t already exist. He’s seeking to arm Christian young people with knowledge, forethought, and practical decision-making skills, not to revel in the sin that results from straying from God’s plan for sex.
Here’s my personal take on Sex Matters and its companion parenting text More Than Just the Talk.
I think every family should read More Than Just the Talk. Your children are going to come in contact with sexual sin, perversion and temptation. Sure, you have an internet filter. Is your neighbor’s internet password protected and filtered? Is the library’s? (The answer to that one is a definitive no!) Are you going to be able to control whether other kids show your child porn on their phone in the church lobby? Will your child see magazine covers in the grocery store? We live in an oversexualized culture. Our society worships sex. Lives for it. We need to help our kids proactively understand what they’re going to come in contact with, help them understand God’s plan for sex, and we need to help them formulate a game plan. We need to do that early on, because even sheltered homeschooled kids are coming into contact with sexual sin in their elementary school years.
Sex Matters is an excellent text for teens. If your middle school and high school-aged kids are in a school (Christian or public), or if they have access to a lot of media, I think it would be wise to go through this book with them immediately. There are discussion questions at the end of each chapter, so this can be a joint activity without being a read-aloud (meeting up to discuss each chapter after you’ve each read it might make the process less awkward).
For our family, it’s too early to hand our kids Sex Matters. At 11 and 12, they’re still pretty sheltered and our house is pretty locked down. I see that changing rapidly, so here’s what we’re doing with the books right now: my husband and I are reading and discussing the issues presented in private as parents. My husband and I are using More Than Just the Talk as a guide to discuss different topics with our kids and we’re letting them ask questions. We don’t want to drown them in information. We want them to be able to process. We’ve done a fair amount of talking about the information in the chapters on biblical sexuality (the way God designed sex) and the consequences of disobeying; how far is too far; guidelines for appropriate inter-gender contact; and porn, temptation, and fleeing. We’ve gone through some of the additional information Mr. McKee gives with them verbally. I do see us having them read Sex Matters in the next few years, but for now I prefer to control the flow and content of information. I’m keeping this book to review frequently and to one day share with my kids (probably one day sooner than I’d like!).
You can purchase Sex Matters at:
You can find the fabulously important coordinating book for parents (that’s you!) More Than Just the Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex at:
Amazon: More Than Just the Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex
Christian Book: More Than Just the Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex
Other books for older students reviewed on Thinking Kids:
- God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby
- Water the Earth: A Student’s Guide to Missions by Aaron Little
- Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology by Brian Cosby
- Bitesize Theology: An ABC of Christian Faith by Peter Jeffrey
- Zachary Macaulay (Bitesize Biographies) by Faith Cook
- Questions God Asks by Israel Wayne
Thinking Kids Book Review Indexes
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.