I still remember getting “The Talk.” Ironically, it was a talk about life that made me want to die.
In fact, aside from the time I dove into the community pool from the high board and lost my shorts on impact at the age of 10, I don’t think I’d ever been in a more awkward environment. By comparison, suddenly finding myself sans attire in front of a hundred neighbors was more desirable than hearing my mom expose cabbage patches and storks for the frauds they were a year later.
All of that to say that a child's simple question - “What’s sex?” - can be one of the more difficult for parents to answer. Thankfully, in Mom, Dad…What’s Sex: Giving Your Kids a Gospel-Centered View of Sex and Our Culture, Jessica Thompson and Joel Fitzpatrick thoroughly equip their readers with honest, helpful, and surprisingly healing insight. I consider this book a must read, the best on the subject.
First, the authors are honest. Very honest. Through transparent, deeply personal accounts that avoid gratuitous "over-sharing,” Thompson and Fitzpatrick quickly earn the trust and hearts of their readers. In so doing, they show how our own stories invariably affect our approach and answers to the delicate questions of our children, and can either inhibit or enhance the way we serve them in conversation. This might occasion an unexpected process of self discovery for some; it did for me.
Second, they are helpful. While sharing some of their stories, and also encouraging readers to better understand their own, Thompson and Fitzpatrick adeptly weave these threads into the larger garment of the gospel - the grander story of God’s love for his children. This has several benefits. One, it encouragers readers struggling with the shame of their own failures and brokenness to see them within the ultimately hopeful and redemptive frame of God’s unrelenting, unblinking faithfulness. Additionally, it equips readers to help their children to see sexuality as a gift from God, something beautiful pointing them to something infinitely more beautiful.
Thankfully, this book is full of insights not merely theological, but also practical. Each chapter closes with “Words for Dads,” written by Joel, and “Words for Moms,” written by Jessica, as well as a series of “Talking Points.” These offerings synthesize the chapter’s teaching into realistic encouragements and tools for conversation.
Finally, the book is healing. When it comes to sexuality, most openly acknowledge that our culture is full of toxic influences - pornography, the pressures of social media, and more. However, fewer of us feel free to admit just how profoundly we and our children are affected by this toxicity. Thompson and Fitzpatrick don't shy from the dire diagnosis of our sin-sick world and our sin-sick hearts, but this only makes the deliverance they offer in Christ all the sweeter and more satisfying.
Bottom line: This is the best book I’ve ever read on this subject. It’s offers honest and helpful counsel and true comfort to those approaching one of life’s most uncomfortable conversations. Highly recommended. Preorder here.
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (May 8, 2018)