One Million Copies Sold in Series!
Christian Book Award: ECPA Medallion of Excellence
Your kids know about sex. But what they’ve gathered from TV, other kids, or the internet doesn’t tell them everything or answer all of their questions. What’s the Big Deal? was written to help parents provide the answers to their 8-to-12-year-olds. This book explains the basic facts about sex and related issues such as:
- Why God made adults so that they want to have sex
- What God actually says in the Bible about sex and why it’s designed for marriage
- The amazing changes ahead of you during puberty
- How to respond when you feel sexual pressure from friends, TV shows, movies, and magazines
Now revised and updated with:
- Separate chapters on puberty for boys and girls
- A chapter on the dangers of pornography
- An expanded age range (formerly 8 to 11, now 8 to 12)
About the Author
STAN JONES, PHD, provost and professor of psychology at Wheaton College, is a nationally recognized Christian expert on sexuality. He has written books on psychology and Christianity and on homosexuality and has contributed numerous articles to such professional journals as American Psychologist. BRENNA JONES has graduate training in biblical and theological studies and leads an active ministry of discipleship and support for women. Stan and Brenna have three adult children.
Read an Excerpt
What's the Big Deal?
Suggestion to families: If your child is a good reader, ask him or her to read the parts where Sam and Amy are talking, while you, the parent, read the Mom and Dad parts. All of the material covered is important for both boys and girls. These written conversations will hopefully start even more conversations between your child and you about God's design for sex.
SAM:Dad, what's the big deal about sex? Why do people talk and joke so much about sex, like on TV and stuff?
DAD: It's confusing, but I will try to explain it as best I can. First, sex is a wonderful and beautiful gift from God. Beyond the many ways in which we are similar, God made men and women, girls and boys different from each other in marvelous ways. Our bodies are a gift from God. When husbands and wives share their bodies together in sexual intercourse, it is only one of the ways they share their love, but it is a special and powerful way. So sex is a big deal because sex is a marvelous gift from God.
SAM:But that's not what I mean. People aren't talking about sex because it is a gift from God!
DAD: I know! And I'm glad you are thinking about this enough to see that! But regardless of what others say, sex is important in everyone's life because God made us men and women with special and different bodies. God made sex, so it is a big deal.
But people make such a big deal about sex mostly for bad reasons, not good ones. For instance, sex is a big deal because when people don't use God's gift the right way, bad consequences often result. When people use the good gift of sex the way God meant it to be used, it is much more likely to have a beautiful and wonderful result. Sex is a big deal because so many people can be and are hurt by sex.
AMY:Hurt by sex? How? What kinds of bad things can happen?
MOM: Here's one example. Whenever a couple has sexual intercourse, the woman might get pregnant. A baby might start to grow in her womb. If the man and woman are married, usually this is a happy time. They feel like celebrating and it draws them even closer together in love.
But if the woman who has sex and gets pregnant is a fourteen-year-old girl, usually she is not happy. She may have to raise a baby without a husband. Her whole life changes — her dreams about finishing high school, dating, going to college; everything changes. God meant for pregnancy and giving birth to a child to be wonderful, something worth celebrating. But having a baby is something that many people dread because they didn't save sex for marriage.
DAD: Misusing God's gift of sex also spreads some diseases. Because sex brings people so close together, one partner can catch a disease the other partner has. Did you know that if a man and a woman never have sex with anyone except each other, that husband and wife have almost no chance of ever getting any diseases from sex at all? But because so many young people today are not waiting to get married before they have sex, these terrible diseases are becoming more common.
If you use God's gift correctly, treating it like a beautiful gift, you can be wonderfully happy that God made you a boy or a girl. But when people misuse sex, it almost always hurts someone. Did you know that hundreds and hundreds of thousands of teenage girls get pregnant every year? Did you know that many teenagers are getting sexual diseases with bad consequences like cancer or not being able to ever have children, all because they do not follow God's rules?
AMY:That sounds terrible!
MOM: Another reason sex is a big deal is that some people make it more important than it should be. Do you remember what the Bible says about idolatry? People commit idolatry when they take something God made and then treat it like it is a god. In the Old Testament, God hated it when people took things he made, like rocks and trees and gold, and then worshiped those things.
When people stop believing in the real God, they often start believing that other things can take God's place, things like money, or power, or being famous.
SAM :Do people do that with sex?
MOM: Sadly, yes. Sex is sort of like a god for some people today. They think that sex will make them happy or that sex is the most important thing in life.
They are wrong. Only God can make us truly happy, and only God deserves to be the most important thing in our lives. So when such people try to get happy by having as much sex as possible or by breaking God's rules about sex, they usually find they are not happy at all.
AMY:I think I understand that, but why do people joke about sex so much?
DAD: For some, it's because they want you to believe that sex is no big deal so that you might behave like they do, which would make them feel better about themselves. For others, it may be to cover up or express their disappointment in sex. In a lot of television shows and movies, people talk about sex, joke about sex, and think about sex all the time. I worry that these shows teach kids and grown-ups that sex is worth thinking about all the time. We Christians think sex is a wonderful gift, but it was not meant to take the place of God in our lives. And thinking about sex all the time or making sex the most important thing in our lives can never make us happy.
MOM: I agree that's why some grown-ups joke about sex, but I think there are different reasons, Sam, why kids your age joke about it. It's because they hear adults, especially on TV and in the movies, talk about it a lot, but the kids don't really know for sure what the adults are talking about or why. Maybe their parents haven't talked to them like we have with you. So the kids are really curious about it, but they're nervous and embarrassed because they don't really understand it. They also may joke about it because they don't understand how God made it special.
SAM:That makes sense, sort of.
DAD: But now let me tell you why I think sex needs to be a big deal for us. We want to teach you the truth about sex so that you will be ready to make the right decisions about it as a teenager and adult. Please always feel free to ask us any questions that come to your mind, because we won't be able to think of everything you need to know. And we won't always know the answers to your questions! We might need to think about it awhile before we answer you, but that's okay. We may even need to read to find the answer or ask someone, but we would be glad to do that. It is important for us to keep talking about this topic. We love you so much that we want you to learn about how God made us and meant for us to live, even when it isn't always easy to talk about.
SOME QUESTIONS TO DISCUSS
1. When have you heard kids joke about sex? Why do you think they do that?
2. What have you noticed about the way people in television and movies talk about sex?
3. What do you think about God making you a sexual person?(Continues…)
Excerpted from "What's the Big Deal?"
Copyright © 2019 Jones Education Consultation & Formation, Inc..
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Table of Contents
An Important Word to Parents xi
Chapter 1 What's the Big Deal? 1
Chapter 2 Why Do People Do That? 7
Chapter 3 Sex Outside of Marriage 13
Chapter 4 What Does God Really Say about It? 17
Chapter 5 The Changes of Puberty for Girls 25
Chapter 6 What Is a Period? 31
Chapter 7 The Changes of Puberty for Boys 37
Chapter 8 But Why Can't I Do That? 47
Chapter 9 Danger Ahead! 51
Chapter 10 What Does God Think about Gay People? 57
Chapter 11 What Is Sexual Abuse? 65
Chapter 12 God's Response to Wrong 73
Chapter 13 Growing Up 81
About the Authors 87