Tag: purity (page 1 of 1)

The Pursuit

When it comes to talking about tough subjects with my daughters, I find that some of the best resources aren’t the ones that script the conversation for me, but the ones that shape my own thinking and help me approach the conversation as an ongoing one that won’t be neatly resolved in one intentional afternoon. With that in mind, I’m sharing a book today that isn’t meant to be read to or with children, but that can help us, as parents, think through a sticky topic and go into those conversations feeling prepared.

And by “sticky topic,” I mean sex. So we’ll be talking about that today.

The Pursuit, by Josh Livingston & Dan Martin | Little Book, Big Story

How we can or should or must not talk to kids about sex and sexuality is a big, big issue today, within the church as well as outside it. And dang it, if it doesn’t feel overwhelming sometimes! Like there are so many ways to get it wrong, and if you fail, your child will [insert devastating outcome here] and it will be all your fault. The separation between what the culture around us says about our bodies and what Scripture says about them feels pretty vast at times, and all of us enter that conversation with our own experiences and understandings about what sex is and what it isn’t.

I didn’t become a Christian until I was seventeen, so I only caught the tail end of the youth group discussions on sexual purity—up until then, my perspective was largely formed by MTV and those unsettling conversations in the back seat of the bus. So I come to this discussion having lived for a bit in both worlds, and from my vantage point the authors of The Pursuit have found a beautifully balanced way of discussing sexuality. They respond thoughtfully to the things many of us heard from our youth pastors as well as the things we’ve heard from the media, and they ask, “But what does the Bible say about our bodies and our sexuality, really?” By unwinding the language of purity culture, authors Josh Livingstone and Dan Martin help us see the beauty of how God created us and where our sexuality belongs as part of our lives as Christians. They encourage us to view sexual purity not as a race that ends at a “wedding night” finish line, but as a facet of our relationship with Christ—an aspect of our obedience to him that we continue to cultivate in differing forms throughout every season of life.

There are a lot of great resources out there on where babies come from that are meant to be read with children (I’ve reviewed a few of them here, and our family is currently working our way through this series), but The Pursuit is a great foundational read for parents. While so many approaches focus on either “finding our own truth” about sexuality or on prescribing a very narrow picture of sexual purity, complete with extra-biblical rules for living, Livingstone and Martin remind us that our sexuality is a good gift from God that is deeply woven into who we are. As Christians, they remind us, we are called to live it out in a way that glorifies God and creates a picture of his goodness and mercy in this broken world. This is, ultimately, a joyful picture we get to offer our children—one filled with hope and grace.

The Pursuit: Reframing Purity as a Relationship Not an Accomplishment
Josh Livingstone & Dan Martin (2022)

Disclosure: I did receive a copy of this book for review, but I was not obligated to review it or compensated for my review in any way. I share this book with you because I love it, not because I was paid to do so.

How God Makes Babies

The Talk. It’s coming—you know it is. One of these days, your child is going to ask you—probably in mixed company—how that lady got a baby in her belly. Or why your son has different equipment than your daughter. Or, the classic, where do babies come from?

And you will hope for grace and ease and for just the right words. You may say gently, “Well, we can talk about that more when we get home,” or you may turn beet red in the check out line and panic while the English language escapes you. Or, you might have a copy of How God Makes Babies at home and feel like now, now is the time to pull it out and have The Talk.

How God Makes Babies | Little Book, Big Story

For us, that time came around midday last Friday. In anticipation of the more pointed questions of our five-year-old, I fully expected to hear the ” . . . but how did the baby get in there?” line of questioning during this pregnancy, and so on a friend’s recommendation I bought Jim Burns’s book, How God Makes Babies. I am nothing if not preemptive.

But for a number of reasons (many of which came from this post), we decided not to wait until our kids started asking questions, but to broach the subject ourselves, since we want our girls to know from an early age that these are things we can talk about together. We want to hear their questions and help them find the answers.

And so I said a quick prayer that Lydia would keep only the information that she needs now. Then I curled up with her and read How God Makes Babies. The book turned out to be an invaluable resource, as it covered pretty much everything one could hope for at an age appropriate level: who has which private parts, what they’re for and who can and cannot touch them, plus (most pertinent for our family) how a baby grows and develops and eventually makes its way out into the world.

How God Makes Babies | Little Book, Big Story

Burns gives great, concise answers to complex questions, but doesn’t oversimplify. He explains marriage well; he explains sex and puts it in its intended context. As a chronic over-explainer, I was thankful for a book that gave measured answers to such big questions without overwhelming readers with useless detail.

I do not expect our conversations on this topic to end with this book, but for now, the door is open and the book is on the bookshelf. I even read selected passages to Sarah, and now both girls love to read over the pages about the baby’s development, which is, perhaps, all they need for now.

How God Makes Babies | Little Book, Big Story

How God Makes Babies comes with an age recommendation of 6-9. I also ordered a copy of God Made Your Body, which is aimed at a younger audience (ages 3-5) and focuses more on how cool our bodies are, how we’re all different and so on, while deftly sliding an explanation of the differences between boys and girls into the narrative. It also talks about pregnancy and birth, so the girls have really enjoyed that one, too. And no one has used awkward terms in awkward circumstances (so far).

Of course, be sure to pre-read these books before you read them with your kids, and use your discretion about when to introduce which topics to your kids (you can always spot read relevant sections of the book and save the rest for later). You know them far better than I do.

How God Makes Babies
Jim Burns (2009)

God Made Your Body
Jim Burns (2009)