- Complete Title —What’s the Big Deal? Why God Cares About Sex, Book 3 in the God’s Design for Sex series
- Authors —Stan and Brenna Jones
- Publisher —Navpress
Although I was really pleased with my purchase of It’s So Amazing, since it is a secular book, it didn’t give the whole picture of what I wanted to teach my daughter about human sexuality. (Read my review of It’s So Amazing here.) To supplement it with a Christian perspective, I also bought Almost 12 by Kenneth N. Taylor and What’s the Big Deal? By Stan and Brenna Jones.
I felt that Almost 12 was dry and made sexuality seem almost boring! It was too scientific and too preachy for my taste. It felt as if an old maid, retired biology teacher was teaching a Sunday school class to a group of middle schoolers. There was no sense of wonder or feeling.
But I was delighted to find What’s the Big Deal much more contemporary and far less technical. Instead of handing it over to my daughter, I read it outloud to her so we could discuss each chapter.
The book is laid out like a dialogue among a dad, a mom, and two children – Sam and Amy. The kids ask really good questions, and the parents answer them, thoroughly and with Biblical truth.
Here are a few questions from the book:
- Why do people talk and joke so much about sex?
- Do people have sex when they aren’t trying to have a baby?
- What if all your friends are doing it?
- How come girls start liking boys so much when they are teenagers?
- What do they mean when they call a person gay?
- Is HIV the only disease you can get from sex?
- If God will forgive us, does it really matter if we break His rules?
See? There are some deep topics. When you read this book, you’ll be speaking some sentences that really need to be said but are rather hard to get express. Having the book helps you verbalize those realities! The entire book is written from a Christian worldview, so it constantly refers to God’s love and God’s commands.
Another beautiful thing in this book is the emphasis on clear communication among family members. I love how the whole structure of the book is parents talking with their children. We all want our children to feel free to discuss sex with us, but to be honest, it can be very uncomfortable for them and for us. This book really helped me say things that needed to be said but under the “cover” of a book. And once the things were out in the open, it didn’t feel so awkward to discuss them anymore. So really this book is as much for parents as it is for their children. That theme of family dialogue is reinforced with the black and white photographs in the book featuring a family talking at the dining room table or on the sofa.
As I did with It’s So Amazing, I didn’t omit anything in reading this, but I did stop and discuss some areas I felt the authors didn’t address adequately. Because of the nature of the topic, you don’t want to have to edit on the fly. Be sure to pre-read the book and identify any trouble spots. Decide how you’ll handle them before reading. This book is designed for ages 8-11, but it’s almost impossible to assign an age range to this kind of topic. You just have to see for yourself. I was thrilled that it was just right for my ten year old daughter.
There are no illustrations or diagrams in What’s the Big Deal. It’s completely text. That’s why I feel that It’s So Amazing and What’s the Big Deal are perfect complements to each other. One is visual and funny. The other is text based and Biblical.