Listen, raising teenagers is hard. My pastor likens it to raising aliens, and he is not wrong. For a time there, it is pretty much like communicating with an alien race, because a lot of the time it feels like everything you do or say is either awkward or just plain wrong, especially when it comes to the “big” topics. I have two boys, and raising them to have right attitudes towards women, dating, sex, and marriage is a high priority for myself and my husband and, honestly, one I leave mostly to him. However, as the one who spends the most time with our boys, I realize that I have a lot of influence over them too. So, I was very interested to read, Love, Honor, and Virtue:Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality from Great Waters Press to see what kinds of conversations I could have with my boys, especially since they are older now.
First, let me say that this book is a great read for either parents of older children or older teens/adult children themselves. While the book itself is actually written to the guys themselves, it still offers excellent talking points for parents, especially if your teens are younger, but still “maturing” at a faster rate then you would like. Be aware that it covers multiple aspects of sexual maturity, even the ones that might make you uncomfortable to think about as a parent (but face it, just because you are uncomfortable thinking about it doesn’t mean your child isn’t dealing with it, right?) so be prepared for that. While the book is aimed at ages 12 through 20, I probably would not have addressed it with my kids at 12, but they were slow to mature, so as the parent, I would probably read it first and then decide if it suits your particular child.
I will say that as a mom, some of the topics definitely made me blush, and there are certainly some things that dads would probably naturally be more comfortable talking to their sons about. That said, this is a book I would definitely give to my husband with the intention of perhaps having him and my boys talking about it together. For an older teen who has been struggling, it might be enough to read it on their own, but for a younger teen, I think they would definitely need to talk some of the stuff over with an adult after reading some of the chapters and I don’t think my boys would feel comfortable talking to my mom about some of these topics. (but again, just because the topics may be uncomfortable does not mean they should not be discussed. In fact, in the time we live in, I believe it is very important that these uncomfortable topics ARE discussed very thoroughly with our children in order to prepare and protect them).
I believe the best way to protect our kids is to prepare them for the challenges they will face in the world and as they get older sexual temptation is one of the biggest temptations there is. As the parent it is your job to talk about the hard stuff with your kids, and honestly, I don’t think anybody really likes those conversations. Love, Honor, and Virtue might make those talks a bit easier because it gives you a common starting point to begin those conversations that can make them a bit less awkward. I would recommend you check it out. To learn more, connect with Great Waters Press here:
To see what other members of the crew had to say about this and the other book we got to check out click here: