Archives For August 2014

The Sex Ed Book List I Promised

I have intentionally been doing some parental "continuing education" on the topic of how to talk to your kids about sexuality. In last Monday's post, Sex Education: 8 keys to talking to your children, I mentioned I had been doing some reading. Some of you messaged me wanting to know what I had been reading, so today I am sharing some of the resources I have been reviewing. Some of them were new to my library....and some were trusted standbys that I reviewed with fresh eyes.

Please do not take this as an exhaustive list. In fact, I will be adding to it over time. But each of these titles has been significant to me, so perhaps they will also help you!

I cannot endorse every idea in all these resources. Please note that I believe there is a great deal of room for parental style in how to present this issue! Take what you like and leave the rest....that is what I do when I read parenting books under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Books Lisa has been reading lately (Click on cover picture to order):

Books to read with kids:

Why Boys and Girls are Different by Carol Greene

The Story of Me by Stan and Brenna Jones

Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge

The Wonderful Way Babies are Made by Larry Christenson

What's the Big Deal? Why God Cares About Sex by Stan and Brenna Jones

Before I Was Born by Carolyn Nystrom

I have used each of these resources with my kids at different stages. I think they can each be effective in their own way.

Books to learn more as a parent:

Every Young Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge: This is a great discussion starter with your girls that includes a section for mom ...and then a section for mom (or dad) and daughter.

Beautifully Made: 1 Approaching Womanhood;
2 Celebrating Womanhood
edited by Julie Hiramine

Guardians of Purity by Julie Hiramine
A new read for me. Excellent book! I loved it!

Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson
This is a classic! It is so helpful to review the growth and development needs of your kids on a regular basis.

A Covenant with My Eyes by Bob Sorge
Wow ! This takes issues of purity straight to the heart!

Talking to Your Kids About Sex by Mark Laaser Ph.D.
Great help for those coming to their parenting with wounds and hurts in their past. I didn't agree with all the conclusions in the last half, but I found it very helpful.

A Queer Thing Happened to America by Michael L Brown Ph.D.
I did not know the history of the gay agenda ....which is the history of the sexual pressures of this generation. I learned so much here that is helping me explain things to my kids.

Can You be Gay and Christian? By Michael L Brown Ph.D.
This book is a must if we are to handle the theological questions our kids are bound to ask in a rapidly shifting culture.

Stormy First Week of School?

Lisa Cherry —  August 28, 2014

storm clouds 33011952_32afa56892_z Note: If this post does not apply to you perhaps you know a friend who needs some strong encouragement!

This post is for those who need a little encouragement right now.

Maybe the first week of your new school year did not go as smoothly as what you hoped. Or maybe it is even worse—it was a complete disaster!

Just this morning I was  walking in my house when a strong memory hit my mind. I remembered when my 15 year old daughter Kalyn was in the worst state after her sexual abuse. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g about my daily life became difficult.

She was Defiant with a capital D and Miserable with a capital M! (In fact, the first day of one of her semesters she protested by running away for a day!)

Let's face it. For many different reasons children can go through seasons where it feels almost impossible to have peace.

But here is my encouragement: You serve a God who is the Prince of Peace and who surrounds His people with songs of deliverance!

Draw close to Him immediately, dear parent. Do not try to figure this all out on your own strength.

He understands your disappointment and your embarrassment. And He is right there with you to bring you comfort, wisdom, and strength.

Go back and read Isaiah 61: 1-4. Take strength from those precious words of hope.

You will make it through this season of struggle. God will breakthrough with the wisdom and grace you so desperately need. Please know I am praying for you right now!

Here are some links that can help you right now to gain some fresh strength and vision.

Am I Ready for a Parenting Crisis?

Mission Accomplished: She Rebelled So Hard, But God’s Plan Prevailed

Peace in Parenting At-Risk Teens

Image: Tim Hamilton “A Storm Brewing”   via Flickr Creative Commons
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/22017189@N00/33011952/

 

Victoria_(Vicky)_Beeching_Headshot_January_2013

When stars "come out of the closet," it is noted in the news. But when the star is a popular Christian worship artist, it shakes the news.

That is what happened last week when Vicky Beeching made her announcement about being “lesbian.”

My heart hurt when I read her interview as I knew she would be used as a tool to deceive even more of our kids over these tough issues. But I felt helpless to do anything about it.

But one man did not feel helpless...or afraid! Dr. Michael Brown of Line of Fire radio produced one of the clearest and most sensitive responses I have ever seen to this type of news.

I highly recommend you take a look at this brief video and then consider sharing it with family and friends.

Image source: Wikipedia

 

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Talking with our children about sexuality is sometimes hard. :)  In my last post, I explored the reasons why this important topic is so often avoided or put off.

I have already determined that I am going to talk about it even though it makes me uncomfortable.

My children are precious, and I will not leave them to find their own way about sex with the cultural mess we are facing. How about you?

Here are 8 keys for a successful plan.

 1. Make education your lifestyle rather than an event: The concept of "the big talk" is not realistic. For just as our children do not learn everything they need to know about history from one big talk, they will not learn everything about sexuality in one sitting.  

 2. Read up on the issue yourself: Just this past summer I read two books on Christian sexuality education and our kids. I know I need a continuing education on this topic, so I keep learning!

3. Find good resources for you and your children to share together: Do yourself a favor and put some tools in your hands. Of course, we want those resources to portray a biblical worldview!

4. Read the books aloud together: Let the author say the tough words for you.....but don't just toss the book at your child and leave the room. When the words come out of your mouth, it opens the door for the words to come out of your child's mouth when they have questions or issues.

5. Admit your nervousness: Remember it is okay that you feel nervous! I find it best to let my child know that I am nervous because this is a private topic, not because it is a "bad" topic. Let them know it is okay if they feel a little nervous too! It will put them at ease.

6. Do not demand eye contact: Young teens especially are self-conscious. It is all right if they do not make eye contact in these discussions or if they giggle or sigh. Let them deal with embarrassment their own way without reproving them. Sometimes a discussion in the car is good with all eyes facing forward. 

7. Use natural teachable moments: Daily life will give you a myriad of discussion starters. Use both the positive and the negative images around you to open the conversation lines. The more you do this, the more natural this will be. 

8. Read the Bible aloud: Do you realize how much of the Bible deals in one way or another with the issue of sexuality? Let the scriptures you read as a family lead you into teachable moments. Don't skip over the texts that are there to help us. (Try Proverbs 5 and you will see what I mean!)

When I talk about this list of suggestions with parents, I usually hear three common questions:

  1. What books and resources do you recommend?
  2. What should I tell my kids at what age?
  3. Which parent should talk about which issues with the kids?

 So those are the questions I am working on next........

Image: The jbird via Flickr Creative Commons
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I was finishing my back-to-school plans this past weekend and decided to take a peek into how I was doing with each of my kids’ sex education.

Hmmm. I think each one of them is due for more conversation time with mom and even as I consider it, I must confess....I sometimes feel nervous!

Now, how could the lady who constantly writes about this issue still feel uncomfortable, you may ask?

I would say for these 5 Reasons ....

1. Sex is a personal issue.

In our sex-saturated culture, I still believe this is true... and should be true! God designed the beauty of sex to be shared only with our spouse. So the sense of embarrassment we feel is only natural. But this should not stop us from talking to our kids!

2. I want my privacy.

I want my kids to know that sex within marriage is GREAT.... but at the same time, I value my personal privacy with my husband. This quandary can, unless I work through it, cause me to keep quiet.

3. I don't want to mess it up.

Sexual values and standards are such a big deal. At the thought of discussing them I feel “performance anxiety.” I want to do this right! And anytime something is making me nervous, I am more prone to procrastination.

4. I am worried that I will violate their innocence.

What would I do if my kids asked a question that I do not know how to answer for their age? What if I give them too much information too soon, or answer it in a way that violates their innocence? Those two questions used to paralyze me with fear.

5. I have to face my own failures from the past.

I am grateful to have arrived at the marriage altar a virgin. But that does not mean I did not make mistakes that I deeply regret! Who wants to hear from your own kids...."but Mom, you did...?" Facing bad memories is never fun. But those memories can either taunt us or motivate us, I figure.

As our kids grow and mature, Doug and I want to be the ones who take the personal effort to talk with our kids! We know it is a matter of life and death!

So....that is why I have learned to carry my anxieties to the Lord and make those conversations happen in spite of my 5 hindrances.

So how about you? Will you join me in updating your sex ed strategies this year?

Come back next time and we will talk about....

 

Sex Education: 8 keys to talking to your children...even if you are nervous!

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