Monday, February 11, 2013

A Parent's Guide to Understanding Sex and Dating: Beyond the Birds and the Bees

This past year, I had the wonderful opportunity to write two books. The first, Leading Up: Finding Influence in the Church Beyond Role and Experience, released last December, and I've been deeply encouraged by the stories and feedback I've received. The second book, A Parent's Guide to Understanding Sex and Dating: Beyond the Birds and the Bees, is one I co-authored with my good friend Marko as part of a five-book series for parents of teenagers. I'm so stoked because it releases later this week, just after Valentine's Day!

From the back cover:
Helping your child make wise choices about sex and dating requires more than just one chat. It's about buiding bridges of ongoing dialogue throughout the teenage years. But youth workers Mark Oestreicher and Joel Mayward realize many parents don't feel comfortable or prepared to have these kinds of conversations. That's why they wrote A Parent's Guide to Understanding Sex & Dating: to equip you to initiate healthy, honest discussions with your teenager. This book will also help you understand some of the relevant trends and issues in today's youth culture. Your role as a parent is to do more than provide your teenager with information about sex and dating. You have the opportunity and the calling to help your child live wisely and honor God in this sometimes tricky, occasionally awkward, and always vital area of life.
Here's what I think readers will love about this book:

It's relevant. Sex. Dating. The hook-up culture. Pornography. Oral sex. Masturbation. Modesty in clothing. Homosexuality. It's all covered in here because it's what teenagers and parents are navigating right now. Apart from an actual biology lesson, we tried to give tons of up-to-date information on what the teen sexuality climate is truly like in the modern North American culture. Both parents and youth workers will find lots of practical wisdom regarding sex and dating.

It's short. At around 70 pages long and with an informal tone, you could probably read this book in an hour or two. That's the point--a busy parent might not have time to read a theological tome on the current societal, biological, and theological concepts regarding sexuality, but they might have time to read a brief practical theology on sexuality aimed particularly to parents of teens. Speaking of theology...

It's theological. Far too many teen dating books published by Christian authors are simply opinions or personal experiences presented as universal truth. Instead of claiming the one "biblical" way to date or have sex, this book offers a theological framework and invites parents and teens to think theologically about sexuality. Let's just say that we talk about the imago dei a LOT.

It's all a conversation. This entire book is about healthy dialogue and communication between teens and parents. I love that this book has two authors, because Marko and I bring unique perspectives and stories regarding sexuality, two distinct voices in harmony about God's design for sexuality. I also love that it's part of a series of books from a variety of insightful voices about teen guys, teen girls, teen brains, and social media. A parent with all five of the books would be well-equipped for the teen years.

A Parent's Guide to Understanding Sex and Dating officially releases on February 15, just in time for your youth ministry's sex and dating teaching series. Youth workers and parents: get two copies; one for yourself and one to give away to a parent of a teen.

You can buy a copy of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Sex and Dating from The Youth CartelAmazon.com or Simply Youth Ministry for only $6.99.

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