What is this word, and what does it mean?
Puberty is a term that is relatively new. It is the name given to the developmental stage of adolescence. The stage between childhood and adulthood. In our modern society, we have created this term to define a time that all human beings go through. The term, puberty, is new, but the stage of development is not. Since Adam and Eve gave birth to their first children, people have been growing and developing in this same way. We are born as infants, develop into children, then go through the stage of adolescence/puberty, and then adulthood. No matter your culture, tribe, nationality, every person goes through these normal phases of growth.
Unfortunately, going through these very normal development phases of life have gotten complicated by society. Children in our culture are exposed to things beyond their mental developmental age everyday. Media is everywhere we turn in our society. Television, internet, radio, smart phones, and so much more are constantly in our children’s lives. Sending them messages that we have no control over. So what are we to do?
In our family, we decided very early in our marriage to be the primary source of our children’s education in all areas. As a child, I did not understand a lot of things due to being very hyper and having some learning delays. So, I was very confused about sex and the development of my body. Jeremy, my husband, was exposed to a lot of sexual media and talk at a very young age. So, when we got married, we decided to be sure that our children had a healthy understanding of human development and sex. We decided to start young and create an open door policy. We wanted our children to trust us to listen and not lie to them.
Over the years, we have not always made good choices for our children and have waited to long to talk with them. Too long, to ask them what their friends have said or showed them. But, we have learned as we go. In past years, we have chosen to answer questions about development and sex as they came. Then when our children hit puberty (age 10-12)taking them on an outing to talk more deeply. Then again taking them on an outing at age 15/16. We have used various Christian books during these talks. (In another post, I will explain more about the outings.)
But recently, in our home we have realized that waiting and only answering questions as they come with younger children may be asking for trouble. So, we began looking for materials to use in talking to our younger children. We found several different things out there. But then one day this past winter, I asked the author of some of my favorite Bible study curricula, if I could share her materials at a homeschooling event where I was speaking. She said yes, and sent me downloads of books I had not yet purchased from her. One of the books she sent me was called, “the Talk, Seven lessons to introduce your child to Biblical sexuality.” I had not even realized her husband had done a book on sex ed.
When I opened this very simple seven lesson handbook, I was extremely impressed. It was exactly what I was wanting. The cool part was it was written in the same format as their other Bible studies. A very simple and easy to use lesson plan. Not only was it simple and easy, but it was a family study. I could use it with all my children at one time, or I could use it as a one on one Bible study. I read the book from front to back in less than a half hour. I was so impressed with it, that I called my husband at work, and told him I wanted to discuss it as soon as he got home from work that day. He was a little nervous about the content being too much for a young child. But as he read the opening explanation of why Luke wrote the book, he knew we needed to do this. Our six year old was curious and it was time to be sure he had the “right” answers. So, that very week. We made “the Talk” our nightly Bible study, after putting the preschoolers to bed. Everyone of our children participated in the class from Tyler Ann, age 19 down to Stephen, age 6. Davey and Lizzie also did this Bible study with us. Even though they may not understand it all, we feel it is important that we educated them as best we can.
Jeremy was nervous about teaching the lessons. The seven lessons are: God made them Male and Female, Go Forth and Multiply, Wonderfully Made, The Two shall become One Flesh, You shall not commit adultery, Do not violate me, and Bought with a price. These seven lessons cover the difference between male and female anatomy, how a baby is made, the beauty of sex in marriage, the sin of sex outside of marriage, the warning of sexual predators, and the beauty of sexual purity. All written at a level for a six to ten year old. I too admit, I was nervous if the younger boys were really ready for this. But it turned out they were the ones who seriously loved the lessons and learning. They had great questions and really wanted to understand.
So, after having such a positive experience with this first book. I was so excited when the writers asked me to review the sequel. The sequel is called “the talk: Changes, seven Biblical lessons to make sense of puberty.” I was so excited when I received my copy of this book in the mail this week. Just in time for my son, Jeremiah’s twelve year old outing. Jeremiah will be going on his puberty outing with his dad and two older brothers in December, when Daniel is home for break. We are so excited about this new book.
The first reason we are excited about this book, is because like all of Intoxicated On Life materials it is Bible solid. Every lesson has a Bible passage to read and apply to it.
Secondly, I like that it builds on the foundation we already established with the first book. Jeremiah already has those first seven lessons to grow on.
Third, the lessons are simple and easy and can be done in a matter of days. It is a very short book that get’s right to the point. No beating around the bush.
Fourth, the words are given to you, the parent, to make it less awkward. You can actually read them right of the page if you need to.
Fifth, the topics covered are perfect for this stage of life. The chapters in this book are:
Just like Jesus: Growing in Wisdom and Stature
This chapter makes it clear that everyone even Jesus goes through these changing times of growing up.
Puberty: Just One of Many Changes
This chapter covers the different changes that humans go through all through life not just at puberty, and assures the child it is perfectly normal.
Hormones: The Catalyst of Change
This chapter discusses the hormonal changes that take place in our bodies in terms a 10-12 year can understand.
Girls and Boys: Changes we can both expect
This chapter discusses the different changes for both boys and girls during puberty.
Girl Changes: Becoming a Woman
This chapter zooms in on the changes of a girl into womanhood.
Boy Changes: Becoming a Man
This chapter zooms in on the changes from boyhood to manhood.
Changes in Desire: The Goodness of Sexual Attraction
This chapter helps prepare the child for the change that comes with physical attractiveness to the opposite sex.
Each chapter gently and pointedly explains the beauty of God’s design in human beings, and also the blessing of growing and changing and maturing into adulthood.
Over the years, I have read and used many different books in teaching our children about human anatomy, puberty, sex, and purity. I can honestly say these are the best books I have read. They are so simple and easy to use. They leave nothing out, and they bring God into the proper place in all of it. I can’t wait for them to publish the final book in the spring of 2016.