Good Sex: What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex

Overview

Sex is everything. Sex is nothing.

So which is it? The way some people talk, you'd think sex is like food--three meals a day or else we starve and die.

On the other hand, you know sex definitely isn't nothing. It's too potent, too instinctive to simply deny. Sooner or later, everybody deals with it.

This journal, What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You About Sex, is a whole-person approach to your sexuality and ...

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Overview

Sex is everything. Sex is nothing.

So which is it? The way some people talk, you'd think sex is like food--three meals a day or else we starve and die.

On the other hand, you know sex definitely isn't nothing. It's too potent, too instinctive to simply deny. Sooner or later, everybody deals with it.

This journal, What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You About Sex, is a whole-person approach to your sexuality and God. In other words, sex is more than pelvises and plumbing. Sexuality is woven throughout all of you--your body, your mind, your spirit. It's the way we're wired. The way God wired us.

Which means that if you want the ultimate enjoyment from sex--the right person, the right time, the right motives--you've got to appreciate and work with that body-mind-spirit connection.

And this journal helps you do just that, with large doses of your own perceptions about sexuality and insight from the Bible--insight that just may surprise you, from the One who wired you to be a sexual being in the first place.

Here's some of the stuff you'll find inside:

Sextalk--Cultural and biblical messages about sex Sexual identity--How people think about sexuality Intimacy--Dating and nonsexual closeness Desire--The difference between appetites and needs Boundaries--How far is too far?
Responsibility--Our sexual responsibilities to God and each other Do-overs -- Mercy, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
This book helps teens "look at sex in the context of the whole person"—body, mind, and spirit. Written in journal format with questions to think about, talk about, and write about, it contains an abundance of space for writing and making notes. The authors give a biblical perspective by referring to many passages that offer guidance on sex. Some sections are quoted but most will have to be looked up by students as they work their way through the book. The beginning of each section has an essay to start the thought process. Topics include cultural messages, sexual identity, intimacy, understanding appetites, deciding on boundaries for behavior, and do-overs—what to do if one makes a mistake. The book concludes with answers to basic questions, a glossary of biological terms, and indexes to biblical references arranged by reference and by topic. A short section on how to help victims of sexual abuse recommends going to a trusted adult for help and gives numbers for a few hotlines to call. This book would be a valuable tool for students clarifying their own thinking on sex in relation to biblical principals. Because of the journal format, it will not be appropriate for school or public libraries but will work better for church groups. Glossary. Appendix. VOYA CODES: 3Q 2P J S (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Zondervan Publishing House, 128p, $8.99 Trade pb. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Deborah L. Dubois SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310237167
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 2/1/2001
  • Series: Other Helpful Resources Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 13 - 16 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Hancock invested two decades as a church-based youth worker. Now he spends his days writing and creating digital movies and learning designs for youth workers, parents, and adolescents. He's the author of many youth ministry resources including How to Volunteer Like a Pro and The Justice Mission, and co-author of Good Sex 2.0 and The Youth Worker's Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis. SPANISH BIO: Jim Hancock ha trabajado por dos decadas con la juventud. Ha escrito numerosos libros para padres, adolescentes, lideres juveniles y jovenes solteros. Es el productor general de una serie de videos educativos muy populares en Estados Unidos llamados Edge TV.

Dr. Kara E. Powell is executive director at the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. She has authored or co-authored several books, including Sticky Faith, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, and Help! I'm a Woman in Youth Ministry. She is the general editor for The Fuller Youth Institute E-Journal and regularly speaks at conferences and seminars. She lives with her husband and three children in Pasadena, California. SPANISH BIO: Kara Powell es profesora y directora ejecutiva del Centro para la familia y el ministerio juvenil del Seminario Teologico Fuller. Es autora y coautora de un sinnumero de libros, incluyendo Liderazgo esencial y Sexo del bueno. Es editora general del diario Fuller Youth Institue E-Journal y con frecuencia da charlas en conferencias y seminarios en temas de jovenes. Reside en Pasadena, California con su esposo y sus tres hijos.

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Read an Excerpt

Good Sex: What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You About Sex

A student journal
By Jim Hancock Kara Eckmann Powell

Zondervan

Copyright © 2001 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-23716-5


Chapter One

READ ME

AN ESSENTIAL PRIMER FOR USING WHAT (ALMOST) NOBODY WILL TELL YOU ABOUT SEX

It doesn't take a genius to know that everything we hear about sex can't be true. Some people say sex is a purely natural and biological urge, so knock yourself out-don't look for any meaning. Other people say sex is an almost sacramental act of communication between a man and a woman committed for life.

Gimme a break. How's anybody supposed to figure out the truth?

Almost no one expects an honest, well-thought-out answer from the church. Your church is probably very cool on the issue of sex, but most seem to have lost their voices on the subject. Some churches are speechless because they're just as confused and afraid about sex as everybody else. Other churches scream themselves hoarse defending positions that aren't necessarily all that clear in the Bible. And parents-not yours, of course, but most-are about as helpful as most churches. Some are just scared silent. Others have talked so much they have laryngitis. In either case, we see their lips moving, but it's hard to make out what they're saying. So a lot of us stopped listening.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a reasonable, direct, honest, genuine, hopeful conversation about sex? Wouldn't it be great to talk about God's gift of sex in optimistic-but not unrealistic-terms? Wouldn't it be wonderful to mention sex without fear or anger or pretending? Or waiting for the lecture that's sure to follow?

Well, it would be nice, and it's entirely possible. Not easy, maybe, but entirely possible. That's why we wrote this book.

Here are some of the big ideas behind What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex:

We're created in God's image, male and female.

Sexuality is a wonderful, complex gift that takes a lifetime to explore.

Sex touches every part of us. Our bodies, sure. But also our minds, emotions, spirits, and every relationship-with our families, with the God who makes us, and with everyone else.

Sex is affected by our brokenness and wrongdoing, just like everything else about us.

Sex can be rescued and renewed by the grace of Christ, just like everything else about us.

What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex is designed to help you understand sex in the broad context of your whole life.

If our strategy is to look at sex in the context of the whole person, our tactics involve a collection of self-contained-but-still-connected elements-bite-sized experiences to get you thinking and talking and deciding what you will do with God's gift of sex.

What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex is organized into seven chapters.

SexTalk-responding to the cultural messages you're wading through

Sexual Identity-thinking about the forces that shape your sexuality

Intimacy-dating and nonsexual closeness

Desire-understanding your appetites and needs

Boundaries-deciding how to conduct yourself sexually

Do-Overs-experiencing mercy, repentance, forgiveness, and restoration

(We've also added The Stuff at the Back of the Book: Plumbing and Wiring-FAQs, Back-to-Basics Biology, How to Help Victims of Sexual Abuse, and All the Sex in the Bible.)

Each chapter includes an essay and a collection of questions to think about, write about, and maybe even talk about. Look for three elements as you read.

GOD'S-EYE VIEW provides you with a biblical perspective on the topic.

THINK ABOUT IT allows you to reflect on the issues and questions listed.

WRITE ABOUT IT invites you to journal your thoughts, emotions, and ideas.

There's a logic to the order of What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex, but don't let the table of contents slow you down. If you feel the need to jump straight to Do-Overs because you or a friend needs a fresh start, then do it (as if you needed our permission). You don't have to wait until you understand everything-which may never happen-to share the truth of God's forgiveness with those who know they really need it.

In the real world, we encounter sexual information and experiences in a process that stretches over decades. And out of that process-or in the middle of it-we construct our ideas and values about sex. Most of that information, and quite a bit of that experience, is indirect. We read books and magazines and Web pages. We listen to the radio. We watch television and movies. We hang out with siblings, friends, and acquaintances. We watch our parents and other adults. We experience sexual arousal, and it takes us by surprise!

From these impressions, we construct a picture of what sex is or appears to be. And from that picture come our sexual attitudes, opinions, and actions. The picture is updated each time we encounter new information and experiences, and even in adulthood the picture is never complete as long as we're learning.

Take a moment to compare that process of learning about sex with most teaching about sex. Most of what kids get directly from adults is much less a process and much more a confrontation: "Here are the facts-remember them. This is the truth-believe it. These are the boundaries-don't cross them." But we've made What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex more of a process than a confrontation because that's how people really learn.

Once we reach puberty, we're always talking about relationships with the other gender. We're exposed to films, books, magazines, music, and television shows that constantly talk about sex, dating, love, and marriage (often in that order). We live in a human context that's often, on one level or another, about sex. It's all part of the process. Except at church (and a few other adult-sensitive settings), where grownups confront instead of process. Come to think of it, that is part of the process, whether it's a conscious choice or not. That's one reason kids grow up believing it's not safe to talk about sex when adults are around.

Let's just get this out on the table. What the Bible says about sexuality goes against almost everything else we hear on the subject. Our culture, our bodies-every fiber of our being-screams for sex early and often. But early and often isn't exactly a biblical approach to responsible, intimate, disciplined, pleasurable, committed, passionate sex. So we're in a bit of a bind. Either our culture and our bodies are right about sexual fulfillment, and God just forgot to mention it-or God is perfectly clear about the sexual experiences that are most fulfilling, useful, helpful, and ultimately pleasurable, and we just have a tough time understanding how to get there.

An ancient Hebrew ritual celebrates a fascinating process of leading children into loving obedience to their invisible Creator:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. -Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Now that's process. Sitting around the house, walking around the block, bedtime stories and morning devotions, a bracelet on your arm, a do-rag on your head-all day, every day, thinking about what God wants. People who get that wrapped up in what God wants tend to do what God wants, in the same way that people who get wrapped up in what they want tend to do what they want. Funny how that process works. Here's another idea from the Bible.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2

What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex is a process between you and God (and maybe a few people you really trust). It's an invitation to go deep into the process of being transformed by God.

We also created a package for youth groups called Good Sex. It's a resource that invites whole groups to consider, understand, and surrender their sexuality to the God who loves them and made them sexual. The youth group package covers everything in What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You about Sex (plus a bunch more) and invites group interaction and support. Your youth group leader can get Good Sex curriculum by calling 800-776-8008 or by visiting a Christian bookseller.

This book won't answer every one of your questions about sex. How could it? Instead, it's loaded with great questions to help you wrestle with God's truth and your own experience.

And that's the combination that makes the difference-God's truth shaping your experience.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Good Sex: What (Almost) Nobody Will Tell You About Sex by Jim Hancock Kara Eckmann Powell Copyright © 2001 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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