Braden Benson’s Review of HELP! OUR SEX LIFE IS TROUBLED BY PAST ABUSE, by Nate Brooks and Anna Mondal

Published on February 15, 2021 by Benjamin J. Montoya

Shepherd Press, 2020 | 64 pages

A Book Review from Books At a Glance

By Braden Benson


In the biblical counseling office, many issues relating to marriage involve sexual intimacy. When a counselor is attempting to help the couple work through these issues, sometimes past sexual abuse is revealed that seems to be orchestrating the current problem. This little book adequately deals with delicate and intricate issues that usually go unspoken in the biblical counseling world.

Nate Brooks and Anna Mondal provide a comprehensive yet small resource on the specifics of addressing current sexual troubles stemming from past sexual abuse in marriage that will serve as a lighthouse in the storm for many marriages and counselors. Every paragraph carries a weight with it that is informative, helpful, and gracious as they seek to point couples who are lost back to the redeeming grace of Jesus Christ.

The book flows so that every question the reader has is known and answered in the following pages. It has easy readability for such a somber and delicate subject that does not drag or discourage the reader in any way–something that one would not expect when dealing with the subject.

Brooks and Mondal begin by laying out shocking and harrowing statistics that should alarm any pastor who reads them. They point out the huge scope of problem that no one seems to be talking about and offer a starting guide to venturing into these challenging situations.

In the first chapter, the reader meets two different case studies that many biblical counselors will be quite familiar with at the outset. However, Brooks and Mondal cut deeper into the core of the issue in highlighting the spouse-to-spouse dynamic of dealing with each other’s past abuse. Brooks and Mondal give a sharp reminder of God’s purpose for marriage and how when one spouse has an issue, it is not just their issue, but since they are “one flesh,” it now becomes both of their issues.

Readers of current Christian literature may expect this work to begin with a lecture about God’s plan to “make all things new.” However, Brooks and Mondal subvert these expectations by giving a tour of the Bible’s many accounts of sexual assault. These accounts highlight real people in real situations, which serves to help survivors root their story within God’s story. They delicately remind the reader that God’s “… beautiful promises do not necessarily take the nightmares away” and that “some tears are not wiped away in this life.” Nevertheless, it is worth the fight to glorify God by dealing with the heart of these issues and not just trying to manage them.

Anna Mondal introduces the third chapter with her own testimony of sexual abuse that certainly validates the book’s authenticity. The account gives a vivid picture to help someone who may not have suffered sexual assault to identify with those who have. Brooks and Mondal use this to lead into a very detailed and practical application of helping a spouse understand how to have empathy, which is usually lacking in some marriages regardless of their history. In order to grow together under the shadow of past sexual abuse, both spouses must understand this critical concept of “one flesh” and how Jesus redeems us so that we may love one another in a more tender and empathetic way.

Whereas most mini books might stop after explaining the problem, followed by a brief pointing to Scripture, Brooks and Mondal go into an efficient guide to cultivating marital intimacy amid the presenting issue. The book includes many practical tips, solutions, and alternatives with a detailed guide for both parties involved to engage past abuse adequately.

For someone who might be skeptical of mini-books, this one proves to be the most in-depth and helpful one on the market. There is little to criticize, if anything. Brooks and Mondal have given a large gift in a small size to the biblical counseling community that will help many marriages to come when facing the delicate present due to a harsh past. They take the ambiguous Christian platitudes that one expects and put them into practical tips to help any couple suffering from sexual issues. For someone who is looking to cultivate “… a God-honoring, mutually joyous sex life with your spouse…” then this book is for you.


Braden Benson (MDiv, MACC, Reformed Theological Seminary – Charlotte) serves as a counselor at The Owen Center in Auburn, AL.

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Shepherd Press, 2020 | 64 pages

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