A Book Review from Books At a Glance
By Kristin Stiles
As parents, pastors, camp counselors, and youth leaders, too often it is not until the young person is already in the pernicious grasp of pornography that we are alerted to it and have to address the damage it has caused and assist him or her in seeking forgiveness and struggling for freedom. Here is a book that is proactive. Not If, But When aids parents in having the conversation with their children before the age (8 years old) that they will statistically be exposed to pornography. This book has within its covers the potential to prevent young lives and future marriages from being destroyed by the devastating effects of pornography addiction.
John Perritt has done a tremendous job in broaching a subject that is awkward and uncomfortable for any of us. He has avoided the route of “sex is bad – avoid talking about it at all costs.” Instead, Perritt makes abundantly clear again and again that sex is a good gift from God and is beautiful in the right context. He also explains how sin has corrupted that gift and how prevalent that corruption is in our society. Perritt finally describes the forgiveness that is available for those who have fallen into sexual immorality and how God has made a way for us to be made right with Him despite our sin.
Following a note to the parents and an introduction for the children, the book itself is divided into two sections: The Girl’s Story and The Boy’s Story. These stories are essentially identical except that the mom speaks with the girl about what she and her girlfriends have been talking about and viewing, while the dad speaks with his son about him and the other boys. The only critique I would have of this book is that while there are overlapping issues dealing with pornography for boys and girls, there are also a lot of differences, and I would have liked to see some of those addressed. For example, many girls struggle with romance novels that have sexually explicit scenes since females are more geared toward relationships while males are more visually enticed and much more susceptible to what we would typically call pornography. Nevertheless, this book provides a great jumping-off point to begin these discussions with your children.
Parents cannot hide their heads in the sand and think that there is no way their own children would view or become addicted to pornography. The images and language of sex are so prevalent in our society that we have to assume that every single child is at risk of falling victim to this evil. This book is an excellent resource to get the discussion going, to establish that relationship with your sons and daughters to ensure that communication is open, to instruct your children in the dangers of pornography, and to equip them to guard their hearts and minds against the onslaught of sexually explicit materials that crop up all around us.
Kristin Stiles is a home-school mom, a Sunday School teacher, and helps lead the “Young, Reading, & Reformed” children’s ministry at Reformed Baptist Church of Franconia, PA.
Buy the books
NOT IF, BUT WHEN: PREPARING OUR CHILDREN FOR WORLDLY IMAGES, by John Perritt