It finally happened!
About six years ago, I started working on a project. I wanted to research the intersection of Christian faith, sexuality, and teaching. That led me to my Ph.D. dissertation, where I tried to tie these things together, standing largely on sociological theory. I absolutely loved the insight I gained from that study and wanted to share it with everyone I could.
Problem: No one wants to read a dissertation (rightly so!).
I had a thought. "Maybe I could write a story that is easy to read and kind of fun, but also puts the best insight from all my research into the hands of moms and dads who are just trying to get through the day and don't have time to read tomes on sexuality."
Friends, that thing has happened. It's here. You can buy it and everything.
I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified.
Thrilled. I think this little book packs a lot of important research and insight (from myself and loads of great scholars) into creating home environments where sexuality can be spoken of openly, positively, and constructively. It includes a workbook section that helps parents get started on creating a new culture in their homes right now. In the years since I started talking with students and families about sexuality, I've been increasingly convicted that this is the conversation area for families and churches that want to raise healthy kids. There is no more pressing topic on the minds of young people than sexuality. If parents cannot talk about it with their kids, it is defacto abandonment - leaving kids to navigate their own experience and the absolute flood of cultural noise about sexuality on their own. This is a topic that has captured my heart and I think this little book can help people get started. Thrilled.
Terrified. I'm a first-time writer. I'm self-publishing because I do not have a social media platform that captures the attention of publishing houses. I have read this book 10 million times and I know for certain that it is still going to be imperfect - and I don't have a professional editor to blame its imperfections on. But, it's time to put it out there. Putting something like this out in the world also means that I'm inviting the criticism of the world. Terrified.
Why am I doing this? Because in my experience, the combination of overwhelming thrill and (almost) crippling terror usually points to something done in faith, which has always been my goal.
So, here it is. I'd love for you to pick one up and maybe share one with a friend (the kids need new shoes!). My prayer is that it helps get conversations started in homes, churches, schools, and other spaces where people who care about kids are gathered.