It may be tempting to just give this book to your teenager and say, “Here, read this.” However, unless your teenager is different from those I know, it won’t work. The book will never be read. After all, a grown-up thinks this is good for her, and we all know how boring other “good for you” books like Shakespeare and Longfellow turned out to be. Another bad tactic is to stress how much the book will teach her about things she doesn’t already know. Most teenagers are inflicted with the disease of thinking they know everything. Reading the book would be admitting that they don’t know everything about sex. I strongly recommend sitting down for an hour or so a day and studying the material with your child. This is the only way you can guarantee that the Scriptures are read and understood. If you insist on having your child study the material on her own, the best suggestion that I have heard is to sit down in the evenings and read the material where your daughter can see you, and then leave the book out on the coffee table. After a few days, her curiosity will lead her to look inside, and I hope the book will be interesting enough to hold her attention. Don’t mention the book until you know she has been reading it for a few days. I would then suggest asking what happened to the book and begin talking to her about the contents.
I have a few suggestions for using this book as part of a class, whether in church or at home with your own children. When the girls have reached puberty, around the age of 12 for most children, place them in a separate class to teach them this material. Both the students and the teacher will find the material in this book embarrassing – too embarrassing to talk about in detail if men are a part of the class. Another series is available that addresses the same topics and Scriptures from the male point of view. Please use the other series in a separate class for the boys when they reach puberty.
The material in this book assumes that the girls have already reached puberty. This book will answer many questions every girl has when she finds out she is changing into a woman.
I urge you not to postpone the material for too long. The public school system, television shows, and peers will be teaching the girls many things that would be best to straighten out early. We also know that many children begin experimenting with sex shortly after they are capable. Rutger’s University’s National Marriage Project issued a report on July 1, 1999. One finding they gave was that over half of teenage girls have had sexual intercourse by the age of 17. Even more disturbing is that these numbers have risen rapidly over the years. Attitudes towards sexual sins are also dramatically changing. The percentage of teenage girls who said having a child out of wedlock is a “worthwhile lifestyle” grew from 33 percent to 53 percent during the 1970s and 1980s. It is better to prevent a sin than to restore someone from that sin.
When teaching the material, have the students take turns reading each passage aloud. Don’t trust that these verses will be read at home. After each reading, explain the meaning of the phrases that may be confusing to the students. Most girls don’t recognize the terminology dealing with sex; they have just become fully aware that sex exists and is relevant to them.
Don’t count on long class discussions. If you think this material is embarrassing, the girls will find it even more so. You will find that the students will tend to answer direct questions in as few words as possible. Although you encourage the girls to ask any questions that they may have, and you give them frequent opportunities to ask those questions, they may be too embarrassed to put their questions in verbal form. Watch their body language to see if they understand the material.