Monday, February 9, 2009

Books that freak out my kids. . . again. . . .

Last week I blogged about sending my 16-year-old son over the edge by laying on the couch and reading Twilight. This weekend I tried to be a bit more covert in my reading by hiding out in a corner of the living room with the latest book on my list. I figured that if I sat on the couch in the room least-frequented by my kids, I'd be safe. Not so. One of them caught a glimpse of the book's title as it sat unattended on the end table. It wasn't long before word of what I was reading and resulting waves of disgust spread through the little community known as my four kids.

This weekend's little book was one I found on the "new books" shelf at our church library a few days before. I was the first one to sign it out, meaning that for as long as the little book lives, my name will be inscribed in ink for all to see on that little white card that sits in the manila sleeve on the back inside cover. More reason for my kids to be embarassed!

The book I'm talking about is one that I'm going to be recommending widely. It's C.J. Mahaney's Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know. Another in Mahaney's series of thoughtful and biblically-sound little books, this one packs a major corrective wallop that needs to be heard both by our sex-worshipping culture, and a contemporary church that's allowed itself to be informed on all matters sexual more by the world, than by the Word. This is a book that reminds us that every "whatever" we do, should be done to the glory of God. We exist for Him, and His wonderful gift of sexual intimacy brings glory to Him and great satisfaction and pleasure to ourselves when we experience it as He intended it to be. From his first chapter ("Great Sex to the Glory of God") on, Mahaney calls his readers to love their wives by embracing God's best for their sexuality. This is a little book that I'm going to have my sons read. At the end of the book, Mahaney's wife Carolyn writes a helpful word to wives on the same subject. In a world that winds up getting everything so incredibly wrong, this is a phenomenal book.

But don't stop with Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the May 1 release of a wonderful new book on the same subject by my friend Dennis Hollinger. Dennis allowed me to read his new book, The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life, several months ago. In this wonderfully deep yet incredibly accessible and practical treatment of sex and sexuality, Dennis combines Biblical studies, theology, ethics, sociology, and a timely understanding of contemporary culture in what I believe is just what's needed in today's world. Even though the book isn't out for a couple of months, I'm already recommending it to parents, youth workers, and college students as a must-read.

As Dennis Hollinger writes, "we live in a sex-crazed world." Like the ancient Athenians whose landscape was littered with and covered by phallic monuments to their idolotrous sexual practices, we too are worshipping the Creator's good creation more than the One who made those good things. That's certainly true for sex and sexuality. By doing so, we take a wonderfully good thing in terribly bad directions. . . . and it's killing us.

For those of us who are older and who should be wiser, start reading. And who cares if your kids see you. . . they need to. Don't just read this stuff. Talk about it. And then someday, your kids will be able to disgust your grandkids!

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