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Review: S-x Matters by Jonathan McKee

S-x Matters by Jonathan McKee

(I am so sorry, but to avoid the internet filters that wise people install, I need to alter the spelling of a crucial word.  Needing to do so is symptomatic both of our sick society and of the difficulties of dealing with it wisely.  Hopefully McKee’s book will help our families with the latter.)

Recently I reviewed More than Just the Talk by Jonathan McKee, a book aimed at helping parents talk to their kids about s-x.  To make this easier for parents, McKee also wrote a book they can give to their teens, S-x Matters, which presents truthful answers to the big questions our teens have wondered about

Closely related to the parent book, this one addresses the two common questions “Why wait?” and “How far?”  It answers the questions from the Bible and explains the Bible’s message using research and real life examples.

Why wait?—McKee takes over 20 informative pages to explain the statement, “God has given the gift of s-x to enjoy in marriage.” God does not want it to be used in any other situation, and research shows that this command is in alignment with how human beings function.

How far?—How far can people go, and when should they stop?  McKee’s answer rests on the rather obvious observation that once the process is started it is designed to be continued.  That is why it is so difficult to stop, a fact that has been known for millennia. So his advice:  don’t start the process; don’t do anything you would not do in front of your grandmother.

S-x outside marriage is a huge temptation, especially in our media-saturated culture, and it is the one temptation the Bible repeatedly tells us to flee.  McKee explains clearly what fleeing temptation means for girls and how it is different for guys.

Christians need to understand the truth, recognize natural consequences, and establish safeguards, and parents need to help their teens do these things as well as to encourage them to take responsibility themselves.

McKee also covers the dangers of porn, questions about masturbation, and the effects of abuse.  Over and over he turns to the gospel, reminding young people that Jesus offers a fresh start for everyone, whether you have sinned or been sinned against.

He also encourages young people to remain pure by pointing out that a few years of self-discipline can be traded for a lifetime of awesome connecting without baggage after marriage.  Who in their right mind would choose anything else?  But the trouble is that we are sinners and that disobedience seems so attractive.

McKee also offers some practical suggestions:

  • Marry earlier.
  • Be careful what you listen to and watch, what you wear, who you are alone with, and where you go.
  • Beware of the dangers of the internet and install safety systems.

Note:  S-x Matters is a book for teens exposed to our culture and, as such, it can be explicit. When parents wonder if the book itself could cause more problems than it solves, McKee’s response would be that our culture is explicit, and that equipping our teens requires us to be forthright.

McKee’s S-x Matters is a valuable book, especially in conjunction with More than Just the Talk (link to my review).  It is unabashedly Biblical—so much so that our huge public library refused to buy it—but it deserves a place in home, church, and homeschool libraries and would be a blessing to any community that has it in its public library.

What’s more, it is short (only 122 pages), easy to read, and contains discussion questions at the end of each chapter.  Recommended.

This is yet another book in the in the 2015 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge and is also linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, What to Read Wednesdays and The Book Nook.  For more encouragement see Raising Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Tell it to Me Tuesday.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book courtesy of Bethany House Publishers and Graf-Martin Communications. 


  1. Carol says:

    Hi Annie Kate, Just wanted to drop by & say that I hope you & your family have a restful & wonderful Christmas. I’ve appreciated your posts & a chance to get to know you a bit more this year – even if it has just been online! X

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Thanks so much, Carol! It’s been great to get to know you, too, and we’ve benefited from your book recommendations. Thank you.

      Yes, we will probably never meet in real life until eternity, but we can still get to know each other through our blogs. I am so thankful for that opportunity!

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