Relationships and sex education in secondary schools and relationships education in primary schools are going to become statutory subjects from September 2020. There has been a lot of debate about this move, with some parents happy that schools will need to improve their teaching on this subject, and others having concerns about what will be taught. This debate has highlighted the need for good quality Christian resources to support parents in their conversations with their children about relationships and sex.
Sarah Smith has been working in relationships and sex education for 15 years, including 2 years in Uganda, and she has written a book called ‘A Guide to Growing Up’ which is aimed at 11-14 year olds. It is about our bodies, growing up, puberty and sex and it explores these hot topics in an open, frank, relevant and Biblical way. It seeks to remove the embarrassment that can surround these issues and instead shine God’s light onto them. It explains how amazing our bodies are, especially with regards to our sexual organs and it places a very high value on sex, talking about how wonderful it is and why it is God’s ideal for sex to be enjoyed within a loving marriage.
It builds self-esteem in children and young people by helping them to feel comfortable about their bodies and it equips them to navigate through the physical and emotional changes that puberty brings.
Written with the help of young people, the book confronts the issues and consequences of accessing and being exposed to sexual imagery and gives practical ways that children and young people can handle these challenges and seek to lead a Godly life in today’s ever-challenging society. Full of brilliant illustrations by Alex Webb-Peploe, the book is a hit with both young people and adults, with even married people saying they have learnt a lot from the book!
Sarah says, “Young people, of course, have a natural curiosity to find out about sex. There is plenty of unhelpful, unhealthy and inaccurate information about relationships and sex online, so I wanted to provide a credible alternative. The book helps answer some of the questions I often hear in the classroom and in youth clubs, and it seeks to give young people solid and relatable teaching that supports them in their journey to adulthood.”