Larry Christenson, The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2000)
As parents in today’s world, one of our most challenging tasks is to teach our children sexual purity. Part of that job can be accomplished through avoidance of sexual evil found in much of the media today. But avoidance can only go so far; we should also take a proactive role in educating our children about God’s plan for sexuality in their lives. When many of us have made mistakes in our own sexual past and lack positive role models in sexual education, how can we instill Biblical values into our children? Larry Christenson’s book, The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made, gives parents an amazing tool for opening clear lines of communication with their children about God’s gift of sexuality.
Larry Christenson’s book, The Wonderful Way Babies Are Made, gives parents an amazing tool for opening clear lines of communication with their children about God’s gift of sexuality.
In his introduction to the book Pastor Christenson writes, “We have attempted to be open and direct with children about human sexuality and reproduction without resorting to a clinical or scientific approach. A child’s first need is not a blizzard of scientific information, but help in shaping a basic Christian attitude toward human sexuality.” (2) Christenson accomplishes this through a dual text. Each page of the book has a short poem that parents can read aloud to a young child. Also, there is smaller print with more complex explanations that older children can read to themselves.
Christenson begins this wonderful story at the creation of the world. He explains that God created everything, and it is His privilege to let living things help in creating living things just like themselves. From there, he progresses to explaining specifically how reproduction works in humans (at the two different comprehension levels) using anatomically correct vocabulary, and validating the bond of marriage: “[Intimacy] is His beautiful gift to husbands and wives to bring them happiness all of their lives” (30). Information is given regarding the growing of babies in-utero, childbirth, adoption, and the important job of mothers and fathers. The book brings all of the earlier knowledge together in describing the Virgin Birth of Jesus, God’s own Son.
Children will be drawn in by the beautiful artwork of Cheri Bladholm which adds more than just color to the pages; positive, loving, natural families are pictured, helping children associate sexuality with positivity when it is linked to marriage. My own daughter especially likes looking at the babies in “mama’s tummy.” (Pictures of the pregnant mothers show a baby growing inside.) The book provides young children with answers to their questions in a biblical manner and creates a trusting environment between parent and child for future conversations about sexuality.
At the end of Christenson’s introduction to The Wonderful Way, he gives sound parenting advice: “If we do not share with our children the wonderful way babies are made, they will pick up this information elsewhere, and probably in a distorted fashion. Why let secular society shape the attitudes of our children in so important an area of life? God’s way is better: Let them receive it from their parents!” (2)
Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator (Consortium for Classical Lutheran Educators), author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).