An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating, by Andy Braner

“What would you say if I told you I had sex?” asked my daughter when she had just turned 14 years old as we were sunning on the swimming pool deck.  My thoughts exploded fearfully in a zillion directions. Was this just a hypothetical question? What if it wasn’t? What is the right answer? How can I answer this and keep her desiring to be open and honest with me? And shouldn’t she first be asking the question “When am I old enough to date?”??
I am sure I am partly bias, but she is a blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty that turns heads, appearing much more like a college freshman than a high school freshman.  While I have tried to construct a biblical foundation of sexuality, including books and programs with biblical principles such as The Princess and the Kiss as a third grader, purity retreats as a pre-teen,  True Love Waits, I Kissed Dating Good-Bye and Every Young Woman’s Battle as a teenager, I feel like I am fighting a losing battle in our sex-saturated culture.  Now every time I bring up another book or try to talk to her about God’s way, she groans and says I don’t understand and that I can’t relate to all the pressure that she faces.    
Until I found this book.  The perfect book.  It took me so long to review it because she kept sneaking it out of my room to read it.  She said finally, the author of this book actually understands.   An Expose on Teen Sex and Dating, by Andy Braner, has opened up a panorama of topics for us to discuss about current teen culture, hooking up, and dating.  While she acknowledges that our small town in Kansas is not as ‘bad’ about ‘hooking up’ as he portrays, she says for the most part he is right on target. Andy Braner hits the nail on the head when he says the problem lies in the ability teenagers have to compartmentalize every area of their lives. That is why the programs for purity don’t necessarily work.
A youth minister and speaker who has spent many years talking with and listening to teens,  Andy Braner presents a biblical view of dating, why dating is good, how to date, how parents should handle dating, and how to handle it with dating relationships go wrong.   He believes that God ordained certain relationships to happen in His timing and backs it up with Scripture. Dating is an exercise in helping teens understand who they are compatible with and how to grow in a relationship.
I learned that my job is to simply and clearly show God’s mercy even as she wants to run away from His perfect plan.  The most powerful way to influence is to live life with her, to show her love in the midst of poor choices and to help her find Christ’s healing when brokenness happens. “The pain and suffering endured by a life in recognition of sin can often be the exact road God wants us to go down. The beauty is that God is there to make the way straight again, anytime we ask” (p. 173).
The writing style in this book was conversational and natural – it drew me in as well as my daughter not only in the topics covered but in the fluid writing style.  I very highly recommend this book to any parent of teens or those in youth ministry.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. Sounds like a book to consider... there are just no rules to follow when it comes to parenting teenagers... Could use all the help.

    Thank you

  2. Thanks Paula. I appreciate you running this story. If I can answer any questions for your readers, please know I'm available. We need to lock arms to make sure we help our teens!!