Catholic Mom Book Spotlight

Sex Has a Price Tag
by Pam Stenzel
Zondervan Publishing, February 2003, paperback, 144 pages
Also available at www.PamStenzel.com

 


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Parents of teens in today’s society face many obstacles in encouraging lives of sexual and moral purity.  Author Pam Stenzel, noted for her work in promoting abstinence to teens, has written a book geared towards young readers and their parents.  Sex Has a Price Tag (Zondervan Publishing, February 2003, paperback, 144 pages) discusses sexuality and self respect, providing a real-world perspective that will ring true to its intended audience.  Parents who love and care for their teens owe it to themselves and their children to open the lines of communication on these delicate topics.  Tools like Stenzel’s book and tapes of the talks she does with young adults can help families to launch important family discussions.

LH:  Thank you, Pam Stenzel for your recent book Sex Has a Price Tag and for taking time to participate in this book spotlight interview.  Who is the intended audience of your book?  Is this a book parents should read along with their teens?

PS:  I wrote the book for teens, primarily because my ministry is focused on students and I was a bit intimidated about writing a book for parents when I am in the midst of parenting my own children (daughter 18, sons 17 and 9).  I really hoped that parents would read the book along with their teen, or at least before so that they could open the discussion and talk together about the issues addressed.

LH: Pam, this book shares such an urgent message.  What is the main point you'd hope readers take away from reading Sex Has a Price Tag

PS:  When I speak to students in schools and churches around the world, I always start by saying “If you forget EVERYTHING else I tell you today, this is what I want you to hear….if you have sex outside of marriage, outside of ONE, PERMANENT, MONOGOMOUS, and monogamy does NOT mean one at a time, you will pay, there is price.  No one has EVER had sex outside of marriage and not paid.  The question we have to ask is “What is the cost, and is it worth paying”.  I guess this would also be the primary point of the book. 

LH:  How can parents create an environment in their homes that conveys a positive, pure and loving depiction of sexuality as God intended it to be? 

PS:  I grew up in church, and sometimes had weird ideas about God… that He was bored one day and so wrote the Bible and the Ten Commandments just to wreck my fun, and then just sat up in Heaven all day WATCHING me … ready with a lightning bolt if I broke a commandment!  I think it is very important that as parents we continually teach our children that God’s Law… although clear and unchanging, is not about wrecking our fun, but about giving us the best and protecting us from pain in our lives if we choose to disobey.  Viewing God as a loving Father who desperately wants us to live a life that is full and rewarding, rather than a judge just waiting for us to make a mistake, helps us see His limits as limits of love for our own good.

LH:  Pam, this book contains many testimonials and stories.  Are these true and why did you choose to include them in the book?  

PS:  The stories I included are all true, names and certain specifics may have been changed to protect the privacy … although many of the students whose story I told WANTED me to tell their story.  After 15 years of counseling teens, both in a crisis pregnancy center as well as on the road, and with literally hundreds of thousands of emails from teens around the world, it was harder to decide what stories NOT to tell.  We are working on a book that will just be a kind of “Ask Pam” or “Dear Abbey” that will give students a chance to see many more emails and stories from their peers on this subject from around the world.
 
LH:  How has your faith impacted upon your writing and counseling career?

PS:  My faith has impacted EVERY ASPECT of my writing, counseling, speaking and parenting.  None of us can compartmentalize our life … putting faith here and secular there.  Living your faith is not just about attending Mass, it is as much a part of my life Monday through Saturday.   I think one of the most important ways faith impacts my work, is that my world view is completely saturated.  I believe that there is Absolute Truth and that is found in God’s Word the Bible and centuries of church teaching.   When my child asks me what my opinion is about sex, or marriage… divorce or homosexuality… I don’t ask them to take a look at the latest opinion polls!  In fact, I will even tell them that my “opinion” on these matters is NOT important.  They have to look to truth for their answers.  I have always taught my children to ask two questions when faced with a moral dilemma or question:

          What does the Bible say?

          What would Jesus do?


LH:  Thank you again for your time and for sharing Sex Has a Price Tag with our readers.  Do you have any last thoughts or comments?
 
PS:  I would just like to encourage parents that THEY MATTER!!  What you say, how you live and the expectations you clearly communicate to your children MATTER!!  Let the eyes roll back in the heads, and the “You’ve told me a million times” lines continue…. “HERE COMES A MILLION AND ONE!”   Keep telling your kids the truth… you make a difference.  And always remember, the job of passing down your faith and values to your children is NOT the churches, it is not the Catholic schools….. IT IS 100 PERCENT YOURS!   Don’t delegate the task…. Your children need YOU!!!


 

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Also available at
www.PamStenzel.com

Related Articles
CatholicMom.com Book Club
Books for Youth
Additional Catholic Book Spotlights
Pam Stenzel's Web Site

Your purchase of this or any book through CatholicMom.com helps to support this site.  Thank You!