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
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
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!!!
Also available at
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Books for Youth
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Stenzel's Web Site
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