A Resource for Teenagers About ‘Attraction, Identity, and Relationships’

It’s no small task to talk to your child about sexuality, relationships, and gender with a biblical framework. In an increasingly complicated landscape, parents would be wise to equip themselves— and their kids— with encouraging, practical resources that point them to the deeper truth of God’s good design for sex, gender, and relationships. Enter Jennifer M. Kvamme’s excellent new book, More to the Story: Deep Answers to Real Questions About Attraction, Identity, and Relationships. 

Though written for teenagers, Kvamme’s book is also an excellent resource for parents. She navigates teenagers’ big questions on tough topics such as gender, pornography, dating, and attraction— just to name a few— using Scripture as her guide. More to the Story is encouraging, practical, honest, and most importantly, points the reader to the God who redeems every part of us. As a bonus, every chapter includes reflection questions which would make an excellent starting point for meaningful conversation with your teenager. 

Below, we’ve collected a stand-out quotation from several of the chapters, which are noted by title below. If you’re curious to know more, consider checking out More to the Story for both yourself or your teenager. 

Sexuality as a Glimpse of Something Deeper

“Our sexuality is one way God helps us understand just how fully he knows us, how deeply he cherishes us, and how passionately he desires for us to return to his love…Marriage is not the deepest possible intimacy not sex the most intense possible pleasure…. Marriage and sex, even at their best, are faint shadows of something infinitely greater: the relationship with God for which we were ultimately designed.” (18)

The Enemy Who Works to Sabotage and Destroy What’s Good 

“We were created to be in perfect relationship with God and with each other. Our sexuality was a gift meant to be life-giving, experienced in faithful and sacrificial love— and it was meant to point us to the depth of God’s love for us. It was not meant for pain, shame, or anxiety” (29). 

The Savior Who Brought Compassion and Redemption

“It’s a certain hope that, when we trust in Jesus, the struggles and longings we experience will not be permanent— and are not wasted. Jesus can heal your past scars, forgive your past sins, and invite you into a future that is free from shame and full of joy” (35). 

Why Does God Care What I Do With My Body If I’m Not Hurting Anyone? 

“If you ever find yourself hating your body, remember that Jesus died to save it. Your body is integral to who you are, and it’s more precious to God than you can imagine” (48). 

How Do I Figure Out What Really Makes Me Me? 

“Accepting God’s identity for us instead of figuring it out on our own isn’t always easy. Jesus said, ‘if anyone would come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.’ But it is always good, because God knows us better than we know ourselves, and he has plans for us that are better than we can imagine” (60). 

What Am I Supposed to Do With Such Strong Feelings? 

“In the end, desire is really meant to lead us to Jesus, the only one who can fully fulfill us and give us the things we need or long for. This means that when we surrender our desires to him— thinking we are giving up something dear— we actually find something better on the other side” (69). 

Why Does It Matter What Pronouns I Use? 

“Gender, then, is not primarily about feelings and expectations; it’s about created design. God created the two sexes as distinct, complementary, and purposeful. Whether God created you male or female, he’s gifted you with that identity and he wants you to live out your manhood or womanhood in a way that images your Creator and contributes to the world around you” (77). 

Is the Bible Really Against Gay Marriage? 

“Marriage is a story. It’s a piece of art. It’s a lived experience that’s meant to point to something outside ourselves, something that’s better. It’s painting a picture of humanity’s relationship with God. When it’s wrongfully used, then, it distorts this picture. It gives us wrong ideas about God, ourselves, and the story he’s writing” (110). 

Porn and Virtual Sex Don’t Hurt Anyone, Right? 

“Porn is always dishonoring to the people involved and to the God who created them in his image. It is an abuse of our sexuality, which he designed to be used to love, serve, bring life, and reflect him” (123). 

It’s Worth the Cost

“In following Jesus, we lay down the right to call the shots for our own lives. We choose not to be identified by our sexuality, ambitions, or gifts, but to be identified as servants of Jesus Christ. This central identity then shapes everything else about our lives” (153). 

Check out the featured course on Rooted Reservoir Family Discipleship: “Parenting and Pornography.”