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Before I Was Born (God's Design for Sex) Paperback – February 28, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Before I Was Born is the second book in the God's Design for Sex series, written to be read with children ages 5 to 8. With age-appropriate, straightforward text and informative illustrations, Before I Was Born explains sex as a special gift God gives to a husband and wife and covers such topics as: * Why God made boys' and girls' bodies different * God's plan for loving marriages and families * The basic facts about intercourse, presented in the context of marital love and intimacy * Conception and fetal development * Childbirth and breastfeeding Created to answer the questions inevitably asked by young children, Before I Was Born will help you give your child a vital head start in understanding God's intended purpose for procreation and sex.

About the Author

CAROLYN NYSTROM is the author of more than eighty books for both children and adults, including What Happens When We Die?, winner of the ECPA Gold Medallion Award for children's books. Carolyn and her husband, Roger, have four children, whose early questions about sex, pregnancy, and babies prompted her to write Before I Was Born.

SANDRA SPEIDEL has illustrated ten books for children, including Coconut Kind of Day and Evan's Corner. She is a graduate of the Academy of Art College in San Francisco and taught there for six years. Her illustrations have won awards from the San Francisco Society of Illustrators and the New York Society of Illustrators.

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Product Details

  • Series: God's Design for Sex (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress (March 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600060145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600060144
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 8.4 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I purchased this for my daughter and we read it together when she had just turned 7. She had begun asking questions, and in my family the girls tend to start puberty early, so I wanted to make sure that she was educated and prepared. I wanted to find a book that would honestly discuss what sex was from a Christian standpoint. This book is exactly what we were looking for. The images were modest, yet factual, and I feel that the writing was honest without having the effect of making the conversation extremely uncomfortable. Of course, naturally as a parent I dreaded the actual explanation of the sex act itself, but my daughter was much more resilient than I realized and took it as a natural fact. I think the way the book presented it also helped contribute to this reaction.

I would like to address a few issues that I have seen brought up in other comments. It has been mentioned that the ages on the book are not appropriate, but I would have to disagree. One mistake I feel that Christians have often made in response to societies obsession with sex, is that we have tried to hide it in a closet and keep it secret as long as possible because society has made it dirty. In reality sex is a gift from God for marriage, and it is not dirty or disgusting or inappropriate at all when done in the way God has given it to us. I think it is important that children be taught this distinction. There are many stories of Christians who had sexual issues as they matured and married, because they had been made to feel that sex itself was bad. Sex is not bad, it is good, and it is from God. We as Christians have a responsibility to follow God's design for sex.
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Format: Paperback
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Before I Was Born
Carolyn Nystrom's Before I Was Born, first published in 1983 and now fully updated, is designed to teach sexual education to children ages 5 to 8. Winner of a Christian Book Award, the volume endeavors to help parents teach children about Godly sex.

The book begins by speaking to parents:

"Many forces will push your children to make bad choices about sex. From their earliest years, children are bombarded by destructive, false messages about the nature of sexual intimacy. These messages come through music, television, the Internet, discussions with their friends, school sex-education programs, and so forth...We believe God means for Christian parents to be the primary sex educators of the children. First messages are the most powerful; why wait until your child hears the wrong thing and then try to correct the misunderstanding?"

Next, the author stresses that each and every one of us was made by God. The Lord knew everything about us before we were born - even our names. After he made the earth and called it good, he made a man and woman and "He said, 'I made their bodies wonderful.'"

Boys, we learn, have a penis and scrotum; the penis sometimes gets hard for a few minutes "but most of the time it stays soft and close to the body." Girls have a vagina, which is a special place where a baby can grow. God made boys this way, so that one day when they grow up and get married, they can make a baby. Eventually, all little boys and girls grow up. Men get hairier and their bodies produce semen. Even though the semen is "too small to see...someday he can use these to help make a baby." Women have breasts and once a month their "womb gets thick and soft. Then a tiny egg no bigger than a dot passes through it.
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8 Comments 65 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I am pretty disappointed with this book. I thought that since it is written for ages 5-8 it would be perfect to read with my 7 year old daughter. I wasn't expecting a book telling my daughter how the man "fits his penis inside the woman and semen flows inside her vagina". My daughter isn't raised with TV so maybe this book would be appropriate for a tv raised peer but not for my daughter until she is at least 10. Some of the pictures are too graphic for her as well (picture of the man in the shower, husband and wife naked in bed together and the laboring woman spread eagle). This book is too much information for a 7 year old! I wished I had read the reviews before purchasing or I wouldn't have bought it, at least not for a few more years.
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My kids come from a very sheltered, Christian home. So much, that my husband is even a pastor. I don't think anything prepares parents for when their children are exposed to sexuality much too early in life. It's unfortunate that our five year old daughter was playing "house" with a friend and learned some things she shouldn't have (yet). Maybe some parents would tell a child that they should not think about certain things or have certain questions answered until she's older, but we've always wanted to answer our kids questions very honestly and openly and this book really helped us.

By the time we purchased this book, our daughter was 6 and our son 7, which we felt was the perfect age for it. Six is probably the youngest you'd want to read it to. Be warned, this book is very blunt, has much more information than I had thought, but it actually reminded our kids of questions they'd had, but just hadn't voiced to us yet. The book briefly describes what sex is in an informative way, the way a mother gives birth, and all the parts of a child's body of both sexes. Our kids really just asked questions about parts of each of their bodies that just piqued their curiosity, not much about anything else. Kids at this age are usually innocent and just want information, since their minds just absorb facts like a sponge. We only read the book once every few months, just as a refresher, and answer any other questions that they've thought of since the last time.

Some parents might find the book having too much information, but if your child goes to public school or even has cousins or friends that do, I can promise you that your kids will learn much faster than you can imagine or anticipate.
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