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A better approach to sex talks with our kids | with Sheila Wray Gregoire

How to raise girls to resist toxic Christian teachings about sex, self, and speaking up.

Season 11, episode 206
37 min / Published

Stephanie is joined by Sheila Wray Gregoire to discuss how to raise girls to resist toxic Christian teachings about sex, self, and speaking up. This conversation aims to serve parents of girls (and boys too!) from pre-teen years all to way to young adulthood.

Parents want their daughters to thrive--to be strong, confident, and equipped to step into the life God has for them. Sheila asks, “What if the church is setting our daughters up to be small? What if the most common teachings girls hear in youth group make them more likely to marry an abuser? Less likely to understand consent? And more likely to blame themselves if they are assaulted?”

Sheila and Stephanie have an hour-long conversation of which today’s episode is the first part (episode 207 will be the sequel, and will publish a few days later).

Armed with data from an all-new survey of more than 7,000 women, the authors of The Great Sex Rescue, Sheila Wray Gregoire, Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach, and Joanna Sawatsky, reveal how experiences in church as teens affect women's self-esteem and relationships today in their new book “She Deserves Better.”

They expose common evangelical teachings that can backfire: the purity emphasis that can cause shame rather than good choices, the dating rules that can prime girls for abuse, and the one overarching belief that can keep them from setting healthy boundaries.

This book tackles tough topics like:

-          The dating rule that works best—except when it doesn’t (and why we need nuance)

-          How we can talk about clothing choices without causing body image issues or blaming girls for boys’ thoughts

-          How to talk about saving sex without idolizing virginity or creating sexual anxiety

-          How we can protect our daughters from a church hurt that could send them fleeing the faith

And so much more.

"Sheila, Rebecca, and Joanna are an all-star team, confronting the harm done to our daughters in both the church and the world,” said Aimee Byrd, author of The Sexual Reformation. “The title says it all. Full stop. Our daughters deserve better! This book is full of thorough research, refreshingly commonsense biblical wisdom, and practical help on how to talk with our daughters and prepare them for confidence and maturity."


Sheila Wray Gregoire is the face behind BareMarrige.com, the largest single-blogger marriage blog. She's also an award-winning author of nine books, including The Great Sex Rescue, and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila is passionate about changing the evangelical conversation about sex and marriage to line up with kingdom principles. She lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband. They have two adult daughters and two grandbabies.

Would you be interested in joining us here in Philadelphia for a 5-year anniversary celebration of Gospel Spice in the fall of 2024? And/Or, would you be interested in joining a small group of women for a Gospel Spice Women's weekend retreat with in-depth Bible Study and fellowship? 

I need to know! please let me know by answering a short survey at gospelspice.com/survey - so that I know whether to pursue this or not. thank you!

  • the great sex rescue
  • christian approach to sexuality
  • teaching kids about healthy sex
  • christian sex
  • purity culture
  • against purity culture
  • dating
  • relationship
  • sheila wray gregoire
  • she deserves better
  • dannah gresh
  • mom daughter date
  • christian podcast
  • baremarriage.com
  • marriage and sex
Show notes



"Though it's written for moms and daughters, this book will challenge any ministry leader about ways we may have unwittingly dishonored God's desires for women and men. Then it will equip us for a better way." Jim Jackson, president and cofounder of Connected Families


"As a psychologist, I am confident in this book's sound research, evidenced-based teachings, and emotionally healthy advice. And as a mother of a girl, I am looking forward to reading this with my daughter to create new teachings for her as I reconstruct them myself." Dr. Camden Morgante, licensed clinical psychologist and coach


"For too long, we have allowed our daughters to bear the burden of bad theology about what it means to be female. Well, no longer! Sheila, Rebecca, and Joanna provide a practical, candid, and theologically astute guide for mothers and daughters that exposes harmful teachings circulating in churches today and helps women rediscover their truest selves as ones loved and cherished by God." Amanda W. Benckhuysen, author of The Gospel According to Eve and director of Safe Church Ministry for Christian Reformed Church


"In this book steeped in research and wisdom, Sheila, Rebecca, and Joanna unwind the false, shaming gospel of outward appearance and point our daughters to a true and confident faith--one rooted in a good Father who delights in his beloved and deems her worthy of healthy esteem and relationships. But perhaps one of this book's greatest contributions will be the bold conversations it sparks between parents and daughters. If you have a daughter or are a daughter, your soul needs this book." Laura Barringer, coauthor of A Church Called Tov


"Sheila Wray Gregoire, Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach, and Joanna Sawatsky's invitation to raise girls who resist toxic teachings on sex, self, and speaking up is one that I'm gladly accepting! As a parenting educator and family-life coach, I have a special heart for helping parents who have been told damaging lies by the church about what it takes to be a "godly parent" that have led to disconnection and harm in their homes. Since mentoring our daughters about sex, self-esteem, emotional health, consent, firm boundaries, and bodily self-awareness is a requirement and honor for all parents, thank God for this book that alerts us to the dangers of mainstream Christian teachings and empowers us to be bold in our parenting in a way that honors Christ and our children. I'm extremely grateful for the research and solid advice presented in this book that give myself and the parents I support the courage to do things differently. I will be recommending it to all of my students at Fresh Start Family." Wendy Snyder, founder of Fresh Start Family and host of The Fresh Start Family Show


"Raising both a son and a daughter, I see the profound need for healthy, data-driven, gospel-based resources to educate the new generation to make wise relational decisions untainted by fear or shame. We cannot effectively prepare our children for healthier relationships until we have courageously identified and untangled the false teachings that misled us in the past. She Deserves Better is more than just another book to read; it includes practical, real-life-ready discussion prompts and case-study scenarios created to spark a wide range of age-appropriate discussions between you and your daughter." Sarah McDugal, author, speaker, abuse-recovery coach, and cofounder of Wilderness to WILD

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This episode is part of the GUEST INTERVIEWS | Taste & See that the Lord is good series
Stephanie invites you to discover the amazing journeys of our guests
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