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Book Review – God Made All of Me

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Book Review – God Made All of Me

In recent months, the issue of sexual abuse has come to our attention as one which we can no longer ignore. This is especially true in the church where it is often brushed under the carpet and covered up. Often times it is the victim who is blamed and, in effect, re-victimized. To be clear, this hasn’t come to the forefront of our minds due to personal experience or any specific case. The sad truth is, you don’t have to try hard to find a news story about abuse. As a result, both Jami and I have a growing burden for the victims of abuse (sexual or otherwise).

Part of this process for us has been to actively research how we can best protect our children. We have taken small steps to do what we can to prevent abuse in our childrens lives. One of these small steps is simply talking about these things. At church, as much as possible  we keep our children within our field of vision and always make sure that our children never go to the restroom alone in public places. Since this has been on our hearts we were very excited to have the opportunity to review a wonderful little book called God Made All of Me by Justin and Lindsey Holcomb.

A book such as this must have been very difficult to write. No book on this topic can cover the vast amount of information that we as parents need to know. No abuse case is the same; some occur by teachers, some by family friends, and some by family members. While most victims of abuse are abused by non-family acquaintances (58%) a significantly large number of the assailants (34%) are family members. Since this book is intended to be read by parents to children, one of the things it was unable to address is the horrible instances in which a parent is the one doing the abuse. However, the purpose of this book is to get parents and caregivers an appropriate way to introduce the topic to children. In light of that, this  a wonderful resource! The obvious answer to the previous objection is that the parents who will read this to their children are not the ones abusing them, so it was unnecessary to include in the book.

God Made All of Me starts off with a wonderful note to parents and caregivers to explain the need for such a book and how we want to convey the message that all of our bodies (private parts included) were wonderfully designed to be very special. It is written in the form of a story about a mom and dad sitting down with their children to have a discussion about their bodies are and how some parts, as special as they are, are not meant to be shared and touched by others. One of the things that both Jami and I really liked was how the Holcombs explained the difference between a secret and a surprise. There are times when we don’t tell someone something because we are keeping a surprise for them. However, we should never keep secrets. After one child (David) describes what a secret is his father responds by saying,

That’s Right . . .and we don’t keep secrets because we don’t have anything to hide from each other.If anyone ever tells you to keep a secret from Mommy or me, tell us right away. You won’t get in trouble for telling us.

As simple as this concept was, it was something that neither Jami nor I had really thought much about. Abuse thrives on secrecy and the way to combat it is to break down the oppressiveness of secrets.

One of the more impressive things about God Made All of Me is the tact which the Holcombs exercised in describing body parts in the book. We have read some books intended for young children which simply went too far. There are some things that young children just don’t need to know yet. We appreciated that they chose to use the appropriate anatomical names rather than using slang or minimizing the special nature of our private parts. Parents will want to know that the Holcombs use the appropriate anatomical names for our private parts. This is important because it helps to convey the message that our bodies are special and not something to be ashamed of by using code word or by trying to make it cute rather than dignified.

We can’t say enough good things about this book. It is a wonderful book that will help parents  easily have an otherwise awkward discussion with their children. Our children had a lot of questions when we read it to them and it has opened up some doors for conversation. They even help Jami and I out by reminding us that we don’t keep secrets when we accidentally use the word.

In addition to God Made All of Me, we would like to share a few other resources that we have come to appreciate.

G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment)

God Made All of Me

REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade)


 

Click HERE to search Amazon for the best price on God Made All of Me. OR . . .
Click HERE to purchase from Christian Books

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Growth Press in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About the Authors

jlholcomb

 Justin and Lindsey live in Orlando and are parents of two young children, for whom they
wrote this book. Justin is a minister and seminary professor. Lindsey now works at home, but previously served as a case manager at a sexual assault crisis center and a domestic violence shelter. Together they conduct a variety of training seminars to service providers, churches, and organizations about how to prevent, recognize, and respond to child, sexual, and domestic abuse.Lindsey earned a Master of Public Health (Touro University) and Justin a PhD in theology (Emory University). They helped co-found REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade) and Justin serves on the board of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments).


13 thoughts on “Book Review – God Made All of Me

  1. Jen Andreason

    Oh wow. I need this really bad! I totally went through this as a child from my earliest memories to about 9 years old. No body believed me.nobody. My dad said I was a flirt and my mom eventually as I got older told me that accusing her father again would cost me my home. So I left at 14 found a job satisfying men on MY terms, and discovered that I had a lot more power than I knew. I wish they would have believed me.

    • Jen, I never cease to marvel at what God has done in your life! I am so sorry for what happened to you and amazed at God’s rich mercy. Please continue to seek Christ and return to the gospel often. The Spirit uses the gospel to break those remaining sins that cling so closely to us. I have to do this every day. Thank you for telling your story. We believe you and mourn with you.

  2. H Mendoza

    I borrowed this book from the church library and read it to the kids. They snickered and giggled the whole time. It was uncomfortable.

    • H. Yes, the kids will giggle. Especially if this is all new to them. It’s natural for them to giggle because they simply have no other way of expressing the awkward feelings. Keep at it brother! The more it is openly discussed the more open they will be to telling you if anyone approaches them.

  3. Tara

    My husband and I have been discussing these very things! It’s so disgusting how this happens to so many children and for it to happen in a church is a disgrace! We left the Catholic Church because of this but we can’t escape it anywhere. The difference I guess is in the Catholic Church it’s the priests that are pedophiles and in our Churches it’s usually a lay person but still sad how they all try to cover it up then fake compassion when things come to light. All we can do is educate our kids, make rules to keep them safe and pray. I want this book.

    • Tara please get this book! Abuse is everywhere because sin is everywhere. The problem with churches is huge. Please check out the link to G.R.A.C.E in the post and share it with your church leadership. God bless.

  4. I would highly recommended GRACE. We have a church in our denomination that used their services and it was necessary to get the church out of the picture and allow an object and trained professional handle the case. I have seen this book recommended a lot and probably need to just break down and get it. My daughters are worth it.

  5. Ryan I would love to hear about how that went once everything has calmed down. I’m glad that you guys are taking this seriously.

  6. Philemon Zeke Thedelmon

    Very good! I know there are a handful of books out there that address this with children but it is hard to find one that I trust. I like how they seem to have simplified what kids need to understand into a couple basic things. This may be the one I have been looking for.

    • Philemon I really think you will enjoy this book!

  7. Jon

    Frankly I’m tired of all the social justice warriors thinking that every secular cause needs to be taken up by the church. I’d say I enjoy your blog 99% of the time but lately you have been taking up the cause of sexual abuse. First by supporting Pastor Saeed’s wife over HIS testimony, the testimony of a man who was persecuted for Christ, and now by suggesting that the church, God’s bride need I remind you, is somehow complicite in sexual abuse. That is shameful. Of course we protect our kids from abuse by telling them to not let people touch them but when you start attacking the bride of Christ watch out because Jesus is the husband and he won’t be gentle to those who falsely accuse his bride! In most cases of alleged sexual abuse there was no abuse at all and in a vast majority where there is it was not as big of a deal as these women say it is. It’s proven that is isn’t rape most of the time but the woman seducing the man and he merely says “you look nice today” or something similar so she sees the opportunity to make some quick cash off her adulterous flirting and takes him to court. It’s proven this is the case in most cases and not actual sexual assault but our culture is so sue crazed and politically correct that women are getting billions of dollars simply for claiming rape when THEY are the ones guilty of flirting and seducing to make a profit.

    • “Social Justice Warrior”… that’s a clever phrase I’ve never heard. I appreciate your kind words about the blog. At the same time however, I would like to challenge you a bit on your beliefs about abuse. Scripture has a bit to say about a certain man who may be labeled a social justice warrior himself. His name was Josiah, a king of Judah. In Jeremiah 22 God says of him, “He defended the cause of the afflicted and needy, then it was well with him. Is this not what it means to know me?” saith the LORD.

      So here we have an interesting statement by God declaring that to defend the oppressed is to know his very heart. This is very important to understand because we all say we want to know God but we can’t truly say that we do if we turn a blind eye to victims.

      Jon, you mentioned a few times that it is ‘proven’ that most accusers make false accusations but I can’t find this statistic anywhere. That aside, don’t you believe that both the accuser and the accused have a right to have their case heard and bring forth any evidence so that the facts can speak for themselves? This is the part that is often missed for the victims. In so many cases they have to fight for their right to present the facts. All I am saying is that accusations must be taken seriously and unbiased parties should hear the facts and search for truth. There are too many cases where even this is not being done.

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