Our Readers' Opinions
February 18, 2011
Let’s advocate abstinence all the way for the youth!


Editor: Continued efforts should be made to encourage our children and youth to abstain from sexual activities for their own good.

Often times, the message of abstinence gets lost or overshadowed by a readiness to advocate the use of contraceptives, namely condoms.{{more}} Unfortunately, many adults in society say “…Even though we say abstain, the youth still get involved, so give them the condoms to protect themselves.” It is true that not all youth heed the call, but this ought not discourage responsible adults from guiding the youth on this right path – abstinence.

We must let them know: sexual relations are for mature adults, and that their focus should be on excelling in their school work. Sexual involvement negatively affects their concentration at school. It exposes them to sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, emotional hurt and added unnecessary responsibilities. Most importantly, the youth must be reminded that their bodies are God’s temples, that it “is the will of God even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.” I Thes.4:3,4.

Advocating abstinence goes hand in hand with encouraging self control. And this is a vital lesson that the youth must learn especially in this “anything goes” degenerate age. We must NOT let our children and youth feel that their passions are too strong to control. It is the mind that controls emotions and ultimately actions. God has endowed us with an intelligent mind with the ability to reason and we do not have to be slaves to our passions. We are not animals!

I know that there are still young people in our society who appreciate the importance of abstinence and who abstain from sexual activities. To them, I say, you will reap the benefits of your wise CHOICE. Exhort your peers to do the same. Young men, your greatest example, Jesus Christ, was once a young man like you. He was surrounded by the wicked and depraved in a society filled with vileness. Christ was in all points tempted as you are, yet he did not sin. You will never be called upon to bear half of the temptations that Christ bore. I appeal to you, allow biblical principles to be your rule of life and you will never go wrong! When you are tempted to do wrong, stop and pray. Think upon the revealed truths of God. The psalmist David affirms. ‘Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee’ (Ps.119:11). It is not a shameful and foolish thing to consult the scriptures to find answers to your burning questions and learn how to live aright and not to wreck and ruin yourself by being easily swayed by the persuasions of evil associates.

Young women, you need to be chaste in your behaviour. Contemplate the experience of God-fearing young women like Ruth and Esther who committed themselves to the service of holiness. Stop being loose, daring and tempting in your words, dress and deportment! God and holy angels take record of all your thoughts and actions and you will have to give account to Him. Keep yourselves pure by the grace of God. Be a true friend to your male companions by directing their mind heavenward instead of leading them into temptations through your seductive words and actions.

Adults, let us be responsible. Let’s not send mixed messages to our children. Don’t put condoms into their hands and then tell them to abstain! After telling me that his peers had received condoms that were given away at a Ministry of Health’s safe sex health promotion on February 14, a 13-year-old boy said to me: “Miss, when they give us condoms, they are saying it’s ok to do it(sex)”. I believe that when condoms are distributed to the young, even those who may not be involved in sexual intercourse may be encouraged to experiment.

I fully appreciate and advocate abstinence all the way, NOT alongside condoms, but abstinence all the way.

Ann-Marie Ballantyne