Sex; What They Don't Tell You. Why Wait for Marriage? Forum held
Believing that youth should know how important it is to abstain from sex before marriage, ULTRA Teen Choice held a forum Monday night at Mt. Bethel Baptist Church entitled “Sex; What They Don’t Tell You. Why Wait for Marriage?” as part of Abstinence Awareness Week, March 6 to March 12.
They don’t tell you that 1 in 16 teen girls 15 to 19 years old gets pregnant each year in DC, said guest speaker Tara White, author of “Don’t Curse Your Wedding Bed Before You Say I Do,” who is now on a mission to help singles understand the value of abstinence.
I’m happy to talk about the benefits of waiting for marriage, she said, pointing out that abstinence is the only sure prevention, one of the advantages. Forty-two percent of DC high school students have never had sex, she reported.
“You’re worth the wait” and “valuable in the sight of God,” she told the audience.
Another reason to wait for marriage is to save yourself from possible heartbreak, she said, admitting that she had had problems in her relationships.
In relationships you both need to be reconciled with Christ and then with each other, she added. My husband and I were first reconciled with Christ the newly ordained minister said.
The forum included a panel discussion lead by moderator Erica Smith, a senior marketing major at Howard University who has served as a STAR (Students Teaching Abstinence & Responsibility) Guide for ULTRA (Urban Life Training & Reality Assessment) Teen Choice.
Sex leads to unwed pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and I value myself and I believe I’m worth the wait, Miss Smith said in explaining why she is abstinent.
Panelist Richard Urban, executive director of ULTRA Teen Choice and the father of a 22-year-old daughter, spoke from a parents’ perspective, saying the parents can have an influence on their children by setting a high standard and letting them know that you don’t approve of premarital sex. He said studies have shown that children are less likely to be sexually active when they have a good relationship with their parents and their parents make it clear they don’t want to them to have sex before marriage.
They don’t tell you that you can be abstinent and that being a man is being able to say no, said panelist Derrick Cuffie, who thanked God that he was 28 and still a virgin.
To explain both the benefits of abstinence and why he decided to be abstinent panelist Jose Ferrete told of his being in a car accident. The car was badly damaged. He got out of the car and realized that the car could be fixed or he could buy a new one but he couldn’t buy a new body. He said we could choose to take care of our bodies and or we can abuse our bodies and when you’re using your sexual parts you can get sexually transmitted diseases.
Panelist Vernial Batts said he believes God made sex to be enjoyed with in confines of marriage and that he believes everybody has the right to choose whether or not to have sex.
What they don’t tell you is that if you don’t know God you’re going to give in (to peer pressure), said panelist Ongel Dasilva. She said she follows God and that she believes God knows that abstinence before marriage is best for her.
In response to moderator Erica Smith’s question about what are black women to do when they’re not married and older since marriage is down, especially among black women, panelist Alicia Taylor said she was a virgin and wanted to get married. She felt that black women weren’t getting married because they had very high expectations of their men. She said they realize they’re lonely and need to balance what they want with what they need.
Panelist Teresa Sule, responding to a question about knowing if the couple is really in love and ready for marriage and sex, said you have to control your emotions since emotions can make you do things you shouldn’t be doing.
“You have to understand that you can’t act emotionally,” she added.
She said you can read your Bible and go to church and fellowship and determine whether it’s love or lust.
Moderator Erica Smith said she knew men who were abstinent and felt pressured to hide their status and wanted to know what motivated the men on the panel to participate and how they influenced other young men to be abstinent.
I feel like it’s my purpose to be an example for others that it’s possible to be abstinent, said Mr. Cuffie, a Worth the Wait Revolution representative. He said he believes that young people are worth the wait.
The program began with a prayer by Mt. Bethel Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Robert Livingston and ended with a call to action by Mr. Urban.