Appropriate Sexual Behaviour: What Parents Should Teach Young Ones
IT has been acknowledged that today’s youths have to grapple with a lot of societal distractions in different forms that it would take a lot of conscientious effort on the part of all stakeholders to assist them in building and leading fruitful lives.
In this age of the Internet and all it has brought in its wake, where youths are daily inundated with all sorts, growing up has never been more tasking.
With the world now a global village, it is easy for ideas to spread quickly around. Since youths are at an impressionable period of their lives, they are often the first to imbibe whatever is being propagated as the correct thing to do, especially if those behind such are considered role models or sophisticated enough to know.
It is against this backdrop that the recent legalisation of gay marriage in the United States has become a concern to many, especially in Africa, where such thing is still largely frowned upon. This becomes understandable in the light of the fact that America is regarded as the country to emulate in all things.
Again, it is no longer a secret that the rich and powerful groups behind this agenda are covertly infiltrating all countries with the view to selling their idea to all people globally. The question on many lips is: how long will it take before this group realise their ambition?
Here in Nigeria, it is pertinent to also ask how parents and such other stakeholders such as teachers and religious leaders can help Nigerian youths to build a morally sound and ‘straight’ lives in the face of this latest development.
The Guardian’s investigation revealed that an appreciable number of Nigerian youths are aware of the gay issue, which they said has been with us for quite a while. They all, however, condemn it in strong terms.
Sharon Okene, an undergraduate in a private university told The Guardian she had had a first-hand experience, when she was younger.
“When I was in secondary school, a girl approached me, saying she liked the way my hair looked and that my buttocks is very nice. She told me she would love us to be as one,” she says.
Sensing that this was not the normal, acceptable overture, Sharon said she reported the case to the school principal and the girl was expelled from the school.
“As a girl, I feel it’s not just right for a person to have sexual feelings towards the same sex because after all, there would still be need for children,” she says. “But if two men marry each other, how is this supposed to happen? It is simply not practical, as the order of reproduction is not being followed. I regard this as a very bad idea and it’s not something that should be considered at all.”
Sunkanmi Balofin, another undergraduate says he wasn’t that surprised, when gay marriage was legalised abroad.
“When I heard the news, I was not shocked because we have numerous artistes overseas, who have publicly declared that they are gay. They include Sam Smith and Jack Black among many others. To me, this not right and I believe the action should be reversed, if possible.”
On whether he has ever experienced any such thing, he says: “Yes, I had such an experience in my university, where a guy told me he liked my looks, because I am very muscular. He said he loved my manliness and confessed to me that he is gay. I told him that I’m not gay and that he should look for someone else to play his game with. I also told him that if he tried anything funny, I would report him. I decided to play smart; so, as he was talking, I was recording it on my Ipad. From then, I stayed away from him and also told my friends.”
On his part, Chinedu Obuekwe, also an undergraduate, says he is lucky in this regard, as he has never had an encounter with a gay person.
“No, I have never experienced it. God forbid that such a thing should happen to me. But I remember that when I was in secondary school, our Head boy was gay, because he had earlier attended an all boys’ school. Apart from that, I have never known or had any experience with someone who is gay,” he explains.
In his views, it is unnatural and ungodly for such a thing to be allowed. Anchoring his view on the beginning of Creation, he says that God desired only a man and woman for marriage, which was why he created both.
“If God had wanted man and man to unite, it would have been so from the beginning of creation. That the Lord created Eve, when He realised that Adam needed a companion and helpmate shows that that is how He wanted it.
To me, this is just Obama trying to do something ‘big’ for people to remember him before his tenure is over,” he says.
Dr. Debo Ayobade, a senior Lecturer in the Sociology department, University of Lagos, is totally against this development, as she says that Gay marriage is an absurd practice and anti human.
Says she: “It is not something that a right thinking person should engage in. It is against religious beliefs. Even animals won’t behave this way. I don’t know how it emerged and who thought of this insane thing.”
Would a she-goat go after another she-goat?” she queries. “Or would a he-goat sleep with another he-goat? Even in the animal kingdom, it is not done. So, why should it be allowed in a human society? And a country is trying to impose this on other countries? It should be terminated. Where is our sense of reasoning? Are we saying that animals are better than we humans? These are questions we need to answer. It is pathetic.”
Concerning how youths can be helped to put the issue in the right perspective, she says, ‘like parents, like children’
“If some parents are into such abnormal practices, it goes without saying that their children will also indulge in such, because children pick up things easily. After peer influence comes parental socialisation. The family is the one to socialize and acquaint these children with the acceptable values and norms. Children might see abnormal things as normal and not know that it is not right.
“There is a lot of moral decadence in the society today. So, parents should be very vigilant, but first, they need to purge themselves of questionable behaviours and be upright before attempting to correct their children. They should be disciplined before they could call young ones to order. If a parent is a prostitute, for instance, there is every likelihood her child would pick it up. Ayobade says.
“Religious institutions have a big role to play. Pastors and Imams should play a significant role in their various places of worship by teaching and preaching holiness. Even the traditional worshippers should be engaged in this. They should advocate good behaviours in the society.”
“On their part, youths should watch who they interact with. They have to choose their friends and not their friends choosing them. An adage says, ‘show me your friend and I will show you who you are.’ Evil association corrupts good manners. So, if they come across someone with questionable behaviour, they should steer clear of such or if they meet a person of the same sex that exhibits such trait, they should flee.” Ayobade advises.
Stella Otoide, a Lagos-based educational consultant and CEO Teenslifestyle, says a lot of emphasis is now being placed on sex, and more people are not ashamed to talk about it.
“The advertising and entertainment world definitely appears to be going by the motto: “sex sells.” Particularly when such advertisement target teens, the sexual undertone becomes more pronounced. And these youths have access to anything on the Internet. A lot of people probably assume that because sex is so much more in your face now, teens are likely to be more sexually active now than in the past. However, that is not the case.”
She explains that some researches carried out on teen sexual behaviour, showed that when it comes to sex, today’s teens aren’t that much different from their mates in previous generations.
To her, the Nigerian government must put in place enough measures to protect its citizenry and stand its ground against any pressure or tendency for compromise, where the US is concerned.
“I know that America will try to use all the resources at its disposal to spread this “freedom” or “permissive” gospel. So, parents must begin to spend more time with their kids; talk to them, advise them and pray for them daily to overcome this new evil that is trending and spending fast. Mothers must make more sacrifices on behalf of their children, so as to preserve the coming generation. They must spend more time with them and guide them with the word of God. This is the only way that this new evil will not consume us, and I mean all of us. We must resist it with all we’ve got. It is strange and ungodly, as well as alien to our beliefs and our society,” she says.
Fola Daniel Adelesi, management consultant and CEO, Edible Pen, says anyone watching the turn of events in recent times would know that it was just a matter of time before the US makes the declaration.
“I saw it coming and this shows how so much our world is changing and how our sense of morality has been greatly distorted. It shows how far the world has moved away from the belief in God. It is really sad,” he says.
Observing that there is no more fear of God and many that don’t believe in God are hell-bent on forcing others to do the same and they are trying every means to achieve this, especially legal means to forcefully make people accept their belief.
On the implication for the future, the world and the youths in particular, he believes that as time goes on, the morally upright will lose their human rights and belief in their belief in God. This is because the civil liberties of individuals are being gradually eroded.
“Efforts are seriously going on to force many people to do what they will naturally not want to do. In the past, it is done in a subtle manner, but now more forceful approaches are being adopted. Many of these things are being taught in US schools and youths in particular are being encouraged to see some of these practices as being normal. They are being made to feel that people cannot help it and that being gay is a physiological fact that everyone should come to terms with it.
“Mothers in particular have a big role to play on this matter, as they are the first teachers of their children. Moreover, they are the closest to their children in most family settings, as they tend to spend more time with their children. Christian mothers should passionately take on the responsibility of educating and teaching their children the full counsel of God. They should know the truth themselves and begin early to influence their children to know and follow the Lord’s teachings.”
Although he is not one to encourage parents forcing their children to do anything, his opinion is that parents should start early to teach and influence their children to acquire the right values in life.
“If mothers would do the right things at the right time, when their children are still young, they will be able to positively influence their children to understand how the Lord wants them to live. Consequently, when such children grow up, they would not depart from the truth they have been taught,” he explains.
On the need to preserve the family institution, he said the way to protect and preserve the sacredness of the family institution is for parents to teach and show their children good examples and live a godly life.
“Many children do not know what the Bible teaches about marriage and parents and Christian organisations will need to invest in teaching the whole counsel of the Lord, as it regards marriage. It is understandable that today’s youths are being bombarded by information from several sources such as the Internet, books, television and the media”.
He believes that parenting will truly count, if each person in that role takes time to ask themselves what they are living for and what their goal in life is?
“They should be able to know and get their priorities in life right. They should also be clarified about what their expectations, as regards their children are. How do they want to be remembered by their children? Achieving all this would go a long way to keep the children in check and enable them do the right thing.”
Nneka Alozieuwa, a fashion consultant and the MD, Jebigen Collections was shocked to hear the declaration on CNN. She feels it is sad that the U.S. could legalise such a thing.
“However, anybody that has been following the trend in America will not be too surprised. It is a disturbing development for the world, given the pride of place that the US enjoys globally,” she says. “It has serious implication for the family system, which we Nigerians cherish so much.”
Pointing out that the future of the nations youths could be laced with godlessness, if urgent step is not taken to deliberately pull the youths to God, she says this development is a sin in clear terms.
“God will not excuse such a practice under any guise and I cannot either because it is against Christian practice. It is ungodly, bizarre and not acceptable. It t is an indication that some people have totally lost it.
“As a mother, I believe that all mothers have a great role to play here. We must let our children know what is going on and that it is not right. As time goes on, this belief will spread to Nigeria and grow rapidly. We must let our children know that they could be lured with money, good jobs and other such benefits or opportunities into this bad practice. But they must hold on to their God regardless of the temptation. All that glitters is not gold.
“As Christians, we must understand that this is a satanic agenda, and we must shield our children and coming generations from it. The best way to fight this is to teach them the word of God, tell them what God dislikes and encourage them to follow God’s word and ordinances and it will be well with them.”
On her part, Barbara Kanu, CEO of Paperstyle Nigeria Ltd., says the declaration came to her as a surprise, just as it came to many as a shock.
“Without being judgmental, I think America has lost it outrightly by legalising such a thing,” she says. “This will surely affect the world and the way things are done. It’s just a matter of time, and things will begin to change simply because America has the power, might and the political will to push the message to other parts of the world. Our responsibility is to protect our nation, especially our children from such strange, satanic and bizarre practice that is gradually taking over the hearts of some people. Nigerians should not wish this away, as one of those things that will go, because it won’t. It has come to stay”.
As the world has become a global village and people have become interwoven in their relations as regards international politics, trade, travel, tourism and sports, she says America will not operate this law in isolation.
“What I am saying is that anything and everything that America says and does affects the world, so this one is a disturbing development”.
How then can youths be saved from this onslaught?
“The solution lies in every Christian family taking their destinies in their own hands. Children should be taught the way of the Lord early in their lives. We should expose them to right Christian values by purposefully engaging with them, taking them to church and providing and sponsoring activities that will promote the values of the Christian faith.
“Children will be ‘straight’ only if parents play their roles properly and regularly pray for their children, as the Bible says. Except the Lord builds a house, the labourer labours but in vain. The Bible says, ‘your children shall be taught by the Lord and great shall be their peace’.
In her opinion, there is need to remember that there is no success without a successor. And whatever parents attain without their children being able to replicate this success in their own future endeavours will be a failure for them. Hence, parents should endeavour to set their priorities right and ask the Lord to help them to propagate the Christian faith to generations after them.