• Family Heartbeat International
  • Family Heartbeat International
  • Family Heartbeat International

Youth keen on abstinence

By Harry Mayers

SIX MONTHS after its impressive launch of an island-wide abstinence programme, Family Heartbeat Ministries is reporting a very encouraging response from young people, schools and youth groups.

 

"The young people have been looking for an alternative and have found one," Rev. Haynesley Griffith, who pioneered the programme, told me yesterday.

 

"The desire is to understand the dynamics of their personalities, so we are not looking at abstinence alone but we look at the whole person, the principal factors of their past, the emotional and other challenges. 

 

"We look at their goal setting, what they want to get out of life; self-esteem, their self-concept and how they look at life, where they are and where they need to go." 

Griffith said that Family Heartbeat Ministries (FHM) we have counselors across the island to help youngsters "and help them to transition". 

 

Some schools and youth groups had invited FHM to speak to students and members.

In some cases young people took a vow to refrain from sexual intercourse until marriage and received their ATM (Abstinence ‘Til Marriage) cards, joining the near 3 000 who made the pledge when the programme was launched on January 31. 

 

Griffith said many young people had told him that the launch was a defining moment for them and they had been able to proudly carry their cards and remember and honour the commitment they made. 

 

How about those who might have changed their minds or simply slipped?

Griffith replied: "I expect some persons to fall through the cracks. But I believe that to a large extent many people have been looking for this alternative, because what has been projected was that young people cannot control their desires and so on and that they don't have what it takes to discipline themselves. That is a mistake. 

 

"The persons who have a tendency to fall through the cracks are those who are very, very weak. Although they may have a strong intellectual base, they could be emotionally weak. A lot of childhood issues are still a lack of love and affection from one or both parents." 

 

That's why the abstinence programme looks at the whole person.

 

 

 

Harry Mayers

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