A few months ago I was invited by a church to lecture their teenage girls on the subject of sexual immorality and how to abstain from it.
It was very detailed teaching as I was given ample time to dissect the topic; hence, I tried as much as I could to do justice to the subject and to achieve the overall aim of the event, which was to get the girls to a point where they fully understood how to truly say no premarital sex. To achieve that I structured my teaching into segments with the last segment being PRACTICAL WAYS THAT GIRLS CAN EXCHEW EVERY FORM OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY.
One of the points I made was that the easiest way that girls, and of course, every other person, who desires not to misuse their bodies as tools for sexual experimentation and practically evade the act, is to learn to GUARD THEIR LIBERTY.
How will this help me to avoid premarital sex? You may ask. Well, relax and follow me as I expatiate on this.
Before I go further, what does it mean to guard something? To guard means to protect, shield, or safeguard someone or something.
What about liberty? Liberty is the ability to do something without restriction.
Ugoma, what has liberty got to do with protection? You may ask again.
Also, again I say to you, relax and read on. 😂😂
Remember that liberty means the ability that you have to do something without anyone imposing restrictions and boundaries on you.
Now, to guard your liberty in this context means that if you truly desire to live a life of sexual purity, then you must learn to impose some restrictions on your liberty. What this means is that the fact that you have the liberty to do something, does not mean you must do it.
To make the girls understand what I meant, I had to use myself as an example to explain my point as I would be doing now.
I am an orphan. I have been an orphan since my teenage years. Being the eldest child with younger siblings who depended on me for many things, including food and shelter, gave me a kind of edge over them and as such, I had the liberty to do or go wherever I wanted without anyone questioning me.
But, the fact that I had such liberty did not mean I will just wake up any day and do whatever I deemed fit or go wherever I wanted. As much as I had the liberty to do that, doing so will make me a foolish person.
So, what did I do? I imposed some restrictions and boundaries on myself. I didn’t just wake up and decide to go anywhere that I wanted. Even if I needed to go somewhere, I had to inform my siblings about where I was going and what I was going there to do. I also placed a time limit on myself; no matter where I go I must be home early, and most times, earlier than my siblings.
To some people, they might think that doing that was foolishness. But to me, it was the wisest way to live life because putting those restrictions on myself helped me to avoid waywardness and carelessness. It also helped me to command respect among my siblings and the people in our community.
In all honesty, liberty can become an obstacle to you achieving your dreams and leading a meaningful life, if you do not learn how to guard your liberty.
The fact that you have the liberty to keep lovers/sexual partners without anyone knowing about it or questioning your actions does not mean you must do it. The fact that you can say whatever you want, go wherever you deem fit, and dress whichever way you desire, and the fact that you have the liberty to party and go clubbing around without anyone uttering a word, does not mean you must do so. Knowing how to say no even when you have the power to say yes is wisdom.
If you are a young person reading this, you need to understand that liberty, as nice as it is, can also kill and destroy if not properly managed.
Liberty when not curtailed can lead to unending miseries. If you truly desire to make out something of your life, if you desire to achieve your dreams and become all that God has created you to be, then you must as a matter of urgency learn to guard your liberty so it doesn’t become an obstacle to your future.
- Ugoma Johnson is a journalist, published author of 3 books, a social worker, and founder, Teens Empowerment And Rehabilitation Centre (TercHub), a foundation that is saddled with the mandate to curb teenage pregnancy, illiteracy and period poverty, through transformational teachings, provision of school materials and sanitary pads for teenagers in ruler communities.