(Based on a true life story)
“Haa!” My mouth opened wide at once. Then gradually, my lips came back together. I raised my head and nodded it like an agama lizard.
“You may choose not to believe me. But that’s the truth. I saw it.” Kemi said again.
My mind raced back and forth. What counsel was I supposed to give this thirteen year old girl. I was only eighteen.
“Well, maybe it was a mistake. Some internet pop-ups may be downloaded unintentionally.” I managed to say.
“Don’t give me that sis. I just told you I read the chats. He asked the girl to send her nude pictures and she did. It wasn’t a one day chat. Different pictures on different days.”
One moment I doubted Kemi’s sincerity. Another moment I wandered why Pastor Jambres would do that. A whole Pastor of the city headquarter church?
“You said, he’s fond of touching your body?”
“Yes he is. I can’t even tell mum and dad. They won’t believe me. I am that stubborn pastor’s daughter that needs to live with the Senior Pastor for some scolding and training.” She said with a frustrated look.
“Just be careful dear. And please, promise me, you won’t go about telling other youths this story.”
“I won’t ma.”
“Please don’t. It would scatter the church.”
I was just a ‘non-entity’ teenage girl. There was nothing else I could advice or do. My parents were not committed members of the church either. The least I could do was ensure that the information does not go circulating amidst the youths.
Four days after this event was a Sunday. The youth pastor addressed the youths in the youth hall during his sermon.
“…How can you be admiring the opposite gender? You are going to hell! How can you be having crushes? Its that not lust? The bible says flee youthful lust. If you don’t repent, you are going to hell!…”
Pastor Martins managed to preach his sermon on sexual purity without mentioning the word ‘sex’. Well, maybe it wasn’t necessary. He opened tens of scriptures without explaining exactly what the word sexual purity meant. He just kept saying “you must be holy as Jesus is holy. You must be pure. You’ll go to hell.”
After the sermon, a young girl met me and said “Sister Esther, I use to be drawn to a boy in my class. There’s nothing between us but I just admire him. Am I really going to go to hell for that?”
Kemi also met me after service. She said “Admiring a boy will take us to hell. But viewing naked pictures won’t right?
Right there I knew it would take the grace of God to convince that girl to believe men of God and the sermons that proceed out of their mouths.
Today I see Kemi’s pictures on social media – almost naked. I hear her parents are very sad about the new development. She got into University and started living waywardly.
When I called her to find out, she said.
“I stopped believing in sexual purity because I saw porn on Pastor’s phone. I stopped believing in sexual purity because the church is not teaching us the truth about these things. When I ask direct questions, all I get is fifty verses of the scriptures instead of a yes or no. Mum and dad frustrated the hell out of me, always insinuating I had a boyfriend when I had none. I was sick of it all. When I got into school, I got a blank cheque to explore and I took it.”
“But you know that path is dangerous, don’t you?” I asked.
“Of course, I do. I know what I’m doing is not moral. But you see, I’ve gone too far…”
No you haven’t. No matter how impure you think you are sexually, I bring you good news. You can be pure again. While it seems like the world is busy condemning you today. I bring you a message of hope. You can start afresh with Jesus. He is waiting for you. Just bow your head right there and tell Him to wash you clean and give you grace to live above sin. Congratulations on your restoration.
Sometimes your sexual purity messages fall on deaf ears because some of these young ones have seen your flaws. They’ve seen the monster in you shouting at your wife in the car…In their sight, you are not qualified to preach that message.
Would you just do more of teaching and less of nagging? Would you just understand that the fact that we have a phone number that belongs to the opposite gender does not necessary mean we are going out with them?
Dear youth ministers,
When next you have to teach teenagers and young adults about sexual purity, please teach the truth. Stop using scriptures to cover their reality. Reduce the scriptural verses and explain in such a way that they will understand. Please mention anything you have to mention. Some of these young ones already know more than you can imagine.
Dear teenagers and young adults,
Please make up your mind that no matter what happens, you’ll keep yourself sexually pure. There’s no excuse to destroy your destiny. After all its yours. Always remember that I love you.