By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
Mr Chidi Udo, Pastor of the Teens Church, Assemblies of God Church (AGC), Surulere, on Monday urged adolescents and teenagers to embrace and maintain a chaste life until they are married.
Udo made the call at the ‘Chastity March’, organised by the AGC in Lagos.
Hundreds of adolescents and teenagers from other districts participated in the road walk which had the theme, “My Price Tag”.
“The increasing rate of sexual perversion and immorality among youths is an epidemic, and we recommend a pure life as the way forward.
“It is against this background that the church organised the ‘Chastity March’ to counsel adolescents and teenagers to refrain from immorality.
“The ‘Chastity March’ is specifically organised ahead of the celebration of this year’s Valentine’s Day to counter the immorality being perpetuated in the guise of love celebrations,” Udo said.
The young people marched from the Church Premises at Clegg Street through Funsho Williams Avenue to the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, Ojuelegba and back to the Church.
They carried placards with inscriptions such as: “True Love Waits”, “Saving it for Marriage”, “Celebrate your Purity”, “Stay Chaste”, “Stay Faithful”, “Don’t Let Lust Destroy Your Future”, “Your Body is a Temple, not a Playground”, “A Moment’s Pleasure, a LifeTime Regret” and many others.
Some parents joined the parade to support the teenagers in spreading the message of chastity and morality.
Speaking during the march, Mr Kaycee Onyegbule, a Youth leader in the Assemblies of God Church (AGC), Clegg Street, Surulere, said that the theme for the programme was taken from 1 Corinthians 20.
He lamented that Valentine’s Day had over the years been taken over by depravity, adding that young people now used the day to experiment with sex leading to all manners of sexual perversion.
Stressing the need to curb the trend, Onyegbule said, “It is important for children to make up their minds to remain chaste early in life and keep away from such.
“This can only be achieved by imbibing religious principles like those taught in this programme.
“African and Nigerian parents detest having children with premarital pregnancies. Premarital pregnancies are not encouraging as the society, Church and Bible are against it,” he noted.
On what the church was doing to curb immorality, Dr Chinyere Udo, the co-Pastor of the Teens Church, explained that the Church ran programmes for the youths to empower them economically and discourage them from being lured into sexual immorality.
Udo said that the Church also reached out to indigent youths around them and supported those who could not complete their education due to a lack of finance.
“The Church also empowers them with vocational skills and start-up fund and support and this usually helps them reject sexual harassment that comes through monetary and material appeals in any form.”
A top member of the Church, Dr Blessing George, noted that the church had a mission to raise a generation that understood the need for chastity before marriage.
George said children are raised to know that marriage is honourable and the bed undefiled.
According to her, what the church is saying is that they should wait for God’s time when they’re married before engaging in sexual activities more so now that Valentine’s Day is around the corner.
“The importance of the road walk is to teach the young ones the importance of being chaste.
“You know that Valentine is around the corner and it’s a season where people go all out showing love to one another but in doing that, they should not be involved in sexual immorality.
“They should realise that Jesus would like them to show love which made our Saviour die on the Cross of Calvary for us and they should not allow lust to destroy their destiny,” she said.
Earlier, Chidinma Isiguzo, President of the Household of Transformation, stated that chastity was important because it helped to build our relationship with God.
Isiguzo declared that people should realise that, “our bodies are the temple of God and whoever goes about committing sexual immorality will regret it at the end of the day’.
“Staying out of sex helps us build a good relationship with God, we know many people have deviated from the original concept of Valentine’s.
“As the day is approaching, many girls will tell their boyfriends to take them out, buy one gift or the other for them and might likely be involved in sexual activities.
“This is the reason we’re sending this message across that they should avoid doing that because their body is the temple of God,” she said.
Another Pastor, Rev. Bright Unuane, noted that the teenagers are the future of tomorrow, the church and society at large, therefore must live right and not go astray.
Unuane added that the programme was part of efforts to groom the young ones in holiness to nurture them accordingly, whereby they could take over from the present leadership in future.
Adolescents and teenagers from local churches in Alapere, Ketu, Mile 12, Ojodu, Mende, Iyana Oworo, Oworonshoki, Bariga, Ikate, Ebute-Metta, Gbagada and Ogudu participated in the Chastity March. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Christiana Fadare