Spreading the right message about Sex and Marriage
FOCUS on the Family Malaysia (FOFM) is calling for more people to be trained as No Apologies® facilitators to reach more youths with its character-based abstinence programme. The No Apologies® Training of Facilitators (NATOF) workshop will be from 10-12 Dec 2011 at the FOFM office in Petaling Jaya.
No Apologies® teaches youths how to make wise choices regarding high-risk behaviour, including pre-marital sex. Youths are challenged to sign a pledge card to save sex for marriage, thus taking a stand against the prevailing culturContrary to perception that abstinence programmes are ineffective, a 2010 study by FOFM found that of 1,680 past participants who signed the pledge card, 1,542 (91.79%) say they have honoured their commitment to be sexually abstinent until marriage.
In Malaysia, as of July 2011, a total of 43,631 individuals had gone through the No Apologies® programme, and 39,693 had taken the pledge.
More need to be reached with this message, however, as reports show that youth as young as nine are engaging in premarital sex1. One in 3.5 Malaysian teenagers2 say pre-marital sex is acceptable. The number of unwanted teenage pregnancies is escalating3 at an alarming rate.
Training for facilitators is open to teachers, counsellors, parents, youths and anyone interested in working with young people. Training is conducted in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin.
The registration form and training details can be obtained from the FOFM website www.family.org.my. Call 03-79547920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
FOFM and NECF are also urging churches to participate in Marriage Week 2012. Sunday, 12 Feb 2012 has been designated as the day for the global church to celebrate and encourage marriage. This campaign by the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) and Marriage Week International has the following components which churches are urged to incorporate:
- Four-week sermon outlines on marriage. Pastors can use these outlines in pulpit preaching in the run-up to 12 February. The outlines will be made available to churches by the end of December 2011.
- Marriage rededication on 12 February. Churches can hold a simple ceremony for interested married couples to renew their vows as on this date. A proposed outline of a marriage rededication ceremony will be given to churches.
- Special edition couples' devotional. A 52-week (one year) devotional booklet will be sold for a nominal price. This is for couples to do a weekly devotion together followed by ideas to enrich their marriages. Churches can pre-order consignments.
- Mid-2012 marriage conference. To sustain momentum from Marriage Week, a conference is scheduled for the middle of the year in the Klang Valley and will be replicated at regional level. Dates will be issued once plans are confirmed.
1 Leong, S.L., Lam, L., Arulldas, S. (2004, February 6). Report: Youths Sexually Active at Early Age. The Star, p. F22.
2 Focus on the Family Malaysia. (2008). No Apologies® Pre and Post Workshop Survey. Selangor, Malaysia: No Apologies® Team
3 Jones, K. (2010, June 27). In Malaysia, Unwanted Teenage Pregnancies Rising Alarmingly. Medindia. Retrieved from http://www.medindia.net/news/In-Malaysia-Unwanted-Teenage-Pregnancies-Rising-Alarmingly-70577-1.htm