The head of communication of Marie Stopes Uganda was quoted as saying that “most children enrolling for contraceptives are those who become pregnant when they were not yet 18 years old and have ended up being single mothers”
By Dr. Josue Okoth
An article which appeared in one of the dailies of December 14, 2015 describes how Marie Stopes Uganda is providing a range of sexual and reproductive health services to children entering reproductive age to delay pregnancy.
The head of communication of Marie Stopes Uganda was quoted as saying that “most children enrolling for contraceptives are those who become pregnant when they were not yet 18 years old and have ended up being single mothers”.
He added, “Our services target all age groups but we are seeing that 43% of our clients accessing our services are children entering the reproductive age because they want to delay pregnancy or to avoid becoming pregnant at a young age. Most of them are single mothers who are struggling to look after children.”
The same newspaper December 18, 2015 also quotes Resident District Commissioner of Kibuku district to have said that there are about 44% child mothers in the district which implies that teenage girls are actively engaged in unprotected sex which results in early drop out of schools. These comments confirm our failure to bring up children in a Christian way.
In the 1960s and 70s this kind of comment would be unheard off. Something has gone wrong! What has actually gone wrong is our religious educational system?
Nobody or organisation or any authority has the right to use its position to manipulate and to take undue advantage of others to cause them to sin in the name of development, human freedom or rights. Implementers of bad laws also fall in the same category – they sin.
God gave us this freedom to do good but we lose it the moment we accept Satan.
Children have a basic right to education. It is the responsibility of the parents assisted by godparents to raise children in the Christian faith. Today the parents are not doing their work. Both husband and wife are looking for money: Children are left to caretakers and watching TV full time.
The first thing Christian parents should do is to consecrate the child to God through Baptism. At Baptism a child is given a Christian name – usually a saints’ name as a patron for the child. A family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God and make good use of freedom.
Every evening the parents should sit together with their children and say evening prayer. This is the time to tell children Bible stories and the life history of their patron saints.
If for instance, the child is named after St. Augustine; tell the child about how St. Augustine worked in order to that the world would receive Christ and so to emulate him.
The tradition of giving Christian names at Baptism is not for fun and has lost meaning today. Most Christians also believe that these Saints can pray for us to God just as we pray to each other to God.
The child should be exposed to Christian way of life as a gift based on his/her age whenever the opportunity presents itself.
A picture Bible is suitable for younger children, such being replaced with a regular Holy Bible when the child reaches the age when he/she can read. Children should be taught all basic prayers as soon as they are old enough to learn them. They should be involved in family prayer and I must mention that the family that prays together stays together.
In the church a child should be shown how to behave. Many parents leave their children behind when they go to church and when at church they leave the children to Sunday school or to catechists. The Sunday school and the catechists have the children for a short time and, therefore, they cannot mold them into proper Christian life.
Older children have less time with parents because they go to school. The schools more- or-less take over the management of children. And it is at these schools where you find condoms placed in toilets; where teachers defile pupils they should protect. This is the time a child begins to discover his/her body.
At this stage the state has taken over the morals of our children since it is in charge of education. This education should be all round development because man is created with both physical and spiritual nature.
Christians are against sex outside marriage because this is adultery and adultery is against the 10 commandments which the Christian should follow. This is God’s Law.
Also God made sex for procreation; therefore, people should only have sex to create new life. Pre-marital sex is wrong and sinful and Christians should follow the teaching of Jesus in the Bible. This should be taught to children right from home. Let us go back to our original Christian values and truth.
The state has a moral duty to provide enabling environment for its citizens to avoid the occasions of sin. In Uganda, it is mandatory that public toilets including that of schools must be supplied with contraceptives. Parents pack contraceptives for their children going to school. This is a foreign idea which every Christian should fight.
Where are we going? Where do we want our children to be tomorrow? Today, according to Marie Stops Uganda, 43% of our children below 18 years are accessing contraceptives. It also means that many such young girls commit abortion.
A girl who is involved in contraceptive has already been captured by Satan and is desperate and can do anything including committing abortion, which is murder! In the prayer of the “Our Father” or ‘Lord’s Prayer’, we petition God, “But deliver us from evil…” The “evil” in this petition is not an abstract evil, but actually “refers to a person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God”
In an article I published under ‘Comment column’ in New Vision of Tuesday December 8, 2015 I said, ‘Ugandans have become lukewarm Christians’ – they are ‘comfortable spiritually’ and live is state of sin. One would expect that because there are so many mushrooming Christian denominations in the country, quality of faith would improve, but alas, it is not the case! Many Christians walk with Bibles and preach everywhere, in public places, including on the streets, but what worries me is whether they know the Bible.
If they are not careful, their heart may not belong to the Lord; their heart could belongs to the father of all lies, Satan. And this is fake holiness. We need to pose and reflect.
Jesus preferred sinners a thousand times to these “holy ones” because sinners told Him the truth about themselves “Get away from me, Lord, I am a sinner: Peter once said (Luke 5:8). One of those [the hypocrites, “holy ones”] never said that! ‘Thank you Lord, that I am not a sinner, that I am righteous’ (Luke 18:10-13).
Many Christians do not follow the commandments of God: many are not married in Church and/or have more than one woman (often also more than one man). We might engage in a very beautiful preaching, and perhaps even cast out a devil, but at the end the Lord will not recognise us.
The Lord said, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of my Father.” And he adds: “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesise in your name and cast out demons in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you’” (cf. Matthew 7:21-23).
These strong statements shake us up and call us to conversion. We should really ask ourselves: Does the Lord feel truly at home in my life.
The writer is a concerned Christian