Plato, the classical Greek philosopher, believed that dramatist should be banished from the society. His reason was those dramatists are imitators of reality, therefore they are liars, and so, should be removed from the reality which they try to imitate. I think of a truth that dramatists are imitators of reality, but I doubt society would do well to be rid of them. If there is any group of people in our contemporary society that are removed from reality, I think it is most clergies and fanatical Christians. These people are miles away from reality. Not because they don’t preach the truth, but because they have mastered the skillful art of pretending away some truths.
However, if you think that our ever pontificating pastors are only those guilty of this habit of shying away from some truths, then you are sitting on a long thing. Topping the pretenders list are parents. Now, look at how our parents and pastors engage in this vocation of pretense. They will tell you things like, ‘My dear, fornication is a sin. Don’t allow any man touch you. Don’t have sex with any fellow that is not your spouse. Keep yourself pure.’
Why all these cautionary admonitions are true, the lie therein is, mere stating of it does not have power to stop one from abiding by it, if the teller of the truth does not show how to uphold it. Rather, the teller of the truth has successfully aroused your desire and interest in experimenting with and testing the veracity of the truth.
I for one strongly believe that when there’s a problem you do not have a solution to, then you have no authority to shout from the tree top about the reality and existence of the problem. How can a parent tell the child or ward not to have sex, when there is a sharp contrast if the child turns on the radio, TV, magazine, music, film? And, to crown it all, the parent does not curb or monitor the intake of such alternative agents of information. As if that is not enough, the child is shipped off into a university, office, any other environment where he or she is left in close proximity with the opposite sex, and the hormones are all screaming and seething to be gratified, thus placing the poor fellow in a hamlet situation of to be or not to be.
For those at a loss over the point I am driving at, it’s simple: it’s not enough to say, don’t indulge in premarital sex. We have to go further by showing a practical and realistic way for one not to shine congo. In these days of intellectual enlightenment, when people find it difficult to swallow axioms hook, line and sinker, one should not assert that something is bad and snooze off. Rather, there is a need to realistically explain why it’s bad and how to escape it, for one’s warning to be effective and result oriented. Failure to do this, and you have not solved any problem. You have however succeeded in making noise and worse still, alienating yourself from such youth who will see you as an obstruction in the quest for fun.
Sex is one issue parents don’t like to teach their children, and when they do, they simply gloss over with the hollow caveat that it’s bad. Something so important and difficult to rise above its sweet temptation is funnily summarized in one strait-jacket threat-loaded phrase: it’s bad. It’s bad… and then what? Lying is bad, and people still lie every day. There’s stealing, cheating, fighting and other vices, all of which are indulged by the general population every day. Methinks it’s pertinent we admit that the reality of one not indulging in premarital sex in the way our society is presently structured is as difficult as a Fulani herdsman passing JAMB in one sitting. Let’s face and accept this reality, and then find out how to overcome it.
If the present foregoing is true, then, it’s totally ridiculous for parents to expect their children to turn out good without fortifying them with the required skill set and properly monitoring them. In the light of present societal realities, parents need to take charge in the overcoming of some moral codes. You can’t just sit down and expect people to remain chaste when there are overpowering modern day realities circumventing their power to remain clean.
Now let’s look at the following modern day realities. The full grown man of about 30 years who owns an apartment, pays his bills, and considers himself ripe for playing the field. An unemployed youth who hangs with a notorious lot, and wakes up one morning to find that a beautiful girl has moved in next door. The young woman who graduates from an All Girls Boarding secondary school to the university, to be inundated with the flirtatious attention of lust-driven males. The driven female who gets handed her bank employment letter and finds that she is to be a marketer with targets to meet.
Let’s face it. So many things inevitably bring the males and females together these days. So many factors make people keep late nights these days. So many styles of socially acceptable dressing, songs, films and activities, religious one inclusive, make one think of sex every minute of the day nowadays. Also, it’s no longer a secret that parents no longer have a firm grip on their children or know their itinerary – no thanks to civilization. Trying to deny these facts is akin to denying that there is a mystery being who has a mind of its own in between your thighs. And, believing that people can behave modestly despite all these facts by mere warning that sex is bad is a classic definition of illusion. No wait, it’s like keeping a yam with a goat and expecting the goat to be reasonable.
Trying to shy away from reality with some biblical truths minus sincere practical steps is the staple product of most post-modernist day Nigerian parents and, if I may, Christians. I believe that is why it is fabled that over-zealous churchgoers are the easiest set of people to sleep with once the perfect opportunity presumes itself. Little wonder most randy pastors and some smart folks are having a field day in the vineyard of the Lord.
Parents should understand that helping their children to plan their future will help greatly in curbing premarital sex. If one knows that at the age of 24 or thereabout, he is sure to be financially and emotionally responsible, thus, ready for marriage, I believe the issue of premarital sex will be history. After all, nobody enjoys doing bad, but one resorts to it when one runs out of alternative good deeds or when one lacks vision, is deluded or nurses ignorance.
To this end, with my short experience, I believe that intimate relationships, sexually suggestive movies and music, raunchy friends, profaned environment and social media are some of the factors that contribute in making herculean the task of keeping away from premarital sex. Keep away from these and the battle to preserve your chastity will thrive. But the fact remains, the longer you do this battle, like every other war, the weaker you become. Yes, each time you add a year, your defenses against withstanding the enticing darts of sexual intimacy and gratification reduce.
However, in all the things we do . . .
May GOD open our eyes of understanding.
Written by Tobe Osigwe, tweets at @OsigweTobe