Awakened Living Study Program, Lesson 50: PREMARITAL SEX

Introduction
Dear brothers and sisters: Good morning and thank you for attending our weekly Awakened Living Study Program. My name is Alaye Soteme and I will be your host. Our topic for today’s Study is PREMARITAL SEX. May we focus our full attention on this study for the lessons of life because knowledge is POWER, knowledge is SUCCESS, knowledge is FORGIVENESS, knowledge is WISDOM, knowledge is ENLIGHTENMENT and knowledge is AWAKENED LIVING.

All quotes relating to GOD are interpreted in a Universal sense; in other words our use of the word GOD does not refer to any religion, cultural Gods, saviors, or created Gods. GOD is the underlying ESSENCE of the Universe. GOD has no chosen people, GOD has no Sacred Text and GOD has no Sacred Place! The Universe is the Sacred Text, the Universe is the Sacred Place and all creatures are Testaments of GOD! 

Further you are here to look at life from a different angle. You are not here to follow what others have put in place be it their religion, their Gods, their sacred texts, their beliefs or their way of thinking. You are here to share your LIGHT with the world.  The beliefs of our ancestors are our liabilities. Our challenge is to look at life in ways that promote interdependence and destroy all forms of discrimination including racism, tribalism, nationalism, nepotism, fundamentalism, fanaticism, favoritism, exclusivism, chosen people and racial superiority. 

Lastly, none of the quotes here is absolute or written in blood. They are all human thoughts and ideas based on their experiences and according to their levels of consciousness. The Awakened Living Study Program is a platform to study what others have said and improve on them. Do not for any reason use the quotes as mantra for life because you are the LIGHT!

Opening Meditation
You may offer an appropriate prayer before reading, discussing and reflecting on the famous quotes and the Sacred Texts verses. You may use the following prayer:

O LOVE who pervades the universe, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. We pray for LOVE to manifest amongst us to guide our readings, discussions and reflections. We specially pray for peace of mind and save us from all distractions and concerns of mind and body so that we may learn the lessons of life for our guidance and the transformation of our lives. In the name of Love, the Earth and the Universe, Amen.

Announcements
The Study Leader may make announcements at this time. Welcome new members, recognize birthdays or anniversaries; make an award or recognize a contribution; announce Circle of Life successes. This is also an opportunity for anyone to share an experience, give thanks or make a request for special prayers.

Opening Thoughts
The leader or an appointed person will stand and read the opening thoughts. The opening thoughts explain the topic of discussion. You may use the information below or explain it in your own words.

Our presentation today is on Saying no to premarital sexual advances. The commercialization of sex has made it look commonplace but the truth is that you still have the choice to say “no”. If you have decided to abstain from premarital sexual activities or you want to take the first step to abstain from premarital sex please join us as we explore saying “NO” to premarital sex.

Famous Quotes
Take turns to read the famous quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote.  Please give credit to the author of the quote and as an assignment for presentations each person may choose an author and find out more about the author to share with the group during the next session.

1 I am 22 years old and still a virgin. Not for lack of opportunity, my vanity hastens to add. My mother taught me that self-respect requires self-control. My father taught me to demand the same from men. Sarah Hinlicky
2 Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself. Gore Vidal
3 Sex is both physical and emotional. Remaining abstinent can safeguard against feelings of being used, unloved, angry, or betrayed. Jermaine
4 I definitely don't think premarital sex is something you should do; it's better to wait. But I can't be judgmental because it's a position I put myself in. Jamie Lynn Spears
5 I'm confident you'll ace your finals since you have no social or sex life to distract you. Author Unknown  
6  I don't want my wife to sleep with anyone but me, and I want to give her the same respect. Elijah Martin
7 Sex is so special that it needs a special home; that home is marriage. The ultimate intimacy belongs in the ultimate commitment. Pat Driscoll
8 Dealing with saying 'No' is much easier than dealing with an STD or baby. Abi
9 No man is free who is a slave to the flesh. Seneca
10 The only safe sex is in a marriage relationship where a man and a woman are faithful to each other for life. Don't settle for less than the best. Go for the gold. Scott Phelps

Sacred Texts Quotes
Take turns to read all the sacred text quotes and discuss what you have learned from each quote. In your discussion compare and contrast the quotes. What did you learn from the similarities and differences? What quote inspires you? What life lessons did you learn from the quote? Please give credit to the sacred text during your reading by mentioning the name of the text and where the quote could be found. 

1 There are three gates to self-destructive hell: lust, anger, and greed. Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 16.21
2 Just as a fire is covered by smoke and a mirror is obscured by dust, just as an embryo is enveloped deep within the womb, knowledge is hidden by selfish desire--hidden, Arjuna, by this unquenchable fire for self-satisfaction, the inveterate enemy of the wise. Selfish desire is found in the senses, mind, and intellect, misleading them and burying wisdom in delusion. Fight with all your strength, Arjuna! Controlling your senses, conquer your enemy, the destroyer of knowledge and realization. Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 3.38-41
3 There is no crime greater than having too many desires; there is no disaster greater than not being content; there is no misfortune greater than being covetous. Taoism. Tao Te Ching 46
4 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. Christianity, New Testament: 1 Corinthians 7:1-2
5 Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. Christianity, New Testament: 1 Corinthians 7:8-9
6 They say that woman is an enticement. No, No, she is not so. They say that money is an enticement. No, No, it is not so. They say that landed property is an enticement. No, No, it is not so.The real enticement is the insatiable appetite of the mind, O Lord Guheswara! Hinduism. Allama Prabhu, Vacana 91
7 The ignorant one craves for a life of luxury and repeatedly hankers after pleasures. Haunted by his own desires he gets benumbed and is rewarded only with suffering. The benighted one is incompetent to assuage sufferings, because he is attached to desires and is lecherous. Oppressed by physical and mental pain, he keeps rotating in a whirlpool of agony. I say so. Jainism. Acarangasutra 2.60, 74
8 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy. Christianity, New Testament: 1 Peter 1:14-16
9 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Christianity, New Testament:  Ephesians 5:3
10  Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Christianity, New Testament: Romans 8:5-6

Teaching Story
The teaching story is a story, a parable or thoughts related to the topic of discussion. An appointed person will read each story and the group will take turns and discuss. What does the story mean to you? What did you learn from the story? Did the story add anything new to the topic of discussion? How has this study enriched your life?

Our teaching story is about the rewards of early childhood education.

Once upon a time, Akim grew up in a household of three people including his mother, father and himself. His father was self-employed while his mother worked for a reputable company as a pharmacist. Before they got married Akim’s parents decided to postpone sex until after marriage. The experiment helped them to find out more about each other as well as to connect emotionally and spiritually. Thus they wanted to share this value with Akim and raised him with the following family values:

1 At the head of our family is LOVE (GOD), Universal LOVE
2 We respect our parents and we love our children.
3 Our family mission statement is our compass.
4 We give in abundance with joy, love and humility.
5 Our educational goals have no limits
6 We share our talents through work, art and science.
7 Our daily devotion strengthens our connection with the sacred.
8 We enjoy the fruits of communication and cooperation.
9 Our commitment to wellness improves the quality of our lives.
10 We support marital activities only in marriage.

They read these values to Akim when he was still in the womb and continued until he was able to read them for himself. In Middle School Akim was surprised to find that some of his friends already had sex and he discussed the idea with his parents. First they shared how they postponed sex until they were married and taught him the dangers of sexual activity at that age. “It could literally ruin your whole life!”, they said. “We encourage you to follow our footsteps and all the days of your life will be blessed and fruitful”. So Akim spent his time planning his life, concentrating on his studies and partaking in extracurricular activities. He finished high school with a 4.0 GPA, graduated in college with a 4.0 GPA and now works in a reputable company as a computer programmer. He met his first and only girlfriend in college. Both agreed to postpone sex till marriage and they got married after graduation, thus continuing his family’s legacy.

Closing Meditation
The closing meditation presents the highlights of the Study.  The highlights should include among others what you have learned and what aspects of the study are worth noting. The leader or an appointed person may share the closing meditation. You may use the thoughts and information provided below but I encourage you to use the contributions of the participants and current relevant information.

Our closing meditation will focus on Preparing to face the World and taking good care of your self now and always.

Preparing to face the world
How do you say no to an intense pressure to have sex? One approach is to consider the possible ways you might be tempted to have sex with someone and have an answer for each. But I think the best way is to put on your leadership hat and improve your knowledge. Putting on your leadership hat puts you in control of the situation however young you may be. Let us look at some common lines:

Line: If you really loved me you’ll do it!
Response: You need to work on yourself to become a real human being who cares for others than himself. Real love rests on caring and understanding. Real love is not about pressuring others to do what they do not want to do. Learn and grow!

Line: I’ll really love to have children with you!
Response. There is time for everything. This time is for developing and preparing ourselves to handle the challenges of marriage and children emotionally and financially.

Line: Are you still a Virgin?
Response: Yes, surprised? Are you aware of the virgin movement? Many young people are signing up to become virgins. I advise you to consider being one because it will help you to concentrate on your life and become somebody in the future. I have nothing to do with anyone who has no dreams of becoming somebody.

Line: You won’t get pregnant the first time that you have sex.
Response: Where do you get your information on life issues? Try to broaden your sources of information to include consultants, parents and professionals. Do not feed on the rumors. The truth is that pregnancy can happen anytime!

Line: Abstinence is no fun!
Response: What is fun to you? For me fun is being creative and contributing to the world. Creativity enhances my life and contributing to the world secures my place in it. Being pregnant at an early age and without the emotional and financial resources is a sure way to rob me of the joys of life!


Taking Good Care of Yourself

  1. Set Goals for your life: Now that you have decided to abstain from sexual activity, what next? Your decision to abstain from sexual activity will only become meaningful if you have goals in life. What do you want right now? What do you want to become before you get married. Let these two questions guide you to set short term and long term goals.
  2. Choose friends who are like minded and remember the quote “Evil Communication corrupts good manners”. In other words choose your friends carefully because your goal is not to change anyone but to enrich your life so that you may realize your dreams.
  3. Volunteer Your Time: Use your time profitably by volunteering for your favorite organization. Volunteers are needed in homeless, domestic abuse, and children facilities. Look for the areas of your interest and volunteer your time.
  4. Take a Job: If you have the time, begin to use it to earn extra income to take care of your immediate needs. Being responsible at an early age will add to your wealth of experiences and help you greatly in your adult life.
  5. Become an Entrepreneur: It is not too early to begin to do what you really want to do. If the idea of working for someone is not your cup of tea begin to zero in on what you want to do. The earlier you begin the sooner you will arrive!
  6. Write a Journal about your experiences: Abstinence is a significant decision and writing a journal about it could enhance your decision. Write about your experiences and the challenges and support on your path. This could be a treasure to share with your children and others later in life.

Now here are some tips to enhance your decision to abstain from sexual activity before marriage

  1. Avoid situations that lead to sexual activity like kissing and touching in a romantic way.
  2. Avoid wearing suggestive clothes in the public or with friends.
  3. Avoid drinking alcohol more especially social drinking.
  4. Avoid taking any kind of drugs from friends and strangers
  5. Do not succumb to Peer influences; instead be the leader in all your interactions.

On the whole this is your journey and this is your life. Make it great by choosing wisely and live happily ever after.

Donations
You may accept gifts and donations at this time for the work you are doing. It takes effort, time and money to put the Study Program together so I encourage attendants to give. An appointed person may now pass the donation bag. The leader may bless the gifts after the donations.

Closing Prayer
Always close your Study Program with a prayer or an affirmation. Pray for guidance and direction during the week. Pray for everyone present. The leader or an appointed person may offer the closing prayer.

Refreshments
You may serve refreshments after the Study. This is a time to relax and socialize. Get to know the people in the Program with you and I mean really know them well. One of the secrets of success is connection so I encourage you to know the people around you. The host may decide what to serve or he or she may ask the attendants what they want for refreshments before each Study Program.

Talent Contribution
You may now entertain the group with your talent in music, songs, dance and poetry including playing musical instruments. This is also a good time to share some Awakened Living tips for the benefit of the group. 

Addendum
Abstinence from premarital sexual activity is a very healthy choice for anyone. It is simple and straight to the point. The only requirement is for you to decide and that decision requires getting into your room, closing the door and reflecting on your life and what you want to become and getting there without obstacles that you could have prevented. And when you are decided you may repeat to yourself: “I abstain from sexual activity until marriage. I will use this period to focus on my life and train to become a nurse, a doctor, an attorney, a minister, an accountant, an engineer, a biologist, a chemist, a pharmacist, a teacher, or an entertainer.” And close your prayer or affirmation with the statement “And it is done” and go about your normal business. It is a prayer for those who believe in God and an affirmation for those who do not believe in God. In this way anyone could decide to abstain from sexual activity before marriage. 

Further it is important to note that sexual advances often come in subtle ways. Someone may appear to be perfectly in agreement with your decision to abstain from sex and become something different later in the relationship. Your sure strategy is not giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. We are talking about your life and a person who would not postpone sexual activity till marriage may not be around when you become pregnant or when you contract a disease if you are not dead. Finally also note that your decision to abstain from premarital sex is not a moral decision but a LIFE DECISION!

Circle of Life
The Circle of Life depicts different aspects of your life. You are at the center and the different aspects radiate outwards to form a circle as long as they are in harmony. You can pinpoint an aspect of your life at any given time and find out if you are in harmony with the rest of the circle. If an aspect needs improvement you may have an uneven circle. Your challenge then is to work on the area that needs improvement in order to keep it in harmony with the rest of the circle.

There are 12 aspects in this version of the Wheel of Life including Health, Spirituality, Family, Relationships, Education, Mission, Finances, Work, Play, Personal Development, Environment, and creativity. Take time to answer the following questions and begin to work on the areas that need improvement.

Health
1. Are you healthy?
2. Do you have any bad habits like drinking, smoking, pornography, fast foods, etc?

Spirituality
1. Are you spiritual?
2. When was the last time you meditated, chanted, affirmed or prayed?

Family
1. Do you have a family?
2. Are you happy with your spouse, children, and parents?

Relationships
1. Do you have friends?
2. Are you happy with your friends, co-workers, boss?

Education
1. Do you have a degree?
2. When was the last time you read a book?

Mission
1. Do you have a mission statement?
2. What is your life mission?

Finances
1 Are you financially stable?
2. Do you have any debts?

Work
1. Do you have a job, career?
2. Are you happy with your job, career?

Play
1. Do you play regularly?
2. When was the last time you played with your friends, children, spouse, parents or pet?

Personal Development
1. Do you lose your temper often?
2. When was the last time you took a class on human development?

Environment
1 Are you happy with your environment?
2. How are you reducing pollution?

Creativity
1. Are you sharing your creativity?
2. When was the last time you wrote a poem, painted, sang, danced, or played a musical instrument?

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