"'What are you
- William J Clinton,
The Key Concepts Behind WHY WAIT?
With the breakdown of traditional family and community values resulting from the rapid change in Africa, young people lack role models. Many young people consequently find no reason to wait—to abstain from premarital sex.
The purpose of WHY WAIT? is to give youth sensible reasons to wait so they can make informed decisions regarding their future. It is not just admonishing them against harmful behavior. It extends to providing hope for a joyful and fulfilling marriage, which comes from making healthy moral choices.
Young people are “special” and “worth waiting for!”
Human need: The basis
The WHY WAIT? program is built on meeting two basic “felt needs”: the need for security and the need for significance.
The basis for meeting these two needs is love—being loved and being able to love.
True love will always protect and provide. God is Love, therefore He will both protect and provide.
It is essential to define human being before defining human rights. There can be no basis for defining human rights without a basis for human dignity. Where does that human dignity come from? We as Christians have a basis for it: it comes from God’s creative plan.
Human dignity in relationships
We have been created in God’s image so that we might have a living relationship with Him, and that we may honor and glorify Him. The very essence of the Christian life is built upon relationships and the development of Godly character through these relationships (Luke 6:40).
Family reflects the image of God
This is why the family is so vital in God’s plan. When God created people, He created them in His image, both male and female (Genesis 1:27). He created the family so that the image of God is reflected to the children through the father and mother (it takes both), and then passed from generation to generation. When a family is disorganized (i.e. through divorce or separation) or dysfunctional (i.e. lacking character, values, etc.) the growing child does not have the proper role models to develop a healthy sense of right and wrong (Romans 12:2).
Love provides and protects
After establishing individual human dignity, which is the basis for God accepting all humanity, people need to understand how love both provides and protects. For example, in God’s gift of sex, provision is made for Adam by His gift of Eve. This is also applicable to us, reinforced by the apostles saying, “each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2b). Protection, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, is given when God says that sex is to be honored, and kept within the boundaries of marriage (Hebrews 13:4). All of God’s basic principles of life embody both provision and protection.
Human dignity calls for responsibility
Mankind has the responsibility of stewardship over creation. We are called to help provide for the development of human and natural resources. We are also to help protect these resources through conservation.
Responsible stewards are servant leaders who empower their followers, rather than using power to dominate them. Servant leaders affirm their followers’ God-given dignity and nurture their human potential according to God’s principles.
Cultural boundaries—cultural expressions
Human needs know no historical, geographical, or cultural boundaries, only different cultural expressions. Therefore, we need to address the human needs from a Biblical basis, since Biblical principles know no time lines, geographic or cultural boundaries. However, we do need to understand the culture in order to understand what the individual in that culture is expressing. Thus, in teaching the curriculum, we must make the expressions (i.e. activities) relevant to the culture, even though the Biblical principles are universal.
The virtue of values
In addition to imparting an understanding of true love and its expressions, we need to build in values that will become internalized and result in establishing healthy (i.e. Biblical) behavior patterns and/or behavior change. Unlike the individualistic, narcissistic West, much of the world finds the individual accountable to the society or community. This is, however, all too often, external accountability rather than an internal set of values. It is expressed in the idea of shame versus guilt. Generally, it is a sense of shame that people feel only when they have been caught by members of the community. It is usually not a genuine sense of guilt because of transgressing against their moral conscience which has been built on the word of God and internalized.
The mind matters
Associated with affirming the dignity of humanity, both male and female, there needs to be an emphasis on the mind—knowing the truth and choosing to act upon that knowledge. Youth need to know that they can make right choices, and with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit make behavioral changes—something that much of contemporary philosophy rejects. They also need to understand that the mind is the greatest sex organ and needs to be protected.
Human sexuality is learned
Our sexuality involves both psychology and physiology. Because there are no innate guidelines, human sexuality is dependent on our learning, and because different societies teach differently about sexuality, there is a need for a Biblical worldview in order to learn or be taught how to properly express God’s creation of our sexuality.
Love is a choice
Young people need to understand that true love is first and foremost an act of the will. Christ said, “A new commandment I give you: that you love one another.” A commandment is an appeal to the will. The great love passage of 1 Corinthians 13 describes acts of the will, not expressions of the emotions.
A clean heart for a new start
People also need to know that with right thinking and right behavior, there can be new beginnings, through the grace of God and His forgiveness: that the new beginnings can be maintained by abiding in God’s principles, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Vision and virtue
There is a connection between vision and virtue. One has to see correctly before one can act correctly. It is for this reason that the person of Jesus Christ becomes the model of character and moral development.
Concern and influence
Caring teachers always have concern for their students. However, they realize that they can address that concern by focusing on influencing the students toward healthy behaviors and relationships and by giving them tools for resisting negative peer pressure.