PROGRAMME OUTLINE – YEAR 1
PROGRAMME FOR LESSON 25: HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT HIV/AIDS?
• Welcome and Songs
LOOKING INTO OUR LESSON
HOW DO I FEEL ABOUT HIV/AIDS?
To teachers: Today we will start talking about HIV/AIDS focusing on how the children themselves feel about it. The focus of this lesson is to bring the children to a point where they realize how they feel about HIV/AIDS and how they should feel about it from a biblical view point. Teachers it is important for you yourselves to also come before the Lord and search your hearts and see if you need to change your attitude towards HIV/AIDS. This needs to be done before you try and teach the children to change their attitudes if they need to.
HIV and AIDS are what people these days seem to be talking a lot about. In Zimbabwe 1 in 3 people are infected with the HIV virus. Each one of us is also affected in one way or another. It is said that for every 1 person infected with HIV 20 other people will be affected in one way or another (it could be a friend a relative a friends parents a distant relative etc)
We have to ask ourselves as the next generation: How does HIV affect us? How do we feel about HIV?, What can we do to fight HIV? And how can we help others living with HIV?
LET’S THINK AND ACT:
• In what ways do you think HIV affects you? List their responses on the board and then let them act out some of the suggestions they have made.
- Loss of one or both parents
- no food because of poverty
- child lead homes
- orphans from the extended family joining the family
- no money
- children carrying too much responsibility
- sick parents
- visiting clinics and hospitals etc
• How do you think you could help someone you know in one or more of these situations?
WHAT IS AN ATTITUDE?
What do you think an attitude is? After some discussion, explain to the children that an attitude is something that each of us feels toward certain things. These feelings then affect the way we act in a certain situation.
Use the following diagram to explain this concept:
Use the following guide to explain the drawing:
1. Picture of person
Each person has a heart and a mind. They feel things in their hearts (the symbol of the heart) and think things in their minds (the symbol of the question mark).
2. The action arrow
The things people think in their minds and feel in their hearts affect the way they act towards different issues and circumstances – in our case it is HIV/AIDS. Therefore, what we feel in our hearts and think in our minds about HIV/AIDS will affect the way we act towards those people living with HIV or dying from AIDS.
3. The up and down arrows for our topic HIV/AIDS
Our actions will either affect a person living with HIV or AIDS positively and build them up (arrow pointing upwards), or it will affect them negatively and break them down (arrow pointing downwards).
As Christians we are to have the attitude that Christ would have, therefore, we need to build people up and not break them down. Let’s ask ourselves what type of attitude we have and ask God to change our attitudes if we need to have them changed to fit in with His word and His example.
Ask the children if they can guess what types of things would have an influence on their attitudes e.g. family views, cultural values, peer pressure, newspapers, television, myths etc. Once you have a list of attitude influences get the children to write on a piece of paper which of the influences on their list is applicable to them and then to share these with the rest of the group (this would be very advantages for gaining insights into the influential factors in the children’s lives.)
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS QUIZZ:
In God’s word, the Bible, we read about how much Jesus cared for the sick as well as those whom people rejected. Some people who are living with HIV and others who are dying of AIDS are also rejected and neglected by their communities and they need to know and need to feel the love and care of Christ.
This quizz teaches us about the kind of attitudes that the Lord would like us to have:
(You could get different children or volunteers to read out the different verses, and then write key words on the board that describe the different kinds of attiudes described)
1. What does the Word of say to us in James 1:27? It tells us that we should look after orphans and widows who are going through hard times HIV causes many.
2. What does James 2:15-17 tell us about our faith and our deeds? It tells us that if our faith is not accompanied by actions we have dead faith
3. How does the Word of God tell us we should be clothed in Colossians 3:12? It tells us to be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
4. What does it mean to live a life worthy of the calling of God in Ephesians 4:2? It tells us to be humble, gentle, patient and accepting of one another.
5. What does the Word of God tell us happens nwhen we help people who need care, food, clothes or water in Matthew 25:37-40? It says that whatever you did for someone in need, it was as if you were doing it for the Lord.
6. What does the Bible say about our attitude in Matthew 7:1-2? It says that we should not be judgemental in our attitude towards others.
7. What does Philippians 2:5 say about our attitudes? We should have an attitude like that of Christ. Help the children to realise that all the attidues that you have written on the board would be atittudes like that of Christ.
Teach the children the following memory verse and ask them to each think of one thing they will do to try and have a more Christlike attitude.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”
ATTITUDES AND HIV:
We have a clear understanding of what type of attitudes we need to have, we all need to constantly be working on having a more Christlike attitude and asking the Lord to help us, so that our attitudes towards those living with HIV will build them up and not break them down. For this is the attitude that Christ would have.had.
Encourage the children should to ask the Lord to help them to develop Christ like attitudes. Ask the Lord to help each one of us to develop a right attitude towards HIV/AIDS.
PROGRAMME OUTLINE – YEAR 1
PROGRAMME FOR LESSON 26: HIV AND AIDS – THE BASICS
• Welcome and Songs
LOOKING INTO OUR LESSON
HIV AND AIDS – THE BASICS
• Why do you think it is important for us to know about HIV and AIDS? Allow the children to respond.
Knowing about HIV/AIDS:
• Helps us to make sure we don’t get it
• Enables us to be able to help and teach others
• Helps us not to have unnecessary fears
• So, who of you know anything about HIV/AIDS?
This question will help you to get an idea of what your group of children do or don’t know, and will guide you in the way you teach the lesson.
What is HIV?
Use the visual aids at the back of the lesson to help you teach this lesson.
HIV stands for the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus.
Using the table below, explain to the children the meaning of the different words.
Get the children to repeat after you: HIV stands for the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus
HIV lives in humans only. It cannot infect animals.
The virus causes our immune system (the system in the body that fights off disease) to stop working as well as it should
A very small germ which causes illness
Make sire that the children understand these two terms:
1. Immune system: this is the fighting system in our bodies, and it protects us against infections. Every one of us has this system to keep the body healthy.
2. Virus: a virus is a very small germ. There are many kinds of viruses that cause different sicknesses e.g. flu, measles, chicken-pox, the common cold. The body’s immune system usually attacks the virus and the sickness goes away.
The Human Immuno-deficiency Virus is the virus that causes AIDS. The HIV virus does not make us sick, but prevents the body from protecting us against other diseases. Normally the immune system fights germs that get into our body and it usually wins the battle. But when the HIV virus gets into the body, it weakens the body’s immune system (defense system) against germs and as a result people with the HIV get sick more easily
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome. Get the children to repeat after you so that they learn these terms.
AIDS is caused by HIV.
This means that you get the disease from someone else
Lack of natural protection by the immune system
A collection or group of different diseases
Throughout the lesson ask them these two questions again and again:
• What is HIV?
• What is AIDS?
By the end of the lesson, they should know what these abbreviations stand for, and understand their meaning.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER INFECTION WITH HIV?
THE UMBRELLA ILLUSTRATION
Bring an umbrella so that you can demonstrate this well to the children.
Use the umbrella illustrations included at the back of the lesson.
We can compare the body’s immune system to an umbrella to help us to understand what happens when a person is infected with the HIV virus.
The immune system – the umbrella – protects us from infections.
Stage 1 – HIV negative
The person has an healthy immune system
which is able to fight off infections successfully
Your body can be compared to an umbrella.
Germs are like the rain. Just as an umbrella
stops you from feeling wet, so your body’s
immune system (defence system) stops you
from becoming sick.
Stage 2 – HIV positive
The person becomes infected with the virus.
The person usually feels quite normal and is
able to fight off most infections – although
it may take their bodies a bit longer to do
this. Most of the time they feel well.
The person is HIV positive and can
pass the virus on to other people.
In the picture, the person is a carrier of the virus.
The virus is shown as a patch on top of the umbrella.
The umbrella is still working well. No rain can get through and the person carrying the umbrella is not getting wet. In the same way, this person does not feel sick.
However, as the HIV spreads in the body, it weakens the immune system and they will start getting sick. The umbrella starts to get small holes in it, which gradually get bigger, and the person starts to get a bit wet.
Stage 3 – AIDS
The time it takes for the disease to progress
from the time of infection to full-blown AIDS
and death differs from one person to another.
Most people will die within 5-10 years after
The virus gradually causes more and more damage
to the body’s immune system, the body is not able
to fight of sicknesses so well, and the person will
start to feel sick from time to time.
But just because someone feels sick, does not mean
they have now got AIDS.
The virus causes more and more damage to the umbrella, the holes get bigger and bigger, and it starts to let more and more water through.
A person with AIDS has a life-threatening disease. Just as a person with a damaged umbrella feels wet, so a person with AIDS feels sick and will gradually become more and more sick. Because the body can’t fight off disease any more, all sorts of different infections can attack the body.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT SHOW THAT A PERSON MAY HAVE AIDS?
Allow the children to respond before mentioning some of the signs listed.
•Mouth, throat and chest infections
•Sexually transmitted infections
•Headaches, fits and other mental conditions
•Extreme tiredness and weakness
•Loss of memory and concentration
You could ask various children to act out briefly some of the above signs and illnesses as you mention them.
Because a person with AIDS can suffer from any number of different diseases (remember we said it was a syndrome – a group of different diseases), they are usually said to have died from the main disease they were suffering from. For example it may be said that someone died from pneumonia, or cancer, or TB. So, we don’t actually hear of people dying of AIDS, BUT don’t let this confuse you.
We need to realise that many (not all) people who die young from TB, pneumonia, cancer, etc., have actually died because they had AIDS.
Encourage the children to try and think of people they may know of who might actually have died because they had AIDS.
This is a sensitive issue, but important to be aware of.
If we understand this, we will start to understand how many people are dying, long before their time, because of HIV and AIDS.
WHAT DOES GOD’S WORD SAY:
There are many verses in the Bible that encourage us to acquire knowledge. That is what we have been doing today - we have been learning about HIV and AIDS and acquiring more knowledge about this subject.
Select 1 or 2 verses to read with the children and discuss them. You can choose any of them as your theme verse.
You could get the children to read the verses.
Encourage the children to make use of this opportunity to learn more about HIV and AIDS, and to use this knowledge to live lives that are more pleasing to God. Over the next few weeks, we will be learning more about HIV/AIDS
Here are some of those verses:
Proverbs 10:14a, “Wise men store up knowledge…”
Proverbs 18:15, “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.”
Proverbs 24: 5, “A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength.”
Proverbs 24: 3-4, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
However, it is important to realise that knowledge without action is meaningless. The knowledge we gain in life, we should try and apply to our lives so that we will live more meaningful lives and lives that will please our Lord Jesus.
Encourage the children to ask the Lord to help them to apply the knowledge they have gained in this lesson, and to remember it.
PROGRAMME OUTLINE – YEAR 1
PROGRAMME FOR LESSON 27: HOW HIV IS SPREAD?
• Welcome and Songs
LOOKING INTO OUR LESSON
HOW IS HIV SPREAD?
We have been learning about HIV/AIDS. It is very important to know how a person becomes infected with HIV so that we can do our best to prevent ourselves from being infected with the virus.
• Who knows some of the ways in which HIV is spread from one person to another? You may choose to write down some of the answers the children come up with.
There are three main ways in which HIV is spread:
Teach these facts in as much detail as you feel is appropriate for your class – it is better to teach less and be sure the children understand and remember what you teach. These are difficult things to teach and talk about – but the more factual you are about it, the easier it is.
Have a visual aid with the 3 main ways of getting HIV – sexual intercourse, contact with infected blood, and from mother to baby.
1. Through Sexual Intercourse
HIV is transmitted from one person to another through the most intimate of contacts - sexual intercourse and oral sex. The virus is found in high quantities in the sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluid) of people with HIV infection.
2. Through HIV-infected blood gaining entry into the body
For this to happen the blood from an HIV infected person must get through the skin and enter directly into the body. For example:
• Through blood transfusions (although these days this risk is very low)
• Via blood-contaminated needles, razor blades and other sharp instruments
• When needles and syringes are shared by people taking drugs
• It is also possible, but very rare, for HIV to enter the body through an open skin wound or sore (for this to happen, blood from the sore, on another person. The HIV virus cannot pass through healthy, intact skin.)
3. Through mother-to-child transmission (parent-to-child transmission)
This can occur during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Research has shown that there is a 20 - 40% chance that the infant will become HIV infected. This means that there is an approximately 1 in 3 chance that an HIV-positive mother will pass the virus on to her child. Breastfeeding also increases the risk of infection to the baby. You can only be sure whether a baby is HIV-positive after 9-12 months, when the baby has an immune system of its own. So often, babies are only tested later.
Actually, HIV is difficult to get. The HIV virus cannot be passed on easily from one person to another. It is not spread through casual contact with people, e.g. coughing, sneezing, kissing, touching, like other germs are.
This is why we can be close to someone with HIV/AIDS, we can touch them and hug them without catching HIV in the way we might catch a cold.
Have 2 clear containers with lids on, each filled with water. Label the 2 containers, e.g. Mary and Ruth. Colour the water in the container labelled Mary with something like food colouring, juice, tea…. Tell this story:
Imagine that these containers are 2 friends, Mary and Ruth. Mary is HIV positive – we will pretend that the coloured water shows the presence of HIV inside her body. Ruth does not have HIV, so her water is still clear.
Rub the containers together – ask the children: Does the HIV pass from Mary’s body to Ruth’s? Answer: No
Mary and Ruth can play together, touch each other and hug without spreading the HIV virus. Someone may get the HIV virus from Mary, but only if one of the body fluids with the virus gets out of her body and inside the body of another person.
We have told you the 3 ways in which HIV is spread. Other body fluids, e.g. saliva, sweat and urine do not have enough of the virus in them to spread it to others.
Very few young children like yourselves get HIV/AIDS. Young children who do have HIV/AIDS probably had the virus when they were born. They did not get it from playing with other children.
Very sadly, if young children have been sexually abused by someone who is HIV- positive, then they have been at risk of getting the virus. Share this information with your class if you feel it is appropriate – be aware this is a very sensitive issue and must be dealt with carefully.
LET’S PLAY – SAFE OR RISKY?
HIV is not spread through normal, everyday casual contact between individuals.
Teachers – these are a few points to remember that will be helpful for you as you teach this lesson.
•The HIV virus is not stable and does not survive for long periods outside the human body.
•The virus cannot penetrate normal intact skin and does not readily enter through a healthy mouth or eye.
•Also the virus is not present in high enough quantities in the saliva and urine to cause infection.
•A person with a healthy genital tract is less likely to acquire HIV than a person with genital disease (such as an STI).
HIV is not transmitted by the following means:
•Coughing, sneezing, laughing, talking and kissing.
•Simple skin contact, such as hand shaking, hugging and touching, etc.
•Food, water, or on plates, cups, spoons, toilets, baths, pools, showers, etc.
•Towels, bed linen, clothes, etc.
•Insects such as mosquitoes
We are going to play a game now, to help us to remember how we can or can’t get HIV/AIDS:
Have the following words written down on different pieces of paper/cardboard:
• Sexual intercourse (of any kind)
• Holding hands
• Helping clean up a cut
• Drinking from the same cup
• Deep Kissing (mouth open)
• Using the same toilet
• Light Kissing (with mouth closed)
• Sharing clothes
• Oral sex (you may need to include this for the older children – it is important that they know this is risky. Explain that oral sex is when the vagina or penis comes into contact with the mouth. These are difficult things to teach and talk about – but the more factual you are about it, the easier it is.)
Now get the children to stand in a line in the middle of the room/area where you teach. Tell the children that you will call out something and they will have to decide whether it is a risky or safe behaviour in terms of the spread of HIV.
Choose one side of the room to be the ‘risky’ side and the other side to be the ‘safe’ side. If the children think the behaviour is safe they must go to the ‘safe’ side, and if they think the behaviour is risky they must go to the ‘risky’ side. Encourage the children not to copy each other but to think for themselves.
As each word is covered, make sure the children understand the correct answer and then give one of the children who answered correctly the piece of paper to stick up or hold up on that side.
Here are the correct answers for each of the words listed above and the reasons, in case you are not sure yourself. It is important that you know the reasons so that you can respond to questions the children may have. If you are unsure of anything, tell the child/children that you will find out, rather than give incorrect information.
BEHAVIOUR SAFE OR RISKY WHY
Hugging Safe Casual contact only – no exchange of body fluids
Sexual intercourse Risky Exchange of body fluids – sexual fluids. This applies for vaginal sex, anal sex and oral sex
Holding hands Safe Casual contact only
Coughing Safe No exchange of body fluids, HIV is not spread in the air – only in the 3 ways that we taught
Helping clean up a cut Risky If you have a cut or open wound on your hand, and if the other person is HIV positive, then their blood can get into your body. If your skin is intact then there is no risk – but it is better to be safe than sorry. In these situations children must be taught to call a teacher/adult to help who should know what precautions to take, e.g. use gloves or a plastic packet, etc.
Drinking from the same cup Safe HIV is not spread through saliva and does not survive for long outside the body
Deep kissing Risky (not high risk) A person with HIV/AIDS may have sores in their mouth and if you have any cuts/sores in your mouth, then there is a risk that their blood could come into contact with yours.
Using the same toilet Safe HIV is not spread through urine. If the blood of an infected person was on the seat of the toilet, the virus is not able to live for long, once it is outside the body.
Sneezing Safe Same as for coughing
Light kissing Safe Casual contact only
Sharing clothes Safe Casual contact only – no exchange of body fluids
After the game, read through the words on the ‘safe’ side and on the ‘risky’ side to reinforce what the children have been learning.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE HAVE TO SAY?
We have been learning about the different ways in which a person can get HIV/AIDS. The majority of people living with HIV/AIDS have got the virus through sexual intercourse. This is the main way in which HIV/AIDS is spread.
The Bible is very clear in its teaching about sexual intercourse, as you have already learned. God designed sex for marriage only.
There are two important things we should know when we learn about people who are HIV-positive as a result of sexual intercourse:
1. Repentance and forgiveness:
If someone has got HIV/AIDS through practicing sexual activities that the Bible clearly teaches are wrong, e.g. sex before marriage, adultery, not keeping themselves sexually pure – then that person has sinned against God.
The right response, especially if that person is a Christian, is to acknowledge their sin, ask the Lord to forgive them and for them to repent and turn from their ways. It is no good asking the Lord to forgive us if we are just going to carry on sinning. But if we are genuinely sorry and we ask the Lord to forgive us, He is faithful and will forgive, and we don’t need to live with guilt.
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
2. HIV/AIDS is not a punishment from God – do not judge:
We must not think that HIV/AIDS is a punishment from God and that people who are HIV-positive are being punished by God. There are many people who have HIV who are innocent, for example: babies who are infected by their mothers, children who have been sexually abused, people who have been raped, people who have been infected through someone else’s blood, etc.
HIV/AIDS is not a punishment from God, but rather a consequence of sin in this world.
We need to understand that before the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden there was no sin in the world, everything was perfect after God had created it. We also need to realize that before the fall of Adam and Eve there was no talk of death. However once man had disobeyed God sin entered the world. Two of the consequences of man’s sin were that:
• God puts a limit on man’s life on earth – death came into the world. (Genesis 3:17 & 22)
• And sickness and disease came into the world, e.g. heart disease, pneumonia, TB, and there are many other diseases. Some of these diseases can be cured through medication and others cannot. For example cancer, leukemia and HIV/AIDS, are all terminal and cannot be cured without the Lord’s miraculous intervention.
Sometimes, the consequences of our sin are very closely related to the actual sin themselves. Here are some examples.
Ask the children what they think the consequences of some of these sins might be:
• Disobeying your mother or father
• Being cheeky or rude to your teacher
• Stealing something and then getting caught
• Cheating in an exam
• Having sex with someone you are not married to
Prompt some of these answers –
• trouble from parents (if not married) or from marriage partner – come up with some ideas
• sexually transmitted disease
• unwanted pregnancy – think of some of the consequences of this
• guilt and regret
Help the children to understand that HIV/AIDS is a consequence of sin in the world (like other illnesses and diseases) and it is often a specific consequence of sexual sins. It is not for us to judge. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the punishment of our sins upon himself and when He comes again, He will make a final judgement on each person and give them what is due: Eternal life and rewards or eternal punishment and death.
Therefore, we must not judge those who have HIV/AIDS, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged “ (Matthew 7:1)
and we should keep ourselves sexually pure
“Flee from sexual immorality. …Do you not know that you body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you…” (1 Corinthians 6:18a, 19)
Lord, help us to use the information we have learned today to prevent ourselves from becoming infected with HIV. Please help us to keep ourselves sexually pure, so that we may please you and prevent ourselves from HIV. Thank you that we can come to you for forgiveness when we fail. Please help us to not to be judgemental of others, but rather to be kind and compassionate.
PROGRAMME OUTLINE – YEAR 1
PROGRAMME FOR LESSON 28: PREVENTION OF HIV/AIDS
• Welcome and Songs
LOOKING INTO OUR LESSON
PREVENTION OF HIV/AIDS
Adapt this lesson to the level of your class, but remember that it is not too early to START discussing some of these issues.
We can’t talk about prevention without being sure of how the disease is spread,
so revise with the children the 3 ways in which HIV is spread:
1. Through contact with HIV-infected blood
2. Through mother-to-child transmission
3. Through sexual transmission
Remind the children of ways in which HIV is not spread:
e.g. General contacts, sneezing, coughing etc. There is no risk in playing with other children or being around someone who is HIV-positive.
In order to prevent HIV we need to look at the ways in which it is spread and how we can prevent being at risk in these areas. In this lesson we will talk about prevention of HIV through sexual transmission and through contact with infected blood.
PREVENTION OF HIV CONTRACTED THROUGH CONTACT WITH HIV-INFECTED BLOOD:
Any contact with infected blood puts you at risk of contracting HIV. Discuss the following scenarios with the children and decide whether there is a risk or not:
• Your friend gets a blood nose and you want to help
• A group of young people using drugs are injecting themselves with the same needle
• A young man was on a trip and left his razor at home. He wants to find out whether he can borrow his colleagues’ razor
• Your close friend talks about becoming blood-brothers/ blood-sisters
• You and a friend see a whole lot of used syringes and needles at the edge of the field. You think that you should pick them and throw them away so that no-one hurts themselves.
You can get the children to stand up if they think there is a risk involved
Make it clear that you should never touch anyone else’s blood, or anything that might have someone else’s blood on it. Rather, call an adult who should know what to do (they can protect themselves using gloves or a plastic bag).
PREVENTION OF HIV CONTRACTED THROUGH SEXUAL TRANSMISSION:
Any activity that involves the exchange of sexual fluids can put you at risk of contracting HIV.
Ask the children: Which of you have heard of the ABC of HIV-prevention?
Have a visual aid with the letters A, B and C written on it. As you go through the lesson you can write next to each letter what it stands for.
A – Abstain
B – Be faithful
C – Condomise
You could cut the letters A, B and C out of a newspaper or magazine and use them as a visual aid.
A – ABSTAIN
I’m sure many of you have heard people talk about ‘Abstaining’ or ‘Abstinence’.
• Who knows what this word means? Allow the children to answer first.
When people talk about abstinence in the context of HIV/AIDS they mean that one should not have any sexual relations with anyone until you are married.
• Why should one abstain?
Firstly, as Christians we should abstain from sex until we are married because this is God’s way and He designed sex for marriage only. Abstaining from sex before marriage will also help to protect us from HIV.
Sex is not something we need to be embarrassed about – God created sex, but He designed it for marriage only. If we choose to go against God’s designs and God’s way, we can expect trouble!!
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” (Matthew 19:5)
Jesus is talking about marriage. When a man and woman are united together before God, ie when they get married, they will become one flesh – referring to the rightful place of sex within marriage.
The Bible is quite clear that sex should be kept for marriage only and there are many references to sexual immorality in the Bible – this is a sin and it is displeasing to God. Here are a few references:
1 Corinthians 6:18a, “Flee from sexual immorality”
Galatians 5:19 & 21b, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual
immorality, impurity…… I warn you…that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Ephesians 5:3, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity… because these are improper for God’s holy people.”
So, by abstaining you will not only protect yourself from contracting HIV, but it means obeying God’s way and living a lifestyle that will be pleasing to Him.
You can play "Draw your Swords" to find the references, or ask different children to read the verses. Some of these references are just part of the verse, so you could write each one out on paper to avoid confusion, and give it to a child to read. Whenever you use the children to read the verses, make sure they read loudly and clearly for the rest of the children to hear.
B – BE FAITHFUL
This means that once you are married, you should stay totally faithful to your partner and not have sexual relations with anyone else. God designed sex as something very special that two married people can enjoy together. It is not something to be shared with others under any circumstances – the Bible calls this adultery. It is a sin against the Lord and causes much hurt and pain in a marriage.
Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed be kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.”
If two people have kept themselves pure for each other (Abstinence) and if they ‘Be faithful’ to each other once they are married, they will not be at risk of contracting HIV through sexual transmission.
Stimulate some discussion about these issues using the following questions:]
• How many people do you think are abstaining these days?
• Are all Christians abstaining? Why/ Why not?
• Do you think people are being faithful to each other in marriage? Why/ Why not?
• Do you think faithfulness is always found in Christian marriages? Why/ Why not?
• Would you like to marry someone who has had sex with other people?
• Would you want to put yourself at risk?
• Would you like to enjoy a marriage in which you and your partner are both faithful to one another?
SO, WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
In life we make many choices which will affect our journey. Here is another choice that you have to make that will make a big impact on your journey. Remember that no-one can make this choice for you.
Choose to abstain:
No-one ever said it is easy to abstain. It can be very difficult, especially with the pressures one may face, but remember:
• It is God’s way
• It is the safe way (none of us wants to die an untimely death due to HIV/AIDS)
• It is the best way
And God has promised to help us as we try to obey Him and live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Decide together with some friends to abstain. You can then encourage one another and stand together as a team.
Pray and be wise:
• Ask God to help you as you commit to abstaining
• Be wise in your relationships and consider carefully whom you marry one day. You want to marry someone who is committed to the Lord and to being faithful in marriage. Remember that it is never too early to start praying about these things.
Encourage the children to write on a piece of paper their decision and commitment to stay pure and abstain from sex until marriage, with God’s help. Suggest that they put this paper in a safe place where they will be reminded of their commitment to themselves and to God.
C – CONDOMISE
Teachers, a brief mention is probably all that is necessary at this stage.
Condoms do play a role in HIV prevention, but as Christians we should not be needing them. Condoms play a role in marriage as a contraception (preventing pregnancy) – but they are not totally effective.
Remember, that condoms DO NOT make sex ‘safe’. Condoms can reduce the risk of contracting HIV, but they do not offer 100% protection, and who wants to take that risk!!!
Lord. Help us to honour your ways by abstaining from sex before marriage and promoting faithfulness in marriage. Help us to do our best to protect ourselves from being infected with HIV, and to encourage others to do the same.