Through No Apologies®, I have learned that the most important thing a girl can cherish is the dignity of a woman. We, as women, should value our dignity and refrain from any sexual acts that could ruin our life. Additionally, I have learned that I am unique and everyone is special in the ways that God has created them to be. We should appreciate ourselves before appreciating others around us – to love ourselves before giving love to others. Within three days at the No Apologies® camp, I have learned about healthy and non-healthy relationships.
No Apologies® is a character-based abstinence program that helps youths make wise choices regarding life and relationships.
I am a virgin. Obviously, I have zero experience about sex, minus the stuff they teach us in school. “Your virginity is a very sacred thing,” someone once told me and I couldn't agree more. No sexual protection device or medication is ever 100% guaranteed. I am given the opportunity to choose – have my life caught up in a mess or live a life of no regrets.
I choose the latter. I took the No Apologies® abstinence pledge in 2016 and I intent to be sexually abstinent until the day I tie the knot with my future spouse. Of course, as a growing teenager, I will have sexual attraction towards the opposite sex, and what is there to be embarrassed? It is life and normal human nature. All we have to know is that there are limits we must know. I really hope that whoever is reading this would believe when I say that you wouldn't regret if you attend the No Apologies® workshop. As Steve Job once said, “Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your inner voice and most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
While I was growing up, there was no such program like No Apologies® and I had to figure out for myself the nuances of navigating relationships throughout my teenage years. Undoubtedly, there were many bad decisions that could have been prevented had I attend such a program.
The basis of No Apologies, which is a character based education promoting abstinence until marriage resonates with me and my religion. Specifically, the ‘State It, Sell It, Move It’ strategy was in congruent with a particular hadith by our Prophet telling us to remove ourselves from undesirable situations, invite our friends to enjoin in good and use our speech to get our friends to enjoin us in good and leave the bad behind.
For my dearest teens out there, by reading these words, you are already making your first steps towards making better choices in relationships. Being a teen in these times is undoubtedly more challenging and I sincerely hope that Focus on the Family Malaysia's programs will benefit you in guiding you to be the best person that you can be.
Abstinence is cool! There is a saying, “for you to become like them, it only takes one night; but for them to become like you, never again!” But there's hope. I would like to encourage those who missed to save sex for marriage, give yourself a second chance to do so. This will be the best gift that you can give yourself and to your spouse on your wedding day!
Before I heard of No Apologies, I heard about Focus on the Family Malaysia through the radio broadcast by Dr. James Dobson on the Light & Easy radio station. I found them to be very helpful. When my children were in secondary school, I helped bring the No Apologies® program into their secondary school as I was in the school's PIBG. My children had the opportunity to go through No Apologies® and benefitted much from it.
Eventually, I became a No Apologies® core team member for 5 years. I am very encouraged by this committed group of people who helps teenagers with issues and struggles about growing up and with commitment making that would make a difference in their lives. The youth are our most important and valuable asset for the country, thus giving them the focus is the right thing to do.
I remember back when I was 13, my classmates and I in our blue pinafores walked to one of the special rooms in school for the No Apologies® workshop. I do not recall much from it, but I remember a man sharing with us what true love is, the danger and consequences of premarital sex and how we should abstain it. Back then, I thought “Oh, I should be able to handle all this” as I was raised in a Christian home. I must say that it is extremely challenging. Even more so with the media that often blurs the line between love and lust.
Last year (2016), I had the opportunity to retake No Apologies® during my college's orientation camp. I could relate to the lessons taught better this time. It was a reminder to have healthy relationships in the next chapter of my life. Now that I'm dating a Christian boy, it still seems challenging but with the meaning of marriage and its sacredness etched in our heart and mind, we have decided to love and honour God and each other. There will always be temptations lurking around, but we can do it and saying ‘No’ to premarital sex is definitely worth it!
I came from a small rural town where people dressed decently and show few public display of affection. When I came to KL for college, I was in for a great culture shock – guys and girls were hugging each other, both guys and girls were dressed inadequately, and they were smoking. I admired the ‘maturity’ of couples. I went into confusion mode for the next four years and I spiralled down with tons of decisions that I regret. I wish no one would have to go through that path and also hoped for someone who would equip me to be a stronger woman.
It was my dearest mother who signed us up for the No Apologies® Training of Facilitators. Being a facilitator was a healing and liberating journey. Listening to the other facilitators present while waiting for my turn only strengthened my passion to reach out to the young people.
The value of our youth in this generation is extremely precious. They need to be equipped and empowered. We must invest in their lives. What they need is a helping hand, a nudge of encouragement and a sharing of tried and true values to empower them. They will in turn build homes on solid rock, which will lead to a culture and country that stands for righteousness.
As the saying by Margaret Mead goes, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
I have been a No Apologies® facilitator since 2001 and was a part of the Core Team. Till today, I still keep teaching and keep going because I know the students are able to do it. The just need encouragement. They need to hear the truth. They need caring adults to share with them. Whether or not the students abstain, we just need to do our part, and keep sharing with them. Out of a class of 40 students, if just one student will take the pledge, I am still willing to share the message with them. It is worth it.
My encouragement to next generation of leaders is to stand firm in your belief. When you set the example – in purity, in truth and in love – the young people, the next generation will be listening. When you speak, you will have authority and credibility in their eyes because of the life you have chosen to live.
Richard and I are both Sarawakians who made Petaling Jaya our home from 1989 to 2007. We are blessed with four children whose age now ranges from 18 to 26.
The word ‘INTENTIONAL’ was deeply etched in my memory when my husband and I were introduced to Heritage Builders. From that workshop, I realized that I have to be more intentional in teaching my children about the values which I uphold and believe in. It is my responsibility as a parent to do just that... no one else can replace my role. After realizing this truth, I began to use the resources from Heritage Builders.
Fast forward 20 years later, I am grateful to Focus on the Family Malaysia for introducing Heritage Builders into our family life. We often hear this quote that values are caught, not taught. I firmly believe in the essence of the quote with the addition that nothing is more powerful than us (the parents) having learnt the values and living it out in our own lives. Today, I can freely share with my four children what I've been learning in my faith journey and continue to pray that I am a safe place for them to share their hearts with and still feel loved and accepted. I can only thank God for dropping the word ‘INTENTIONAL’ into my heart so many years ago and seeing it work out in our family life.
HB is a program which teaches parents to be intentional and creative in passing on a positive heritage to their children.
I am from Sibu, Sarawak. I became a No Apologies® facilitator in 2007 and have been teaching this curriculum with my team since then.
Ever since I began teaching NA, I can truly see the help and impact that the No Apologies® curriculum has on the students. One impactful story that deeply impressed our team was of a girl in her twenties who shared that she had changed her sex partner like changing her clothes, not knowing of this truth, such as the consequences of premarital sex that was taught in NA. Another impactful story that I experienced was a girl who had lots of physical contact with her boyfriend. She realized that this was wrong after attending No Apologies® and together with her boyfriend decided to stop such behavior.
Many of such stories have been told. I told myself, if ever there is only one person in the workshop who could benefit from it, I am willing to teach. Because it is a message of truth and if it can impact a life, teaching that one person is worth it.
To the future leaders of our country, please believe that you are irreplaceable. You are unique! Please believe that you have the ability to persevere and do the right thing! Try your very best to build up your character, pursue the dream in the life and live a life with no apologies!