KEYWORDS: marriage, sex, children, god, love, care

Make It Work

David Berg

DO 24336/88

Marriage Is God's Answer to Teenage Sex Problems!

[HomeARC note (6/98): The Charter is the current source of Family policy and rules regarding sex and marriage.]

1. Most teenagers are going to get together somehow, come what may! But you've got to watch out that you warn them what's going to happen if they do. …

2. I'll tell you something that shook me up & made me want to be very extra careful about this sort of thing at the very beginning of the Family‚ back at the Light Club in Huntington Beach: I had a formal visit from two plainclothes detectives, top policemen of Huntington Beach. They asked if they could have an appointment with me, they'd like to discuss a little problem. So I met them in the parlour of our second house that we had rented behind my Mother's cottage, which we were using as the girl's dorm.

3. They were very polite, very courteous, much nicer than some of the police had been to us. They were highly intelligent‚ superior officers, & they figured they were at least dealing with a preacher. I was an ordained minister & they were courteous & polite, but they were firm.

4. They were being fair & were warning me that I had better not allow any girls to sleep in that Club. I said, "Well, we never allow girls in there, it's all nothing but boys, wall to wall hippies at night!" They said, "Well, we understood that a couple of girls slept there the other night." I said, "Not at all!" But later I found out that a couple of girls, young teenagers, had come around one night with supposedly no place to flop‚ & so dear Shad put them in kind of a storage shed out back by themselves. Thank God I didn't know about it at the time the police were there!

5. They said, "If we ever find that any girls are sleeping or have slept there, right in the same room with all those boys‚ you will be guilty & we will have to charge you with what is called 'contributing to the delinquency of a minor!'" It's a pretty serious charge for which you can spend several months up to a year in jail, plus a fine. They said, "If we ever find any girls have been sleeping there in the same room with those boys‚ it will be our duty to charge you!"

6. Now beloved, I realise we're a very sexy Family & we believe in sex, but you've got to watch out! It only takes one little discontented miscreant, one little offended backslider who wants to justify himself for backsliding & makes that his complaint. …

7. Where did you ever find in any of the Letters that I have advocated complete sexual freedom amongst teenagers? … There's only one thing that [is advocated] in the way of … teenagers having sex, & what is it? (Fam: Marriage.)—Absolutely nothing but marriage!

8. Where did the Family get the idea that I promoted & advocated teenage promiscuity? …

9. I think in my Letters you'll find what I consider the solution to the teens' need for sex.—[As] married couples!—And to have children under the supervision of their elders!


11. I very revolutionarily asked you, why do you think God allows … teenagers to have semen & periods & be able to have babies if He did not intend for them to do so? What I was trying to teach you was that it is the ideal time for them to have sex, to couple up, have babies, & therefore become mothers & fathers under the direct supervision & tutelage & control of their elders!—That God intended for them, … teenagers, to start having children while still in the home of their parents, where their parents could teach them & help them with their children!

12. The grandparents are supposed to be their teachers & helpers, educate them, show them how to have children, show them how to take care of them. They could learn homemaking in the home, their own home, & start having their families under the supervision of their elders‚ & their children's grandparents.


13. That was my whole idea, that that is God's plan. … Well, I've heard complaints & beefs & opposition to this idea because they say some teenage marriages have fluked out & they haven't worked & they cause nothing but problems & they've been a mess & blah blah blah! You've gotten to where you sound like the System, agree with the System, "Teenage marriages don't work!"

14. If that's what God intended, I want to know why they don't work? I think we have not really worked on it to make them work, & made the teenagers realise how serious it is, that it's time to get down to business & get to work & get serious about it & learn responsibility & obligation & consideration & to become adults & stop fooling around! …

15. Is it because you don't want the responsibility?—You don't want the responsibility, just like the System grandparents! They don't want to have that young couple in their home bringing in all that extra responsibility & extra burden & expense, having to teach them‚ take care of them & even having to help take care of the baby! Is that the reason why it hasn't worked in the Family?—The same reason why it doesn't work in the System? Because their elders don't want the responsibility of having to take care of them & teach them & keep them in the Home!


17. Well let me tell you right now, I think that the System, frankly, would be much more lenient & it would even be much more acceptable to them—they're having it happen to them all the time anyhow—if we would insist on the so-called "sanctity" of marriage & not just encourage promiscuity & allow unmarried teenagers to just be promiscuous & have as much as they want, anything & anybody! Teach them the responsibility of fatherhood & motherhood, the obligations of marriage & consideration of each other, & teach them as they're still growing up in our Homes!

18. We're already teaching them to work, the could-be fathers‚ we're teaching them to work like men.—David can work like a man! We're teaching the girls babycare & home care & housekeeping as well, they know how to keep house & take care of children, right? The boys know how to work like men. Then why can't we teach them to be parents, & how to work & behave like parents?—And to be faithful & loyal to each other despite our sexual freedom!


19. I make love to a lot of women, but I only sleep with one. And I think if there's anything our marriage should have taught you, it's faithfulness & loyalty to each other! If there's any couple that could be a shining example of a co-ministry, co-working for the Lord, it's Mama & me!—Putting God first, loving & helping others, the perfect mates for the job who are deeply in love with each other, really love each other & need each other & are in tune with each other & who can discuss problems together & find solutions together & pray together & sleep together & have faithful sex together‚ even if occasionally we make love to somebody else because we have that freedom!

20. I have always advocated mates, marriages, fathers, mothers & children! Just read my Letters!—Not promiscuity!—Not just this new wave of thinking that the Family is so sexually free, they don't have to be married, they don't have to be fathers or mothers‚ they don't have to have any mate responsibilities, they don't have to have any child responsibilities, that our boys can just pick up & take off, desert their families, desert their wives, desert their children & do as they please!

21. Somebody didn't teach the Love of God to people who do that sort of thing! If you want to read it, you can read it in the Bible! We have not totally abandoned the Bible, in case you don't know it! Just read the 13th Chapter of 1st Corinthians if you want the basics on this.—Real love! And do you know what else Paul says? He says, "To avoid fornication, let them marry!"—1Cor.7:2. Instead, you are encouraging fornication‚ sex without marriage, premarital sex!

22. … To have teenagers manage to get together somehow, somewhere‚ some way, is something even the System can't prevent. But they certainly don't encourage it or provide for it! …

23. They're going to be shocked enough with your young … marriages! But if you're teaching it as a sanctity, as a holy responsibility‚ as a sacred duty of consideration toward mates—loyalty, faithfulness, care for the children, to be real fathers & real mothers, they're much more likely to understand it.—Even if they marry very young, don't you think the System would more readily accept it if they see you're serious about it?

24. So there's the problem‚ & there, as far as I'm concerned, is the solution, & you'd better start thinking about it & discussing it, praying about it! I think it is a sorely neglected area of our training! We have not taken it seriously, we have just let it happen, let them play around, just like the System does.

25. We need a program for teenage marriages! We need a program of training for husbands—I like that term, believe it or not—& wives—we haven't abandoned that term either! I've said we still need mates, & especially mothers & fathers should be loyal to each other & to their child, & taught such loyalty as a duty, a responsibility, a law! And if they fail, they're disobeying the Love of God & the laws of the Family & my laws‚ for God's sake!

26. As far as I'm concerned, God's plan still holds, & is the only solution, & it's mapped out right in the Bible as clear as can be! One simple set of rules is right there in 1 Corinthians 7. "Better to marry than to burn, to avoid fornication let them marry!"—1Cor.7:2,9. Now is that true or not? It doesn't say just let them have free sex. … That's the worst thing in the World you can teach them!

27. We need to teach marriage, faithful marriage!—Husbands, wives, mates, fathers‚ mothers! And if we fail in that, no wonder we're failing in our teenage marriages! You've not been teaching them right. You've not been encouraging mates‚ fathers, mothers, husbands & wives, to prevent fornication. Because of your reluctance to let them marry you have virtually been encouraging fornication! You have not encouraged teenage marriages because you say they don't work. I wonder why? God must have intended for them to work! God must have intended for you to make them work‚ for you to insist they work, & for you to make them obey the laws & make them obey the rules & make them not desert their wives & their children, & make them do the work! That's what God intended for you to do!

28. If our teenage marriages have failed‚ that is why! It's not their fault, not God's fault, certainly not the baby's fault, but your fault! Our fault! And I want to tell you right now, I want to set myself on record in black-&–white right now, that I am not in favour of teenage promiscuity‚ sexual freedom, but I am in favour of encouraging … marriages!— Did you hear that? Marriages!—Fatherhood, motherhood, babyhood‚ loyalty, faithfulness of mates, responsibility, duty, obligation!—Just as much as the System is, if not more!

29. The System has found that that's the only way they can make it work, is to compel them by law that they have to do it, like it or not! And if they desert the wife they've got to support her! If they desert the children they've got to support them, it costs to disobey the law, it costs to be disloyal & forsake a family & desert children! It's one of the worst things happening in the World today because people have not been taught to be faithful to their mates, that it's a holy, sacred obligation under the laws of God, to be faithful to a mate & to be considerate & loving & tender & kind & caring, to provide for & care for & protect & care for the children & give them a good father & a good mother, & not just let'm go wild!

30. We need to stick to it whether we like it or not‚ & to be fathers & mothers to our children & be faithful & loyal to each other! "Oh Dad, since when? You taught us sexual freedom & set us free!" I think if you look at Mama & me, you didn't learn that profligacy & promiscuity & unfaithfulness & disloyalty & unfaithfulness to our children from us! We've been faithful, loyal. Oh, we may have loved a few others along the way, but it was real love, & I don't think I ever did it but what I married the girl & gave her a ring! But they don't take the place of Number One Wife!

31. The Bible did not forbid multiple marriages, but it definitely forbade forsaking the wife of your youth! God Himself said, "I hate putting away!"—Mal.2:16. In other words, to put away a first wife in favour of another one. You say, "Well, you did it, Dad!" I didn't put Eve away, she ran away! He says, "A brother or a sister is not bound in such a case, if the unbelieving depart, let them depart."—1Cor.7:15. The rules are almost all lined up right there in 1Corinthians 7‚ just read it. Believe it, He means it! And Paul said, "I don't necessarily say the Lord says it, I say it‚ but this is for your convenience & for the best."—1Cor.7:12,35. It's to make things work better. These rules are just for the best, for your own good.

32. Well, Lord‚ You do it in Jesus' name! Help us come to some conclusions about how we should handle these … people who need sex, who deserve sex, who should have sex, but they need to learn the responsibilities of sex & the obligations of sex to some one person, so they can have children, Lord, who will have a father & a mother, in Jesus' name.

33. Help us to develop a program that doesn't just encourage teenage sex, but encourages teenage marriage & legitimate sex within the confines of faithful, loyal matehood & marriage, in Jesus' name! So they can have wonderful babies who have a mother & a father who love them & love each other & are an example to them of what real love is like, & to be thankful for them, proud of them. "That's my Dad! That's my Mom!"—So help us, Lord, in Jesus' name to teach them right & to organise & govern this right, in Jesus' name‚ amen.

34. I think you should look at Mama & me as an example.—And our children, don't they feel that I'm their father & you're their mother? And they love you & they love me & they admire our love for each other, & they admire our faithfulness to the Lord & to them. We've taken good care of them, we've taught them & done our best for them.

35. What's happened to some of our people anyway? Just because we have sexual freedom, does this mean total abandonment of all rules‚ all decency‚ all order?—Total abandonment of marriage?—Total abandonment of mates & children & families & throwing the whole thing to the winds? Then you've got chaos, you've got anarchy & you've got nothing to teach the System!

36. The System can't get their kids to obey because they don't obey! They can't get their kids to admire them for being good fathers & mothers because they're not! They can't see love in their mother & father toward each other, so they can't understand how there could be such love! They're not good examples, so their teenage marriages fail! Are our teenage marriages failing for the same reason?—They don't see it in their parents? They don't see real matehood? Real marriage? Real love? Real responsibility? Real duty to obey & do the right thing whether they like it or not?

37. Are we just as guilty of the failures of our own teenage marriages as the System is of theirs?—Because we haven't taught them obligation & responsibility, we haven't showed them real love & loyalty & faithfulness to each other by our own example? I don't think you could say that of Mama & me. I think we have been loyal to each other & faithful to our children, & to teach them right.

38. Sexual freedom within certain bounds is one thing‚ & even that should be guided & guarded by specific rules that certain things are outside the limits & not according to the rules of the game. So that's my message to you today, that encouraging, authorising & providing for teenage promiscuity is not the answer!

39. But we need to encourage our teenagers that there is such a thing as married love, loyalty‚ faithfulness & communication, as well as faithfulness to children, a responsibility, obligation & duty to take care of their children.—Even if they don't love them, to take care of them, otherwise, that they have got to take care of them anyway! Don't let them get away with it! Make'm! And let them know that they're absolutely disobeying the laws of God & of the Family if they don't do what they're supposed to do!

40. So my answer to your teenage sex problem is not promiscuity, it is marriage! That's what I've always said & always encouraged & I haven't changed a bit! I'm just shocked that people have misinterpreted me other ways.

41. So Lord bless'm in Jesus' name, & help'm to solve this problem the right way, Your way, in Jesus' name.—To give these teenagers the sex they need, Lord‚ that You made them to need & want & have, but legally, in the Family, in marriage, in the way You intended for it to be.—To make good husbands, good wives, good fathers‚ good mothers, & with children who appreciate them & love them & admire them & their example, in Jesus' name.—That's the solution!

42. I haven't changed any. Some people sure must forget the Letters in a hurry! The only thing I've ever said on the subject is marriage, teenage marriage, that God intended for teenagers to get married. And if you ever interpreted it any other way‚ it didn't come from me & my writings! Just because you think we have sexual freedom, it doesn't mean that kind of freedom. It does not mean freedom from marriage. We have not abandoned marriage! I have never encouraged abandonment of marriage.


43. These older men who get involved with … teenage girls, … I condemn it! They're profligates! They're lechers! They're a Hell of an example of a Leader of this Family! They're a very poor sample. They're a bad sample, not just very poor, a bad sample! [HomeARC note (6/98): Any such activity is grounds for excommunication under the Charter. See "Offences Warranting Excommunication," point 2.D., p.118.]

44. … We have expressed our definite, explicit disfavour of that sort of behaviour.

45. We even sent out a long letter on it written by Sara once upon a time [8/86] … & in that Letter from Sara we forbade it!

46. Are we going to keep God's Laws or not? Are we going to keep the rules & play the game by the rules? If not‚ we're going to reap the penalties, & we are going to suffer for it, our children are going to suffer for it, & their children are going to suffer for it, if we don't start laying down the law & enforcing the rules of sex & marriage!

47. Now due to our sexual liberties & our rather easygoing attitude toward sex, we may have allowed quite a bit of freedom. … But that doesn't mean that these older men have any kind of a right to impose themselves on these … girls!—Imposing themselves against their will, it's not what they wanted‚ but they probably more or less felt compelled to in obedience to their elders. Well, I don't like that at all!

48. What the Hell are these older men doing getting involved. …? What sense of responsibility are they showing toward the [girl]? And how responsible & faithful & loyal are they to "the wife of their youth"? God says some very definite things about how He hates putting away, & He tells us to be loyal to the wife of your youth!—Mal.2:14-16.—That means the old lady that you once married as a young girl. He doesn't say you can't marry a new wife, but He says don't go deserting the first one! Especially don't put her away, divorce her in other words, desert her. Desertion, as far as I'm concerned‚ is as good—or as bad—as divorce, putting away.

49. So that's my position on teenage sex! Yes, let'm have it, let'm have all they want—with their wife or their husband! "Goodnight, Dad, I didn't know you were so Systemite! I didn't know you were so old fogey, to still believe in marriage, husbands & wives!" I guess I'm old fogey enough to believe in Love & to believe that God's rules work! And if we'll do it according to the rules of the game, we'll win, without penalties. But if we violate the rules, we're going to lose the game & suffer the consequences, which apparently we have already done in some cases.

50. Some of you here have had to break up for the Lord's Work's sake‚ that's a different story, an entirely different story. But you still love each other. Some of you even still sleep together, at least when you're together in the same place. And you still love your children & try to make sure they're provided for, & they love you & are glad to have you around. Even if they don't get to see you all the time, they know that you're busy working for the Lord. Of course‚ some of you are a good example of being married only to the Lord, & your children know it & understand that that's why they can't see you all the time, why they can't be with you. Our children know that too. But they've been young & small, & I believe while they're young is the time that they especially need you the most.


51. Frankly, if they get married as … teens, they still need you! You need to supervise & encourage & teach & train'm even then. Most System parents seem to think that their responsibility ends by the time they're teenagers, by the time they graduate from either high school or college. And certainly by the time they get married‚ they practically kick'm out! They may even help them get another home because they don't want them living with them, they don't want the responsibility of having those problems in the home, which they're bound to have, & which God intended for the parents to help them solve by being right there where they can nip it in the bud before it gets worse & results in a failed teenage marriage!

52. He intended for those young teenagers to live with their parents & be trained by their parents, taught by their parents, for their parents to help solve their problems, teach them how to take care of their babies & train them & all the rest. The home is the ideal training place. Your home, the parents' home, is the ideal place to train these young teenage parents how to be parents‚ how to be good husbands, how to be good wives, how to take care of & train their children.

53. The grandparents are the ones God ordained for that job, & the reason so many of those marriages are failing is because you don't want the job, you dump out the job, you get rid of the job!—"Go your own way, solve your own problems! I don't want to be bothered with you & all your babies!" You're glad to get'm a house just to get rid of'm! Get'm a job, send'm off someplace, just to get rid of them, you don't want the problems.

54. Such parents themselves are juveniles‚ juvenile delinquents, immature, irresponsible, & have no idea or sense of obligation or responsibility or real Love for their children, they just selfishly want to get rid of them! It's hard work to be a grandparent, if you're a good grandparent. It's hard enough work to be a parent, especially of a teenage marriage. But that is what God intended for you to be. To finish your job as a good parent, is to be a good grandparent, & teach your children in your home what they need to know, how to survive & how to rear their children, before they're ready to go out into the World on their own.

55. You're not done with your job until you have trained your children to be good mates‚ good parents‚ & they're able then to go off to some other home & live independently somewhere else‚ having had your good training, your good example, your good care, so that they know how to be a husband & wife by your example & teaching.—So they know how to be a father & mother, so they're well prepared to then be independent & live separately somewhere else, because you have prepared them for it, & you have taught them, trained them & set the example & showed them that it's possible to have real Love. That's real Love, not just sex!

56. Sex is fine, sex is great, I love it, I have it nearly every day‚ but that's only one way to show love, & sometimes it can merely show selfishness & greediness, not love. That's why of the 80% of the women that Ann Landers asked if they had to make a choice, would they rather have sex or cuddles‚ 80% answered they'd rather have cuddles! Why? Probably because the men were too selfish & sex didn't satisfy them, didn't show love, but the cuddles did show love, & gave them a feeling of affection & love. Because in cuddling you're really only giving, whereas sometimes in sex you're just taking. Cuddles apparently meant more to most women, more real love. I think all of us like both, & I think that's the way it should be. PTL! There should be real love‚ cuddles, sex, communication, responsibility, care, everything.—Including for the children & their training as parents!

57. Until you have trained your children to be good parents & to take care of their children, your job is not done! Is that where we've failed? Are we making exactly the same failure as the System parents? Here we're supposed to have the ideal family, the ideal denomination, the ideal religion which should have the ideal results. Well‚ we'll soon see how these kids are going to go. Maybe so far our teenagers have done pretty good, we've taught'm & raised'm in the nurture & admonition of the Lord, to love the Lord & love each other & get along well, fine. But until they've made the hurdle of marriage & children, your job is not done! You haven't really been a good parent yourself until you've been a good grandparent & you've helped your children get married & have children of their own.



59. I think that even the young couples themselves would approve more of being more legitimised & considered more in line with the normal laws of God's Word & the Family, & provided for accordingly. We have all other kinds of departments, where is our young teenage marriage department? Where are their quarters? Where do we train them?


60. Well, I think it's about time for this. We have teenagers‚ … it's about time we woke them up to the fact of the responsibilities & obligations of marriage! God's Word & the laws of God advocate marriage! He says, "Let them marry!"—1Cor.7:9.

61. If you say that you don't want them to get married—then you're defying the laws of God, & God's plan & God's order & God's rules & God's Own idea! The whole idea of sex is to have a couple that loves one another & cares for one another & is concerned about each other & the welfare of each other first of all, & then is concerned about the babies that result therefrom, & knows that they're responsible to take care of them & provide for them!

62. I think you're teaching those teenagers the exact opposite of what we ought to be teaching them! You're teaching them profligacy, promiscuity, irresponsibility, that you can have all the freedoms & pleasures of sex with no responsibility‚ no obligation. That's not what it's all about! That is not God's plan for teenagers, that's not the solution—permitted sex, authorised sex!

63. So I expect our older teenagers to start looking around for a suitable husband or a suitable wife, some woman they love & would like to take care of.—Or a husband they love & would like to take care of.

64. I still believe in real old-fashioned Love & falling in Love & wanting to take care of somebody & help somebody & be their mate, be half of them‚ & have their children! I'm that old-fashioned! Maybe you think that's Systemite, all this romantic idea of the movies. Well‚ it's still the World's ideal. They still know that that's Heaven, that's the ultimate, that's Love, for you to finally find somebody you really love, who loves you & you live happily ever after together. Those are still the happiest movies & the happiest love stories, the ones where they finally find each other‚ the love of their life, & finally decide they want to live together for the rest of their life & have each other's children & take care of each other & take care of their children, have a home, a happy home of Love!

65. It certainly seems like as soon as our teenagers find out which one they like the best & which one they would like to live with, that it's then time to knuckle down to the hard work & the responsibility of taking care of each other! We now want supervised teenage marriages, preferably kept in separate quarters, under good fathers & mothers, superiors‚ grandparents, who know what they need & know how to sock it to'm & make'm obey the rules & make'm take care of each other, or at least persuade'm to take care of each other & show'm how to really love each other, setting a good example yourself with your marriage & your children.

66. It's a little hard to do in our Family sometimes since so many are married to the Lord & His Work, but you can show that even if you're not actually always living together, that you're still the best of friends, & you're working together in the same Work, in the same Family, & you'd be sleeping together if it were possible.—Teach them so, show'm! "We're not divorced‚ we're not even necessarily separated, but we're just more or less obligated to be apart because we're married to the Lord & His Work!"

67. Let's not give our teenagers the idea that the Family is just a place of free love & total promiscuity where anybody can do as they please regarding sex, & you don't have to be loyal to anybody, you don't have to take care of anybody‚ you don't even have to take care of your babies! You can litter them all over the place here & there like some of our people have. I don't think that's a very good example.

68. Just look back over history, thousands of years of history have proven that marriage of husbands to wives, having children & making a home is the ideal situation & the ideal plan of God. Nobody's ever thought up something better yet. There are a lot of people trying—who don't want to get married, don't want to have children, have abortions, & just live together until they get tired of each other & then try somebody else, & this has certainly been found to be absolutely detrimental to the children that often result, a real traumatic experience for children to suddenly find out that they're insecure, their parents don't love each other & don't love them!

69. God intended for parents to Love each other & show the children that love.—And to give the children a feeling of security & stability, a home of faith & love & care & concern, & not just an in & out proposition‚ scattering babies along the way!


70. Maybe we'll have to start teenage couples' Homes with really good supervision & training & teaching, where if we have to, like we did at TSC, start from scratch & even teach them how to make love! Teach them the right way, how to truly satisfy each other, even if you have to have some kind of a demonstration or whatever. You'd have to have privacy & be away from it all in order to be able to do it, & to teach them all they need to know about marriage, taught by successful parents who still love each other. Even if such parents may be temporarily separated for their work for the Lord, at least they have good fruit‚ & are someone that the rest of the teens can look up to as a good example, who understand their problems & can try to help them solve them.

71. A School for teenage marriages, to try to prove it works! Now don't go bragging about it when you're putting your armour on, wait till you've done it & can put your armour off & say it worked!—1Kng.20:11. I think it's worth trying. I think it's needed. In most of our Homes throughout the World they probably don't have to have separate housing for them, they can let them marry right there in the Home, teach & train them right there how to get along together, how to have a satisfying sexual life & pleasant communication & fellowship & children.

72. That's the way it was done in the beginning. Families grew into tribes, but they stuck together & they were loyal & faithful to each other & helped to care for each other. Little families soon became a big family with lots of relatives, & they still have that in many places throughout the World. The Orient is strong on families & family loyalty, unity, they even worship their ancestors! They're very respectful of their elders‚ they stay very tight & close–knit & abide by family traditions, rules, mores, taboos, whatnot. They're strong on family loyalty, family love. They are in the Latin American countries also, as well as the Catholic families in Southern Europe.

73. There are many many cultures & many nations & many peoples throughout the World who have found that families can be very successful & very nice to have. And kids who have grown up in such families are very loyal & have a lot of love & family loyalty & faithfulness.—They love their parents‚ love their grandparents, love to take care of them when they're old, etc.

74. I think we need to teach our children respect for their elders, that they've lived a great many more years & learned a lot that they haven't, & they need to learn from them. The Lord has made teenagers to want to be somewhat independent, so they would want to, if necessary‚ leave father & mother & cleave to their mate.—Mat.19:5. The Lord had to say that to make sure that if the newlyweds wanted to be apart, that the parents would let them, & to tell the children that if they want to live separately, they could. But on the other hand, if they're not ready, you'd better make sure they get ready before they go off to live on their own to take care of themselves.

75. I think we need a young Teenage Marriage Ministry, & we need to make it work! It was intended to work. It's God's plan! And let's face it, in societies & cultures where families are far more important than in the culture from which most of us came, & there's a great deal more family loyalty & faithfulness & closeness & inter-dependence, it has worked! They have better families, better children & obviously better parents & grandparents who are willing to take the responsibility‚ & then finally the children take responsibility for the old folks. I wouldn't use American society as any kind of good example of marriage or for young married couples at all!

76. But for thousands of years the family has been the basic building block of society. If your families are good, your society's going to be good. But if your families fall apart, your society is going to fall apart. As I always say, "The family that prays together stays together," & in the societies where the family has stayed together, the society has stayed together & been much better.

77. Now I've dropped the bomb, you pick up the pieces! What do you think? Let's boil it down to brass tacks, to actualities. What else do you have to take care of that is more important than starting a whole new department & ministry in the Family? It's about time!


78. (Fam: I've got an idea. Even if the Schools don't have all the details of housing & separate quarters worked out, even if they don't start the marriage part, they could start the responsibility program. The girls could learn more about childcare, about kitchen‚ laundry, housekeeping, that side of it. The Schools could make sure that they program things so that they're really learning all those things even before they get married. And the boys could also learn more about childcare & handyman, etc.)

79. Maybe the boys who plan to get married ought to have some cooking classes too. (Fam: Maybe not just even the ones who are planning to get married right away, but all of them. Because right now, probably none of them want to get married, they haven't thought of it much. They don't even have anybody in mind‚ & such a major decision may take awhile. But when they get the vision they'll be thinking about it & praying about it, & meanwhile the Schools could have couples give classes on marriage to all of them, & then at the end they could get them married & start applying it all.)

80. I think you're going to find there are going to be some of them wanting to get married pretty soon when they find out they're not going to [be allowed to have] indiscriminate sex. … The System has found that that works pretty well! The System has found that forbidding sex until marriage has made them willing to get married. They dangle the bait. They can't have it until they get in the trap! (Fam: That's what happened to us when we first joined. We didn't have any sex till our honeymoon night!) So that's what encouraged you to get married! (Fam: I must say, it had a lot to do with it.) Yesiree!

81. Well, PTL! It sure did with me! I was still in the System, & in a system & church & family that didn't approve of any kind of sex until you got married. … "You've had enough fun now, enough freedom, trial & experimentation, by this time you have probably even learned who you would rather be married to."—I hope it's not all the same girl, the sexiest girl or the most virile boy or whatever! That would be a little difficult if they all want to marry the same one. But things seem to sort themselves out & the Lord by His Spirit leads some people to like each other. You sometimes wonder how so many people do manage to get married & fall in love & choose each other. I'm sure the Lord must be exerting a lot of influence on them from the Spirit World to try to get the right people paired up to make good fathers & mothers.

82. Maybe it could be called our Premarital Training course.—"This is to prepare you for marriage, & whether you have anyone contemplated yet or not, this will give you a little idea of what marriage is all about & what it entails. And you're not going to get free unlimited sex until you start learning the responsibilities of marriage, then that will be your reward!" We can call it betrothal so we don't run into any technical, legal terminology problems.


83. You could have a room or cottage or whatever devoted to teenage marriages, where the night after the ceremony they could move into their bridal chamber‚ & you could make sure they know what they should know about sex before they make a mess of it the first try & always have an unhappy memory like I did. I never even got it in for two weeks‚ & that didn't make either one of us too happy.

84. That's the kind of thing you can help to avoid with a little consultation, a little counsel & a little instruction. I covered this whole topic a long time ago in a lecture at TSC. (See "Revolutionary Love-Making," No.N & No.259.) In the early days of the Family I had to give quite a bit of preliminary instruction to some of the new couples that we betrothed. Sometimes they had problems & we had to help them. This is the perfect place to do it, in the Family, where we're open & free about things, & where you know it's all in the Lord & in love‚ & that helps to eliminate one of the biggest problems, which is fear.

85. So we ought to be able to have the World's best teenage marriage school, teenage marriage clinic. … Some cultures, Aboriginal cultures & tribal cultures in South America & other places, they have an older woman officiate first in the marriage bed & teach the boy how to do it & do it with him to show the wife while she stands there & watches the demonstration. …

86. There's nothing like showing the girl how to do it & showing the boy how to do it, & showing them they don't have to be afraid, it's not going to hurt, especially if he gentles her & doesn't just force her. Like I've said‚ once you get those two fingers in, usually you can get a penis in. But some of them are really tight, & usually scared, especially if it's the first time.

87. So how about a Teenage Marriage Clinic where you older women can show them how it's done? Maybe help the boy on his first night so that he doesn't fade away, & show the girl that it's nothing to be afraid of, but something to be relaxed with & enjoy. How about that? (Fam: Amen!) I think the girl is especially the one apt to be the most fearful & self–conscious. She's heard all these stories about ripping & pain & blood & horror stories! I think you can help relieve her of some of that if you give her a demonstration.

88. I'm not kidding, I think it would be a real blessing to have somebody oversee that first night & make sure they make it. I think it would really be a good way of introducing teens to marriage, teaching them & training them in not only sex, but then how to keep the husband happy the next morning by getting up & making him a nice breakfast or something, or for him to serve her breakfast in bed or whatever. They would have a wedding night & honeymoon with supervisors to make sure they learn & know how & are satisfied.—Make sure that not only he's satisfied, which usually doesn't take long, but that he satisfies her as well.

89. Wouldn't you have appreciated that kind of help on your wedding night? Of course, maybe you'd had so much sex already you didn't need any help. Maybe not your wedding night, but what about your first time? Some girls I've heard had such unpleasant experiences that they hated sex from then on.

90. They can learn how to be married, how to be happy though married, where you can teach them how to really enjoy sex, & give them a whole course in marriage relations. I think your idea of teaching them as much as possible ahead of time is great. …

91. So you'd have to have a House Father & a House Mother to supervise, amen? Too many young couples think that their wedding night is going to be Heaven on Earth, & they sometimes find out it's just the beginning of all their troubles. And they often don't even know what the cause or the troubles or the answers are, & there's nobody there to tell'm & they're ashamed to ask. They don't even want to ask their parents, so they usually go to some stranger or doctor or somebody else to find out. How much better to have one of their Christian parents right there who knows & loves them & knows all about it & can explain & teach & show & whatnot. Amen?


92. The House Mother & Father can also see how much they learned from their premarital training & give them a few tests. See if she knows how to cook his breakfast or if maybe he knows how to fix her lunch & things like that‚ see if she's learned how to make a bed or whatever, all the things that are involved in living together, married life. See if they've learned how to keep their room neat & clean & orderly.

93. The premarital training should teach the girls to cook, teach the boys how to fix things around the house, how to fix the toilet, how to fix the plumbing, how to fix the lights.—Simple little things, but they happen to everybody & they could mean the difference between a happy marriage & an unhappy one.

94. A girl soon loses respect for a man who doesn't know how to fix a thing around the house‚ I know I would! Because I've always been a fixer & they brought me stuff to fix even when I was a kid. I started being the family fixer when I was ten or even younger. They always brought me the toaster to fix or this to fix, that to fix, because that was just one of my natural, God–given talents, I guess. "Oh, Dave can fix it!" Then later it was, "Dad can fix it!"

95. So really teach the boys, give them a specific course & training‚ how the toilet works & what's apt to go wrong & how you can fix it, how to stop it if it runs & how to unstop the drains & all those little things that you think everybody would know, but you'd be surprised how many kids have never been taught! They can be taught maintenance work & even gardening, painting & all kinds of things. A house has always got something that needs fixing or improving or whatever.

96. There are so many little things that they may or may not have learned around the house, so you need to have a specific course in them & teach them how to do all these things, that these are the responsibilities of a wife, & these are the duties of a husband. The boy should learn all about how to fix things & help clean the house as well & take care of the yard‚ which is usually the man's job. My Father was an old European who said that a man works outside the home & the inside jobs are the woman's. Well, I learned with my Mother to do both. He can help learn how to clean house & all those things & take care of the yard as well.

97. The girls need to learn how to cook, & you can teach them some common sewing things that they have to take care of—how to sew up a ripped-out hem in case they don't know‚ or how to darn a sock.—Like the old Home Economics courses they teach in school. It could be a whole course in Home Economics or Homemaking, whatever they want to call it!

98. On the old TSC Ranch my boys learned ranching & animal care & all that sort of thing. Of course, you don't have that in most places, but they can at least learn something about gardening, & if nothing else, keeping the yard clean & the lawn mowed & the trash picked up, & how to burn the trash & empty the garbage & a lot of other things. Teach them which duties should be mainly the girl's, & which duties should be mainly the man's, & get'm to learn to do them.

99. (Fam: Someone who knows handyman work could teach them all about light switches & how to fix lights, or could teach them all about the plumbing, etc.)—Right, & have the girls learn how to cook different meals. They ought to learn at least 3 main dishes where they can serve a different dish 3 nights in a row every night‚ then start back again.

100. There are so many things you could teach them just living together & working together, all the things they need to know to have a happy home together, which our Homes ought to be teaching them. Our Homes are the perfect atmosphere in which to teach them. Now that we're having a lot of teenagers, they're getting that old & needing sex, they need to get married, & you need to train them! Our Homes are the perfect situation for Teenage Marriage Clinics‚ for on-the-job training right there where there are usually plenty of women who have had lots of sex & lots of husbands & lots of babies & know all about it!

101. Doesn't it sound interesting? (Fam: Yes, oh it's thrilling!) Would you like to do it? (Fam: Yes!) You can call it Homemaking or Premarital Training or on-the-job training for marriage, whatever. I thought Homemaking was a good name that they used to call Home Ec in school, & it's a job which both boys & girls can participate in. Then you can say with Edgar Guest,

"Making a home, I reckon that's fun,

Because it's a job you never get done!"

—There's always more! PTL!

102. I frankly think that marriage will be much better for them than your present system. It's definitely more Scriptural, it's more God's plan‚ God's intention.—Not just to irresponsibly play around with sex as a toy without realising that there's a price to pay. God intended for you to pay that price to learn how to love & take care of each other & take care of your home & your children.

103. Don't you think that would have been a help to you women if you'd had it in your teenage days at home?—If your mother had just tackled the problem head-on & said, "Well, now I'm going to prepare you to be a wife & teach you how to do all the things that a wife should know, so you'll make a good wife when you find a good husband!" Wouldn't that have been a help to you men if your father had said, "Now listen, I want to show you what to do & how to do it & how to be a good husband & homemaker, how to take care of a house, yard & all the rest."


104. (Maria: Do the young people have to be a certain age before they start living together?) Well, as far as legal marriage is concerned, in most countries there's usually a minimum.

105. If the minimum legal age for girls to get married with parental consent is 16, then … they're not going to start having babies till they're 16‚ when they can officially even get legally married.

106. … (Fam: Providing the husband is going to be the legal age for boys, which is usually about 18.)

107. … Now that would be the safest thing to do, simply officially prohibit marriage & sex, except whatever they manage to do privately.—And we've taught our Family to be able to deliver themselves without any big to-do about it‚ both girls & boys can masturbate, so they're not going to suffer too much. (See "Teen Sex," No.2061:51-55.)


108. Of course, God is merciful, & "will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it."—1Cor.10:13. If our teens simply can't contain, & they occasionally have a sexual need that must be met & fulfilled, they don't have to feel all frustrated & condemned. If they're not in a Home or situation where they can find a suitable mate, & they need help, then I'm sure with the help of their Shepherds they can work out some sort of arrangement, D.V.—Providing they abide by the rules we've already given in the Letters, & they don't do anything foolish that could jeopardise or scandalise the Lord's Work!

109. Also, when a teen couple decides that they would like to get married, they could even start "going steady."—In other words‚ start seriously working together, having their Get-Out together, Word time together, etc. Back in the early Letters I strongly advocated this, that prospective couples learn to be real friends & co-workers before even considering marriage! I used to recommend that they work very closely together for at least 3-6 months before marrying!—That way they can make sure it's real Love, the Lord's Will & good for His Work! (See MLs 58:14,15; 154:65-69; 1566:130!)

110. As I've often said‚ most of marriage is not sex, but living life together in all of its activities & responsibilities. So the more you live together as brother & sister—working, studying, eating, relaxing‚ sharing hearts & praying together before marriage—the better you will know each other, & know whether you are really suited for each other or not. If you can do everything else well together, then sleeping together will probably present no major problems! PTL!


111. Well, I think this is a happy solution to a difficult situation. And not only that, a real improvement on our teens' training & education! Frankly, it makes me very happy to know that our teens are going to get the right kind of training & have the right supervision in that training so that we can have the right kind of couples, fathers & mothers‚ make them the right kind of parents, & as a result get the right kind of grandchildren.

112. I think it's been a woefully lacking part of our Family training or educational experience. I think it's really lacking & we need it, & we need it now! So let's get this Marriage Prep program started!

113. Let's teach our teens something worthwhile that will really give them the right preparation for marriage! I don't know, can you think of a better term than Marriage Prep? They might as well know that that's what they're headed for‚ & that's the only thing we're going to encourage & recommend, genuine marriage, mating, husband & wife situations.

114. (Maria: A Marriage Prep course like that would even be a good sample for the System too.) Yes, you could brag about it! "What do you teach your teens, those sexy teens?—We teach ours Marriage Prep, all the subjects they need to know to prepare them for marriage!" (Maria: All schools have homemaking & things like that, but you say "Marriage Prep" & they could see that we're different.) Right away they're going to ask you‚ "Oh, is that sex education?" Well, you can say‚ "Partly, yes. But that's only a very minor part of the course."

115. Spiel off all the other things they learn about cooking, sewing, pregnancy, babycare, homecare, housecare‚ maintenance, home repairs, all kinds of things. You can make a list of subjects a yard long on all the things they learn in Marriage Prep. I think the System would really admire you for that. That they would accept. But this, ahem, marriage experimentation program, I don't think they would exactly agree with that. A lot of people agree with sex education, but not with necessarily sex experimentation, although it might teach them a few things.

116. Well, amen, I think we've made some progress! We've developed a whole new course of training for young people, & it's really needed. And I think that that's a great reward, the prize, if they pass the course, that we'll approve their marriage. How's that? That ought to be a real shiner's prize!

117. Well, PTL! I've got the burden for it, & I spent several nights‚ as Mama knows‚ praying about it, & that's the general idea. Now you can fill it out, round it out & figure it out. You fill in the details, PTL?

118. Sex may not necessarily be any big deal to our teenagers, but I think marriage is‚ & that's what they need to consider & realise that that's what it's all about & what it's for.—Not just something to play around with. It's God's way & God's plan, God's ordination, God's rule‚ & the way He made things to work. And if you work'm God's way, they will work! And it will make you happier & your mate happier, your children happier, everybody will be happier, & certainly God will be happy because you're doing it the right way & how He intended you to. It'll make us happy too!

119. I'd love to see some of these young people get married in the right way. You can have a very nice betrothal ceremony just as good as a wedding, so that they don't even have to have another wedding. All they have to do when the time comes when they're of age to legally marry is go down & get the license, that's all, a little piece of paper that is necessary for some things. But you could make their earlier betrothal just as beautiful & as wonderful & exciting as a wedding!

120. So I think our folks can make it sound very very interesting & attractive, that it will be something to look forward to. Anticipation, they say‚ is 50% of enjoyment. Looking forward to it is half the fun! Amen? PTL! And preparing thoroughly for it so it will really be enjoyable & will really work I think is the other half of the fun. Then when you get married you'll have all the fun!

121. All right, who would like to close in prayer & ask for God's blessing on this plan & program, & that our teenagers will like it, love it, be enthusiastic about it & be willing to sacrifice a few of their present liberties & pleasures in order to be prepared for real life & the real thing! Amen, PTL! TYL!

122. (Fam: Thank You so much, Lord, for this answer to a real problem worldwide, this answer that You've given through Dad that is so simple & clear & easy, & at least makes the whole plan with a purpose rather than just sex for sex, or even unguided sex. This plan will really teach & train, & we're so thankful for it, Lord, & we do thank You for giving it‚ it's a real answer. We pray now, Lord‚ that You'll help us to carry it out & to inspire the teens with it.

123. (Help them to see the benefits that are ahead, Jesus, real training, Lord‚ training in the school of life that they're going to have to lead. Now they'll have this golden opportunity, Lord, our teens all around the World. We pray the teens accept it & realise the benefits, Lord, not just look at the bit of sacrifice, but see the great benefits & the change that it can make in their life & their future happiness & in their love & in their sex & in their marriage.

124. (Please do help all of our parents & teachers to seek You & to get Your answers on exactly what to teach, or at least how to teach the things that we should be teaching. Help all the different people that have the knowledge of these things to be able to get together & pump people power for the answers, Lord. We thank You for giving this answer to Dad, & all this counsel, Lord‚ & all that he's poured out, it's just so terrific, it's such a milestone‚ & we just thank You so much for it, in Jesus' name.) Amen‚ amen, TYJ!


125. While praying I came up with a couple more little questions.—How much of a school day & how many times a week do you think such a course would require? One hour a day? Two hours a day? (Fam: Well, some of it would actually be part of the daily work routine, the handymen, the cleaning, the children‚ the cooking. Perhaps the Schools could set up a rotation system where for instance the girls spend one or two weeks in the childcare department, & they really learn, helping with the kids, changing diapers etc. Then they could move to the housecleaning department‚ & all of the overseers & teachers could be geared to really teaching them.) Yes, learn by doing, the Clinical Method.

126. I think in addition to all of the practical on-the–job training, they're going to have to have some theoretical or informational training as well. For example, charts, pictures, diagrams, etc., of the sex organs & the process of pregnancy would be helpful. You need a sex education course, where you do some book-learning & lecturing with pictures or diagrams, etc., of the actual science of sex.

127. All the rest pretty much teaches them all of the practices of living together & homemaking & marriage prep & all the rest, but not all of our teenagers necessarily know all about how pregnancy occurs & what happens & how long it takes & the different technical facts about sex & the organs & all the rest. That should be a part of it‚ sex education, about the parts of their bodies, pregnancy & all those things, so they understand what's going on. The rest they can learn just from practical experience. The sex education class could be left until the end of the course, & could maybe be taught once a week or something, one hour a week.—By a good teacher who's serious about it & really wants them to learn, not just be sexy & have fun & laugh, but to really teach them what they need to know.


128. Another thing that came to me is, what's the minimum age that they would be qualified to begin this type of course in Marriage Prep? In many places they can't legally get married till the girl's 16‚ the boy 18. …

129. Now if that's the case, how long is the course going to be? Shall we say a one-year course? I don't think that would be too much, one year of real specific preparation for marriage. I think it's excellent training, good preparation, they need it. … I think it should be a required course for all the teens. (Maria: It's all practical training & all stuff they need to know anyway. …) …

130. I wonder, though, if you were to be asked point blank, "What ages do you allow to take this course?", & you say 12 on up. It's going to be a little hard to swallow that you start giving this Marriage Prep course even to very young teenagers, 13-year-olds. You may allow some 12-year-olds under exceptional circumstances. … What do you think?

131. (Maria: Well, even in the States, they now have sex education in 7th, 8th & 9th grade, & even before that, because there is such a big problem with it.) That's true. (Maria: Maybe if you say marriage course, that would be a little hard for them to accept, but in the Western countries sex education is getting down even into the 6th grade.) Well, if it's those ages‚ maybe you could call it sex education. But Marriage Prep I'd say 14‚ 15.


132. Well‚ I think this is a major policy milestone in the Family, that this session will be a classic, because I think we've made some major decisions regarding our teenagers. Our children are our most valuable treasures, & any religious group that keeps its teenagers is rare! The churches haven't been able to keep them, they're notoriously lacking in teenagers. The teen years are usually the age when they leave the church & don't want to go to church any more & don't like any restrictions & blah blah. So the church that keeps its teenagers has really been very wise & an amazing success, because most of them don't!

133. By really giving our teenagers what they need to know, & letting them know that that's what they need to know, letting them really be convinced that that's really what they need, I believe we can hang on to them. From before their wedding night, maybe 3-6 months, we can train them in an atmosphere conducive to such training.

134. Where there's time & personnel that you can afford for it, you can even make it a year.—Make sure that they stay in that Home under supervision long enough to really make sure they're going to be good husbands & wives. Maybe by that time they'll have a baby, & they'll then learn all about that for sure. Don't even allow them to go out on their own or to a new Home until they've finished that supervised period.

135. You say teenage marriages don't work?—Let's make'm work! I believe in them, I believe God intended it that way, & I believe we can make them work with the cooperation of our teenagers! And I believe we can get them to cooperate. They're sometimes a little independent‚ stubborn & balky, but I found with mine & most of them, that although they may balk at first, they're like the son who said no, he wouldn't, but then he finally did.—Mat.21:28,29. So I believe the Lord will work it out. If you'll do your part & they'll do their part, I'm sure the Lord will do His part to make it work! PTL!

136. What shall we call this conference?—"Make It Work!" Make it work, that was the main thing that I exhorted you. So let's make'm work! Okay? PTL! GBY! Make it work!

P.S. Although we firmly believe that marriage is God's ideal, we are not going to the extreme of forbidding our young people to have any dates!—Just make sure that our Schools & Homes are not officially authorising & scheduling it! Why not just schedule Word dates instead where they can read together & fellowship & share together?

—Amen? GBY! Make it work!