Phillip Chidavaenzi

THAT author John Museredzo is passionate about youth issues has never been in doubt, and his 2015 publication — Youths, Relationships & Marriage — is confirmation of that fact.

One thing that Museredzo has been able to do with this book is explore the challenges that young people face in starting and handling relationships within the confines of biblical parameters in an age in which licentiousness has become an accepted normative life standard.

In this book, which can be used by pastors, youth leaders and counsellors inside and outside the church, the author has been able to successfully define, highlight, delineate and illuminate a very sensitive subject that is often avoided within families and on pulpits, grounding it within its proper biblical context.

Young people’s failure to understand sex within its proper context in life has become a social cancer that needs to be corrected, and one way to do that is produce books such as the one under review, which is highly informative and educative on the subject of sex and marriage.

The jump from adolescence into adulthood is one of the biggest stages of life, and failure to negotiate it often ends with disastrous consequences given that many young people seek to jump the gun.

This is where this book comes in handy as it provides the necessary tools for young people to negotiate this sharp bend of life and come out victorious.

The book’s strength probably lies in the fact that it demonstrates how young people can successfully chart their way from youth to adulthood without making unnecessary mistakes that can prove costly and perhaps derail their destiny forever.

Museredzo documents many of the mistakes that young people make as part of the pre-nuptial rites of passage, including unrealistic expectations such as having an extravagant wedding to outclass all the others, failure to manage emotions in the relationship, failure to understand the differences between sex and love, experimenting with sex before marriage and absence of marriage goals.

The author also delineates how many young people make a dash for a relationship for the wrong reasons and the assumption that marriage can wash away certain character flaws. Others are out to show off their relationships while others keep in the cupboard skeletons from previous relationships or come in with all the excess baggage from the past, which will end up sinking the new relationship.

Museredzo — who wears many hats as a relationship expert, author, motivational speaker, pastor, life coach and business consultant — stresses in the book that it is important for people to understand the need for investment in a relationship or marriage if ever it is to succeed.

These are investments of time, effort, and sacrifice in building a relationship. What comes out strongly in the book is that such investments are not automatic, but they should be initiated from the time of courtship and, ultimately, it is up to the parties involved in a relationship to decide whether they want it to succeed or fail. In its presentation of the discourse on the pitfalls that lie along the way for young people exploring relationships, the book discusses key elements to safeguard such as abstinence, faithfulness and sexual purity.

It is a practical guide to living a sexually pure life, especially for the youths. Museredzo shares knowledge that is clearly not commonplace, using an honest and refreshingly candid approach that is neither judgmental nor condescending. This is a plus given the taboos that surround subjects of sex and sexuality, especially in the church.

This book is an essential tool on any young person’s bookshelf, just as much as it is relevant as a source of information and knowledge for those who work with young people in various platforms.