Teen girls urged to stick to Christian values
Often, we hear the pleas of loneliness of young Christian women, some even admitting that the desires of the flesh are their strongest battle.
Admirable are those who stand the test and wait upon the Lord for guidance. Shaniese Laylor-Bogle happily sits among those who have defeated the flesh.
"I was baptised at six years old. I felt a strong desire one day as a child to start a relationship with God. It was as though the Lord was talking to me. There was a tug on my heart - a conviction, that even though I was a child, my soul needed urgent attention.
"I couldn't ignore it, so I sought the Lord in that moment of conviction. I also got the permission from my parents to be baptised and so, at that age, I started my journey with Jesus," she said.
Laylor-Bogle told Family and Religion that the initial stages of her Christian journey were not hard as she grew up in a Christian home.
"However, as I got older, especially during my teenage years, it (Christianity) became challenging. This was because, as a teen, you want to go out and see what it's like to have a boyfriend. So, yes, the temptations and challenges came," she said, adding that her made up mind to serve the Lord helped her to hang on to salvation.
The now 26-year-old is pleased to tell Family and Religion that she is happily married and was blessed with a baby girl.
Having overcome the earlier struggles of the flesh, Laylor-Bogle advises teenage girls who are Christians and may be going through similar challenges to love the Lord with everything within them.
She said: "When you love God you will want to please Him. This doesn't mean you won't make mistakes, but at least you will not be comfortable in a state that is displeasing to God. If you are not yet a Christian, try Jesus. He is a young girl's keeper! Life will get rough at times but you will make it, as long as your life is in God's hands. Also, daily praying and reading the Bible, fasting, and ultimately having the Holy Spirit within you will help to build spiritual muscles to overcome challenges.
"And surround yourself with people who have similar values as you. Talk to persons you can trust to help you through tempting situations. Don't keep your struggles to yourself as you stand a greater chance of giving in when you try to fight temptations alone."
'keep her in line'
Laylor-Bogle, who sings with the Grace Chapel Choir, and a group known as 'One Step Closer', said that being spiritually active also helped to 'keep her in line' where having an effective relationship with God is concerned.
She testifies that it's always best to wait on the Lord as it saves people from a lot of heartaches and mistakes.
According to her: "Waiting on God helps me to not have regrets, and even if things don't seem to have gone right, they always work out for my good in the end. It's always best to let God do the directing. Before I got married I used to have a profile for my 'perfect guy' but with the guidance of my pastor, my family and through constant prayer I asked God to help me not to make any foolish decision. Now I have not only a handsome but a wonderful, loving and caring husband."
She told Family and Religion that, waiting on and trusting in the Lord also landed her a great job.
"I am a permanent teacher at the high school in Kingston. So it always pays to put not some but everything in God's hands and He will work things out for our good when the timing is just right," she advised.