'Love me to live, not die'
ORACABESSA, St Mary:
As part of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) 150th-anniversary celebrations recently, the officer in charge of Area Two, Assistant Commissioner of Police Bishop Fitz Bailey, led a special service at the New Testament Church of God in Oracabessa, St Mary.
The sermon, which was attended by police personnel from across the parish, ran under the theme Love me to live, not to die, and explored issues such as relationships, domestic abuse, and violence against women.
Speaking after addressing the congregation, Bailey told Family and Religion: "Today is in commemoration of the JCF's 150th celebrations, we decided to seek permission from the churches to allow JCF members to be in charge of preaching, so I came here to Oracabessa to bring the message, which focused on the importance of family and what we need to do to build Jamaica.
"The fact is, we are now in the Valentine's period, when love is in the air, so we capitalised on that opportunity, and the background is that last year, we over 37 per cent of the murders (in Jamaica) were linked to domestic issues, so we want people to understand their roles and responsibilities, and to promote a level of communication and interaction within the home.
"We're going into the churches and communities to say how important it is to stay together and build relationships because family is really the bedrock of society, and if we can get that right, I believe more of our problems, in terms of violence, domestic or otherwise, will be solved."
GROW AS INDIVIDUALS
As part of his impassioned, thought-provoking and honest homily, Bailey spoke about his own marriage and encouraged couples to think deeply about their relationships and give each other space to grow as individuals.
He explained: "Once we base love on emotion, we will face a challenge because love is a principle. When the feeling goes, the love still remains, and your commitment to the individual is still there. There's nothing wrong with taking a break. I recommend every couple take a break, even if it's just for one week.
"The husband goes abroad, or the wife goes to spend time with family members. That's very important because it is builds relationships. There must be that desire where a husband and wife want to see each other, but that time apart can help create that opportunity.
"In any healthy relationship, both men and women need space for meditation, reflections, and to refocus, it's important, and I support that kind of activity."
Bailey added, "If you're going into a relationship, make sure you are ready for it. It is important that you are prepared because relationships come with commitment, and if you are not ready for the commitment, I would encourage a person to wait."