HIV and the Church

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by Defeating HIV&AIDS

Part Two: Continue to Keep Your “Familia” Strong

Together, we are celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Latino/Latina Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 – October 15, 2012, a fiesta for all Americans to express appreciation for Latino/Latina contributions and culture. In this short blog series, I want to humbly pass on a few words of encouragement from this pastor’s heart to my Latino brothers and Latina sisters on how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and defeat HIV&AIDS.  The very first thing you can do is…

Continue to Keep Your “Familia” Strong

Gregory Nava, Latino film-maker, is clear, "Familia is the very center of Latino culture… the strongest thing about us and the most universal."   One of the great gifts Hispanics give humanity is love for strong families.  So, here’s a summary of wise advice on “familia” I have learned from Latino brothers and sisters over the years:

•  Fathers and mothers, protect your family heritage.  Talk to your children and keep conversations going!  Plan family gatherings and keep vital and communicative links with grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins of all generations.  If you do not have extended family close by (as many families do not), create a surrogate family of close friends whose influence you trust.

•  Husbands and wives, be faithful to each other and your marriage vows.  Don’t let temptations from others cause you to cheat or let seduction via the internet ruin your marriage. 

•  If you are a single adult, be true to yourself and only give your heart, soul, mind and body to that special someone who is committed to love, marry and deeply care for you exclusively and forever. 

•  While you are a teen, spend time with and enjoy your family, and have fun with friends.  As you are on the lookout for “that special someone,” learn to experience him or her for the significant wonder of the way God’s image is manifest in them rather than experiment with them for a few moments of sexual pleasure. 

•  Beautiful children, love, respect, trust and obey parents who care for you and are deeply concerned for your long-term health and well-being.  They may not be right all of the time, and that’s because they are imperfect and learning just like you.

A loving marriage, stable and communicative environment for children and deep personal commitments gained from a strong home help defeat HIV&AIDS!

NEXT TIME: Choose Your Influential Friends Wisely

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