Youth And Violence | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
December 2018

Youth And Violence

By Tinashe Tembo

By Tinashe Timbo

The world can be a better place if we are able to live with each other in peace and harmony. I always wonder why there is so much hatred in the world when preachers preach love, musicians sing love. We are brought up mostly in a loving and caring environment. Youth are usually perpetrators of violence against fellow youth and sometimes against their elders. The Bible tells us that love is above everything and it is patient and kind. Aggressive behavior is a sign of a lack of love - whether in the community, family, or the country at large.

There are many influences that can lead to violent behavior; the media, peer influence, insufficient parental supervision, or growing up in a domestically violent family. The media plays an important role in influencing people and its contribution to youth’s behavior cannot be underestimated. People tend to imitate what they have seen on television, thereby harming others in the process. As youth, we need to be media literate so that we avoid actions that may disturb the peace of others. Doing this would mean that we are appreciating the media but also controlling our actions that are not only harmful to us but also to others in the community. Peer influence and insufficient parental supervision is another contributing factor. There will come a time when as youth we rely more on our peers. Our actions will be influenced more by the values of our peers than our familial beliefs. It is during this period that most youth are influenced and consequently experiment with violent behavior to please fellow peers. To make matters worse, there isn’t much parental supervision, adding to the complicated nature of our economies. This makes it difficult for youth to unlearn what they have learned from their peers. Adequate parental supervision is a vital ingredient to end youth violence.

One of the long-term effects of the culture of violence is that it will be passed on to younger generations making our communities unsafe. Once this ideology is well established in us, it will be difficult to change, much to the detriment of familial communities. As youth, we need to condemn any form of violence if we are to make our communities a better place for ourselves and future generations. A culture of violence reinforced during the period of development spent as a young person, will make youth more susceptible to be violent towards their families in later life. This chain of abuse exposes children and spouses to abuse and domestic violence respectively. Peace, begins with me and you. Let’s all make our communities, countries, and the world a better place to stay. Isaiah 60:18, “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise”

What are the roles of youths in reducing incidents of violence in families and communities?

Tinashe Tembo is a Global Mission Fellow with the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, serving in Kenya. Tinashe is from Norton, in the Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe, where he is a member of the United Methodist Norton Circuit of the Zimbabwe West Annual Conference. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (with honors) in social work from the Bindura University of Science Education in Bindura. He has worked for the Renewed Hope Foundation, Voluntary Services Overseas, and Gershom Ministries International Trust.