Notice how this letter is part two. If you need to read part one, click here. Basically, I wrote on how chastity offers freedom from sinful or selfish motives we knowingly or unknowingly use sex for. It’s good, check it out.
This second part will discuss how chastity allows you to appreciate, admire, and respect the person you are in a committed relationship with. I have found, especially in young people, the infatuation with sex is more powerful than the admiration for the person you share relationship with and it should be the other way around.
To start, let’s state the obvious, many people in life can make us feel good about ourselves and it’s normal for us to desire attention, all of this is good and natural. People are always going to give us some form of emotional bliss in life for numerous reasons. How your boss makes you feel special is different than the way your parents do. How your best friend loves you is different than how your spouse’s love is. God varied the levels of intimacy so uniquely and beautifully and each has a different purpose.
God creating Eve for Adam was purposeful. Adam had a perfect relationship with God — which means he was lacking nothing. He had ultimate fulfillment, but still craved genuine love. Eve’s creation wasn’t only for their companionship but literal sustainability. Adam’s ache for something more than nature and dogs is the heart of man proving to be utterly empty without the gift of feminine goodness.
Adam was not asking God for a profoundly intense experience of love (like sex is) but for a sustainable partner who would offer him security and grace and love. Sex is the cherry-on-top of an already amazing gift; the person you’re with. You could mediate on this for hours, but here’s my point: if sex is the goal for a relationship then your intentions are not good. To be honest, any person with their body, qualities, and attributes can provide an opportunity for sexual actions. Seeking this only leaves you over-sexualizing people when in the bigger picture of what sex is, God has so much more in store.
Breaking it down even further, any sight of a physical quality you find attractive has the power to stimulate you. Not only that but many people on Earth possess the qualities you get stimulated by and tons of more people have it to a higher degree. Eventually, those attractions fad away.
So the point is that qualities and attributes are repeatable. Feelings are also repeatable.
A person, though, will never be repeatable.
In his book, The Love that Satisfies, Christopher West describes this saying,
“In the deepest sense, if each person I date is just an instrument for my sexual pleasure, than he or she can be easily replaced in such a function.”
The act of sex alone doesn’t promise fidelity or love. If you find purpose in honoring sex as an important promise of fidelity then your heart would greatly change the dating game, the marriage experience, and change all minds about the point of relationships to be for mere pleasure. Sex is about the other person, not just the pleasure.
Chastity is a virtue that exercises our ability to love and respect the value of a person. Chastity inspires you to say, “I long for your good.” Whereas anything on the contrary says, “I long for you as a good.”
Italian ethicist Rocco Buttiglione says, “Only the value of the person can sustain a stable relationship. Values of sexuality are wasted away in time, a person’s good looks don’t last forever and are exposed to the danger of disillusion. But this is not the case for the value of a person…which is stable and in some way infinite. When your love develops and reaches admiration for the person, then it is forever.”
I know how hard it is to wait until marriage and to understand the reason sex is only for marriage. I know this message draws you in, while culture speaks to you; “I just want to see how compatible I am with someone before we marry.” Never forget, my friend, you’re a human being who deserves love, you’re not a car to be test driven. You’re not an ongoing “audition” before you deserve a ring on your finger that promises forever. You are meant to be cherished unconditionally and we all know sex doesn’t promise that but it should.
The decision to pursue a lifestyle of chastity entails a deep understanding of the human person, and even more so, yourself. Chaste people realize that sex (like food, alcohol, shopping, weed, drugs, social media, work, texting, etc) can be an outlet for repressing loneliness, hurts, addictions, social stigmas, ideals, coping, pressure, insecurity, use, selfish pleasure, drunkenness, and so much more. In no way, shape, or form should sex be reduced to this emotion that needs to be relived or experienced and diminished in value because a person cannot control their impulses or respond to emotions.
Chastity opens up our ability to understand ourselves. To understand what kind of love and eventually what kind of marriage we want one day. More importantly, Chastity helps us do good for the other person because there is more room to love them fully.
Sex can sometimes hinder our ability to wait for the right person because it can cloud our judgment on what we want. Young people suffer from what I call, “too busy having sex to decide if they actually like each other,” which, in short, is the idea that they have sex before they actually realize whether or not the relationship with that person is worth it.
Sex should never leave you feeling empty, hurt, more lonely, heartbroken, less cherished, and confused. Sex is a promise, a gift of deep intimacy to the person who deserves it most, the person you freely choose to take to the altar and vow some sense of forever. Chastity takes continuous effort and patience but it is the surest way to prepare your heart for real love. And God promises that striving for it and experiencing it’s pleasure with someone in the right context brings you closer to Him in the greatest of ways.
Love and prayers,