Our culture today is constantly promoting sexual actions and thoughts through TV, music, magazines, social media, and books. It is hard to be chaste when everyone else isn’t. But the reason that chastity is so important is because you are special and you are worthy of true love, and real relationships. Why? Because you are made in the image and likeness of God. The life the world is feeding you is a life of lies.
Fire is a wonderful breakthrough in history. It gives us heat to stay warm, it cooks food, it wields metal, it makes a candlelight dinner more romantic, it is perfect in the fireplace on Christmas eve, and is a great s’mores roaster!! 😉 Fire has done countless great things for us, but also is the start of many disasters. It starts forest fires, burns down homes, and can kill many people. So fire is a wonderful thing in the right place and time. Sex is like fire. It is a wonderful and holy thing in the right time and place. In the right place it deepens the love and relationship and can be holy. In the wrong place it can distance the person from God and impede true intimacy, which is with the soul. The right place is in marriage. When a person has sex they are giving him or herself to the other. They are making themselves vulnerable to either a deeper relationship or a broken heart. So wouldn’t you want to have sex without the worry of being dumped by your boyfriend or girlfriend, taking with them a part of you? Wouldn’t you want to have sex with someone you know will stay and is giving their whole self to you too? There is no better person than your spouse. Marriage is forever and dating isn’t. Sex should be in a relationship of commitment because you are worth so much more than to live a life of lies through fake sex. The best way to remain chaste in your life right now is to abstain from all sexual activity until marriage because it is through small actions like passionate kissing that can result in bigger ones like sex.
At every moment of the day we are saying something with our bodies. Sometimes we don’t need to say anything to send a message about how we feel because we say it by the way we look or act. If I am slouching at a desk with my head in my hands looking at the ceiling I am telling through the language of my body that I’m bored. Or if someone is talking to me and I have my arms crossed and occasionally look at someone else I am telling that person that I am not really listening whether I mean to or not. Likewise if someone is engaging in a prolonged kissing and being overly affection it arouses sexual desires and sends out a message that may result in sex. Chastity enables you to tell the truth with the language of your body. When you are chaste you can truly act how you were made to be, a child of God, and show that you see others as one too. By acting and living in a pure way you are able to recognize the dignity and worth of others. You show they are not simply objects of your desires. Chastity is not a burden; it is a great virtue and triumph. St. Augustine said: “Chastity, or cleanness of heart, holds a glorious and distinguished place among virtues, because she, alone, enables man to see God, hence Truth itself said, ‘Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.'”
Another way to remain chaste is through modesty. To remain modest we need to speak and dress in a way that respects God and our body. Telling crude jokes, watching dirty movies, listening to sexually explicit music, and wearing sexy clothes abuse our self-worth and sexuality. When someone wears immodest clothing they are not looked upon as a person but body parts. Whenever you see someone wearing skimpy clothing isn’t it hard not to look at certain parts of their body? A lot of attention is brought to a person wearing immodest clothing, but not the attention that is treating them with dignity and respect as a child of God should be treated.
It will be hard to remain chaste, I won’t lie. But through practice and prayer you will succeed. You just need to keep your goal in mind and protect your heart. For as St. Josemaria Escrivia said: “When you decide to firmly lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden on you, it will be a crown of triumph.” Stay strong, your spouse is out there waiting just wait for him/her too. You may have stumbled and fallen but God will forgive you. Mary Magdalene and St. Augustine both made unchaste mistakes, but they repented and God raised them up. Just remember this, “A pure soul is like a fine pearl. As long as it is hidden in the shell, at the bottom of the sea, no one thinks of admiring it. But if you bring it into the sunshine, this pearl will shine and attract all eyes. Thus the pure soul, which is hidden from the eyes of the world, will one day shine before the Angels in the sunshine of eternity.” – St. John Vianney
To go deeper and learn more about chastity, chastity.com a great site!
A few of these ideas especially the similarity with fire and chastity are from Theology of the Body for Teens