I was chatting with a friend about the downfalls Christian couples face today. Obviously, sex and contraception stirred our conversation and the veracity of his comment highlighted the “moment of truth” all striving Christians ponder when it comes to the Gospel and discipleship. He said, “from what I’ve found, most girls want a “perfect” God-loving gentleman who doesn’t care about sexual morality. But, no one realizes respect that comes from God is not exclusive to non-sexual activity.”
Because if God created sex, and sex is good, then why can’t we do it?
The questions I always asked myself, after being taught that sex is the most glorious union you can ever experience on Earth, is “why do people not wait to experience that with one person?” And also, why do people discipline themselves in sports, what they eat, in work, homework, or studies but when it comes time to refrain from saving sexual pleasure until the vows are made, we neglect to see the beauty that comes from that?
Listen, I get it. I was never as “positively pure” as I wanted to be, but because I was changed through pureness in heart by avid prayer, I now know I would never want to settle for any other kind of love, so hear me out:
Men and women are in a battle. Our bodies can take more control over our wills. Desires exist, yes, but they can be transformed. Our nature is capable of self-control (through exercising it) and our souls, do not come right out and say it, crave purity of heart. These two points are only capable of being understood through the help of prayer. In prayer, if we truly let Christ redeem us, and break the chains of impurity, we can feel the beauty, goodness, and value of our bodies, the dignity of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and God’s call for human sexuality.
That being said, I also remind myself that sexual desire is not the same thing as lust. That desire is a yearning that is rooted in a desire for the infinite. It’s a sign that we long for an eternal union with God, and until that happens the union we can foreshadow that on Earth is through the union of male and female.
If you’re anything but married, it is your duty to strive (not perfect, just try) to turn your eyes and heart towards appreciating the value of people. In a culture that promotes “sleep together on the first date!” we might have to work on this a bit. Likewise; maybe you’ve fallen in the past with sexual encounters. Ask God to work specifically with you, through your case.
Great practices in purity:
Fasting is a great way to control your impulses and desires. Resisting pleasure in food tells your will “hey, my body has no dominance over you.” Because, truthfully, if you can’t say no to chocolate cake, how do you expect yourself to say no to sexual pleasure?
Raise your sexual reactions to a personal level. In a moment of desire, thank God for making the person who is captivating your heart. Ask God to love her/him through you. The world calls us to conform to what everyone else is doing, God calls us to great acts of love.
Guys, if you really want to purify your heart and intentions, spend some time reflecting and praying to understand God’s plan for the soul of a woman. Asking God to show you how to look at women with goodness, how to love women with tenderness, and to appreciate all the work He put into creating women.
Remember: One day, God-willing, a man or woman will vow their entire life to you on the altar. They will gift their whole self to you, out of love. That man or woman will have proven their love, their desire to lay down his/her own life for YOU. Truly, only that person is worthy of union with you. Only that person is worthy of your body. Ask anyone who has waited if they regret it and see what they say.
Of all the wonders of the world, the human body is the most valuable. With this, we can fall into the secular ideas on body image, or God’s. Read Theology of the Body, check out chastityproject.com. Do you’re homework– the Church has AWESOME resources on the body. It was Jesus himself who revealed to us the glorification of the human body (through his sacrifice of it). Don’t take your body’s worth too lightly. You know I’m not exaggerating this.. I mean, what do people get hooked to looking at on the internet?
If we open our lives to virtue, an understanding of God’s plan for sex and love, and a pure aspiration to teach ourselves how to truly love the people around us and the value of a body, we nourish our human nature and gain a new, holy perspective on beauty, truth, and goodness.
And most importantly, start with an understanding of God’s love for you. Go ahead, ask for it. I did and I’m often moved to tears because of it. I started a blog because of it. That’s what it takes to realize real love and the plan for sex is way more than this emotional roller coaster or sex-driven culture.
So go ahead, think about sex. Think about what it truly is and what God made it for.