“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
Many young couples earnestly adhere to the Church’s teachings that restrict having sex before marriage. They are aware of the many compelling arguments supporting the notion that fornication is fundamentally sinful. Even though these young couples have the best of intentions and a strong desire to maintain their chastity, they frequently encounter extreme temptation, and some give in to that desire, occasionally leading to pregnancies.
Chastity, therefore, is an attribute connected to temperance. According to their state of life, a chaste person abstains from either sexual conduct deemed immoral or any sexual activity. Chastity and celibacy are synonymous in some situations, such as when one takes a pledge of chastity.
Without chastity, the virtue that allows us to regulate our sexual urges rather than let them control us, it is almost impossible to have a happy marriage. Chastity is also a challenging virtue to grow in. It will be extremely challenging to develop after marriage if it is not fully formed before marriage. Therefore, achieving the virtue of chastity is something that should be done before getting married.
Ponder about some specific actions you can take to complete this wonderful mission, and keep in mind that you can still go back no matter how far you’ve already traveled in the opposite direction.
Avoid becoming too emotionally dependent on one another.
This could seem unusual because, after all, you are in love, but with a certain degree of “all-out dependency,” that love rapidly turns into an emotional attachment that hinders you from getting to know each other all that well. Such dependence is evident when you talk on the phone for hours on end and cannot wait for the next call; if the call does not come, you panic, believing your friend does not love you; when you believe you must do everything including studying together; and when you schedule your days so that you are in close contact. Undue sexual closeness is the logical conclusion of this immature reliance.
Steer clear of potential sinful situations.
This notion is frequently regarded as archaic and prudishly out of date today. It is a pearl of sensible advice that will be helpful to young couples with their unique endeavor. It means that you should not spend alone time when you are alone together. Spend time together in public places like parks and shopping centers. This is realistic, not conservative.
You can cultivate the virtue of purity, which purifies the mind and heart of lust, alongside the virtue of chastity, which is so intimately related to it.
Young people can get their heads “out of the gutter,” so to speak, by constant effort, working with God’s mercy, and with the aid of the graces. The freedom that comes from being free of dirty ideas is immense. One is free to treat people as people, and not as objects of emotion, for their own sake. And those who still have lingering habits of solitary sexual actions left over from a possible weakness in youth can rapidly and efficiently overcome them with the development of the twin virtues of chastity and purity.
One can only make an informed choice about marriage or celibacy when their sexual drive is under control. By adopting this mindset, many more people will enter religious life, many more marriages will be stable and happy, and many premarital couples will have far happier courtships.
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