Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Not Alone Series: Chastity

Physical or Emotional. What are your struggles? How do you overcome them?

Chastity lets us live with upright and undivided hearts.

Chastity is NOT abstinence. Chastity comes from the Latin word castus meaning pure. Many of the internet definitions that I saw referenced not having sex before marriage but chastity is so much more. Chastity does not only direct what you do before marriage but also what comes after. In fact it can be argued that chastity can have nothing to do with sex and it is about so much more that just the physical act. Chastity is the difference between loving and using.

Emotional chastity, I'm not sure how wide spread the term is in secular culture but it is like the it phrase in the Christian world. Do we even know what it really is? I'm still not sure I can fully articulate a definition. We can be attracted to someone for the way they make us feel, think, act or even the idea of being with them and we can just as easily begin using them instead of building a true, authentic relationship.

This post is not however about the definitions of chastity but rather our struggles with it and how we overcome.

We are naturally predisposed to certain desires (it's why advertising is such big business) and while most of these desires are not wrong how we indulge them just might be. Just like ads heighten and sensitize us to crave that ice-cream, new car or juicy steak what we read, listen to and watch can affect our desires. I try to be very careful about about what I read and watch on t.v, I don't need to see every big buster that hits the big screen and I am particular about my listening choices.

Chastity takes discipline. Chastity also takes grace, lots and lots of grace. Every time I meet a great guy who shows interest (and even if he doesn't) I have to pray about it. My reactions, his reactions, my thoughts and his because if he's ringing all my bells it is very easy to picture him standing at the alter all decked out waiting for me. It will also be easy to go many places that we should not.

There are quite a few chastity resources, most in my opinion are geared towards teenagers but I believe that most of them should still be helpful.

A few useful resources
Audio Talks
Back to the Garden: Theology of the Body from Eden to Today by Dr. Edward Sri
Avoiding Fatal Attractions by Dr. Edward Sri
Getting it Right: The Foundation of Friendship by Dr. Edward Sri

Check out what everyone else has to say on the subject or join the link up over at Jen's blog