Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Does God reject people if they reject chastity?

Questions; A while ago I had a conversation withfriend of mine from Church and we got to discussing chastity and how we each felt about it. We’ve both been to a few talks about chastity and so we both know the church’s general view of the issue and we were just talking more in depth about it.

I told her about how I have chosen to remain chaste until I’m married and how that is a very important decision to me and she told me her feelings about it. Now she is very religious and proud to call herself Catholic. She loves Jesus and comes to church and Youth Group events and in general loves God. The big thing though that she does not personally agree with is the chastity and contraceptives issue. She understands the Church’s position on it, but she just doesn’t agree with it.

This doesn’t mean she is sleeping around (she is still a virgin) but she has a boyfriend whom she loves very much and wants some day when she feels their relationship has matured more to have sex with him. She explained to me how she looks at it. She said that even now in her relationship with him, she wants to show him how much she loves him and that she wants to share herself with him. Her and her boyfriend have talked about it quite a bit and he is very non-pressuring about it (he is not religious, but he respects her own views on faith). He has told her he is prepared to wait until she feels ready. She told me that if/when they do have sex she is not going to go to confession asking God to forgive her for what she has done because she does not feel that she would have done something wrong.

I was generally left not knowing what to tell her. I don’t think any less of her because of this decision of hers, and I feel that God wouldn’t love her any less, but then how would God feel about it if he wants us to remain chaste until marriage? I know that no one knows how God feels about things, but I was just wondering how the church would view this. Would it reject her because of her decision? I just didn’t know what to tell her.

Interesting questions!

First off, God never rejects us because of sin, so you're right in saying God does not love her any less. Some people with good intentions talk about how our sins hurt God, but in truth they do not hurt Him dirrectly, it just 'hurts' Him to see us hurting oruselves.

God created sex in such a way that the more you have it, the more in love you will be. In women it causes the formation of a hormone called oxytosin, in men epinephrine. These hormones basically communicate a message to the body saying "we will be together forever, no matter what." If a relationship breaks, it is more devastating because of this. People will try to stay in unhealthy relationships because of the bond that is formed. It can also create a mixed message, because you essentially commit to each other and if you are not actually commited, it creates tension which often leads to the end of a good relationship. So your friend will want to have sex to express love, but in so doing will actually threaten the survival of the actual relationship!

In other words, sex is a physical expression of the marriage commitment. When you have sex you're saying with your body "we're married." But if you're not married, you're lying- and you're turning what should be the most intimate gift of self donation and love into a lie. You're essentially settling for a counterfit- sex in marriage is way better and can be way better than sex outside of marriage!

Sex is actually part of the sacrament- it is that holy. We say that a marriage is not 'consumated' until you have sex. So sex outside of marriage is sacriledge.

The reason God (and as a result, the church) demands that we keep sex for marriage, and that every sexual act be open to life, is becaue God wants every sexual act to have the fullness of meaning and openess and love, and he does not want people settling for a mediocre and superficial sexual experience. God gave us sex as a profound gift, but instead of recieving it as a gift we take it and trample it and cheapen it, in an effort to consume the goodness, either pleasure or love, out of it, instead respecting it and its power.

The difference between premarital sex and the sex God intends is similar to the difference between swimming in a wave pool, and swimming in the actual ocean. One is only a cheap replica, and as a result, the thrills are only cheap replicas. She should expect more!

Here's what I suggest, practically speaking. No matter what, listen to her, respect her, and love her. That consistency will eventually be a witness even if she does not listen to your words. But challenge her to take very seriously the choice she is making, including taking the time to read what the Church teaches and why she teaches it. I suggest she read "Good News about Sex and Marriage", by Christopher West. In fact, since her BF is so respectful, and since the choice essentially indicates a commitment to each other, he should read it with her, and they should discuss it! Heaven forbid they should rush into something based on a sense of 'readiness' and then discover they regret it!

God Bless! Don't forget to pray. As with all things in Christianity, logic only carries you so far, true conversion comes from grace, and grace comes through prayer.

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