A New Look At Chastity

I wanted to share a brief story that really spoke to me when I read it:

“At the age of thirteen, Hannah received a purity ring from her parents. Through the difficult years of high school and college, she often looked at the silver band as a sign of hope – that no matter how depressing her situation might be, she was holding out for something greater. Years later, when her fiancé proposed to her, she took the ring off and gave it to him, telling him that she saved it for him, just as she saved herself for him. He thanked her for the gift, and without her knowing, had the jeweler who was making his wedding band melt the silver of her ring into the gold of his. As her husband, he now wears the two metals blended together as one ring.”

This story comes from a new book I’m reading called How To Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul: 21 Secrets for Women by Jason and Crystalina Evert. I got it on Good Friday from one of the priests in our eparchy, the one that wants to make sure we all marry well. From what I’ve read in this book so far, this priest sure knows what he’s doing by giving the youth this book because even though I haven’t read very much of the book yet, I really like it. The husband-wife team that co-writes this book presents such a breath of fresh air when speaking about relationships and how one can make sure they last.

Right now I’m reading the chapter called “Love Your Spouse Before You Meet Him.” It deals specifically with the concept of chastity. Yes: chastity. I can just feel people cringing at this word. To a lot of people the word ‘chastity’ is synonymous with the word ‘prudery,’ and to some extent, before I started reading the chapter, I agreed. But reading the Everts’ words is opening my mind to a new perspective, that chastity is not prudery at all, but actually a freeing phenomenon when it comes to intimacy. The specific quote that comes to mind is as follows:

“Chastity is not about repressing one’s desires or refusing to acknowledge the goodness and beauty of human sexuality. Instead of giving into the shamelessness of Playboy or the shamefulness of the prudes, it rejects and rises above both unbalanced attitudes of intimacy. Chastity does not blush at the sight of a female ankle, nor fail to blush when too much is shown. It frames human sexuality within the context of human love – which is something that both the puritans and the playboys forgot to do” (p.56).

I must say, I really like this concept. I don’t know how many times I’ve been called a prude because I don’t go throwing myself at men or sleep around. But according to this quote, I’m not a prude at all. I’m actually hitting the balance point. And this is a good thing. Granted, the Everts do state that living the “pure” life is not an easy one because many won’t understand, especially in the midst of a society that honours lust and promiscuity. But you know what? I wear a ring too, and even though it’s not a purity ring per se, maybe when I look at I’ll remember that I’m not alone and that greater things lie ahead for me as well. Hopefully you realize you deserve this as well.

Peace,

Joyanne 😀

P.s. MEN: read this book too. So what that it says “21 Secret for Women”; this book is written from both a male and female perspective, so I think it’s worth taking a look. What’s the worst that could happen?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “A New Look At Chastity

  1. Teresa

    Definitely keep valuing yourself as a treasure Joyanne!! Wait for someone worthwhile to come along! (It’s worked out well for me, anyway.) =)

  2. You know what book needs to be written? Getting from your first to your last. I also had a “True Love Waits” ring. I lost it. I was holding on as tightly as I could to my understanding of sex until I figured out that what I thought it was and wasn’t had only been an ideal in my mind. I had gone just about as far as I could; there was no turning back. I had to learn a lot of lessons about intimacy, about trust, about myself, and relearn what it was I was “saving”. The way I heard it is once you’ve “given it away” the classic assumption is that there is nothing else left to give. Well when you don’t have the “thing” to give away, it’s even less simple. So you are made to feel empty. Like you’ve done this before. So it doesn’t matter now. This next one doesn’t matter. Several years or months of waiting becomes, several days, several hours. The lesson I had to learn is that just because you’ve gone “all the way” with one person, doesn’t mean that there is no where worthwhile left to go. You don’t give it away, sexuality is not a currency, and it’s certainly not a race. But the way it seems is, if I don’t value it, they won’t value me. It’s not a currency, and it’s not a race. It is best when if it’s as you say Joyanne, in a committed relationship with love and respect, when we can take as much time as we want to be comfortable with each other. Then we realize intimacy is a language. Sometimes people understand each other very well, sometimes there are syllables, words, sometimes paragraphs or novels. Sometimes you choose to withhold physical intimacy in a relationship, but sometimes that’s all there is. I learned recently that if intimacy is the only language you’re speaking, you’re not saying much else, and what seems to be a relationship has very little substance. I had to ask – do I really know this person? I think the important words are timing, respect, and yes, love. I am of the belief that you can love more than one person in a lifetime, if you’re lucky. And hopefully, I am. For me, the key word isn’t waiting, it’s anticipation. Because anticipation is a turn-on.

    • I like your use of the word “anticipation,” and as I read further into this book, that seems to be what this husband-wife team is leaning toward. It’s not about withholding something, it’s about finding new ways of expression and communication that allows for the freedom of being intimate. And, yes, if intimacy is all there is, that isn’t enough. There need to be various different kinds of communication in order for a relationship to survive. That’s what I’m getting from it so far, in any case.

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