Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NAS: Chastity

Chastity as a single person. Physical or Emotional. What are your struggles? How do you overcome them?

I am so glad that Jen brought up the whole abstinence v. chastity thing because they are not in fact the same thing.  We are called to chastity for our whole lives but abstinence won't always be a part of our married life (though sometimes it will be when trying to avoid pregnancy for grave reasons).  Go read her post for more about that.

When I think of chastity I like to think about the physical, emotional and spiritual.

Physical, the most obvious.  I am not going to hash out how and why to be physical chaste because people like Christopher West can discuss it so much more eloquently than I could ever hope to.  I will say though we must think about chastity as not only about not going "all the way" before we are married but also considering hand holding, hugging, cuddling, and kissing as things that involve chastity and chastity within marriage. Ok I am going to stop now before I go in circles over and over again.

Emotional chastity, wowzees.  I think almost every gal can claim to be guilty of this at some point.  Too often we forget that emotional chastity is even an issue and that we must pray with it.  I really took this to heart about two years ago when I realized I was "emotionally dating and marrying"  guys.  What do I mean?  I would be getting to know a guy and I would let my imagination go wild thinking about our relationship and marriage together.  That is not fair to my future husband.  When I come to the altar to marry my man, God willing I will come with a pure body but I also want to come with a pure heart that has not had innumerable emotional relationships.  I decided to start a very purposeful year long emotional dating fast.  I knew that it wouldn't only be a year but that it would create habits that last a lifetime.  During that year I purposefully prayed that I would be emotionally chaste along with the friend who was doing it with me.

Spiritual chastity.  Now that is one no one ever seems to talk about.  Prayer is a very intimate thing-it us communicating with our Creator, Savior, Father, and Pursuer.  Because of the intimate nature of prayer we must be careful of prayer with boyfriends.  If you haven't been dating very long I really don't think you should be saying rosaries and going to Mass together everyday.  Should you be praying together-absolutely.  But lets remember it is a mountain to heaven we are climbing.  When we are married we should be praying together and our entire lives together should be a prayer but we must build up to that not race to it as soon as the relationship is a go.  If you are dating make sure to carve time out to pray by yourself not only with your guy.  

The physical, emotional and spiritual aspects must all be considered in our relationships.  Think of it as three strings leading us closer to marriage and then after marriage closer to heaven.  The strings must all come together at the same time.  We cannot allow the physical aspect of our relationship to jump ahead too far without the emotional and spiritual sides to be right there with it, or any combo of the three.  We must realize that we are whole persons made up of body, mind and soul and all three must grow in our relationships.

Like this but without all that math mumble jumble.  

Hopefully I gave some of my thoughts without dragging them on or confusing anyone.  So all my married ladies out there, what are you thoughts on these Not Alone posts?  Do you agree or strongly disagree with them as a married woman?
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  1. I love love love your image! And thanks for speaking to spiritual chastity. I do think it's important to start to share that aspect of yourself with your beloved, but at appropriate times and places within the relationship. For example, I wouldn't mind a "Mass date" (Mass together followed by brunch or dinner post-Vigil, lets' say), but prayer is such a personal, intimate thing for me, especially since I write my prayers, that I couldn't imagine sharing that with a new boyfriend.

  2. love it. good diagram! and very well said

  3. Great post! I am totally with you on the whole spiritual chastity thing. Thank you for talking about it! Your spiritual life IS intimate... and we have to be careful how much of that we are allowing the guys we date see. I would say besides actually having sex with someone, praying and spiritually close is the most intimate thing we can do. Does that make sense??

    Anyway, great stuff here, Nat! (can I call you Nat? Is that weird?)

  4. Love the part on Spiritual chastity. I do think it is a good idea to pray with the guy you are dating but then I think how. I like Jen's comment, my spiritual life is intimate and I do need to be careful about how much of it I share.