If you’re like me and you’re saving sex for marriage, you’re definitely being judged by the majority of people that you encounter, and you’ve probably been called a prude on one occasion or another.
If you’re being what others consider a prude because
- you think it makes you better than other people,
- you think it makes you attractive to all the ‘right’ people,
- you think it will keep you from getting disowned or thrown out, and/or
- you don’t want to go to hell,
please don’t stop being a prude, but please also reevaluate your position. Because your position, frankly,
- doesn’t make you better than any other human being on this earth,
- may be attractive to all the holier-than-thou people, but isn’t going to win you friend points with all the people who don’t understand the awesomeness of saving sex for marriage, and those are the people who could potentially be benefiting most from your example (because, not to get all religious on you, but Christ came to save sinners, not sit around with all the high-and-mighty and be complacent and content there),
- is not a position meant to put your entire life on edge with your family, and
- is not the only sin you could potentially go to hell for, and is not the only virtue which could potentially get you to purgatory [or heaven, God willing].
Why are you doing this? It’s undeniably the right thing to do, but so what? If you’re going to do the super awesome right thing, then you might as well want it so badly enough for yourself that what no one else says or does matters. Marc Barnes talks about being forced to fight from the abstraction, people being turned off by the cliches they hear all the time, and the importance of existing from your heart.
(Sorry, Marc, that was kind of majorly paraphrased and consequently me-worded, but I totally
stole learned from your talk at ToT Cinci, so I needed to give credit where it was due.)
If we’re going to do anything in life, we might as well be doing it from our hearts. We have the capability and the capacity to be happy about the things we do, so why on earth would you not want to be happy about doing or saying something that you’re choosing to say or do? So self-limiting.
Years ago, I wrote a piece dissing a song that compared love to a drug. In the context of the song, it totally sucks. But I’d like to reevaluate that stance.
Recently, a friend that I very much respect randomly brought up a documentary they had watched, the premise of which they found interesting and thought to share it with me, [me, the “religious person,” as I believe they might, in all fairness, be inclined to label me mentally]. Basically, what they articulated to me was this: That every religion prior to Christianity had some sort of natural drug incorporated into their spiritual practices or rituals or whatever you want to call it, but then Christianity came along, and proclaimed that all you needed was Jesus.
Ok, totally fair. My completely-good-humored input was that it was important to see it from the perspective of the Real Presence, and that if Jesus is our ‘drug,’ to be compared to natural drugs, then He is, quite simply, our supernatural drug.
Taking that a little further as it relates to this post on sex and its role which belongs solely within the context of marriage, Jesus = God. God = infinite Truth, infinite Beauty, infinite Goodness = Love.
All you need is Jesus <–> All you need is Love.
Whether you believe in some form of the afterlife or not, I don’t think any American in this day and age honestly believes that they get to take all of their material wealth with them. Seriously. When you are lying on your deathbed, you are not thinking of all the money you’ve accumulated up until this point and how you’re going to spend it all from the comfort of your grave.
What will matter on one’s deathbed?
It’s not unreasonable to suppose that one thing in the forefront of a dying significant other’s mind is love experienced in life, or the lack thereof.
In that context, what do any of us have that is of any real value, that we can give to anyone else, that will ease their passing in any way on any level?
Sex is the God-given highest possible expression of Love between a man and a woman. It is also the epitome of addictive drugs, and He did not make it so by mistake. It is both protected and promoted by the sacred vows which are unbreakable; real marriage is indissoluble. In the context of marriage, that addiction, as if to a drug, is right. The first audience of JPII which became known as the series, the Theology of the Body, is on the indissolubility of marriage, and as the ToB progresses, he explores authentic femininity and authentic masculinity as revealed through the bodies of Man and Woman.
The science behind sex is supernaturally designed, God-given, no mistake, and no accident. Husband and wife are to desire [God first, and then] each other above anyone or anything on this earth. At a wedding reception which my entire family attended, a presentation given during the reception included advice from one young married couple to the newlyweds, and one of their pointers was, “If you have to fight, fight naked.” Hardly G-rated, but it speaks of that truth that the addiction of sex as if it were a drug is supposed to be a life-giving one, that it is meant to help a marriage in the tough times inasmuch as it is to be enjoyed in the good times. We naturally have desires for Goodness, Beauty, and Truth at infinite levels, which means that they cannot be fulfilled by anything truly finite, and yet we can taste the essence of those infinites. The Mass is one way. Sex [which is free, total, faithful, and fruitful] between husband and wife is another. There is no shame in this truth.
What the culture of Death has done is destroy both the true science and the true romance of sex. And what you and I are attacked for is our belief in, understanding, and appreciation of, the chemistry and beauty of pure unadulterated desire.
There is no shame in wishing to experience pure and unadulterated desire – and as close as it is humanly possible to get to the fulfillment of that desire – in the context of a healthy relationship. God and religion and ‘rules’ completely aside, there’s no need for accusations of throwing religion in people’s faces; science confirms both the solidifying effect of sex in a relationship, namely in the addiction that points to the permanence that the act is meant to help nourish and sustain, and the debilitating effects of sex and/or sex “substitutes” (pornography, etc.) on the human being, physically, mentally, and emotionally, when experienced outside of the context of a relationship characterized by permanence.
Geeze, I don’t know about the rest of you, but the idea of pure unadulterated desire is pretty freakin’ attractive.
And that’s not to say that we’re not without our scars, but it’s that classic question: If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?
[Among a million other reasons, but majorly simplified for the purpose of this post,] I’m keeping myself to myself because it’s the only thing I have that might be of any value when measured by the future spouse on their deathbed. Because the gift isn’t a one-time wedding-night thing. It’s a gift outside of time. All that I have worth giving is myself.
You wouldn’t give a chocolate bar to your significant other with one – or two – or three – bites out of it by different people. Or one that had only one or half a bite left and no one person had eaten the majority of it. (… At least, I hope you wouldn’t).
Each of us is unique, there is no one like anyone else in this world, and the beautiful truth that this also reveals is that God’s love for each of us is unique to our individuality, for only He knows us as completely as He does and He alone can! God doesn’t love anyone else exactly the way that He loves you, and furthermore, He loves you as if you were the only being on this earth to love. The beautiful Sacrament of Matrimony was created by God to mirror Himself; between spouses is a love for, and a knowledge of, each other and of self that no third party ought know, experience, attempt, or even dream of duplicating.
It is furthermore the great mystery of our humanity that each one of us has the capability – and in fact, the obligation – to be whole as whole can be, as individuals, yet when spouses are united in the conjugal act, they become one flesh without losing their individuality or suggesting that they were not whole as separate individuals in the first place. A mirror of Christ’s Love for His Bride.
I want my spouse to know and remember on his deathbed that that gift was unique; that no one else on this earth knew what that gift consisted of or could be; that if my gift was scarred in any way, it was through honest mistakes and not deliberate infidelity; that I gave my all in all and through all that I had – in short, that the addiction was solid.
It is what I hope to know on my deathbed as well.
So let your gift and mine be as uncompromised as possible; as free, total, faithful, and fruitful, as it can possibly be.
My gift of self is two quenelles, one of chocolate sorbet and the other of champagne sorbet, presented in the shape of a heart, and drizzled with red wine syrup.
You can’t really hide a bite taken out of that, and it’s also important to guard me from melting.