Chastity, one young man’s perspective
A young man recently shared with us an essay he wrote for a religion class.
I sit here as the lights of fellow cars pass by as they head West on Interstate 70. Many head west, and have headed west since the expansion of American in hopes of a new future, a brighter future. With these hopes, these aspirations, in mind the one at the forefront of most young minds would be finding one to love. As time progressed (and we regressed?), western movies fueled this image of one riding off into the sunset – his love to his right. But, even with these images and even before these images, the west became The Wild West; one fueled by gambling, immense alcohol consumption and most of all prostitution (as I write this, I pass a sign stating “nude girls, next exit”). The correlation between this sense of new hope that comes with venturing west, the hopes set so high, and then the fall into prostitution is just what C.S. Lewis talks about in The Four Loves.
Lewis describes the greatest human desire of being loved, or finding eros – true love. He goes on to describe the sexual aspect of love – or lack thereof in relation to prostitution – as venus. Eros and venus must be combined, but just in the way as square and rectangles are defined. When describing the difference and similarities between squares and rectangles most often some sort of diagram is drawn onto the board. The diagram, most likely, consisted of a large circle with a smaller circle inside of it, which highlights the fact that all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. But what does this have to do with sex and love!? Well, love is the large circle and sex is the small circle; meaning, you can have love without sex, but not sex without love. Someone shouts from the back of the room, “Then why can’t I have sex with my girlfriend? I love her!!” (Shortly after yelling this, he receives a kind pat on the face from his mother).
If you love her so much, why don’t you marry her? You’re only sixteen, your parents would never allow it, you’re afraid of her father, you don’t have the money, etc. Okay, cool, got it. Now, aren’t these all the same reasons not to have sex? If you’re sixteen could you support a baby? As soon as reproduction comes into play the kid in the back pulls a condom out of his wallet. You think in your head, why don’t you ask the pope? You giggle, and then compose yourself. Finally, you think about your future spouse. You think about what she’s doing right now. I doubt she is having sex with another man. She is probably dressed in white, in nature, there’s a waterfall of some sort…or maybe that’s just me. But, she certainly is not with another man. The kid thinks, and then composes himself. He says, “Well, that’s just how society is, I mean I accept that she‘s going to have sex.” But, young man, is society always right? Should we mold our morals to society? Is society correct? You have to go all or nothing. Either society is always right; or never – not just oh I’m Catholic until it comes to sex. I think society got it right there.
Society has not gotten it right but I think the church may be onto something. When you picture your first time is it in a dark room? Is it in your basement? If it in your mom’s basement!? No. And it’s not with the girl down the street, and it’s not with that random girl you met at a party you can’t remember. When you picture it you picture perfection. You picture with it with the love of your life, with someone you’re going to be with forever (well, that sounds a lot like marriage).