MANILA, Sept. 11, 2013—In an attempt to erase the common misconceptions perceived by young individuals on the virtue of chastity, renowned Catholic speaker Jason Evert on Saturday stressed the importance of living a chaste life through abstaining from sexual acts outside the sacrament of marriage.
“The world today has many misunderstandings when it comes to intimacy and that’s largely because they do not think about sex, especially the young people…They talk about it, they joke about it, but they rarely stop and think—what is really God’s plan for human love, sexuality, and relationship?” Evert said, speaking before thousands of individuals during the Real Love Revolution 2013 held at the Philippine International Convention Center.
“Chastity is not about repressing our sexual desires. What it does is it frees us not only to love, but frees us to know that we are (being loved),” he added.
Noting that love is oftentimes masked by lust, Evert said people are being led to the misconception that chastity is merely a religious convention that has to be followed by pious individuals.
“A lot of people think that the Catholic Church’s (view on sexuality) is all just a list of prohibitions or things we are not allowed to do,” he said.
“Do you love (your partner) or do you love the pleasure you get at (their) expense?…That’s what we think about sexuality. If it is pleasurable, then it is probably immoral. That is all we know, and we actually miss the beauty of God’s plan,” he added.
Citing research findings published in the weekly newsmagazine The Economist, Evert said couples who waited for marriage before engaging in sexual activities possess better communication, more stable marital relationship, and better sex life than those who engaged in premarital intercourse.
“(The) report, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, suggests that people who delay having sex do indeed have better relationships, on four different measures. That result applies to both men and women,” the article read.
The four different measures used in the study are communication, sexual quality, relationship satisfaction, and perceived stability.
Proponents of the study were Dean Busby and his colleagues at the Brigham Young University in Utah. They surveyed 2,035 married people with age ranging from 19 to 71 and length of marriage spanning from less than six months to more than 20 years. Religious affiliations of the respondents varied widely.
“(The good thing in this) is that the data is not coming from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is a secular business journal pointing out that God’s plan works,” Evert said.
Plucking out pornography
Evert also reminded males in the audience to turn their backs away from temptation, noting that it is a weed that has to be plucked out for a relationship to be successful.
“If you are trying to build a guard of love, you have to pick some weeds out and grow something there. And the weeds that guys have to focus on plucking out is the weed of pornography, for when guys get hooked on this stuff, it ends up emasculating them,” Evert said.
He said that the continuous patronization of pornography destroys the foundation of marriage as the male’s perception of womanhood gets affected. Instead, love and not lust must reign among couples, Evert noted.
“Then they begin to think that (pornography) is not a big deal—I am not a victim, no one is getting hurt, and it feels so good. Neurologists found out though that pornography trains a guy’s brain to (perceive that) all women will live up to his dirty world fantasy,” he added.
“Throw away pornography when you’re married, throw away the love you have for porn because once you look at your wife that way, soon the marriage will be over…The solution is not the absence of porn but the presence of a clean heart that can love like God loves,” he said.
Conversion to a clean lifestyle free from vices makes the father an effective head of the family who has the capability to influence members of his family to goodness, he noted.
“The redemption of the human heart is possible…If someone is hooked up to (pornography), his capacity to transmit the spiritual life to his family is entirely cut off from him until he conquers his vice. How can he lead another soul to heaven if he can’t even guard himself from the temptations of hell?” Evert said.
Women as ‘crescendo of creation’
To guide themselves in shunning pornography from their lives, Evert urged the males to adore and appreciate the beauty of the opposite sex.
“Instead of thinking about porn…acknowledge that the beauty comes from God. The woman is the most beautiful thing God put on Earth and it is not a sin to be attracted to them. Nothing is more beautiful than women…nothing gets close to being a woman,” he said, noting a passage in Genesis that dubbed women as the “crescendo of creation.”
He also reminded females to be mindful of how they present themselves to others, most especially to the opposite sex who has the tendency to be easily eaten by temptation, adding that they must nurture the virtue of modesty within their hearts to keep their worth and dignity as women intact.
“With the great beauty that the women possess comes the great responsibility in how they reveal their beauty to the world,” he said.
“Modesty is an expression of love, just have a little sacrifice. I know this might be hard to understand for girls on why it is such a big deal for guys. But trust me…your modesty is an unspoken invitation for us to treat you with the dignity that you deserve,” Evert said. (Jennifer Orillaza)