An interesting article came to me the other day. It was titled, "After Weinstein, Why Not Try Chastity?" It went on to say, "One path leads to bigger rule books. The other leads to a revival of chastity."
Returning to a practice of chastity for all of us would seem an almost laughable impossibility in our sex-drenched culture.
Yet our temptation will be instead to develop an increasingly multiplying set of "politically correct" rules to govern our behavior and conversation between the sexes in the work place and everywhere else that men and women come together.
It began as the feminist movement and other all too willing focuses of advertising, entertainment, and business promoted sexual association with all kinds of relationships to grab interest by loosening all restraints on sexual expression.
Pornography went from back rooms of magazine and book stores to the Internet, invading the worlds of people of all ages and stages.
The church discovered its couples coming for pre-wedding counseling, were already having live-in or otherly-arranged intercourse. They had no idea they were training themselves for extra-marital adulterous relationships later on that would threaten or destroy their marriages.
It was an awkward enterprise to engage them in the honest, respectful, and loving conversation that would lead them to think about the meaning of this thing called marriage into which they were petitioning the church to lead them.
Their first response was incredulity that the church could presume to know things about marriage that they as couples in love did not know.
And those who dared to pursue this conversation with their minister came to find that the Church, and a Christian theology of marriage with an understanding of sexual intercourse as a holy and God-given gift to humankind, was a thing of wonder, with inherent guidance and understanding toward building marriage as a committed relationship, intended to last the lifetime of those who entered faithfully into it.
We know of course that good gifts can be lost - even gifts from God - in a host of ways. And many who married and later divorced, wish dearly that that relationship could have been protected and saved.
Faith in God, the giver of marriage, is a cornerstone of that institution. And chastity, the commitment to no sex before marriage is another cornerstone. Implied in this is a vow, a promise, "to keep thee only unto each other" as a guard against any violation of the committed relationship, resulting in adultery.
These protections around marriage, as sacred before God, and each other, create a world-view of human relationship at its most intimate that offers the grounds for a moral view we call chastity. This view understands human relationships as sacred and precious to God and humankind alike, that fosters a high order of moral regard and care for all speech and action between human beings, and between the sexes.
These all seemed to me to be eminently worth thinking about for people of faith especially, in these precarious and threatening days.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES