HOW DO I LIVE IN THIS
Sexuality is a gift from God. God invites us as men and women to image God’s wonderful and mysterious creation via our sex, sexuality and gender.
God’s spirit empowers us to respond to the people and world around us through situations, experiences and decisions. God’s indwelling grace invites us to grow and change in ways that build on our nature, reflecting God’s unconditional love and mercy.
You can give the most expensive gift you can imagine to someone you love: but the greatest gift you can give another person is your embodied self. Sex is an expression of you as a person. In our modern society, sex is thought of in all sorts of ways, from giving tenderness or expressing affection to someone, to simply having fun. Few people discern the deeper meaning sex has in the Christian tradition.
We all often struggle with thoughts, images and temptations that are part of society’s false version of love. It is important to acknowledge our human need for intimacy and connection that goes beyond the sexual expression of love.
While seeking opportunities to be loved, to be intimate and to connect with another in ways that go beyond expressing ourselves sexually can be difficult, they are often more meaningful, life affirming and enduring. We are called to adventure. We are called to walk through the world with God and with God’s Word, and to learn from the examples and words of people who have lived for God and not just for themselves.
What the Church says...
God created humans as “the body and the soul but truly one” (Catechism 362).
Strikingly, this profound unity is completely ignored in the modern context. Abandoning this God-decreed union of body and soul enables the spread of sexual acts without any commitment and with resultant pain and suffering. However, in marriage, the physical intimacy of the spouses not only unites the two bodies but also becomes a sign of committing themselves totally to one another. It is a union of bodies and souls.
What the Bible says...
“This is my body, which is given for you” (Luke 22:19).
In the Eucharist, Jesus gave Himself up for us and became our model of authentic love. This love requires a totally voluntary offering. Marriage is an example of this model of unselfish love, where through their promise of marriage, two spouses fully offer themselves for their love. And in sexual union, they are called to fulfill that promise with their own bodies.
Things to consider
Do you feel pressure to do something because society says you should? Are you worried you will lose this person if you do not engage sexually? Do you feel this is the only way you can show your true commitment to your partner?
Pray when you feel most troubled and most tempted.
Consider the possibility of abstaining from sex before marriage. This may be countercultural, but it is an honourable option, which can free you from being dominated by passion, and help you know your partner truly with genuine love.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love wants what is best for another person.
Love will never cross the line between what’s right and wrong. And it’s wrong to put one another in the position of having to deal with hard choices that could change your lives forever. Having sex before marriage may feel right for the moment, but the possible costs of an unexpected pregnancy, abortion, and sexually transmitted disease — as well as the deep hurts that can come from a broken relationship — outweigh the feelings of the moment. The feelings are temporary; their consequences are long-lasting.
All good things are worth waiting for. Waiting until marriage to have sex is a mature decision to control your desires. If it’s love, love waits.
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Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.
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