Let’s face it, practicing chastity is tough. When the ache for affection and intimacy comes, it can draw us into places we never imagined: mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Here are 10 steps to help you remain chaste:
- Don’t Settle
I have to be honest; I have dated some not-so-good guys in my day. In doing so I came out hurt and jaded. Who you date is one of the most important decisions you will make. Don’t settle for “drama queens” or “adolescent boys”… You deserve God’s best.
- Stay Balanced
When cupid’s arrow strikes, it is easy to dive into the other person, or spend every waking hour of the day mentally stalking them.
We are made to worship. However, the challenge is not making an idol out of that person. Only God can complete us, so stay balanced.
- Know Your Values
Chastity is a virtue and choice. We can’t just awkwardly shrug our shoulders when someone asks why we are choosing to stay chaste. Know why it’s important to wait.
- Choose your friends wisely
We all need a support team. If you have played any team sports, you know that the only way to defend against the opponent is if you have teammates who “have your back.” We need friends who slide tackle when the doubts come and block the punt when we feel like giving up. Find a friend and mentor to support you—be held accountable.
- Set specific physical boundaries
”I want to stay chaste” does not help when you have no idea what that looks like. Know your specific physical boundaries. Which leads us to the next point:
- COMMUNICATE those boundaries upfront
Talk to the person you are dating about chastity and specific boundaries. Before your relationship starts getting even remotely physical, you should talk about those boundaries.
Do not wait until you start making out to have the talk because you leave yourself open to fail in your endeavor to stay chaste. Set yourself up for success, so that you both are on the same page.
- Avoid temptation
Watching a movie under a blanket in the basement when your girlfriend’s parents are out of town is a bad idea. Spending the night at your boyfriend’s dorm room or apartment when you have been drinking is a recipe for disaster.
The journey to living chastity is about making choices that will allow you to live in freedom, not be enslaved to temptation. It’s important to know our limits. So avoid:
- Movies/ sexting/ flirting that sexually stirs you
- Using alcohol
- Late nights in tempting locations
- Guard Your Eyes
Scripture tells us the eyes are the window to the soul (cf Mt 6:22). So guard your eyes. If you struggle with pornography and/or masturbation, seek help. Chastity is about honoring your sexuality in all things: what you watch, listen to, how you dress, and talk. It is a way of living out holiness.
- Get up when you fall
The journey is going to have some bumps. Satan wants you to believe it’s too late and you can’t do this. If you have had sex, or given away that gift, it is not over. Just get up. Go to confession and keep your eyes on Jesus.
- Take courage
It isn’t easy out there. You will be put in situations that are uncomfortable. Friends will be talking inappropriately. Guys may be telling perverted jokes. Your group of friends may want to rent Fifty Shades of Grey next weekend and you will have to stand up for what you believe. It is NOT EASY… but… it is worth it. You are not alone. You can do it…with Him.
- Stay close to God
More than any attractive love interest, God wants to take you on a glorious love story with Him. He wants to stir your heart and bring you to freedom. If you struggle with chastity, begin to fall to your knees and pray: Change my heart. You will hear God awakening you to new life, to a new desire, to love and freedom.
Involved in ministry for more than 15 years, Mary Bielski has spoken to over 100,000 teens, young adults around the nation at high school and college retreats and conferences, including Steubenville Youth Conferences, Life Teen Inspiration, LA Congress, NCCC, and parish and diocesan rallies. Using funny stories and engaging analogies, Mary draws her audience to the beauty of our Catholic faith, a deeper love for Christ, the Eucharist, and the call to holiness. For more information about Mary and her ministry go to www.marybielski.com.