It was a beautiful sunny day and everything was going according to plan. Our date started out by visiting a church to say a quick prayer before we explored a new hiking trail. On our hike we beheld a couple of stunningly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain vistas that were painted with the colors of fall. We saw deer prancing through the woods and hawks floating on the breeze. We breathed in nothing but the refreshing and crisp mountain air. I was intoxicated on the joy of life because I was a man in love!Naturally we started kissing, then we kept kissing, then we kissed some more... #ChastityIsHardClick To Tweet
That day, I was in love the girl I was dating and I was enamored by the goodness of the Lord. Love, by its very nature, instills in us a desire to be united with our beloved. That day on the mountain top, I wanted nothing more than to be united with both my Lord and my girlfriend. Naturally we started kissing, then we continued kissing, then we kissed some more until somehow by the grace of God, one of us pulled away and said, “We need to be careful that we don’t get to passionate. We aren’t married yet.”
What the mountain taught me
That experience on the mountain stirred many questions in my mind and I began to ponder what it means to date chastely. Unfortunately, that relationship ended soon after my mountain epiphany, but the questions remained with me. I turned to Google and I came up with a really good article from the CatholicMatch Institute of all places. The author gives a great list of situations that you don’t want to find yourself in:
“Drinking too much at parties, on dates, or during events out; talking too long and too late in the car; talking too long and too late anywhere; sleepovers; laying down together; kissing laying down; kissing sitting down; maybe even kissing standing up; not to mention kissing with any portion of your clothing removed. And backrubs. Definitely backrubs.”
I am immediately reminded of the verse in scripture that talks about a clean house, i.e. our souls.
“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that person is worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24-26)
If I properly order my dating relationship and don’t engage in all that things I shouldn’t be, am I not leaving myself open to greater temptations and attacks from the devil? And like a typical guy, I feel like I must fill that void and do something.
My questions persisted, what is chastity and how is it practiced in a dating relationship? Chastity is a virtue and like all virtues, it gives us the power (virtue comes from the Latin word for power) to do something, to act in a certain way. I want to offer to you my own list of dating DO’s to compliment the many very helpful lists of DONT’s. If you have helpful hints to practicing chastity in a dating relationship, please share in the comment section below.
Do You Pray?
Prayer is the first step for everything. I ask myself the this important question every day, “did I pray enough today?” Prayer is conversation with the Lord. It is our lifeline to Life itself. When you pray and focus your attention on the Lord, you just see things differently. I pray to see Christ in everyone I meet throughout the day.Prayer is a lifeline to Life itself. Start praying. Click To Tweet
I pray now particularly that I may see the image of Christ in my fiancée. By seeing the Lord in my fiancée, I try to positively avoid things that will destroy that image, i.e. Sin. I don’t want to touch her inappropriately or kiss her too passionately. If I start to go down the path of the DON’T lists, I do a quick three Hail Mary’s, and I can once again DO.
Do You Communicate?
Communication is key. We first have that conversation with the Lord. Then we need to examine if we communicate well with our significant other. Are you open and honest enough to tell him or her that you are aroused by passionate kissing? Do you tell him or her what turns you on so that those types of touches can be avoided?Do you tell your significant other what turns you on? Chastity requires communication. Click To Tweet
By talking with each other, you will begin to know where the line is for each of you. One thing I’ve discovered recently is that line changes. What might be an ok way to show affection one minute is entirely wrong the next minute. This discovery, however, would have remained hidden had we not communicated.
Do You Know Each Other’s Love Language?
Love languages? We all express our love for another in one of five ways or “languages.” Here is a great article that explains the love languages more in-depth. Do you know how your significant other gives and receives love? My primary love language is physical touch. My fiancée knows that I need that gentle hand on the arm or the pat on the back to know that I am loved. She also knows that she shouldn’t touch me in certain ways. She also knows that when she can’t touch me, she can use Words of Affirmation, my secondary love language, to fill the void.Knowing how your significant other gives and receives love will strengthen your relationship!Click To Tweet
The love languages are important in avoiding sin, but also knowing how to express your love to your significant other in a chaste way. Chastity is a virtue that helps you to act in a certain grace-filled way. It is a virtue to help you see the Divine in all things. It will certainly help you to avoid the numerous temptations that pop up in a dating relationship.
Chastity will help you do certain things and live a certain way so that the words of the Gospel apply directly to you and your life, “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). Do the do’s, avoid the don’ts, so that when you say “I Do” to your spouse it will be with a pure heart.