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What is sexuality? Multidimensional meaning - defines who we are as male and female and what we are called to do. The term SPICE is used as a reminder of the multiple dimensions that make up a “wholly sexual person.” SPICE is something that you put in food to enrich it, to give it flavor. (From the Family Honor Tape - “Chastity is for Everyone”)
S   –   spiritual
P   –   physical
I    –   intellectual
C   –   creative
E   –   emotional

Try to develop your own “SPICE” with balance. When you develop yourself in your wholeness, you invite people to love you in that wholeness and not to just love what they see. You also look at others, not for what you see or what you get, but for their totality.

What is God’s plan for sex?
God’s plan for us includes sex and our sexuality. As male and female, He created us in His image and likeness, with minds and wills to think and choose what is good. We are persons who express who we are through our bodies. We are created with a body and a soul. Our bodies are not machines that carry “the real us” from place to place. There is a body-soul unity, a oneness, that is described by Pope John Paul II as a “language of the body.” As images of God we are called to love as God loves. God gave us sexual power to express love through intercourse within the sacrament of marriage. The more we know Jesus, the more we can really know who we are and how we are to act.

Chastity is a VIRTUE that allows us express our sexuality in a good way. As a VIRTUE it is a good habit acquired over time, something that you work on developing day in and day out. It is not about being perfect. It is about striving.

  • Abstinence simply says “NO,” while chastity is a way of life that can guide your decisions. It focuses on doing what is right for the other person by developing good habits that are ways of looking at people.

  • You can’t have chastity without CHARITY. The whole reason you would restrain yourself and reverence somebody is that you are trying to love as God calls us to love. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  • One learns to live with sexual desires and urges. There are temptations but you can find the strength. A chaste person looks at the other person as an image of God and turns to Jesus for the strength and guidance to resist those temptations.

Talk to Your Parents - Teens with parents who share their values and beliefs are able to explore how they feel and reinforce their own values.

Is sex good or bad?
The answer is in Genesis 2-3. Read the story of The Second Creation. “And the man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame (Genesis 2,25).” When the gift of sexuality is used as God intends to love another as God loves us, to be faithful to that person and to welcome a child if God begins a new life, there is no shame.
Genesis 3, 7 shows what happened after Adam and Eve sin, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” Sin changed how Adam and Eve felt about God, their bodies and each other. When the gift of sexuality is not used as God intends, a person feels differently about God (Adam & Eve hide), different about their body (they are ashamed) and different about each other (Adam blames Eve).
The gift of sexuality can be described as the most beautiful gift package you can imagine with the most wonderful ribbons and bows and a tag that says, “Do not open until marriage (Molly Kelly).”

Helpful Suggestions

  • Chastity requires a decision. It is about our relationship with God and the other person’s relationship with God. It is not just something that is going to happen. We need to make a decision and set goals to respect our bodies and to transfer that respect to others.

  • God never asks us to do anything that we cannot do. Accept His invitation and His grace. Get in touch with GOD. Daily prayer and reading the bible. Receive the sacrament of the Eucharist, the Body of Christ, and Reconciliation, God’s delete button. You can’t get sins back unless you do it over again (Molly Kelly at Convocation 2000).

  • Put “stop signs” in your life. Do you know where you should stop? If you do not know where you should stop, you will go through the stop sign. Don’t just stop before the act.

  • Avoid occasions of sin. Have an escape plan – a code word you can use to get parents to come and get you. If you are at a party and drugs, alcohol or sexually explicit movies are present, get out. After school, don’t spend time alone, at home with your boyfriend/girlfriend. This is where things go too far.

  • Share your values and beliefs with your friends. Support and help each other. Work with other youth in volunteer ministry that strengthens your spiritual self.

Secondary Virginity
Read the Parable of the Lost Son (Prodigal Son) - Luke 15, 11-32. Jesus uses this story to help us understand the great forgiveness of His Father. As the lost son was seen in the distance his father, “... ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” God is always waiting for us to come to Him in Reconciliation so he can welcome us home. The grace that we receive from the sacrament can strengthen us to recommit our lives to chastity.

Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP - 8/04