Friday, May 1, 2009

The Not So Thrilling Wait To Get "Chaste"

I trekked to the mailbox at the front of my apartment building yesterday, and yet again was disappointed to not see my copy of "The Thrill of The Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On" which I ordered from Amazon. Okay, so actually, I ordered it from a private seller on Amazon, and I guess that's making the difference in receiving it.

If you're wondering why I, as a married woman, would be getting a book now about chasity, let me explain. Besides being a fan of the book's author Dawn Eden, and her blog, I am coming to value the concept of chastity as being a lifestyle and not simply being a substitute word for sexual abstinence. Sure, there is a definite link between abstinence and chastity. One definition is simply "virginity" or "celibacy," but it goes deeper to meaning "virtuous character" and "moral purity." These are certainly characteristics that are desirable, no matter your relationship status.

In an article Eden wrote called "The Thrill of the Chaste: Defending Sexless Dating", she describes a married friend's practice of chastity: "My friend Brett practices married chastity. That means he’s faithful to his wife, giving himself fully to her and receiving her love as a gift, rather than treating her as an object who exists to give him what he deserves. It also means the love he and his wife share adds fuel to all their relationships, including their devotion to their two children. "

The concept of love being more than an emotion (a seemingly whimsical one at that) is foreign nowadays. One need only spend an hour watching VH1's "I Love... fill in the name of the latest C-list reality 'celeb' in search of romance and exposure" to see how flippantly love is thrown around. However, it's not just cable television "reality"; since nearly half of all marriage in the U.S. end in divorce, it actually is reality. I Corinthians 13, the "Love Chapter", breaks down what true love is:

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, Doesn't have a swelled head, Doesn't force itself on others, Isn't always "me first," Doesn't fly off the handle, Doesn't keep score of the sins of others, Doesn't revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

Reading what love actually is (which obviously is NOT random sex with washed up rappers or former Poison members), I see an inextricable link between love and chastity. Eden writes "...chastity flowers from is not just about sex, but love. It is a lifelong journey of learning to love every individual in the fullest possible way — whether a friend, a relative, a spouse, or a stranger."

With these values in my heart, I endeavor now more than ever, even when I was a virginal single, to practice chastity. And patience for the sloooooooow receipt of my book. Next time I'll try Barnes & Noble.


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