I think I am safe in saying that very few in our world today understand the meaning or concept of chastity. I know that I didn’t before I read The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On by Dawn Eden. As Wikipedia says, chastity is often associated with abstinence, but that is an inadequate definition. Wiki say, “However, the term remains applicable to persons in all states, single or married, clerical or lay, and has implications beyond sexual temperance.” Since pure or purity might be a slightly better concept, I found this picture of pure water to go along with this post (I advise you not to search for a picture of chastity!)
I picked up this book after reading Eden’s blog and just finished the book this week. Eden suggests that chastity is “that virtue by which we are in control of our sexual appetite rather than it being in control of us. 14 She says.
Chastity is a lifelong discipline, based on the understanding of the nature of sexual intimacy—what sex is and what it’s for. Whether you practice chastity as a single woman (when it entails from sex) or as a married woman (when it entails love and responsibility), it bears the same spiritual fruit. 124
She write about sexual intimacy from the point of view of an single woman who is now on a journey of chastity since coming to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ about ten years ago. She came out of Jewish agnosticism and is presently involved in the Catholic church. Her blog is worth looking at on this topic. Although she is writing for single women, even this old married man learned some things that my wife has been trying to tell me for over thirty years!
A few quotes from the book
- Chastity is true-liberty—freedom from slavery to passions that are damaging or counterproductive. It’s also freedom to experience passions—by choice, and not by compulsion. 173
- All of sex I ever had—in and out of relationships—never brought me any closer to marriage or even being able to sustain a committed relationships ix
- Single women feel lonely because they are not loved, so they have casual sex with men who do not love them 2
- Sex outside of marriage—“acts becomes disconnected from its purpose”
- In attempting to escape from loneliness, we accept a sexual act devoid of spiritual nourishment 15
- Use your experiences of hunger or thirst or longing to lead you to God who really satisfies
- Before when I sought sexual experiences with men, it was as a distraction from the emptiness I felt inside 35
- Chastity Is “that virtue by which we are in control of our sexual appetite rather than it being in control of us. 14
- Chastity trusts God that as you pursue a closer walk with Him,” He will lead you to a loving husband xi