Modesty: Can We Just Agree To Be Reasonable?

Few things light up the comments section like a post on modesty. Reactions range from, “Teaching modesty is body shaming and promotes rape culture!” to “Muumuus and turtlenecks for everyone!” Usually, when people are passionate and polarized about a topic it probably means it is an important one. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all agree on some reasonable Read more…

You’re Worth More Than A Bikini

Swimsuit shopping. I shudder a little at the implications brought on by that short, heart wrenching, dessert guilt-inducing phrase. It is June, so if you are a female older than seven years old, you are probably feeling the pressure to pick out that suit that will have you looking your best as you lounge poolside or hit up the beach Read more…

How to Keep it Classy this Summer

Dress Like You Mean It As I browsed through the clothing racks of my favorite store the other day, my thoughts were something similar to “so if you pair the high waisted shorts with a crop top, the shirt won’t be short anymore… But then the shorts are too short too… so either way my entire legs and potentially my stomach Read more…

How Far is Too Far?

I lead a weekly Bible study with a group of high school young men. Prom was approaching and the guys wanted advice. One of them asked me, “how far is too far?” I have known these guys for over three years, and I knew this young man’s heart. He did not have a lustful intention, but he didn’t know how Read more…

Modesty: What’s the point?

Olympic star Aly Raisman said she knew she would face controversy when she decided to appear in this year’s issue of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.” Defending her decision, Aly stated, “…I love my body… women do not have to be modest in order to be respected.” In reading this, I wrestled with her statement. As St. John Paul II Read more…

Sex Is Worth More

As a college student, I gradually became used to hearing that most people think of sex as something you do on a third date. I’ve even seen contraception given out as if they were candy by some student associations. It isn’t news to anyone that university campus culture promotes the thinking of sex as something exploratory and recreational; however, I Read more…

No Perdí Mi Virginidad Cuando Me Case

Nunca le he pegado en la cara a una persona, pero hay momentos cuando quisiera ignorar la virtud del domino propio y dejar los puños volar. Unos meses antes de mi boda alguien me pregunto (conociendo que era una mujer de 29 años y virgen por decisión propia) “¿Entonces tu prometido es virgen también?” Le respondí, “No.” Y su respuesta Read more…

Is It Love or Is It Use?

Dating: A Friend You Make-Out With? Recently I was on a flight with a college senior and we began conversing about casual dating, which she defined as “a friend who you make-out with.” As we chatted about it more she admitted, “It doesn’t feel quite right.” So I asked her straight up if it’s a situation where you basically use Read more…

Non avevo mai capito quanto un bikini potesse nascondere

Sapete cos’è la cosa che mi fa ridere del vestirsi in modo modesto? La cosa più difficile è iniziare, ma una volta che cominci diventa impossibile smettere. Il mio viaggio con la modestia si è svolto a tappe, incoraggiato da domande che continuavo a pormi. Queste domande venivano da una continua battaglia interiore: volevo da una parte essere integrata e Read more…

Wedding Nights and Wedding Rings

  Anyone who has walked the road can tell you…saving sex for marriage is a challenging journey. You can listen intently to people who say it is worthwhile and read all about it and see some concrete fruits of it in your dating relationships, and believe wholeheartedly that it will all have been worth the wait if you enter into Read more…

5 Things People Don’t Understand About Chastity

Chastity, as far as I can tell, is one of the most misunderstood words in the English language. People think it’s repressive, degrading and unnatural. But nothing could be further from the truth! Instead, chastity says that sex, our bodies, and our desires are so good that they are sacred, thus they deserve to be respected and revered. Chastity isn’t Read more…

5 Modesty Hacks To Save Your Wardrobe

When it comes to purity, often the hardest topic to sell to young women is that of modesty. As a teenager I had a close and personal relationship with my closet. Part of me would rather sacrifice my right arm than some of my favorite outfits. However, sanctity comes with sacrifice, and your sacrifice will not go unrewarded. Each time Read more…

What a First Kiss Tells You

I recently read an article what a first kiss tells you, and it didn’t sit right. The author called a first kiss a litmus test. She wrote that it’s how you confirm that a guy is into you—that it’s how you determine whether he’s confident. And maybe, for her, that’s what a first kiss is. And maybe it is for Read more…

What Tim Tebow’s breakup can teach us

Tim Tebow got dumped. Again. This time, the girl is a former Miss USA who allegedly called it quits after a couple of months because she “can’t handle” Tebow’s sexual abstinence. So last week, a New York Daily News gossip blog mocked the famous football player for his inability to “find the endzone,” and wrote that it isn’t the first time that his decision Read more…

Sexual Violence: It Could Happen To Me

“Believe me. Listen. You will hear me. I am worthy.” I do not listen to Lady Gaga lyrics often, but lately, her voice has been echoing in my mind. Over and over, I have watched her latest hit music video, which powerfully depicts the devastation of campus rape. Over and over, I hear the agonizing cry, “Til it happens to Read more…

I Never Knew a Bikini Could Hide So Much

  Do you know what’s funny about dressing modestly? It is the hardest thing to start, yet then becomes impossible to stop. My journey with modesty has happened in stages, prompted by questions that I continued to ask myself. These questions came from an internal battle between wanting to fit in and be seen as attractive on the outside, and Read more…

I Wish I Knew The Value Of A Kiss

Your first kiss: Whether it was absolutely magical or horribly awkward and embarrassing, it’s a moment that stays with you forever. I remember those late night sleepover talks with my girlfriends growing up, discussing and wondering what it would be like when it finally happened. What do you do with your head or your hands? How do you breathe with Read more…

The Day We’ll Share a Home

“97% of couples live together before getting married.” (- The Knot) I am part of the 3%. I do not know who The Knot surveyed to get this data, or how big their test pool was, but this is the information they have printed in their big bridal magazine for this season. According to The Knot’s poll, 3% of people Read more…

Affection: Where do you draw the line?

How do we go about setting physical standards for dating? Is it based on long you’ve known the guy? How much he’s done for you? How much you’ve told him about yourself? Drawing lines like this can be like trying to draw lines in the sand—one wave comes and they’re gone. When we try to define our own standards for Read more…

10 Tips to Stay Chaste

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 Read more…

Is This Too Short?

Is this too short? I’ve been asking myself this question since I tried on my new dress in the store. It’s really cute, figure flattering, a new style, and exactly what I’ve been looking for. It seemed like a good enough length since it’s longer than most dresses. It could use a few more inches of fabric but it’s close Read more…

Chastity: It isn’t about the rules

We had just gotten engaged two days before and were at daily Mass together. I told Daniël we should ask the priest for a blessing, because he was the first priest we had come in contact with since we got engaged. So after Mass we saw the priest, introduced ourselves, and asked him if he would give us this blessing. Read more…

Keeping Prom Pure

I sat in front of the woman, my heart dropping with her words. She recounted to me the distrust and immorality that she experienced in her group of “friends.” As this woman told me about the wild party her group threw on prom night just a few months earlier, I could hear the regret in her voice. I wished that Read more…

Revealing Intimacy

I once saw a protest in which a group of women were expressing their need to free themselves of the oppressive nature of clothing. I may have gotten that premise wrong and, in fact, I don’t really know what they were protesting, but something that one of the young ladies said really stood out to me. When one of them Read more…

Top 10 Reasons Not to Sext

About a third of teens admit that they’ve sent sexually suggestive texts or images online or over their phones. Given the fact that sexting has become so commonplace in schools and among celebrities, many people never pause to think about why it’s such a bad idea. Here’s a top ten list, for starters: 1. Any sexual image of a person Read more…

Sex: What’s the big deal?

“What’s the big deal with sex, anyway?  Why is it important to save sex for marriage?” These are common questions, and the answer to them tells one of God’s greatest love stories. Here are 5 reasons sex is a big deal. 1.  Sex is Holy.   There are two extreme viewpoints about sex: One is that “sex is good with whoever Read more…

Is drinking destroying your relationship?

“The first few months we dated, I never knew he drank. I would have never guessed it because, after all, he went to mass every Sunday. One time, he invited me to go out with his friends. He kissed me when he was drunk. I felt so dirty after. No girl grows up dreaming one of her first kisses would Read more…

The Freedom of Boundaries

Most people hear the word, “boundaries” and automatically bring up the question: “How far can we go physically without crossing a line?” Of course, that’s an important question to consider, but in fact there is far more to it than that. Yes, boundaries can be physical. But they can also be emotional, or even conversational. For me, respecting my own Read more…

The Naked Truth

While trying to avoid homework, I was scrolling through a news website and ended up watching an interview with an actress who was being asked about displaying nudity in movies and shows, and her words were quite striking: “It’s kind of cool right now to show stuff. Because a lot of big time celebrities are doing it. I’m not afraid of Read more…

Why I STILL don’t date men who are “willing” to save sex

In his quiet apartment, I stirred a pot of mac ‘n’ cheese while I watched him watch TV. He sighed. So did I, and for the same reason that he did: As of a few minutes earlier, I wasn’t his girlfriend anymore. His was a sigh of resignation. Mine was a sigh of relief. When we first met, I was 23. Read more…

Modest: Not Hottest, but oh-so Beautiful

Being modest is hard. Speaking as a nineteen-year-old Catholic woman who loves fashion, I will tell you first hand that modesty is not easy. You know why? Because skin is in. The media is saturated in images of girls in crop tops and barely there pants. Less and less is being left to the imagination and my generation is being coerced Read more…

Just like the animals?

While driving home from Thanksgiving grocery shopping, I decided to skim through radio stations, to find some music to fit my cheerful mood. A catchy song started playing, and I heard the following words: “Hunt you down eat you alive/Just like animals/animals.” I switched the station—only to hear the same song playing on that station. Switching off the radio, my Read more…

I Didn’t Wait And Wish I Did: An open response to Samantha Pugsley

Recently I read an article entitled “I Waited Until My Wedding Night To Lose My Virginity And Wish I Didn’t,” written by a young woman called Samantha who was led to believe that sex—in all contexts—is “dirty and wrong and sinful,” and who ultimately lost her faith as she struggled to rebuke that lie. As I read it, I wanted Read more…

Modesty: Heart before hemline

For a lot of people the word ‘modesty’ is automatically associated with clothing and appearance. Most girls think of being told not to wear short skirts or low-cut tops… and our thoughts generally go no further. In stopping on the outside of our bodies, we stop on the outside of the concept. By neglecting the heart, we don’t pierce the Read more…

He doesn’t need your sext: A response to Jennifer Lawrence

Much can be said about the incident last month in which explicit pictures of multiple celebrities were hacked and leaked online. I don’t want to spend time talking about what a stupid idea it is to take and upload explicit photos of yourself (a.k.a. porn), nor do I want to talk about what an even stupider thing it is to Read more…

Dance Like Someone Is Watching

I’ll never forget a conversation from a few years ago with a teen who was in anguish about her first middle school dance. It wasn’t deliberations about her dress or hair that caused knots in her stomach and kept her awake at night. There was another decision that lay before her just wasn’t sitting right. Her friends on the other Read more…

I didn’t lose my virginity when I got married

I’ve never punched someone in the face, but there are definitely times I wish I could ignore the virtue of self-control and let a fist fly. A few months before my wedding, someone asked me (knowing that I was a 29-year old virgin by choice), “So, is your fiancé a virgin, too?” I replied, “Nope.” She responded, “Well at least Read more…

Debunking the Myths About Chastity

I have been saving sex for marriage for a long time, and I’ve noticed over the years that when people find this out, there are a series of reactions that take place. Most often they begin with utter shock, transforming into sheer horror, and end in misunderstanding about my choice and the belief that I am very naïve, and I Read more…

Consumerism of the Body

Casually flipping through the store ads in a newspaper this summer, one in particular caught my eye. Next to the department store’s logo, in bright, bold letters, were the words: “Everything is on Sale!” And, next to these words, were three scantily clad women posing to display as much skin as possible. The “sale” may have just been on dishes, Read more…

The Mystery of Sex

So I recently learned that Kim Kardashain took 1200 selfies and sent them to Kanye West as a Valentine’s Day gift, because apparently “all guys love it when a girl sends them sexy pics.” Yesterday I was at the store and I saw the latest issue of Cosmo, and Emmy Rossum was on the cover. She was quoted as saying Read more…

I Love You – BUT DON’T TOUCH ME!

Does this sound familiar?: “Sex is bad and dirty and it angers God if you do it before you get married. You must practice self-control by never thinking about sex, lest you anger God and violate his commands in the Bible. Sex should only be experienced in marriage, in which case then a married couple can have at it as Read more…

My problem with “modesty”

I was introduced to the idea of modesty being a virtue that I should embrace as a young girl. For a long time there was pressure from certain circles of friends who said women could only be modest was by wearing boy’s baggy shirts and skirts that reach the ankles in order to hide their bodies. I was a member of Read more…

Revealing the “M” Word

I think we can all agree that $100 is a fairly large sum of money. If you had $100 on you, you’d probably want to put it in your pocket, a drawer, a safe, or the bank—somewhere safer than out in the open. I was thinking about this a few weeks ago—how much we value money. How, with money, we Read more…

30 Day Modesty Challenge

Challenge time, beautiful ladies of the Lord! In our culture nowadays it seems that it is much easier for us to dress immodestly than modestly. So here’s my challenge… Dress modestly for 30 days. Instagram it with the hashtag #30daymodestychallenge . (Yes… take some selfies. No judgement) Pray about it and see what happens! Question time… Why did I decide Read more…

I’m That Girl – That Girl That Got Pregnant

So…I’m pregnant. I’m 21, single, a senior in college, and yes, I’m that girl. It happened on my 21st birthday. Most people get to have a few too many drinks, and possibly a bad headache the next day for their 21st birthday. My experience was a little different. I was that girl that got way too drunk, that girl that was insecure, that girl that had Read more…

Miley can’t hear you—but we can.

We all know about Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance last fall, but she continues to be in the news for one thing or another. Whether it be her performance, her outfits, something she’s said or most recently, photos she posted, she continues to be a topic of conversation. For those of us who strive to live virtuous lifestyles, Miley can be Read more…

BUSTED: Three myths people use to promote premarital sex.

In 2009 and 2012, I wrote essays for the Tampa Bay Times about why I’m saving sex for marriage—essays that sparked impassioned reactions. Some feedback came from readers who agreed that saving sex is a good idea. Other feedback came from readers who shared why they think premarital sex is better. But their reasons—which still show up in my inbox—have Read more…

To The Man Who Won’t Sleep With Me

It was a habit that started when the two of us would cram into my extra-long twin bed back in college. We were high school sweethearts. Even my comforter and throw pillows were blue and green: homage to our school colors. We’d stretch our toes and yawn together. And there was something to having him there, at arm’s reach, in Read more…

Is it time to change our views of adultery and marriage?

My phone rang mid-day on a Monday—an unexpected call from a friend in a crisis sparked by a spouse’s newly revealed infidelity. I thought of my friend last week as I read a column on HuffPost Wedding, a request by life coach Lisa Haisha to reconsider monogamy, which is a promise implied by marriage but breached by many-a-spouse. The divorce Read more…

Modesty: What is that?!

Modesty. What is the first image that comes to mind when someone mentions modesty? Do you have pictures of Amish women and nuns running through your head? If so, I would like to show you a different definition of modesty and why it is so very important for young girls and this generation. Modesty isn’t solely concerned with, “how much Read more…

Every Body Talks

Once upon a time I was “just friends” with a boy. But when we were together we would hold hands and were rather affectionate—as if we were dating. This is where it might have been handy if someone had brought my attention to the age-old-adage: “Actions speak louder than words.” We’ve all heard it a million times. And if you’re Read more…

Kissing: What’s the Big Deal?

I used to scoff at a friend of mine whenever we talked about kissing girls.  Hearing him say, “kissing starts the snowball” was laughable to me, and I usually told him so. It sounded ridiculous. That “snowball”, though, escalates into an avalanche faster than you’d think. It might sound naive to place such importance on a first kiss, but it’s Read more…

Ignore What the World Says About Virginity

I curled into a corner of the couch, pointed the remote toward the TV, and channel surfed to TV Land, where the woman in the sitcom on screen made a “shocking” discovery: Her son had never had sex. “Twenty-six years old and still a virgin,” she said. “The Elephant Man lost it before that.” The actor’s line was a crass Read more…

When is your relationship ready for sex?

I came across a quiz in Seventeen magazine (don’t ask why I was reading it) – asking the question, “Are you ready for sex?” I was intrigued, so I took the quiz. Thankfully, the quiz determined that I was in fact ready. So how did Seventeen magazine determine that I was able and ready to take this step in my Read more…

Why I’m Waiting to Have Sex Until I’m Married

My inbox is flooded daily with questions from young women saying, My boyfriend says that if I really love him, I’ll have sex with him. If I don’t have sex with him, I’m afraid he’ll leave me. If I don’t give him what he wants I’m terrified he’ll cheat on me. My boyfriend looks at porn and it makes me feel like Read more…

Flirting 101: The 4 Things Guys Should Do

Ah, flirting. That ancient art of trying to get the attention of someone you’re attracted to while trying to prevent oneself from looking like a complete tool. I’ll never forget my friend from kindergarten who thought he would win a girl’s heart by putting all of his toy cars in envelopes and giving them to her each morning as gifts. Read more…

Flirting 101: The Do’s and Don’ts for Girls

So you’ve met a guy. What do you do next? Act interested? But you don’t want to come on too strong. Ignore him? But then he won’t know you’re alive. Knock him to the ground? No, that only works in first grade. Though I’ve landed quite a catch now (shout out to my wonderful husband, Brian!), I remember it all Read more…

All of Me: 3 Reasons Why I’m Waiting for Marriage

I’m 29 and a virgin. No, I don’t have some incurable alien disease that causes people to shutter at the sight of me. No, I don’t have the sex drive of a grandma (unless it’s my grandma who had 11 kids). And, no, I’m not Tim Tebow’s girlfriend. In my past I was a former model, volleyball player, and valedictorian Read more…

Hey, I just met you . . . So let’s get married?: Emotional Chastity

One day, a handsome, mysterious stranger walked into the shop where I work and I gave him a job. I had no idea where he had come from or how he found me, but we needed the help and he was willing to work. Over time, despite many obstacles, we fell in love – but then he was discovered with Read more…

How to Sabotage your Love Life

During my years in the sorority, I read a lot of great resources on preparing yourself for finding your future spouse. They were very helpful in the journey to finding the vocation God had for me. There was even a recent post on the FOCUS blog about growing in emotional maturity to set you up for relationship success one day! Read more…