It’s no secret that chastity is HARD. Especially if you have been in love… or are currently letting your heart take flight into the unknown of falling in love, which is terrifying but also pretty exhilarating at the same time. When your heart is being drawn to that person it may “feel” almost impossible to pull on the reigns of your heart and restrain yourself in the pursuit of chastity. And for us single ladies, waiting and longing for our knight in shining armor to raise his sword to find us can be so exhausting. The impatience can lead us to mistakes, settling for artificial glimpses of what it would feel like to be loved instead of holding out for the real deal.
I am striving day-by-day to live the virtue of chastity and yet, I still find myself falling into sin. Chastity is a virtue which is the habit of choosing the good. My habits are a work in progress. I’ve studied all the ins-and-outs of what the Church teaches about dignity, sexuality, purity, you name it, but why isn’t this enough? I was starting to think chastity was unattainable and without Christ, it is.
Recently, something just clicked that has helped me immensely in this wait for my future partner in crime: I started to live for the man of my dreams now…. whoever that may be, and I decided to commit to him now. To be loyal and faithful to him now. To pray for him now. To sacrifice for him now.
Here is something that I do know… hook-ups and one-night stands don’t feel awesome the next morning. Scrambling for a cup of coffee, hungover, feeling pretty awkward; trying to figure out what on earth happened last night; wanting to sit in the shower for hours not only to wash off the make-up you slept in but to get rid of the tangible, dirty feeling the guy from the night before left on your skin. For the last ten years the desire to not feel that way was my only motivation for chastity. I knew that I didn’t like feeling regret, trapped, lonely, used, bruised, and thrown away.
Although I was still journeying and growing in the virtue of chastity, I was aware of what to avoid but I didn’t really know what I was striving for. I thought that chastity would leave me lonely in my bed at night, wishing someone was lying beside me. I thought looking at all my friends in happy and lively relationships was going to leave me longing and aching for love and affection. I thought I would be full of sexual frustration, like a boiling pot of water about to overflow onto the stove. What I wish I would’ve known is that chastity is not forcing down your desires until you explode, rather, it is the key to pure and unadulterated freedom! I never associated freedom with chastity until I was living in the light of Christ for an extended period of time. Truly anything is possible with Him who strengthens us, even chastity.
I never thought I would be the girl who turned down cute guys, joyfully and willingly. I never thought I would crown myself with chastity proudly. I never thought I would be free from the ball-and-chain the culture we live in ties to our ankles. Chastity to me is no longer a burden, rather a catalyst to release my true self in Christ. It is no longer a long-sequence of ‘no’s’ but rather a greater YES or I DO on my wedding day to the love of my life.
If God is calling you to marriage, then your future ‘someone’ does exist! He is out there! He has a heartbeat. He has struggles, wants, and desires too. It feels like I am already living out my vocation as we speak. I have found a sense of purpose and satisfaction in living out what I was made for and who I was made for even before I know his name.
My name is Bry Bergeman and I am a senior, Theology major at Franciscan University. I hope to go into some sort of ministry one day but we will see what God has in store! My blog site is: brybergeman.wordpress.com. On here you can find more about my testimony and struggles with relationships and chastity.