Emotional Chastity

Freedom in ChristMy post from two weeks ago focused on Fantasy Relationships and how important Emotional Chastity is in preventing these unhealthy relationships.  I think it is very hard to experience the freedom of physical chastity unless we first strive for emotional chastity.

Like physical Chastity, Emotional Chastity is a life-long virtue. The goal of obtaining Emotional Chastity is not to catch a husband.  The goal is to become free of the emotions that lead to a disordered life.

Create Your Own Fiat

How do you free yourself from these disordered emotions?  The best way, to me, is to have complete trust in the goodness and the will of God.  You, like The Virgin Mary, can create your own little fiat, “”Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to Thy word.”  You can trust Him with your future, your vocation and your needs.  This trust can be so profound that you can confidently live by these words of Sacred Scripture:

“I charge you Daughters of Israel do not awaken or stir up love until it pleases.”

Song of Songs 8:4

The goal is to  remain asleep in His will until it pleases the Lord to awaken you to His plan for your vocation.  This trust frees you from the temptation to “stir up” your emotions.  Trust in the Lord will keep you from placing your attention and affections on the wrong men.  Confidence in His will for your life will protect you from chasing men.

How do you obtain this trust in and obedience to the will of the Lord?  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be presenting some ideas.  Today, I will be focusing on a technique which helped me when I was single. As you will see, I still use this technique.

A Vision Of Yourself

Okay, so the goals of Emotional Chastity are:

  • To be free of any emotion that leads to a disordered life
  • To have an ordered life of virtue and healthy habits, attitudes, behaviors and emotions
  • To trust in the will of the Lord and the goodness of the Lord
  • To remain asleep until He pleases

One way to obtain these goals is to have a vision of yourself with the characteristics and virtues you want to incorporate into your life.  Have you ever tried this?  Some might think it sounds sort of new age-ish. But, what could be the harm? I am not advocating a self-deprecating attitude where you focus on everything that is wrong with you.  Nor am I encouraging you to fill your head with conceded notions about yourself.

Instead, I am advocating that you create a vision of your best self.  Your most free self.  Your most trusting self.  Your most virtuous self.  Your most emotionally balanced self.  Then, once you see this vision, you can start praying for and modeling the required virtues, behaviors, attitudes, habits and disposition.  Your healthy emotions will naturally follow.

An Example

Just today, the Lord put an opportunity in front of me.  I call it ‘opportunity’ but it would be better described as a challenge.  You see, this challenge is going to force me out of my comfort zone.  It is going to stretch me to my limits.  But, I had to say ‘Yes’ to the Lord.  Behold, I am His handmaid after all.

So, as I am freaking out in my head and trying not to hyperventilate about this ‘opportunity’, I started to picture myself with the virtues I am going to need in order to glorify the Lord through this opportunity.  Here is an example of the pep talk I gave to myself (as well as the challenges in parenthesis):

  • I am an open person (not at all)
  • I am a flexible person (ha ha ha ha ha ha)
  • I am a person without shame (sigh, I am so not perfect)
  • I am a generous person (um, not really)

Once I was able to name the needed virtues and create the vision, I knew how to pray for myself.  Also, trusting in the goodness and the will of God will give me confidence that He will help me in these specific areas.  I will be stretched, but I will be fine.  I may even be, dare I say, blessed.

What Is Your Vision?

When I was single, I practiced this visualization technique.  I would create the vision, name the virtue, pray and then trust.  You can do this too.  For example, your goal is to live a chaste life.  What does this look like for you?  Your goal is to be emotionally steady and trust in the Lord.  What does this look like for you?  Your goal is to be the kind of girl who knows her dignity and does not chase men.  What does this look like for you?

Can you see yourself with all these virtues?  What are your daily habits?  What does your posture look like and how do you carry yourself?  How do you respond to various situations?  How do you respond to men?  What do you need to start doing?  What do you need to stop doing?

What Do You Need?

The Lord wants you to be His handmaid.  He wants you to give Him your fiat. He knows all about your disordered emotions. He knows what is keeping you from trusting Him.  Therefore, He will provide what is required in order for you to glorify Him.  Lay this vision of your obedient, trusting self at His feet. Present your needs to Him.  Tell Him you want only to glorify Him.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4:6-8

What Else?

Next week I will talk about The Veil and how the concept can help you achieve Emotional Chastity.

God love and bless you!

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4 thoughts on “Emotional Chastity

  1. Thank you for making this blog! I really like what you said about remaining “asleep in God’s will” until He reveals it. I’ve always liked the image that, when we feel especially foggy and uncertain in terms of trusting in God’s presence and steadfast providence in our lives, we are like a little child that He is actually holding close to His Heart while we sleep and He is carrying us during the journey. He has wrapped us and covered us by His cloak to protect us from dangers outside. So everything appears dark to us, as we are covered, and in this darkness where we might feel estranged from Him, we are actually nestled in His arms! Every once in a while He will “peek in” to check on us, and we are given a brief consolation of His presence and grace to renew our trust in His plan. He’s waiting for the time He has ordained to say to us, “Arise my beloved, my beautiful one, and come. For behold, the winter has passed…” (Song of Songs) Maybe it’s a bit of a complicated image, but it has always brought me consolation in more difficult periods!

    I love the image of the veil. It reminds of me of one of my classes, where we learned that the word apocalypse comes from Greek meaning “the un-veiling” — and what follows this final un-veiling is the Wedding Feast of the Lamb with His bride. How beautiful!

    Thank you again for your work writing this blog — reading it has helped me so much!

    • Thank you, ADJ! I love this:
      “Arise my beloved, my beautiful one, and come. For behold, the winter has passed…” (Song of Songs)

      I have added you to my Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer list. God bless, Cindy

  2. Pingback: guard your relationship Heart. | worthy of Agape

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