When Morgan first conveyed this story to me, I knew that many of you would benefit from it. Each of you will be challenged in your commitment to chastity by many people in various situations. Morgan offers many reasons for choosing this virtue. This quote, to me, is the best reason:
“…But do I know that living chastely is what makes me the best version of myself? A thousand times yes…”
Imagine this scene:
There I am, sitting on an exam table, waiting for my very first OBGyn appointment to begin.
I’m feeling a mixture of emotions…nervousness especially, but also a twinge of annoyance.
I was 20 years old and a virgin with no plans of sexual activity until marriage.
So then WHY, I asked myself, was I there. Ugh.
My doctor walked in, she seemed nice enough and began to ask the routine questions.
It was when I revealed to her that I was indeed sexually inactive and surprise! never had been, that the appointment took a turn I hadn’t anticipated.
Let me pause for a moment and explain something.
Now, I had prepared myself for this moment in the appointment. The moment when I tell my doctor that yes, I am a virgin, and yes, I am saving sex for marriage.
I had expected that perhaps she would accept my answer but blow past it with the assumption that I should go on the pill, “just in case I changed my mind” (after all, I was in college, and who really expects college kids to not give in to the hook-up culture?).
I had expected that perhaps she wouldn’t believe me and would push and prod in hopes of me giving her the real truth.
What I didn’t expect was that a normally hour-long appointment turned into a 2+ hour discussion on how I had managed to retain my virginity in the society we live in today.
I’ll be honest, that was the first time I’d ever had to explain myself. Most of my friends in high school were Mormon, so living out chastity was pretty easy with that support system around me. I never received any negative backlash while in high school, though I found out years later that people said that I was “really religious” (a comment I took pride in upon hearing it, though, had I heard that at the time it was said, I may not have taken it as a compliment).
And in college, I was extremely involved at the Catholic Newman Center, which provided me with numerous friends also living chastely…as well as many examples of couples who made chastity a priority in their relationship.
But this conversation with someone who turned out to be genuinely interested in how I, in her words, had become “such a confident young woman who is so assured in [her] decision to save sex for marriage”, allowed me to explore how I DID choose chastity and in turn, also strengthened my commitment to this way of life.
(I think I remember her saying something about how “normal” I was…umm yeah, common misconception about those who are living out chastity…)
The following are just a few of the seemingly endless questions she asked me, which I think help to encompass the “how” behind my commitment to chastity.
Were you raised like this?
hermmm….well, yes, I suppose you could say that. I mean, I am the eldest of four children and we were all taught to love, respect, and honor others AND ourselves. But I don’t ever remember my mom sitting me down and saying
“now, Morgan, remember that you must always protect the precious gift of your virginity until marriage”
….because, to be honest, that never really came up. I don’t look back and see my childhood as being “sheltered”, but my parents definitely guarded their children’s young minds and hearts from worldly influences that might encourage certain negative behaviors.
(Read: no PG-13 movies until we were AT LEAST 13, etc.)
I learned about sex when my mom gave me “the talk”, not from cable television. And because I had a good relationship with her, when I had a question, I went to her for answers, and I’m sure that formed my mind in how I viewed my body and sexuality as a whole.
Are you a virgin because of religion?
Oiy vey. My answer to my OBGyn went something like this:
“Well, I am Catholic, and the Church does teach that chastity is what ought to be practiced. However, the teachings of the Church aren’t the fundamental reasons why I’ve remained a virgin…but they support the values that are already ingrained in me.”
I love that our Holy Mother Church teaches about chastity. Despite the misconceptions of others that her loving teachings are “restricting” or “old-fashioned”, I love them. Plain and simple.
But as I stated those 3-some years ago in that doctor’s office, I feel like my desire to practice chastity has been inherently written on my soul. I love that Church teaches what I practice, but it’s kind of like my pro-life beliefs.
I am pro-life not because my Church tells me to be, but because it is what is right and true.
I live out chastity not simply because I’m Catholic and therefore must, but because it is what is right and true for my body and soul.
Having the Church’s teachings there as a safety net when I’m feeling weak and want to give in to temptation really do help me to remain strong. It’s great to have back-up!
But in this society! You must be REALLY convicted.
Yes. Yes I am.
Living chastely is a choice I have to make every. single. day.
Is it easy, especially in today’s world? Heck to the no.
But do I know that living chastely is what makes me the best version of myself? A thousand times yes.
I’ve been in impure relationships before and they were harmful to my soul. Being conscious of my mind, heart, and body at all times can be exhausting, but it’s something that I’ve committed to myself, and to my future husband, and I intend to see it through.
People, while they say that men are visual creatures, that doesn’t mean that a herd of shirtless runners doesn’t also affect us women. Seriously.
But the phrase “practicing chastity” means, for me, just that. I’ve grown and become much better at controlling my thoughts and desires than when I first consciously began choosing chastity.
The bottom line: at 23 years old, I am a virgin and saving sex for marriage. There have been many influences in my life to get me to the place that I’m at today, but when it comes down to it, the choice, the commitment, the promise to live chastely has to be my decision. I am grateful to everyone and everything that has brought me to this point, but what keeps me on this track is remaining faithful to our Lord and when I’m feeling weak, running to Him for the strength I need to carry on.
Thank you so much to Cindy for allowing me this opportunity to share part of my story!
Please know of my prayers for all of you!