The Benefits of Chastity Before Marriage | Real Life Answers
Can you expand on what is appropriate in a dating relationship for affection, and intimacy in a chaste and holy manner, especially for those in their 40s? people the benefit of the doubt and not quick to make them feel bad. Intimate relationships help bond people together to make them feel are a few advantages and disadvantages of having intimate relationships. Anyone who begins a sexual relationship believing “it can't happen to me” risks Couples who remain chaste before marriage report greater.
Proponents of this prevailing view believe that premarital sexual experiences are a normal part of life. One survey showed that many married couples believe premarital sexual experiences strengthened their marriages Another study found that many people believe cohabitation is good preparation for marriage because couples can "practice" being married and test their compatibility Social science research, however, contradicts these beliefs.
Cohabitation in particular is linked to lower marital commitment and a higher divorce rate Researchers have not found even one benefit of cohabitation Chastity, on the other hand, has many positive health and relationship benefits. These include decreased chance of psychological damage from expressing intimacy without commitment, freedom from sexually transmitted diseases STDsfreedom from unwanted pregnancies, and an increase in marital stability and satisfaction.
Chastity for Psychological Reasons Probably some of the most often overlooked consequences of premarital sexual activity are psychological. The basic human need for touch and physical affection is real, but even more important is the basic human need for a loving connection with others. The need for love, touch, and attachment may lead some people to give sex to save a relationship. Unfortunately, says Paulson, those who mistake sex for love and base their relationship on physical pleasure will find their relationship unfulfilling; eventually it will deteriorate and dissolve In fact, research shows premarital sex can even drive couples apart.
Giving in to sexual drives before marriage often pushes other, more important parts of the relationship into the background, even drowning them out When expressed appropriately in marriage, however, sex enhances the other aspects of a couple's relationship Another destructive psychological consequence of premarital sex is the distortion of emotional bonding that can occur.
According to Paulson20, beginning at birth the bonding that occurs with physical touch hugs, kisses, cuddling provides security and feelings of well-being. It is no surprise, then, that the deepest bonding between adults also involves touch. When affection extends to sex, an uncommitted couple risks tremendous pain and possibly permanent psychological damage. Jess Lair6 explains the phenomenon this way: Recent research may have discovered the physiological basis for this deep bonding--a hormone called oxytocin.
This hormone is released in both women and men during sexual orgasm It promotes an attachment between the two individuals that is likely to grow with each sexual exchange and can have a long-term influence. This mark can be so lasting that most people can replay images associated with a shared sexual experience years later Unmarried couples who have sex enjoy no security associated with the attachment they form.
Most of these couples eventually break up, destroying the bond they've created and leaving them changed forever. Depression and loss of self-esteem may follow. Thus sexual activity between those who are not fully committed is psychologically unsafe. The only time it is psychologically safe to bond this deeply is in a secure marriage.
Husbands and wives fully committed to one another can safely use physical intimacy to express the emotional closeness they feel and to strengthen their marriage. In short, only married people who appropriately use sex will be able to truly benefit from sexual intimacy. Center for Disease Control and Prevention4, approximately 65 million Americans are currently living with an incurable sexually transmitted disease STD.
The number increases by about 15 million each year. The effects of these diseases can be devastating, including pain, disability, and in some cases death. This disease destroys tissue.
After someone develops syphilis they can infect sexual partners for four years. Pregnant women risk passing on the disease to their infants. Syphilis has three stages. In the first stage a lesion appears that heals without treatment. Women may show no symptoms during this stage. In the second stage, a non-itching rash may develop and damage to internal tissues begins.
A latent period follows when the infected person is no longer contagious. Early treatment is essential. In women, who may become carriers without showing symptoms, gonorrhea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, peritonitis, and sterility.
If gonorrhea is untreated it can spread throughout the bloodstream and attack the heart, brain, joints, eyes, and other parts of the body. The symptoms vary according to which bacteria caused the infection, but PID almost always causes permanent damage.
It scars the fallopian tubes, which can lead to infertility or permanent sterility. It also causes a high risk of ectopic pregnancy.
For both men and women, genital warts vary in size, shape, and color. They can be internal or external or both.
In women, they can be passed on to babies during delivery. HPV can cause cervical cancer in women. Almost all cases of cervical cancer cases are caused by this STD. In men outbreaks are initially limited to the external organs. In women the blisters can be internal or external.
One-third of those infected with herpes show few or no symptoms but can still transmit the disease. Most people with herpes must deal with outbreaks for the rest of their lives. Herpes can be spread to any part of the body that touches active sores. Partial or complete blindness can occur when eyes become infected. Herpes also can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Babies infected by their mothers may develop brain damage or die.
Despite its prevalence, most physicians don't routinely check for it. Symptoms in women include abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, difficulty urinating, and painful intercourse. Men may show symptoms of urinary tract infection.
Seventy percent of women and 30 percent of men with chlamydia do not show any symptoms. Untreated, this disease can cause infertility and sterility. It is a major cause of infertility among women, who often aren't aware they have the disease until they try to become pregnant.
It is caused by HIV, which enters the bloodstream and attacks white blood cells, bone marrow, the spleen, liver, and lymph glands, leaving an infected person susceptible to other serious illnesses. A person may carry HIV for many years before showing symptoms and being diagnosed. During this latent period, he or she can infect others. Scientists are reasonably sure that HIV is spread only by exchange of body fluids, usually through sexual contact or shared use of an intravenous needle.
Although these infections do not usually have lasting consequences, they can cause great discomfort. Abstinence before marriage and choosing a marriage partner who also has abstained is the only way to ensure freedom from sexually transmitted diseases. Chastity for Freedom from Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion One of the most obvious results of sexual activity is pregnancy. Unwed pregnancy has lasting consequences for both the mother and the child.
Some harmful effects begin as early as before or shortly after the birth. For example, children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to have a low birth weight and to be admitted into a neo-natal intensive care unit2. Their mothers are more likely to experience pregnancy complications These children are also more likely to be exposed to alcohol while in the womb Later the mother and child are more likely to live in poverty. Because of this rise in illegitimate births, combined with the increase in divorce, the child poverty rate rose by a third during the same time period Children living in poverty are more likely to be malnourished and are more likely to die in infancy9.
The effects of out-of-wedlock births are especially dramatic if the mother is a teenager. Although this education gap is smaller than it was in the past, it remains significant. They also report that young mothers marry less often than their peers; if they do marry, they are more likely to divorce.
Over time, teenaged girls who give birth "functionless effectively in numerous realms than their peers who delay childbearing" p. The number of no marital pregnancies that motivate marriage has greatly declined in recent years29, increasing the number of children born to single mothers.
Research has linked single parent homes to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems in children. In preschool, children of teenaged mothers display higher rates of cognitive delays that continue into the school years. They also have higher levels of aggression and lower impulse control. In adolescence, these children are more likely to have failing grades, be imprisoned, and become pregnant themselves7. Children in single-parent homes are even more likely to commit suicide Society as a whole suffers the consequences of premarital sexuality.
Also, society must deal with the aggressive children from these families, who are more likely to be incarcerated than children from other families7. As no marital pregnancies have increased, so have abortions.
Love Without Lovemaking: Surprising Benefits Of A Sexless Relationship | MadameNoire
An average number of 1. Researchers have found both physical and psychological damage as a result of abortion. Of teenage girls who have an abortion, This damage can make it more difficult for them to have children later. For example, abortion is linked to a weakened cervix, which dramatically increases the likelihood of late miscarriages8.
The psychological consequences of abortion can include grief and guilt, sometimes for years afterwards15, Some doctors and nurses who participate in abortions describe experiencing grief from seeing fetal movement or hearing heartbeat before the abortion and then watching these signs of life cease9, Effects of Premarital Sex on Later Relationships Research shows that abstaining from sexual activity before marriage strengthens the marriage while participating in premarital sexual activity weakens the marriage.
In fact, premarital childbearing, a direct result of sexual activity, is linked to divorce12, Premarital sexual involvement is also a predictor of lower marital satisfaction14, 17, 19, In men, premarital sex even predicts later extramarital sex Couples who did not engage in sexual activity before marriage report greater sexual fulfillment after marriage16, Effects of Cohabitation Although many people believe that cohabitation is beneficial because they think it allows a couple to test sexual compatibility before marrying, the research says otherwise.
Additionally, cohabiting women are more likely to be abused than married women, and their children are at far greater risk of physical even lethal violence and sexual abuse Children born to unmarried, cohabiting parents are more likely to end up living in a single parent home than children born to married parents because cohabitation relationships are so likely to dissolve. By the age of sixteen, three-fourths of children born to unmarried, cohabiting parents will experience their parent's breakup.
Only one-third of children born to married parents will see the dissolution of their parent's relationship by age sixteen Several influences are probably at work in creating the negative effects of cohabitation. Many people who cohabit come to believe that divorce is more acceptable than they believed it was before they began to cohabit Some researchers speculate that cohabitation damages relationships because it teaches a couple they can have the benefits of marriage without full commitment, which in turn fosters a type of independence that is not compatible with a healthy marriage.
When the couple marries, it is difficult to unlearn this independence and create a healthy interdependent bond Teaching Children the Principle of Chastity Without deliberate counter measures, children will tend to soak up the messages they're getting from all quarters that sex before marriage is normal and acceptable. Thus parents must make concerted effort to teach their children there is a better way. Respond to questions about sex-- no matter how blunt--rationally, calmly, and accurately.
If your children feel confident that you will talk to them openly about the physical aspects of sex, they will be more likely to talk with you about the emotional dimensions. But don't wait until the media, schoolmates, and others start leaving their imprint. For example, infants need continual affectionate contact.
When children feel the love of their parents, they are less likely to seek its counterfeits elsewhere. One mother having this difficulty with her year-old daughter decided that when her daughter was on a date, she would go to sleep on her daughter's bed.
Practical Ideas for Teens and Young Adults Teenagers and young adults should carefully think through how they intend to behave with members of the opposites. When dating, choose activities that are public and productive, such as walking together, baking, bowling, socializing with other friends, etc.
Do not participate in any activity you find sexually arousing, such as back rubs, cuddling, and kissing. References Alan Guttmacher Institute. The Alan Guttmacher Institute. How to talk confidently with your child about sex. Both males and females should be virgins at the time of marriage. Center for Disease Control Tracking the hidden epidemics: What to expect when you're expecting. Premarital sex and the risk of divorce. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, Perspective analysis of marital stability and marital satisfaction.
Woman's experience of sex: The facts and feelings of female sexuality at every stage of life. The act of marriage: The beauty of sexual love. Men who have many sexual partners before marriage are more likely to engage in extramarital intercourse. Family Planning Perspectives, 27 1 What young adults need to know about cohabitation before marriage? Family Planning Perspectives, 92, The role of friendship in our lives.
The case for marriage: Why married people are happier, healthier and better off financially. A review of research in the eighties. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, Do men's characteristics affect whether a no marital pregnancy results in marriage? Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61, The power to procreate is a divine gift from our Father in Heaven.
It allows spouses to share a depth of love and affection not possible outside marriage, and it gives them the sacred privilege of bringing Heavenly Father's spirit children into the mortal world. Many people are confused about when, where, and with whom sexual intimacy should be expressed. They may share this sacred expression too freely, hoping to connect with others without understanding that true and full connection requires full commitment.
Some use sex for purely self-centered motives, using others for their own gratification and, in the end, spiritually injuring both the other person and themselves. Movies, television programs, and popular music all tend to treat free sexual expression as an essential part of life and dismiss chastity as old-fashioned and quaint.
But the Lord does not leave us to our own ideas about the important matter of sexual morality. He continually directs his leaders to instruct us that a chaste life matters. President Hinckley5 counsels, "Notwithstanding the so-called new morality, notwithstanding the much discussed changes in moral standards, there is no adequate substitute for virtue.
God's standards may be challenged everywhere throughout the world, but God has not abrogated His commandments" p. A Proclamation to the World teaches clearly the law of chastity: Kimball7, too, was clear about the LDS standard for chastity: We stand for a life of cleanliness.
From childhood through youth and to the grave, we proclaim the wickedness of sexual life of any kind before marriage, and we proclaim that every one in marriage should hold himself or herself to the covenants that were made. In other words, as we have frequently said, there should be total chastity of men and women before marriage and total fidelity in marriage p.
Why A Chaste Life Matters Sexual intimacy is a wonderful gift from God that can bring great joy and fulfillment to those who use it within the boundaries the Lord has prescribed. It is one of the most powerful human drives, akin to basic survival drives such as eating and sleeping. Because it is so much a part of each human being's makeup, it can be easy to view it as a basic need that must be fulfilled whatever one's circumstances.
But the power to give life is a grave responsibility. It should be used only within a context of full commitment, especially when any children might result.
All children are entitled to be welcomed into the world by two loving parents who are committed to one another. Outside the boundary of full marital commitment, says Elder Jeffrey R. Holland6, sex puts people at great risk for serious consequences: Holland6 offers three reasons that the sacred powers of procreation should be expressed only between husband and wife.
First, he counsels that when men or women fail to keep their sexual appetites within appropriate bounds, they abuse not only their bodies, but also their souls and the soul of their partner. This distinctive and very important Latter-day Saint doctrine underscores why sexual sin is so serious.
We declare that one who uses the God-given body of another without divine sanction abuses the very soul of that individual, abuses the central purpose and processes of life, "the very key" to life, as President Boyd K. Packer once called it. In exploiting the body of another—which means exploiting his or her soul—one desecrates the Atonement of Christ, which saved that soul and which makes possible the gift of eternal life.
And when one mocks the Son of Righteousness, one steps into a realm of heat hotter and holier than the noonday sun. All of these things can be expressed chastely before marriage.
And what we are really saying is that to be chaste is to not allow those things to happen that pertain to the bodies of each other that only a husband and wife have the "rights" to give each other in marriage. In marriage, a woman gives one man "rights" to her body for a lifetime, and the man does the same for that one woman.
It is an exchange of rights to their bodies for those purposes in marriage. Romance and friendship build intimacy.
- The Benefits of Chastity Before Marriage
- How may I express intimacy in a chaste manner while dating?
- Love Without Lovemaking: Surprisng Benefits Of A Sexless Relationship
They can also build sexual desire. Once sexual desire is aroused, that is when new things have to be addressed, including preserving chastity and determining marriage. Romancing during dating is simply the process of making the other feel special and uniquely loved. Some people overdo it with what romance is and what they expect romance to be during the dating process.
It does not have to be expensive dates and unusual or exotic places to spend time, or love songs or poems written, etc. But whatever it is that can be done to make the other person feel special or make them smile is romance. Nothing is wrong with any of that in dating. Building the friendship is much more important than romance. To marry someone you can count on, feel secure about and with, whom you can trust, and whom you just can't imagine spending your life without is a precious gift.
Friends do still hurt each other, we must not forget. But friends are always "there" for you. They can be counted on. They do not come and go based on moods or feelings. They can be trusted to be your friend, even when you might not be that good of a friend. When you marry someone, you almost want it to be more important to hear "I trust you" than "I love you".
Anyone can just say "I love you", but it's hard to say "I trust you. This is why I strongly believe that a man and a woman cannot be "close friends" without there being romantic developments.
The 4 Benefits of Chaste Courtship
Friendship that grows leads to intimacy. Friendship is powerful, and it is so special. Men need other close male friends, and women need other close female friends.
Those friendships have an intimacy that is important for their well-being. Same-sex friendships are critical. But opposite-sex friendships have to be very careful. So what I really want to advise you here about friendship during the dating process is 1 encourage each other to have same-sex friends and spend time with them, and 2 be very careful about how you both handle opposite-sex friends. So many terrible things happen to ruin good relationships based on these two things alone.
Having same-sex friends is so important, even in marriage. A man needs to have his time out with other male friends and so does a woman need her time with her girl friends. It makes the marriage much healthier. Sometimes you see a person give up their friends because they want to spend ALL their time with the person they are dating.
That is not good, nor healthy, and it is a sign that there might be other problems. And sometimes a person gets jealous of a friend that the person he or she is dating has. For example, a woman who gets defensive or insecure about a woman her boyfriend is very close to and the way they interact. That boyfriend would do well to understand he has to be mindful of how his opposite-sex friendships can affect a dating relationship. But it is also dangerous to get "too close" to someone of the opposite sex when you are serious with someone else, or engaged, or married.
10 1/2 Reasons to be Chaste :: Catholic News Agency
What people need to realize is that "intimacy" does not mean "sex" or intercourse. Physical, genital expression is a kind of intimacy that is reserved for a man and a woman who are married. It is a fulfillment of something begun in their relationship that is now able to be fully expressed in their marriage. But it is one kind of intimacy. There are other kinds of intimacy. Romance and friendship help develop intimacy. Intimacy affects the whole person. It is emotional, psychological, physiological, and spiritual.
People who are dating have to develop intimacy. But they must never allow their intimacy to get expressed sexually. There can be signs of affection, but they cannot go too far, for the intimacy that is reserved for a man and a woman in marriage is too sacred to be abused.
The dating process is time of mystery that builds up toward a great unveiling. Marriage is a lifetime of unveiling. You also want to be careful about your dating time going on too long. For older singles, there should not be the need of as much time dating as younger people might have to do.
Most older people know who they are, what they have, and what they want. They should have a maturity level that can allow for a reasonable amount of dating before entering exclusivity courtshipand then shortly after that, engagement to be married.