I would like to introduce my friend and fellow Secular Franciscan as my guest writer… Joan. Enjoy!
So I am honored to guest write and I hope I will have the opportunity to do it again. I am the crazy, single friend. I say this not to point myself as less-than because I am not married, but honestly sometimes I don’t seem to fit in as I get older and my friends are married. It is sometimes difficult to live this life as a Secular Franciscan and a single young woman. It is simple. But simple does not always equate to easy.
I found myself having a very deep conversation with a friend of mine from another Christian faith this week. It was regarding chastity. With the movie “50 Shades of Grey” and I use the term movie loosely, we have learned one thing about our society, sex not only sells, it is socially acceptable to have relationships based upon sex. Sex should be an act of Love, Love is not a product of sex.
I go back to the many letters of St. Paul. St. Paul said that if we as Christians could not be celibate we should be married. He did not say that if we could not be celibate, that we should be serially monogamous. However, in our society those of us that wish to stay chaste outside of marriage are the “different” ones. I asked my friend why this was. Why when almost every religion teaches chastity, is this true of society? The only answer that we could reach is that society has become more about what you can do for me rather than what we can do for God.
I remember a conversation when another male friend found out I observed chastity. He told me, “I couldn’t date a girl and not have sex.”
I can only think how sad this is. Why should we be expected to give something that is not ours to give? Our bodies belong to God, were made by God for a purpose, and should only be used for a purpose that is respectful to Him, which is an act of love in marriage which is open to children.
I will go one step further and say this. Men are only half the problem. We women, until we learn to respect and value ourselves, will continue to be the other half, because women who observe God’s Law, will continue to be seen as abnormal as long as the majority of women continue to devalue themselves. I am glad to have the friends that I have who strengthen me in this journey. Because, I can do all things through God who strengthens me.