The Beauty of the Gift
"It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman."
St. John Paul II
The human body is a marvel. It is a display of the infinite wisdom of God. How perfectly has He created the man to compliment the woman, and the woman to compliment the man. How intricately He has woven the human person. Among many of the countless gifts that God has given to men, He has instituted Holy Matrimony. This Sacrament is called to imitate the Holy Trinity, a life-giving union that unceasingly loves. Conjugal love, the act of sexual union was designed by God for the married husband and wife in order to unite them so intimately and for them to become "one flesh"*, and for this union of love to bring forth love, another human person. This is a gift from God that must be respected.
Many people associate sex with immorality and sinfulness. This is because the world has taken this sacred gift and made it an idol. It has been abused, and men have used sexual intercourse for their own pleasure and lustful desires. The beauty of conjugal love is that it is an expression of love, a gift of self that can only be given once. It cannot be taken back once it is given away. It is truly meant to be exclusively between a husband and a wife. Sex is not a means for one's own pleasure, but rather a gift given to the spouse as an act of love. It is to give oneself over to the beloved, to pro-create and bring forth life.
Every person wants to be loved. God has created the human person to desire love, and to give love. It's so important that people understand what love truly is. Love is not a feeling but rather it is an act of the will. It is desiring what is best for the other, no matter the cost. Many people, especially young men and women, think simply because they've been dating someone for so many years, it seems only fitting that they should have sex. This is a lie that many believe. Other people think that in order to "win" another person over, it is necessary to give away their most intimate gift, even if this means going against their own conscience and right judgement. This is also a lie. If someone only wants to be with another for sexual reasons, this person does not truly love the other.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
To understand love, is to begin to understand God. Love is a person, it is Jesus Christ. He desires only what is best for every soul, therefore He established the Ten Commandments, that were instituted for the well-being of His people. They are the guidelines to a living a life that is pleasing to God, which is fulfilling and brings concord and peace to every soul that lives by them. Christ Himself instituted marriage, and the act of conjugal love is completely assimilated in this Sacrament. To engage in sexual intercourse outside of marriage is a grave offense and must be confessed, because it goes against the plan of God that He has established for a man and a woman. Sexual union has an incredible purpose, to engage in the act of pro-creation. It is not created to be a self-centered pleasure, but rather an intimate giving of self that is always open to the gift of life.
"Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents' welfare."
St. Pope Paul VI
This is why sex was created to be exclusively between a husband and wife, with no exceptions. Of course, if someone's virginity was taken away against their will, or they now regret having given it away, God is a merciful God and can make all things new with His Precious Blood. He Himself told St. Faustina, "the greater the sinner, the more right he has to My mercy"*, and for those to whom their virginity was taken away against their will God says, "Behold I make all things new."*
Why would a woman want to give away the special gift of virginity to someone who is not fully committed to her? Someone who has not vowed to God that he would love her for better or for worse all of the days of his life? This is a question that every woman should seriously contemplate. If a man truly loves a woman, he will uphold and respect her dignity with all of his power. This man will fear God and dread doing anything that would tarnish her purity or harm her in any way. Love is sacrificial.
"Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be red like crimson,
they may become white as wool."
St. Pope Paul VI, pray for us.
Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska