Saturday, January 12, 2019
54. Chastity is not celibacy within marriage. No, the act of sexual intercourse that makes a husband and wife “one flesh” and is ordered to bringing new human persons into our world is a great good. Chastity in marriage means self-control in sexuality, a freedom to steer one’s sexual desires and actions lovingly, so that in sex you “will the good of each other.” Chastity actually liberates true sexual love! It opposes the slavery caused by its opposite vice: lust. Chaste sexual love refuses to do anything that is lustful. The chaste couple can live their sexual relationship beautifully.
55. What does this mean concretely? First, do no harm to this act, which is meant to renew your wedding vows. Refuse to allow pornography, contraception, or any fantasy mentality to turn this act into an experience of using each other, rather than loving each other. The opposite of “willing the good of your spouse” is “using your spouse as an object for self-gratification.” Do not give any quarter to this temptation.
56. Proactively, to grow your sexual relationship in a loving way, communicate well with each other— frankly, patiently and readily. Be quick to forgive each other for thoughtless hurts and even sins. Spend time, good time, together cultivating the garden of all areas of your intimacy: your verbal communication, your care for each other’s needs of affection, your time just to be together. These areas of intimacy till the soil of the garden of your love and spill over into a meaningful sexual relationship. Your children, too, will be deeply blessed by this resulting closeness.
Acceptance of others as unique expressions of specific character qualities in varying degrees of maturity (Philippians 2:2)