November 18, 2005

Youth Supplement

Chastity is countercultural for teens in today’s world

By Stephanie Paul
Special to The Criterion

Chastity in today’s world means very little to most teens.

Teens think that being chaste just means saving sex for marriage. This is true, but there is so much more to it than that. Being chaste means that we must live our lives in chastity by what we wear, say and do.

This message is not necessarily broadcast to the world as loud as it should be. Today, teens are taught that wearing belly shirts, “bumping and grinding” on the dance floor and doing everything but sex is the way to behave. We are taught these things by the media when they show how famous people like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera live their lives.

As a teen, I understand what it is like to be pressured by the media or people in school to be the prettiest, the skinniest, or the girl who gets all the guys’ attention. Our generation has been taught that the way to behave is just like the people in magazines like Maxim or Cosmo, when half of those photos are computer generated.

Because of this, guys and girls get the idea that looking like these people is normal, but in reality God never put a specific image on how beautiful or skinny a person should look.

The beauty of Jesus is that he forgives. There is a show on MTV about people who try to get their cars fixed up to look cool. Usually, the cars that get chosen for this program are beat up and messy. Afterward, the car looks like a million bucks.

In a way, this sounds a little like the sacrament of reconciliation. When people go to confession, their soul is beat up and messy with sin, but when they leave confession, their soul feels like a million bucks. So, it is kind of like God is fixing up our souls when we go to confession.

This sacrament is amazing, and when I go to confession I leave with a soul that feels like it has been personally restored by God.

So, for anyone who has been unchaste in any way, no matter how bad, God will forgive you and love you still and is happy to clean your soul.

Chastity is a beautiful gift from God. So, as children of God, we need to take that gift and put it into our lives no matter if we are 13 years old or 80 years old. God loves you!

(Stephanie Paul is a member of St. Monica Parish in Indianapolis.)


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