Chaste dating is no walk in the park, but it is possible. We’ve been in relationships in the past that were unchaste and ended very badly. When we started courting, we didn’t want to repeat the same habits from our past relationships, so we had to do things differently.
But even so, this was not an easy task for us at all, especially with the wounds of our past relationships. However, we’ve leaned on the grace of God and done our best to live more chastely, which allowed us to discern marriage with more clarity, joy, and peace. Throughout our journey, we learned what has worked for us in the area of chastity and we’d like to share this with you!
3 Ways To Grow In Chastity Before Marriage | Catholic Dating Advice
Here are 3 things you can start implementing to help you grow in the virtue of chastity before marriage:
1. Communicate Your “Red Seas”
In the Old Testament, when the Israelites were escaping from Egypt, Moses opened up a path in the Red Sea. But to protect the Israelites from the Egyptians that were chasing them, he closed this path up immediately. The Red Sea kept the good in and the bad out. You’ll need these established for a healthy relationship
The reason why most couples fall in chastity is because of a failure to communicate their “Red Seas,” or in other words, boundaries. Some examples of Red Seas that you can implement before marriage:
- Not being in each other’s personal spaces together alone. Whether it’s your own personal rooms, living room, etc. make it an effort to not be alone. Accountability is key. If there are other people around you you trust that would hold you accountable, then that should be fine.
- Determining a good curfew time. When you’re out on dates, choose to not stay out too late together, especially if there’s no one with you both to keep you accountable. The more tired you get, the weaker your will. The weaker your will, the easier it is to fall into temptation.
- When creating Red Seas, remember the acronym H.A.L.T (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). Create the necessary boundaries that prevent you from being alone together in these physiological states. These are times when your will and reasoning is weakened – and the Evil One can trick with temptations.
2. Pray and Ask For God’s Grace
St. Thomas Aquinas asserts that “grace perfects nature.” No matter how skilled we may think we are, we must remind ourselves that we need God’s grace through prayer and sacraments, to be sanctified and grow in virtue, especially in the area of chastity.
In addition to receiving God’s grace through prayer and the sacraments, we also have the Saints that we can ask for their intercession to help us grow in chastity, purity and self-control. Saints, such as St. Maria Goretti, St. Joseph and of course, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
3. Run to the Sacrament of Confession
No matter how much we try to grow in virtue, set boundaries, and do the necessary means to remain pure before marriage, we may ultimately fall on this journey. And when this happens, it’s so easy to blame or shame yourself or your partner. But don’t fall into that temptation – that comes from the Evil One.
The good news is that God wants us to be close to Him always, even when we sin. When you’ve tried to do your best to remain chaste but fallen short, it’s best to support, pray for each other, and make an effort to go to Confession as soon as you can (doing it together would be a plus!).
In conclusion, we hope these are some tips you can implement to help you grow in chastity before marriage. Just know that no matter how imperfect it may look like in the journey – God loves you so much. Do whatever you can to fight the good fight because your reward will be great in Heaven. Communicate your Red Seas, ask for God’s grace, and run to Confession, especially during times you’ve fallen. Remember, “Love can wait to give. Lust can’t wait to get.” – Jason Evert.
For more Catholic relationship tips, feel free to subscribe to our Journey to Marriage podcast. We’re praying for all you holy couples on your journey to marriage – take care and God bless!