As a teenager, I was taught to value my virginity by my parents and my Catholic school teachers (who were nuns from the Congregation of Notre Dame, for the most part); however, when I moved outside of that protective, sheltered environment, and began college, that wasn’t the message I received at all. In fact, it was just the opposite. You’re an adult now – you’re free to do whatever you want – and believe me, the temptations were at times overwhelming.
Today, young men and women are bombarded with sexual temptations by the media and our sex-crazed culture. The messages are stronger than they ever were before and sex has lost its sacredness for many.
In my work as a crisis pregnancy counselor, I am seeing women who are becoming more sexually active at younger ages. And, not only are they more active, but they are involved with more partners, increasing their chances of contracting an STD.
Many young adults are unhappy and end up being dangerously hurt by the delusion that the media has created about sex in our society. They find momentary pleasure in exchange for contracting a sexual transmitted disease which often has a life-time of adverse effects emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. Human papilloma virus (the main cause of cervical cancer) and chlamydia (the leading cause of infertility) are contracted and carried by at least one of every three sexually active teenagers. Instead of developing a permanent, lasting love commitment, they find themselves alone, feeling used. A break-up following a sexually involved relationship can result in deep depression, hopelessness, and suicide.
Secondary virginity is a way to start over. I’m not talking about hymen replacement here (which is also becoming more common today, especially among cultures who value virginity.) but changing your perceptions of sex, your bad habits, and healing your past wounds. It is a way of increasing not only your self-esteem, but also your self-respect. When you exercise self-control, you will see many things in a different way – you will be more optimistic about your life and your future. Secondary virginity involves recognizing that sex is sacred and is meant to be part of a loving marriage relationship involving commitment. It means saving yourself for the wedding night – when you will be viewed as a precious gift for your spouse.
How do you make this happen?
Make a commitment today that you will save yourself for your wedding night.
Avoid people, places, things, and situations that will weaken or break down your self-control. You may have to stop hanging around with that person whom you can’t seem to resist who is leading you down the wrong path.
Avoid intense hugging, passionate kissing, heavy petting, and anything else that leads to lustful thoughts or out of control behavior.
Find non-physical ways to show your love and appreciation for one another.
Start over. When you focus on commitment and self-discipline, you can control your impulses. When you focus on your long-term goals and future plans, you will be able to see the purpose of waiting until marriage.
From a spiritual viewpoint, secondary virginity is when a person has had sexual relations outside of marriage, but then repents, converts, and commits him/herself to Jesus (and the Blessed Mother), in a newfound way until marriage; otherwise the person remains chaste because Christ is their Spouse.
Saints you can pray to who will help you remain chaste:
St. Agatha of Rome, whose feast we celebrate today is the patron saint of bodily purity. Shortly before she became a teenager, she was ordered by a pagan ruler to give up her virginity. When she refused, she was tortured and murdered for her beliefs.
St. Mary Magdalene is the patron saint of sexual temptation. Traditionally, she has been viewed as a prostitute, (we know that she was a "great sinner") but because of Our Lord’s compassion and tender mercy toward her, she completely transformed her way of life and became one of his most devoted disciples.
St. Maria Goretti, the patron saint of purity and chastity was a young Italian girl, attractive, who chose death (in 1902) rather than submit her body to a lustful attacker. She fought for her chastity and thus, gives us all courage to stand up for our beliefs when we are tempted by those who persist in forcing their immodest attacks or perverted perceptions of sexuality upon us. We can pray for her intercession and she will help us resist those people who want to attack us or the world which attempts to devalue our sexuality.
St. Augustine lost his Christian faith in youth and led a wild life. He lived with a woman from the age of 15 through 30, who bore him a son. After many years of this lifestyle, he converted to Christianity as a result of the prayers of his mother, St. Monica.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfect model of chastity and modesty. When we consecrate ourselves totally to her, she will protect and guard us as her precious possession.
~ copyright 2007, Jean M, Heimann