Chastity is overlooked too often in modern society

It is not difficult to see that our society does not value chastity. Most modern movies, television shows and books are saturated with sex.

For many, waiting until marriage to have sex seems outdated and overly puritan.

Even so, the benefits of remaining chaste are very great and I would like to outline some of them here.

Moral considerations aside, abstinence is far safer. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are on the rise and are quite dangerous.

For instance, it is estimated that 65 million people in the United States live with an incurable STD.

It is also estimated that one in four Americans has genital herpes.

Truly, those who have sex before marriage run great risks.This is not just among irresponsible people who use no contraception at all.

Most contraceptives are not nearly as safe as people think they are. Condoms, for instance, promise a 97 percent chance of success (in preventing pregnancy). This seems rather good, but let us think about what we are saying. If you have sex with someone who has an STD, there is a 3 percent chance of getting that disease.

That alone should make one feel uneasy.

Even worse, those are the statistics for perfect use. In actuality, condoms are only around 85 percent effective.

Remaining chaste before marriage, however, will absolutely prevent all of these. If you do not have sex, it is almost impossible to contract an STD. If two people who have never had sex get married, then they have nothing to worry about.

But health risks are not the only risks. Premarital sex also hurts our ability to love truly and authentically.

People often think that those who advocate virginity think sex is somehow impure by nature. We do not. In fact, exactly the opposite it true.

Those who save sex for marriage value it very highly. It is a gift too beautiful to share with just anyone. In fact, whenever we treasure something we use it sparingly.

We will keep a vintage wine for years, saving it for an occasion important enough to merit it, but we do not think twice about drinking a common beer.

The same is true with sexuality. If someone has had sex many times simply for the fun of it, without any emotional bond, it will become just commonplace.

Sex is meant to cement and increase love and intimacy, but its ability to do so will decrease with each new partner.

One might argue that this is a good argument against promiscuity, but that it does not apply to those people who are not married and yet remain in monogamous sexual relationships.

At first glance, these seem to be fine, but they too are very harmful.

For instance, what if you and your partner do not get married after all?

By waiting for marriage, your love and respect for one another will only be strengthened. Plus, statistically, those who live together before marriage are more likely to get divorced than those who do not.

I think most of the problems in marriages today come from a misguided view of sexual relations. Obsession with sexual pleasure will of course result in broken relationships.

If in practice people cannot practice chastity now, how will they be able to practice chastity later?

If a man in college has sex for the most casual reasons, and looks on women as objects for enjoyment instead of as persons to be loved and cherished, how will he able to truly love his future wife?

The sexual revolution promised so much happiness, but it has resulted in an increase in divorce and a lack of respect for women.

The situation is rather bleak, but we can turn it around.

No matter what your past was like, you can pledge now to remain chaste until marriage. This may seem difficult, but it would not be true love if it were not.

And if we really think about it, it is well worth it.

If we have sex now, we may have temporary pleasure, but it will be over in a season and will at length turn into lasting regret.

But if we remain strong now and steadfastly wait until marriage, our small sacrifice will be transformed into intense joy, a joy which will only grow with the passage of time.