Friday, September 23, 2011

5 for Friday: the Law of Chastity

This week I am going with a theme: The Law of Chastity.

For centuries there was a basic, accepted belief that sexual activity was to be restricted to a man and woman who were legally married. While there were always those who ignored this law, I believe most people lived this way. There was little reason not to. No TV or Internet or music to tempt you away from your commitments. That was simply life and people lived it.

At some point in the not-so-distant past, Society decided this law was stupid. "They" collectively wadded it up, threw it in the mud, stomped on it for a while and then spit on it for good measure.

"Ha, HA! Take that you antiquated, restrictive law that sucks the fun out of everything we want to do! We are educated and we know better than to follow some stuffy old rules. We are going to go out and make the world way cooler and totally more funner! So there!!"

Now that some time has passed, the folly of this choice is glaringly obvious. Governments and civic groups scramble to fix the problems without reinstating this simple law and running the risk of being called horrible names like "lame" and "old-fashioned".

My 5 for Friday will be 5 problems that are the direct result of breaking the Law of Chastity. I must admit that I am continually shocked by how screwed up things have become in such a few short years!

1. Unplanned Pregnancies. This applies specifically to those born to unmarried parents. Now, you might be thinking of committed couples who never got around to getting married or those crazy teenagers who made one mistake. While these situations may be breaking the Law of Chastity, they are not even close to the biggest problems in this area.

For example: I know a woman who has 2 children by 2 different men. She was not married to either man. Each man has at least one child by another woman. One man wants nothing to do with any of his children. The mothers are spending time together so their kids can "get to know their brothers and sisters". The children are naturally confused about their relationship with one another, especially confused that their brother's brother is not their brother because he has a different father. Amazingly, none of the adults see anything wrong with this situation!

2. Artificial Insemination. This might seem like a way around the Law of Chastity. You can have a baby without being married of even having sex! But the consequences are shocking. Children conceived this way have no idea who their fathers are. They might marry their half sibling and not even know! There are cases of men "fathering" DOZENS!!! of children. Now our government is try to regulate this process because "Ooops! We didn't think about the long term consequences." There is talk of legal rights of "donor dads", privacy issues, medical histories, etc. I can't imagine how those pedigree charts look! And who would they be sealed to if the opportunity arose?

3. Abortion. This is not exactly news anymore. And that’s the problem. In one generation abortion has gone from being a controversial issue to being widely accepted and even encouraged. It is no longer the desperate attempt of a woman who made a mistake. Abortion is such an acceptable form of birth control that it is a routine question when a woman has a positive pregnancy test. "Well, ma'am, your test is positive. You're going to have a baby...if you want to. If you don't, I can make you an appointment right now to take care of that." Like a baby is just an annoying parasite!

4. Disease. Sexually transmitted diseases have been around for a long time but never in the numbers we see today. There are the innocent children who are infected and potentially contagious in certain situations. Thanks to privacy laws teacher and parents don’t know who might be infected and therefore have extensive procedures to insure a certain degree of safety. Medical professionals try hard to fight those diseases, many of which are incurable. There are drug treatments, vaccines, and preventative steps taught in schools and hospitals. Those encouraging abstinence are openly mocked. Isn't it better to stay well than to take such a potentially life-threatening risk? How much suffering would be eliminated if people kept the Law of Chastity?

5. Divorce. Divorce is increasingly common. It is heartbreaking to see families torn apart. The reasons for divorce are varied but breaking the Law of Chastity is a common cause. Many people still believe that you should be faithful to your spouse even if they did not abstain before marriage. So why is it so hard? My theory is, simply, habit. In a world where promiscuity is not only expected but encouraged, many young people have sex simply to fit in. There is no commitment, no self-control. They learn to give in to their urges and act on impulse. They get married, fully intending to be faithful. Then those urges arise. They fall back into the patterns of their youth, acting on impulse and justifying their actions just as they did before. They did not learn proper skills for dealing with their sexual feeling and are unprepared to deal with them when they arise again.

The answers to life’s problems are often simple. There is a reason for the commandments we have been given. Breaking the Laws of God leads to chaos, confusion, and suffering. I guess sometimes we have to learn things the hard way!

I know that obedience is difficult. I also know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be happy. He has given us laws and commandments for a reason. Who would have imagined the disastrous consequences of breaking this law? I certainly wouldn’t have! But our Father knew. He has been constant. He has been patient. He has provided a way to repent when we mess up. As a whole, we cannot fix all the problems we have created by our disobedience. But as individuals we can make personal changes to fix the broken parts of our lives. The government can’t fix it. The UN can’t fix it. Non-Profit groups can’t fix it. Only by turning to the Lord can our society return to the order and peace that comes with obedience.


Anonymous said...

WOW- this post brings to mind the 1800's...I can see you on a box in the town square just condemning everyone. Re: #1 - what about the women who make a mistake and their lives are torn apart by the weight of earthshattering consequences of the choice they made? Are you there for them? Or do you just shrug your shoulder and say "too bad, so sad"?
Re #3- you know nothing.
Re #5- your theory about habit... you know people have different things that are 'trouble areas' for them, different things that tempt them. You, clearly, aren't tempted to break the law of chastity. That doesn't sound like a problem area for you. So I don't really think it's fair of you to theorize on why it's hard for them.
You've made some good points, I'll give you that, but the delivery was alittle "I get this so why is it soooo hard for all the little people?!". Maybe you haven't had to deal with any consequences because you've made all perfect choices in your life. I haven't always made the right choices, and have had to experience unbelieveable heartache because of it. Choice, consequence. My problem with this post is simply that you don't seem to think of the people (your friends, people in your ward, people in general) who are making wrong choices and what they might need. What you might be able to give in terms of understanding, friendship, fellowship. Your writing here seems to be condemnation, end of story.

Unknown said...

Anonymous, please reread this when you get rid of that big chip on your shoulder. You will see that I am not condemning the people who are in these situations but the institutions that make this worse instead of better.
#1- I am not condemning the people who have children out of wedlock but the attitude that it doesn't matter.
#3- I am not condemning women who have abortions. I am condemning the doctors who treat it like any other procedure. I have perosnally been offered an abortion for all of my pregnancies and I was married and financially stable each time. The doctor didn't even ask about that. It is "hospital policy" to offer abortions in case the mother doesn't want to ask.
#5- yes we are all tempted in different ways. That is no excuse. And in this case, I am not talking about people who know better and are struggling. I am talking about the schools that give out condoms and say "we know your going to do it so just go have fun and settle down when your hormones stop raging". Not to mention TV, Movies, Music, even parents and teachers who encourage this casual attitude towards sex.No one seems to see the danger in going dowen that road. I have friends whose parents gave them porn and birth control and even offered to leave the house so they could have their friends over for orgies. In high school! 20 years ago!I can't imagine what they would do today!

And if you read the entire post you would have read my testimony that the Lord loves each of us. That He will help us and forgive us. With faith in Him, we each can overcome whatever challenges we face in life. I am not condemning anyone. I am lamenting the loss of virtue in the world!

Anonymous said...

You are right, and I apologize. Thank you for helping me to understand some very important things.. really. I am very sorry. I am an inactive member, stuck in a rut because of some stupid choices I made YEARS ago. I came across your blog and decided to...blame you for my shortcomings, I guess. :(

Ms. Tami said...

I love this post!!!! :0) I have often had similar conversations with my husband about the issue of "loss of virtue". I love the way you worded you thoughts. Thank you for sharing:0)