It took a lot for Mitch and Jackie (fictitious names) to remain virgins until marriage. They had ample opportunities to have sex with other people before they met and much more when they were dating.
Mitch said that they did “things” but not sex. However, he emphasised that he wasn’t getting “any” even though his friends were boasting about how “much” they were getting, and he was missing out.
Jackie’s girlfriends weren’t different from Mitch’s, as they were asking for what they wanted from their partners and they all seemed happy. However, over all those years, the mental walls they built up to keep themselves from having sex and the guilt was not so easy to take down once they got married.
It was tough to work out after marriage – arguments around sex frequency, certain acts saturated their lives. By their 11th anniversary they had reached a mutually satisfying sexual relationship and started to wonder if there was a way to encourage their children to remain sexually pure without going through an experience like theirs.
One of the many difficulties parents face today is giving children an adequate preparation for adult life, particularly with regard to education in the true meaning of sexuality. This could be for any number of reasons including shame, lack of knowledge and know-how, and personal abuse.
In 1995, the Pontifical Council for the Family issued The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for education within the family, which states that:
“5. In giving life, parents cooperate with the creative power of God and receive the gift of a new responsibility — not only to feed their children and satisfy their material and cultural needs, but above all to pass on to them the lived truth of the faith and to educate them in love of God and neighbour. The Church has always affirmed that parents have the duty and the right to be the first and the principal educators of their children.”
Taking up the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “It is imperative to give suitable and timely instruction to young people, above all in the heart of their own families, about the dignity of married love, its role and its exercise”.
The information provided by the media and society falls short in providing age-appropriate material lacking consideration for the different stages of formation and development of children and young people, hence depersonalised, recreational and pessimistic is provided.
This is further influenced by a distorted individualistic concept of freedom, in an environment that lacks basic values of life, human love and the family.
Catholic sexuality is really about the communication of one whole person to another. A whole person strives to integrate his/her emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and intellectual needs.
In baking a sponge cake some key ingredients are: flour (all purpose), sugar (brown), eggs, butter (unsalted, room temperature), milk, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, among others, in varying proportions. Directions: Cream butter and sugar, you get the picture.
In the book, Beyond the Birds and the Bees – Raising sexually whole and holy kids, Greg and Lisa Popcak compared human sexuality to a cake and invite us to think of the eight virtues that stand at the heart of Catholic sexuality as the ‘ingredients’ that go into that cake.
In the home, here’s the recipe mix:
1 cup of Love (for best results, use self-donative)
1 cup of Responsibility (½ cup Stewardship and ½ cup Self Discipline)
1 cup of Faith
1 cup of Respect (self-respect and respect for others)
1 cup of Intimacy (verbal and emotional communication)
1 cup of Cooperation
1 cup of Joy
1 cup of Personhood (place a heaping tablespoon of Masculinity or Femininity in cup, fill to brim with a sense of being made in the image and likeness of God)
Directions: Bake until young adulthood and frost after wedding.
No matter what your experience has been, we invite you to neither ignore nor fear sex; it is one of the most beautiful gifts God has given us and that’s the truth.
Visit aflcrc.org and our social media platforms –
@familylifecommission or WhatsApp 299-1047 as we seek to educate parents about healthy and age-appropriate sex and sexuality conversations with their children.