Today, thousands of youth gather at the Bohol Wisdom School gymnasium to celebrate love and chastity. Now, more than ever, we need to creatively reach out to the young and inspire them to choose wisely and make decisions according to sound moral values.
It is a fact that the feelings of romantic love and sex are powerful. Its power can either lift us up or bring us down depending on our understanding of it. And this is true not only to the young but more so with adults. If the couples who come to me for therapy will be the basis, then cases of infidelity, distrust, and disrespect are proof enough of how sexuality can undermine relationships if not understood beyond its physiological functions.
And mind you, these problematic behaviors do not just pop-out from nowhere.Â If you would look at their lives closely, you will notice that in the early stages of their relationships, they already engaged in sexual activities and prematurely exhausted this one very important element that can cement their marriage in the succeeding years.
According to research, the first 6 years of marriage are the most difficult. This is where couples adjust to their idiosyncrasies and personality patterns. This is the time when misunderstandings can be at its peak and where most divorce and separation occurs.
However, this is also the time when romance is at its best. And even if there can be bickering and serious misunderstandings, the coupleâ€™s sexual desire for each other keep them going back into each otherâ€™s arms one more time. This is the time when the strength of sex becomes truly an asset for the married couple.
But what happens when a couple starts to engage in sexual activities even before they get married? They would lose this one cementing element in their relationship. How? During the time when they would need the pull of sex the most because problems are surmounting, it would have lost its power because it has reached its peak even before the couples live together.
And when something is at the top, there is no other way but down. As sexual desire for each other starts to wane in the first years of marriage, that is when other conflicting interests become magnified. And if the couple has a few things in common other than sex, the relationship would surely be on the rocks.
Among our young people, there is a trend of sexual revolution that is influenced so much by media and digital technology. There are not many good role models on TV or in the internet who espouses modesty and chastity.
If you look at fashion trends today, watch contemporary movies, or listen to youthful music, you will notice that they are loaded with sexual messages couched in modernism. Social learning theory posits that much of our behavior is a reflection of the influences that surround us. No wonder many of our young people fall trap into the lure because indeed, sex sells.
But it should not always be like that. At least there should be a countermovement that still captures the vibrancy and excitement of youth but espouses a different belief.Â A movement that appeals to the sensitivities of the young but at the same time also respects their abilities to choose what is best for them.
Our young people, if given the right motivation and influence, will be able to live a guilt-free and productive life. In the Live Pure Movement, they are shown that to be a virgin is cool (for both men and women), that to wait for marriage to have sex is desirable, and that to be chaste until marriage is a sure way to true happiness.
And the young are responding. Because they realize that deep inside, more than sex, is actually a deep longing to belong, accepted, and loved. They come to see that sex outside marriage is just a pirated version of the deep pleasure that true love can give at the right time and with the right person.
Indeed, nothing can ever replace the original. Pirated versions never last. And so, we should not settle for anything less. After all, we are not just any creature; we are created in the likeness and image of God. Indeed, we deserve the best in life and to its fullest. (By Nemenzo Balane)