2. Why should I practice chastity? Well, there are a whole lot of reasons including the often-overlooked spiritual values of purity. But here are a few specifics:
* You won't have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy, a very real prospect for the sexually active. And yes, pregnancy is quite common even when various forms of "birth control" are being used. For instance, birth control failure rates among American teens are almost 20%. And that includes those condoms that "safe sex" advocates are always pushing. Indeed condoms fail in pregnancy prevention 18%-35% of the time!
* You'll be free of sexually transmitted disease. 12 million people contract a STD every year. That's 33,000 people every day! And remember, "safe sex" not only isn't a strong defense against pregnancy, it isn't very safe for you either. Condoms are not effective in preventing you from acquiring, say... Chlamydia, HIV/AIDs, or the Human Papilloma-virus. Yipes.
* You won't have to deal with the loss of self-respect, loss of innocence, worry, distractions from important life goals, guilt, a ruined reputation, exploitation and so on. Plus you'll not be burdened with "damage control" problems (physical and/or emotional) that prior sexual involvement inevitably brings into your marriage.
3. But what if I really love my boyfriend (or girlfriend)? Isn't having sex okay then? No; it isn't. True love is about commitment and a loyal love. It is serving and honoring the other person, seeking their very best. It is not exploitive. Nor is real love insistent on making momentary, risky, physical pleasure the goal of the relationship.
A couple dedicated to one another in marriage exemplify genuine love, a relationship that values one another's total personality (spirit, intellect, emotions, dreams and aspirations) and not only the physical.
4. How can I say "no" without losing my boyfriend (girlfriend)? Set your standards high and don't compromise. Realize that the person who insists on having their way physically is not someone who has your best interests in mind. That's not love. That's using you. And that's a very bad precedent for you life together...even if you stay together. Don't settle for less than you deserve.
5. I have already had sex. So I guess it's too late for me, right? No, not at all. It is never too late to begin doing the right things. You can always start over. And, as a Christian, I certainly stress the availability of forgiveness and empowerment that comes from believing in Jesus Christ. No one was perfect except Jesus. And He paid your penalty and mine when He was crucified. A new start is what Christianity is all about. And a practical application of that wonderful truth is that chastity is within our grasp today. Yesterday's sins and hassles don't need to enslave us.
Look at it this way. Say you've done something foolish and spent all the money in your savings account. Does that mean you can never start saving money again? Of course not. Despite the seriousness of the loss, you simply start over from here on. It is the same way with your sexual lifestyle. Whatever has happened before, realize it is time to start "saving" again. Begin right now to save sex for its intended purpose -- and that's the delightful, exciting, bonding experience you will share with your future spouse. And among the dividends of your "saving sex" for the right person and the right time are all the benefits to your health, your heart, your mind, and your true love mentioned above.