A Virgin Bride: Spotless Women, Hypocritical Men


Mary Beth Bonacci is an expert on single Catholics & Theology of the Body

Dear Mary Beth,

I have read your response to “Holding Out” with great interest. I struggle with the same issue, and perhaps even deeper, as not only would I avoid dating divorced women, I have hesitations about any woman with a sexual past. Your response was very helpful to me.

I struggle deeply with my own sexual desires on a daily basis and am deeply crushed when I compare what I have been taught about sex and Catholicism to the sexual activity of women, especially in today’s world. So now in my mind I am looking for a woman with little or no “life experiences,” as you phrased your response. However, I know this is not realistic – and frankly, I create some of those “life experiences” for women.

I share this with you because I suspect many Catholic men share the same “beliefs” and view many women as sinful, despite these men having their own “life experiences.”  Double standard and hypocritical, absolutely, but it is what many men of my generation grew up with. This believing in “holding out” is a deep-rooted seed, fostered by my Catholic upbringing, but my life experience has taught me it is a fallacy.

Thus, I too would prefer a non-married, non-divorced, non-widowed, childless, virgin woman – despite my own marriage, divorce, annulment, children and mature age. I realize this is not going to happen and find strength in St. Joseph’s compassion when he chose to be with and stay with St. Mary despite her humanly inexplicable impregnation, which the Catholic Church reveres.

Again, I found your response helpful for my own self-reflection, as I admit to having my own insecurities, jealousies, and possessiveness issues, but it is the Catholic Church that taught me to desire a woman of pure heart, mind, body, and soul.

                                                                                                            -Reflecting & Reconsidering

 

“Reflecting” didn’t ask a question, but I wanted to share some excerpts from his letter because I thought it was an honest and very courageous note to write and also because he brings up some points that provide an excellent opportunity for follow-up.

First, the letter from “Reflecting” helps illustrate the origins of some of this thinking. Sex is in many ways much more personal for women. 

Of course, sexual expression speaks a language, and it should be deeply intimate and personal for everyone. But female biology and wiring makes it more obviously personal for women. It happens inside of her body. She’s the one who risks pregnancy. She, being the receiving partner, is at far greater risk of sexually transmitted disease and is more vulnerable to serious side effects as a result of those diseases.

A woman is also more vulnerable on an emotional level. She produces more of the bonding hormone oxytocin in sexual activity. She is often more deeply hurt at the break-up of a sexual relationship.

Basically, the stakes are much higher for her.

Men are thus often in “awe” of feminine sexuality. And sensitive men who understand the level of self-gift and vulnerability that is inherent in the act are often horrified when they see women use that gift carelessly or when they imagine a woman they love giving that gift to someone else.

That much I get. 

 

2 cents from JPII

But the thinking goes kind of off-track from there, as “Reflecting” recognizes.

First, often these men fail to recognize that their own sexuality, and their own sexual sin, matters as well. Blessed John Paul II, describing Jesus’ defense of the woman caught in adultery, wrote in Mulieris Dignitatem:

“Is not this woman, for all her sin, above all a confirmation of your own transgressions, of your ‘male’ injustice, your misdeeds?” 

I obviously can’t judge every case or every man who feels this way, but I suspect that there is sometimes a certain level of projection going on – projecting their guilt or struggle with their own sin onto a woman.

I’ve found that men who insist upon marrying virgins often invoke the defense that they want to be confident that their wives won’t cheat on them. I’m not sure whether they’re expressing a concern they honestly believe is legitimate or whether it’s a cover for their own “insecurities, jealousies, and possessiveness issues.” 

Either way, it’s a crock. 

Yes, a woman who has shown and continues to show a cavalier attitude about the significance of sexual intimacy would be a bad bet as a spouse. But it is monstrously unfair to lump her into the same category as a woman who gave herself to a man in a relationship (or relationships, or a marriage, etc.) she hoped would work or a woman who has learned of her value and dignity of her sexuality only after making mistakes. 

That woman is no more an infidelity risk than a woman without a past – and to automatically cast her under a cloud of suspicion is really highly insulting to her and to all women who have struggled or suffered losses.

 

A ‘spotless bride’

Here we come to the crux of the issue. 

Of course we’d all like a spouse who is pure as the driven snow – not just sexually but in every way. God, in the same way, desires a “spotless” bride in us, the Church. 

But guess what? 

He doesn’t get that in this fallen world, and neither do we. We’re all wounded – whether the wounds are sexual or spiritual or physical or just plain old, garden-variety failure to love. We’re all seeking healing and wholeness – some in a healthy ways, some still in misguided ways.

The good news is that He can make us spotless, to the extent we turn to Him. He can take the baggage, the mistakes, the losses, the spurned self-gift, and turn it into something beautiful. The emotional and spiritual scar tissue may remain, but even that can be a gift in the strength and the healing that it offers.

Yes, Scripture speaks of a “spotless” bride, but don’t confuse “spotless” with “shrink-wrapped.” A woman (or a man) can possess a pure heart, mind, body and soul despite – or in some ways, because of – mistakes or hurts or losses in the past.

God does that for us. He writes straight with crooked lines. He brings beauty out of pain, life from death.

Trust Him.






36 Comments

  1. Maria-689654 August 22, 2011 Reply

    God instituted the Sacrsment of Reconciliation because of our fallen nature. I was raped at eight years old( which by definition, am damaged goods). Should I be forever damned? I carried that wound and heavy cross for many years. I blamed myself for being there, for not fighting back. Spiritual growth and maturity has taught me that my physical body maybe have been desecrated by this “man” but my souls was “as pure as the driven snow”.
    I have never given myself to any man who I did not truly love and respect. I was disobedient to God’s comments. My life was miserable;I was torn between human love and God’s will. When these relationships ended; I turned to God and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation–God has forgiven me and removed that sin from my soul. I am pure again, renewed again, and I am made “new”. As a woman, I am very forgiving of men and their sexual past and I expect the same from them. God bless all men.

    • Maria-689654 August 22, 2011 Reply

      Correction: Sacrament of Reconciliation. …my soul was ” as pure as thedriven snow”.
      I was disobedient to God’s commandments.

  2. Ramona-738757 August 22, 2011 Reply

    How I hope that everyone on this site reads this. What makes relationships confusing to the sexes is that no matter what your faith base males are treated differently than females in regards to sexual expression. A man can boast about his past indiscretions becuase he was immature and becoming a man. It’s viewed as right of passage. He’ll save his emotions for the ‘right’ woman. It will be difficult to marry someone with a past. Many women feel like there spouse has made a sacrifice for turning their past mistakes into the “elephant in the room.” It is not talked about but, you’ll know when it stampedes through the marriage vows. Females are taught to save their bodies as an expression of love for marriage only. Emotions are given freely. What happens when an emotionally unattached man has relations with a female who sees this as an expression of love? DISASTER. It is just as important to women what type of past a man has had. As women we are taught in this culture to call it an “experience(s).” Its you he loves now. But, I don’t want a man that sees sex as a recreational sport.I think women would be much more forgiving if the past was with someone they cared about instead of there own selfish gratification. That’s where we differ. Its all in the emotions. If you say that there was no love in the act concerning your past many men think what does this say about you as a woman. If you say there was love than they are jealous. If more people realized the haearbreak these indiscretions cause they would wait till marriage. The bottom line is if God can forgive you why can’t your intended. Schools today are so busy teaching are youth about physical protection but, I have yet to see them speak of emotional protection that if not in place can lead to acute rejection. A whole is the sum of its parts. A man want to be a woman’s first love. While a woman wants to be his last. Love in itself is pure and uncomplicated. We are not. That’s why God is Love. If we keep in mind that some of the most imperfect people can love you perfectly.

  3. Angie-584510 August 23, 2011 Reply

    How could a man who has been married, divorced, annulled, has children and is mature in age prefers to find a non-married, non-divorced, non-widowed, childless, virgin woman? Isn’t his expectations and/or self-esteem way too high? It’s time for him to look himself at the mirror and stop demanding more than he can give. He has to learn how to be humble and start looking with eyes of mercy those women under his very same conditions (in the same way, he would like a non-married, non-divorced, non-widowed, childless, virgin woman to look at him).

    • Steve-669014 August 24, 2011 Reply

      C’mon Angie…give ‘Reflecting’ a break. He freely states his struggles with insecurity, etc., which is a good sign of seeking humility! He is obviously a man seeking truth through his faith and needs Catholic guidance…he didn’t need to be beat up for reaching out!

      • Angie-584510 August 26, 2011 Reply

        Steve, I wouldn’t describe his expectations as a sign of “humility” but rather it sounds more like a sign of midlife crisis.

        • Joseph-924851 February 25, 2014 Reply

          The problem is this: Most people are not looking for the person they love and who loves them—the one to whom God has directed them. They’re instead looking for the best deal they can get. For men this tends to be physical beauty, youth and willingness to be sexually adventurous. For women, it’s often about financial security, affection and “romance,” whatever that means.

          Every time you back away from someone because they’re a real person with real problems, you’ve made a decision based on fear, which is rarely the one God wishes you to make.

    • Luz-1055440 April 21, 2014 Reply

      He talked about insecurities. His problem is not too high self esteem. He does not want comparisons. His problem is too low self esteem.

  4. Donald-585826 August 23, 2011 Reply

    It seems to me that some men haven’t grown up yet or haven’t matured. They see women as an object, a trophy, something to posses and gossip about in closed circles. Her beauty is a gift and one that is very precious. It’s not something to be displayed but protected and guarded. In Christ, all things are made new again. If we see her as our sister in Christ there is no blemish, scar or dirtiness, for nothing can exist in Christ that is not pure and spotless. We are meant to be a gift to one another to approach each other without shame and to share in God’s love as we were meant to from the beginning.

  5. Emma-588225 August 23, 2011 Reply

    This is so well put. I’m a virgin, but believe me, any time I see anything that comes close to a “virginity clause” written in a guys profile, I immediately pass. To me it says two things about his character in general:

    1) He isn’t going be to be understanding of mistakes.

    2) He’s likely more interested in the archetypal “ideal” of catholic womanhood than in a real, flesh and blood Catholic woman. No thanks.

    The issue is purity, not did you / didn’t you.

  6. Cathy-620979 August 24, 2011 Reply

    Has the Catholic Church really taught this guy “to desire a woman of pure heart, mind, body, and soul.”? I’d be very surprised if he could back this up. I don’t think many women were virgins when they married in the early centuries of the church, and I don’t think many are today, either. It’s immature and whiny to have such hopes and to blame that fact that you can’t get what you want on a sinful culture.

    • Luz-1055440 April 21, 2014 Reply

      If he was taught so, he didn’t apply it in the so called life experiences he created for women. Why would he defile a pure woman???

  7. Maria-689654 August 24, 2011 Reply

    Yours, mine, and ours! Sound of Music! Brady bunch! where there’s love and forgiveness; marriages usually workout. :)

  8. Carole-11018 August 24, 2011 Reply

    I keep wondering if men still (realistically) desire virtuous women anymore? In THIS day and age, even Catholic and other Christian men don’t seem to, either! I’m starting to believe the only man that I can give my WHOLE heart to, is Jesus Christ! That’s why I’ve kept my heart guarded, only for my Lord Jesus, asking HIM to help me grow more virtuous for HIM, as well as for the graces I need to follow His Mother’s examples of humility and PURITY, while continuing to trust in HIS Divine Mercy! It’s sad that men want to sow their wild oats as long as they can (while risking mortal sin on their souls?!), and expecting to find and marry a virgin! This “Double-Standard” thing is NOT from God, but from the evil one himself! I’m still (with my hand on the Bible as God is my witness !) a virgin and it looks like I’m destined to stay that way! It’s made difficult many times with the usual temptations, but I keep reminding myself how pleased God must be when one strives for purity. I’m not about to give my heart to any man, unless he “earns” it with respect, chaste intentions, integrity & loyalty. (Any man up to THAT Challenge?) Another help for me is to remember all sexual sins are Mortal sins. Our Lady of Fatima said that these are the sins that take most people (men AND women) to hell!

  9. Robert B. August 25, 2011 Reply

    In many ways, this is a very good article, but I can’t accept the conclusion concerning men’s intent that the title suggests (Spotless Women/Hypocritical Men.) I do understand that we most of us need a second chance, and how heartbreaking, unfair and insulting it can be for a woman faced with a self-righteous man. Still, I don’t know that we can put all men looking for “spotless brides” into the same category of “hypocrite.”

    The author acknowledges in passing later she cannot judge every single case, but this nod is outweighed by the statement in bold print.

    I think the better approach is to respect men’s choices, and try to inform and persuade. There may be various reasons why some men search for the “spotless bride” that don’t necessarily involve judgment of persons. Could it be that some men who just happen to have higher standards are misjudged on the matter? For example, I think some men (and women) have a sensitive conscience and are rather skeptical of the annulment process. Perhaps such a person is more concerned about doing what is best for his own salvation and is not judging persons. (This is not exactly my position, but I can understand it.)

    It is best to be as magnanimous as is reasonably possible when judging intent.

    • Luz-1055440 April 21, 2014 Reply

      The tag is appropriate, as the man who wrote the letter to Mary Beth admits creating many “life experiences” for women, who I can presume, we’re not virgins. Yet he wants an undefined woman. If he had sexual experiences with virgin women, the. It is even worse. He used and defiled women to then leave them as garbage.

  10. Patrick-606389 August 25, 2011 Reply

    Ohhhhhhhh boooooy ohh boy! I will need some time before I jump on my band wagon. gotta run and take my gloves off before I respond.

    • Patrick-606389 August 26, 2011 Reply

      Now this conversation is really moot. Of course people who are getting married for the first time ought to be virgins. And there is absolutely nothing amiss with desiring a virgin. And all these comments about questioning one’s motives is seeking a virgin is befuddling. And my comments about virginity are a two way street — men and women should both be virgins. What is sad is all of the commentary about just how unrealistic this is. Boy that is a sad commentary on the state of Catholicism.

      Now it may be an odd expectation for a man who was married previously, but so what? in this fallen world Christ still expects his bride the Church to be spotless. What is my response to my Groom Christ: ” Hey dude the days of virgins are over. We’re all tainted with that Eastern mysticism concept of a soul mate, so get over it. Don’t be so judgmental.. . .”

      The ideal of virginity is not about the intact hymen. It’s a symbol of a scared trust. God does not meet me to engage in sexual conquests, much less boast about. And I am not aware of any priest, brother or nun that permitted me or any other male to openly do so. But in our nature this is done and my room mate has enlightened to the fact that women actually do engage in this form of communication. but that is the world. I don’t think I need remind anyone that women were the prime pushers in the free love the right to be as free in their sexual desires and they thought men were/are. What is stunning is the impact such thinking has had on the Church. Shame on us.

      It is women even Catholic women who have contended against their honored role as the bearers of life, so precious were they that men walked be before them not because they occupied a lower status in life, but rather because the source of new rests in the woman. There is where new life is incubated. Therein lies the future. And that is to be protected. Ah the gentler sex, weaker by virtue of the role as life giver — a place honor. I would like to think that we are encouraging virginity in our youth male and female as well as each other. And the excuse that we are all sinners . . . yada, yada and yada is just hogwash. Of course we are that’s why Christ died. God’s grace does not entitle me to sin willy nilly, as Paul says, “God forbid. . . .” The culture of the world bears down on in so many subtle and unsubtle methods.

      God’s method of joining man and woman together is so incredibly beautiful. The entire act of union is a man attempting to rejoin with his own flesh. For God created woman from Adams rib — it is only natural for a man to long to be in her. She longs to be joined again as she is from Adams flesh. But God created one woman for Adam not two, not three, not four . . . one. And Christ wants my union to be with one, to share and exchange blood with one as it was in the Garden.

      I am going to make a very unpopular comment here s if I haven’t already. Women do carry the possible heavier consequence of the sexual exchange and as such it behooves her to protect herself from violation — and no man of God should be seeking to violate her. He should be her protector. In fact, I would go a step farther and say women (anecdotal I know) have by and large asked him to abandon that role.for the sake of being treated as equals. For the Catholic woman, protect your virtue. And no excuses about being, mislead, hoodwinked, drugged, drunk. etc. Take responsibility for your own desires as a child of God created in His image. For single people among Catholics, celibacy should not be an oddity, but the norm – period.

      I cannot tell you the number of women who are genuinely disappointed when they discover that while I absolutely would love to join with them — all the time, in fact, God has me in this area and unless your are my wife. I must deny myself and sadly but rightly you as well. Why shouldn’t we be expecting and hoping for chastity in the Catholics/Christians we date, as opposed to “Ohh well, in this day and age. . . .” Shame on us.

      I would hope a woman would be excited about my lack of sexual experience, not disappointed that in her mind I might be awkward sexually. LOL. I am sure God laughed at Adam and Eve as they figured out how each of them worked it out with each other. After all the first call of the relationship was not to be alone and lonely as God said, “It was not good for man to be alone.” Two people can learn the mechanics of sexual union together. And whether it’s a moment of spiritual union, or a tension relieving romp, for the believer, “Where two or more are gathered in my name (husband and wife) there am I also.”

      The world takes a simple respectable concept of men and women being delighted in who they married and turned into something basic and generally negative. Whether she is tall or short, large or thin as a rail — a man or woman should take delight in who they married in public, I think
      Proverbs 31 spells it out quite nicely — trophies one to another is what we are. There are plenty of heart aches, hurts. slights, to come if I have been exposed to enough marriages as I think I have in this life — that I know that Christ alone is able to cover the dings, scratches, dents and chips, and restore the broken limbs that a trophy may get over time. But before that I am obligated to encourage fidelity, chastity, purity and celibacy in believers and nonbelievers alike. So whether a virgin or not I think we should betaking the high ground . . . if you seek purity in yourself and others. My charge is to encourage as much purity as possible. Such is the call of Christ.

      • Marian-83994 August 27, 2011 Reply

        Patrick, You make many important points and I want to assure you that many women WILL love you for your sexual inexperience. Some women have attempted to deny themselves and succeeded in denying themselves any sexual experiences in the hopes that they can still present this gift to a the right man. Take heart,a women will love you for it.

      • Marita-847688 June 19, 2012 Reply

        I think it is great what you said, and even said that Christ makes things new again, and we are called to encourage others to a life of purity. I think the only thing I might add that I didn’t agree with was with women not taking responsibility for their own actions. I’m sure some say they were drunk because they don’t want to feel guilty. However, there are many women out there who have been attacked or there drinks really were drugged. We don’t blame someone who walks in a dark parking lot with a bag full of store merchandise and gets mugged or beat up. We don’t say, “Well, it’s his/her fault. He/she shouldn’t have been shopping at 9:00 at night.” No. We blame the attacker and call the police. Was there something the innocent shopper could have done to prevent this from happening? Yes, it is possible. Maybe they could have been watching out. Maybe they could have shopped earlier in the day. But is it their FAULT? No. They didn’t asked to be mugged or beat up. All they wanted to do was go from point A (the store) to point B (the car or where ever they were trying to go.) The two things are not related whatsoever.
        In the same sense, a woman who goes to a bar or a party, orders a drink or perhaps even water, and turns her head for litterally one minute, does not ask to be raped by a date, stranger, or multiple men. She does not ask to be humiliated and degraded and to be used like an object instead of the dignified child of God that she is. All she did was turn her head. Turning your head and being raped have nothing to do with each other. I challenge you next time you have a drink (whether it be water, beer, or some other drink), to not keep your eyes off of it for more than ten seconds. You may have the intent of watching it but in all likelihood there will be a point where you do turn your head long enough to where if you were next to an evil man at a bar could have taken the drink and mixed something in it. A woman should not have to be responsible for watching her drink every second. The man should be responsible for not taking advantage of an opportunity to drug someone’s drink and rape a woman. Just as the person in the parking lot could have taken precautions the example above, the woman could have taken precautions, too. Maybe she could have kept the drink closer. Maybe she could have held the drink the whole time. Maybe she could have not ordered any drink at all. Maybe she could have gone to a party where there were only women. But does that mean she is responsible for the ATTACK? NO WAY! The evil man is responsible for his actions. Or if the woman was conscious and a man (say her date) decides to take advantage of an opportunity to rape her because he found an opportunity to be alone with her, does that mean she responsible? No. She is not responsible for not saying “No” enough times, or not fighting him off harder, or not being strong enough to fight or not being able to escape, or not having anyone hear her, or skipping that self defense class that she could have taken, or not being alone with him at night. The woman is in no way responsible for the rape. He is responsible, and he should go to prison for it. She should not have to brush it off as, “Oh, I was being stupid. I wasn’t thinking about where we were. I didn’t take that self defense class. I should be stronger to fight him off. I should have somehow made it clearer to him that I didn’t want sex.” That is absolutely not the case. Ironically, so many women do not report men because they have this thinking, but it is just so backwards for her to blame herself than for him to have to go to prison for it. So I found it offensive when you said that women should take responsibility for their own actions. It’s not the woman’s responsibility in these cases. It is the men’s responsibility because he sinned. I don’t know if I misunderstood you. Maybe you were talking about women who were fully able to consent and did consent but wanted to blame it on something else like being drunk but all they had was one sip of alcohol that was not drugged and could not have possibly made her pass out or obstructed her ability to make wise decisions. I just wanted to clarify this in case this is what you did mean.

      • Luz-1055440 April 21, 2014 Reply

        It is not an intention to be befuddling. The man who wrote the letter to Mary Beth is intolerant. He is not always chaste, he admits. Assume he wants to change. He was married. He could very well desire a chaste woman who can marry in the Church, for example, a widow. Yes, widows can be chaste…
        The man is not seeking God’s purity. He admits he is insecure.
        It is a very different situation from the author of this,post, who is a gentleman who does not have sexual experience, for the greater glory of God.

  11. Patrick-606389 August 26, 2011 Reply

    I have live a fairly safe life, no alcoholism or alcohol for that matter, no drugs, even my sexual history is benign to nonexistent according to people who know me (they claim what guilt is just a whine). But when it comes to issues with the police in the thirty or so encounters to date, for whatever reason, walking funny, driving funny, looking funny, wrong neighborhood, abrupt stop to avoid a jaywalker. Given my personality, I will eventually say enough or at least question it. The last encounter has all but destroyed my teaching career for which I slaved away for years building for my next move and given the viciousness of Christians and Christians alike even my business success has been severely hampered as a result. Make no mistake. I am so bitter, I want God to smoosh, every single person lying thieving miscreant involved — everyone, I like King David’s prayer ‘. .. destroy such that their children are no more — yada and yada.

    Now I can lay the fault of being falsely accused and arrested at the feet of others. But I must own and claim my bitterness as mine. According to Christ, there is no room for it in a life with him. I could moan and groan all day along about liars and creeps and evil doers, but in the end my life my walk is not about that, the barrier to salvation is even in jeopardy by a choice not to forgive — period.

    In the meantime should I give up my celibacy (which i am positive has kept my lips away from some attractive women who might not have been women at all)? Should I give up and eat drink and be merry for tomorrow I die? That’s what the world desires a life of compromise, A life that begins to treat the ideal as unrealistic, a standard to high, a goal for fools? In this arena fellow Catholics/Christians are the worst. So much time is spent looking and hoping for some secret sin of others to be revealed so we can breath a sigh of relief and and say” aha . . .” We can think we are somehow let off the hook for living the life of purity to which are called and called to support in one another. As an advocate of purity in myself and others —- I say No. An alcoholic who no longer drinks may admonish others without fear and or guilt. “but the accuser, Satan, the world stands saying but you did it to or if not that –“no one’s perfect.” That’s the crock and the danger. Because that is the hook that leads us to fall over and over again. Well you did it before or what’s the difference between petting and this (not advocating petting) or some such nonsense. If that were the case every Apostle could not have written a single word — not one. Paul came from a life of standing over Christians as they were persecuted. Peter denied even knowing Christ . . . And that is why Christ died. More importantly why he rose from the dead. I have no intention of having someone guilt me into a position of “Ohh well, about anything, including my own bitterness.” Not even the attractive, witty popular intelligent Mary Beth. I don’t know this gentleman, but none of us in this day and age should be lowering the bar —- I don’t know if my future wife (should I be so blessed and burdened (smile) will be a virgin, but her sexual history I hope will at least be as nil as my own.

  12. Justin-32820 August 26, 2011 Reply

    I’ve come to the to realization that Men (myself included) often have an overly idealized view of “Purity” in women. It’s a temporary state of being that in the long run does not reflect a women’s real virtue or character.

    • Patrick-606389 August 26, 2011 Reply

      Purity for the believer is not ever a temporary state. It does not end after the consummation of the a union. It is not a thing or an act. it is a state of being and the believer lives in a constant state of renewal and cleansing.

      Now I know many Catholics don’t put much faith in scripture, and this inspite of the fact that everything about who we are is fully described in scripture. but from the Old Testament to the New the believer in the Father , Son and Spirit are to seek and bee continually purified. There can be no compromise on this principle.Scripture refers to the ” . . . renewal of your mind.” Sex itself is to be a pure act even after one is married. I hope that my wife will see in me my constant purification as I guide, headlong into the my marriage with Christ and her — As head Christ demands my purity for her and for my family and as with my own area of bitterness of which I must be cleansed continually by the blood of my Lord Jesus — there is no progressive compromise position about our call to Christ. Men should be seeking purity in themselves as well their mates to be and those that are. Purity is a position state of ontological existence in Christ and with each other. For we are as Paul states, ” . . . a royal priesthood, a people set apart. . . .” This life makes us a bit strange in the eyes of the world. And it is no joke. Grrrrrrrrrrr . . . i said i would get off the box . . . ooops.

      • Justin-32820 August 29, 2011 Reply

        Hi Patrick, to clarify when i said “men” i meant men in general both catholic and non-catholic, because men of all faiths and non-faiths do this to some degree. My point is people should not obsess on a person being “pure” or “unpure” because I’d does not reveal the total character of the person. Beside we are all unpure in some way and only made pure by God’s love.

        • Luz-1055440 April 21, 2014 Reply

          I think we should all strive to be pure, if we are to believe the teachings. I would like to find a gentleman of good character, but this is not sufficient. More importantly, I would like one that intends to honor God with his life, with his daily acts. I know people fail just like I fail. I understand that. All I want is the sincere intention to try to do so.

  13. Marian-83994 August 26, 2011 Reply

    This is a beautiful commentary. I wish for the sake of many men and women who yearn to find a life partner, that men struggling with any woman’s past sexual life could seek for and learn ways to view this so they find happiness one day. I know of a number of men who despite their sexual experience or lack of it, worry about being compared to another guy by a woman. Truly the things to learn about someone and to work on, and to focus on in a relationship are many, deep and varied enough that these many things should take precedence in setting out on a life together. Men who are inexperienced in emotional relationships will feel even more pressure perhaps this way as they don’t realize the many things they can share with their chosen and it is too bad when people who should seek ways to develop emotional intelligence(s)- do not in order to alleviate these worries.

  14. Kathleen-712130 August 27, 2011 Reply

    I find it most interesting that “Holding out” should consign a large percentage of single/available women to the scrap heap as unworthy of his love. As Patrick quoted, “It is not good for man to be alone”, yet I believe “Holding out” may end this way. Are we not all children of God; deserving of love and forgiveness? Am I impure and undesirable because I was married to a man who is no longer alive? Must I be forgiven for having entered into a marriage and given myself to another who now resides with our Lord? Must I now live a lonely existence because I am somehow “tainted”? “Judge not, lest ye be judged”.

  15. Tammy-492301 August 27, 2011 Reply

    While the article is interesting I just think this type of thought is a result of original sin. All men, women and society are affected by it in different ways. On the flip side, I think Woohoo! One less frog to kiss – NEXT!

  16. Stacey-101742 August 28, 2011 Reply

    The comments are so interesting and I can agree . People /men who want in an older age someone to be virginal , spotless , is really unrealistic , how can anyone be perfect ? Only God is ! We should strive towards perfection , we should make choices towards maturity towards God , yes …. but who is without sin ? Sin is anything that takes us away from the love of God … do you think God grades the different sins ? intentions perhaps , I have no doubt God looks into our souls and our intentions … but to expect to have someone virginal .. How unrealistic and like that is the worst sin ! We learn so much about ourselves and life and lessons when we make mistakes and for some who have been the victim of others sins forced upon them , God bless those who hurt … but some men need a wake up call on reality perhaps to realize whats inside our hearts and minds …NOT OUR HISTORY ..

  17. Patrick-606389 August 29, 2011 Reply

    Because this is not a forum and I will make this brief. Excuse me Mary Beth for taking up your space. no one who claims that are a believer in Jesus Christ should be anything but supportive of relationships rooted in purity before, after, and during marriage. As to hypocrisy, I am surprised to hear women making comments about the unlikelihood of virginal couples as though this is a state with which men or women should settle. God forbid that my conscience be so seared.

    The writer did not discount women who were divorced or not virgins. He simply stated, that was a choice he would not make —

    As for frog kissing — there are no frogs in God’s Kingdom of men and women. Inside all of us ugly believers there exists princes and princesses ‘a royal priesthood.” Cleaned daily by the Son’s Spirit.

    • Luz-1055440 April 21, 2014 Reply

      Once again. The man who wrote to Mary Beth does not seek purity for God’s sake, and it is not really purity what he wants, it is lack of comparison. He could seek a chaste widow (yes, chastity is not only for the single, but for the married and the widow). He admits not have always sought purity “creating life experiences for women”. He is not really seeking purity.

      Patrick situation is completely different. Patrick is seeking purity not just from a woman, but for himself. God smiles because he is happy that his child Patrick is doing his best to obey, and is happy because He knows it is hard and yet he has managed to do it well with His help.

  18. Andy-516957 September 3, 2011 Reply

    I’m coming from the other side. I had kept myself for marriage, and I proposed to a tramp. Now, a long time has passed, but the women I meet all seem to have considerably more sexual experience than I, and from an early age. Does this make me sound bitter? Maybe, but I am disappointed that the women I loved did not share my affection.

    • Patrick-606389 September 4, 2011 Reply

      Andy,

      I hope this changes for you. I hope a woman comes your way who soothes your heart and for you will be a source of encouragement,leadership and load bearer for her soul as God directs. There are a lot of bitter women for similar reasons. Men have failed in leadership in so many areas of faith.

  19. Marcus-860000 July 16, 2013 Reply

    “That woman is no more an infidelity risk than a woman without a past”

    This is actually untrue. Wishful thinking fallacy.

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