Two of my best friends are getting married! Just a few weeks ago, I had dinner with Andrew and Marie who will be wed on May 2nd. They shared a few stories including Andrew’s proposal to his now fiancé at the beach.
In our conversation, I decided to put Andrew on the spot. So I smiled at Marie and asked, “What would you say is the manliest thing Andrew has ever done for you?”
Now, I am not sure how Andrew reacted because I was looking at Marie when I asked the question. I can imagine his eyes going wide, his heart beginning to race, and him thinking ‘oh gosh, what is she going to say’?
Marie smiled back and responded, “Hmmm… I don’t know if there is one time specifically. But I would say it is the little things. He is always there for me. When he is available, he will call me. And maybe I am doing something simple like cooking or folding laundry. He comes for me. He takes the initiative in our relationship. He is decisive. He plans our dates, and he always makes plans for us to pray and go to adoration. He surprises me with little gifts and flowers at times as well. And 99.9% of the time he gets the car door for me.”
I didn’t inquire about the other 0.1%, but I figured that that was good enough.
Through the eyes of his fiancé, Andrew is a man because he is assertive and he leads the relationship. Years ago, I might not have guessed this about Andrew. When I met him six years ago, he seemed quiet and simple, but I see that he has grown so much through learning how to take care of his future bride.
I responded to Marie’s comments by saying, “You know what virtue you just described? This is chastity.”
They looked slightly puzzled so I explained, “Many people believe that chastity just means abstinence (or no sex before marriage). While chastity does include saving sex for marriage, chastity is more than ‘not doing’ something. Chastity is a virtuous lifestyle. Chastity is the strength to use our sexuality in accordance with love.”
In Andrew’s case, this means using his masculinity to love his fiancé by serving her and doing what is best for her. He is willing to serve his beloved in the simple things. He is also willing to lay it all on the line for his beloved through the incredible sacrifice of promising his life to her in marriage.
In the words of relationship speaker and bestselling author Jason Evert:
“Chastity is not about waiting to love your girlfriend for when you get married, but loving her through the perfect sacrifice of purity.”
Chastity is about learning how to perfectly love today, and Marie and Andrew showed me that they’ve learned how to love each other rightly before marriage. I am sure that that will be a foundation for a love that lasts.