Friday, February 22, 2008

Let's Talk About Love

As I had posted here before, I was invited to talk about love, courtship and marriage to a group of young professionals here in Makati.

Overall, I think it went quite well. I told them that I don't speak as authority on the topic but was just sharing my thoughts and past experiences about the topic. The central focus of the talk is living purity in your state. This means that whether single or married, we need to see the importance of living the virtue of chastity -- a trait which is getting rarer and rarer these days during the effect of media and other societal influences.

Here are bits and pieces of the things I said. I hope you'll also get to learn a little from my simple sharing:

1. For the single man or woman, we need to first and foremost look into our family lifestyle, state in life and vocation. This will determine whether our calling is to be married and to live chastity as a single person (different from being single by circumstance).

2. If you are contemplating matrimony and honestly want your marriage to be an unqualified success, your task may be far greater than you realize. Marriage is a career and in any career, you need years of preparation and study to be successful.

3. For those still looking for their lifetime partner and seem to be feeling hopeless, the more you need pray for discernment and that God will show you the right person. Meantime, you have to help yourself.

Here are some tips:

a. Always look and feel beautiful (or handsome). But flaunting it out by wearing very revealing clothes and loud make-up don't necessarily attract the best guys. Dress with style as well as with dignity.
b. Try to keep yourself pre-occupied and not be too 'atat' to get a boyfriend. It will come (if it's for you) sooner than you expect. Spend your time learning new things, developing your skills and taking up a new interest or hobby.
c. For your first date, always be composed and confidence. Your confidence spells attractiveness in itself.
d. Don't date "dummies". In other words, don't waste your time on persons who do not fit your standards.
e. If you're getting old and still unattached, maintain your contact with old friends who can serve as a support and positive influence in your life. Girl-friends are valuable treasures in life whether you're married or single.

4. For those with boyfriends, here are some ideas on how you can live purity:

a. Avoid going to places where you will be tempted (bars and night clubs). There are many other things you can do apart from clubbing.
b. Make sure people are always around. To be alone (in a secluded place where there is no one in sight) is too tempting for even the most pious person.
c. Plan out your date – do coffee, go to dinner, TALK – then you won’t think about fooling around.
d. Go on group dates with friends. If you hang out with friends who have the same standards and morals as you, then you will feel uncomfortable if you and your partner are planning to engage in acts proper to married people only.

5. I think the best advice I could give for those who are still in the courtship and engagement stage is to learn to WAIT. The gift of yourself is the best gift you can give to your husband on your wedding night. It will be the best thing you’ve ever done – to offer yourself with 100% love. love.

6. In marriage, taking unto oneself a partner, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health until death, is serious business. Thus, a happy and successful marriage is one of life's greatest blessings.

"In this sense, marriage is truly a career--one instituted by God Himself to carry a man and his wife and their children along life's highway to heaven."

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