...is no body's idea of a good time. The same way Christians may be tempted to make Lent a season of strengthening the will rather than one of rending the heart, the chastity message that is transmitted to our young people is often times as elegant as (gritting teeth) just. don't. do. it! (whew)
Inspiring? No, not really. Encouraging? Hardly.
And we wonder why abstinence-only sex education is largely a flop, particularly within the sterilized secular environment of the public school system. There's nothing terribly exciting or inspiring about the message "true love waits" when no one has the slightest notion of what true love might look like.
And the words respect, dignity, sacrifice... Antiquated notions from another time, another planet for all the impact they have falling on the deaf ears of the MTV generation. These kids don't care about the dignity of their own human person, let alone the dignity of their make out partner. What dignity do we speak of? These young people are lucky to be here, having dodged the initial bullet of chemical contraception and then having the good fortune to be the first or second successful conception during a convenient time in mom and dad's life.
The odds aren't good, and the goods aren't odd... but they may as well be, for the way children are regarded in modern society. Money-sucking, career-ending, physique-destroying little mini-me's who are shuttled off to day care around month 3 before entering into a steady rotation of soccer practices and ju-jitsu lessons that will last until their 18th year, at which point it's off you go into the real world, here's my credit card, make good choices...
A parody, and a cruel one at that, but is it so far off the mark? Expecting a young person to have even a cursory understanding of the value and the dignity of the human person necessarily requires a firsthand experience of that dignity. It's not impossible - but it is unlikely - that a child who has always experienced his or her own existence as the means to somebody else's ends will be terribly concerned with the dignity of others.
It's a mercenary world we're born into, and apart from the Gospel message that proclaims the worth of One Solitary Life, there are few examples that extol the virtue and the value of the individual. Add to this the neurotic pressure to produce, to become a valuable contributing member of society... you've got a whole lot of losers out there who are either ill-suited or unable to achieve the kind of success the world extols, and it's going to be a long, lonely life.
So in order for the message to be effective (chastity), the means of delivery must take into account the poor philosophical formation and the poverty of true, unconditional love most kids face. Telling someone they're worth it isn't terribly meaningful when they're unfamiliar with your currency of exchange.
Worth what? they wonder, eyeing your promises of "respect" and "dignity" with suspicion bred from inexperience. There's a fundamental lack that must be addressed, a knowledge that is foundational to the message we bear, and One Person alone who can do the talking. Let Him carry the message, and let your life bear witness to its truth.