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Multiple Sins Against Chastity – A Look at the Ninth Commandment

Sins Against Chastity Human love demands a total self-giving of one to another within the covenant of marriage. There is no room for self-gratification, or for expressions of sexual intercourse aside from the conjugal act within marriage. For when these things happen, they are not based on love. Rather, they are based upon deception and a misuse of one’s own sexuality. Actions such as these, linked to the Ninth Commandment, diminish the dignity of all parties involved. Innately, we all know this, because God has infused within each one of us His Natural Law of right versus wrong. Yet, we still commit the sins against Chastity.

Sins Against Chastity

We know that to practice Chastity, we are to refrain from engaging in sexual relations with someone other than one’s own spouse. When we do not refrain from doing so, we commit the sins of lust, pornography, fornication, sodomy and/or masturbation. These are all sins against Chastity, because they diminish the unitive and procreative purposes of marriage. They are all self-centered, with self-gratification as the goal, rather than self-giving love. With these sins, there is no openness to new life. When we sin against Chastity, we disregard God’s design for sexual intercourse.

These varied sins are running rampant throughout our society. A clear majority of our society thinks that reserving sexual intercourse for married couples, is old-fashioned. But God’s design for our use of sexual relations is timeless and perfect. He made us to operate and procreate one way. It’s not like He’s improving His design with version 2.0, and now we have these acceptable “enhancements” to experience. His design of the human body was perfect at its inception. So, the “old-fashioned argument” is nothing more than an excuse to validate what we innately know to be immoral behavior; an offense against God, others and ourselves.

Our Priorities are Upside Down

So, if we know that lust, pornography, fornication, sodomy and masturbation represent sinful behavior, why is it so rampant in our society? Why are so many people ignoring the Ninth Commandment? It is because we are failing to view our sexuality as a gift from God; a gift that should be cherished. Instead, we listen to the voices around us, tempting us to sin, rather than listening to the voice of God. We place more stock in the coaxing of a friend, than the written Word of God. And, we want our behavior to be accepted by man, rather than accepted by God. Bottom line is that we have our priorities upside down.

How Do We Turn Things Right-Side Up?

First, examine how and when you might have violated the Ninth Commandment. Second, acknowledge your sinful ways. Third, ask for God’s forgiveness. Fourth, plan to change. Perhaps you need to change how you view others (with less objectification and more dignity). Or, maybe you need to extricate yourself from locations of temptation. Perhaps you need to reconsider who are your real friends. Those that steer you toward sin are not your friends. Finally, make every attempt to cherish your sexuality, as the gift that it is, from God.

This post also appears on Association of Catholic Women Bloggers, and Top Catholic Blogs

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4 Responses to Multiple Sins Against Chastity – A Look at the Ninth Commandment

  • Thank you for this lesson. One question. What if the other spouse was unfaithful long ago and I have forgiven, but I’m still having trust issues, even though I have discussed with him about how I feel? I still have those days where I know something just isn’t right. After 31 years of marriage and 2 years of seeing each other before that, in the last year, I see those signs again. He gets defensive if I try to talk to him. We are blessed by God, with 4 amazing children and 13 grandchildren; so blessed. I don’t want to go through that roller coaster of emotions again. Thank you.

    • Hi Frannie: I going to start by saying that I do not have counseling credentials. So my advice comes from the heart. For me, in my marriage of 38 years, communication is the key. When I see that something is “off” with my spouse, I talk to him about it. I suggest opening the conversation with words like “I sense that we are not as close as we have been in the past” or “I perceive that you might not love me as much as you have in the past” and then I ask, if my perceptions are on target. Another person can never deny you of your own perceptions. Now, his response might be “What gives you that impression?” You have now opened up the conversation for dialogue where you can note the signs. Usage of such words also helps to diffuse the defensiveness.

      I would also suggest that you have a conversation with your religious clergy (your pastor/preacher – not sure of your faith). Allow yourself the luxury of spilling out your feelings with a trusted source; one that will guide you in a positive direction.

      Frannie, you will continue to be in my prayers. Wishing you Christ’s Peace, – Virginia

  • Very well written, expressed and executed, Virginia. Glad you touched on this subject!

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