The Facts Project: Abstinence, Chastity and Community Education
We live in a world where promiscuity and physical relations outside of medlock are commonplace. With widely accessible mobile apps like Tinder offering the opportunity for easy hookups has never been greater. The true meaning of sex has been diluted thanks to main stream entertainment, access to hardcore pornography and expectations put on themselves by young members of our society. Temptation is all around us, and as Christians we take a vow of abstinence before marriage to preserve purity.
Thanks to an incredible group of people and my loving wife, in 2016 I started the Facts Project, a community program that focuses on education to help teenagers understand the importance of chastity and preserving their purity before getting married. Itâ€™s a project Iâ€™ve dedicated myself to and one thatâ€™s assisted many in my local congregation. With open dialogue, a removal of judgement and allowing those around us to openly discuss our individual challenges weâ€™ve assisted countless young people in getting back on the righteous path.
Before further explaining how our education program works Iâ€™d like to explain what exactly abstinence and chastity are so that you fully understand our stance on them.
What is abstinence?
Abstinence is the choice to not have sex before marriage. Different people have different definitions for abstinence, but in my opinion it includes outercouse, which prohibits any sexual activity at all.
In Christianity you are only permitted to make love to your husband or wife, not before. Our position is to not make any judgement of those who have sinned by having sex before marriage as long as the decision is then made to become abstinent. You can be any age or gender to abstain, so thereâ€™s no time scale or deadline for you to commit. As long as that commitment is genuine then our group will do everything we can to help and support you.
Itâ€™s important to note that abstinence includes any and all types of self pleasure, which includes masterbation. This is also prohibited and should be adhered to at all times.
What is chastity?
Not to be confused with celibacy, chastity is a commitment not to have sex before you get married. Where celibacy is a life long pledge not to have sex at all, chastity is quite different.
Another misconception generally aimed at our group is that weâ€™re in some way anti-sex or disgusted with the idea of intercourse. Whatâ€™s patently false and not something that we believe. Our position is very clear: that you remain chaste until youâ€™ve taken vows and dedicated your love to a husband or wife. Once that has been completed youâ€™re free to have intercourse at your pleasure. Itâ€™s a gift from God that should be cherished, enjoyed and embraced for he is the one that gave this blessing to us. It is this process that brings about new life, so we should hold it as a holy present.
Why as Christians do we abstain from sex before marriage, remaining in chastity until that becomes the case? In doing so we allow ourselves the opportunity to meet people and actually learn about them. Removing sexual impulses and desires from a blossoming relationship gives us a chance to really know who someone is. We can properly bond with them and thoroughly explore each other's minds before lust takes over. Love making shouldnâ€™t be the foundation on which all relationships should be built.
Educating our youth to give them a better future
The Facts Project was created by my wife and I when we read about another abstinence society at university. A number of societies existed during our academic years and we met some incredible people who helped us both through some pretty challenge years. Temptation nearly got the better of us. We were young, curious and excitable, but by doing the right thing we built a relationship that has flourished.
After we finished our studies we moved south, got married and had two children. Remembering the help that we received early in our relationship we realised that we both wanted to give something back to our faith and our growing local community. We observed many of the youths that attended our church were starting to stray, led by social media, negative external influences including their friends and poor role models.
It all started with a Tuesday evening workshop where a group of 8 teens came to the church hall. We gave a presentation, which was really well received, so we started having group meetings once a month. It became not only an educational evening, but a support meet up too. It gives everyone in attendance the opportunity to speak their mind, be honest with themselves and allow others to support them in any way we can.
Whatâ€™s in store for the future
Now that we have a regular group of attendees and a number of volunteers to head the workshops weâ€™ve had the chance to visit other cities and give talks to new people. We received an invitation to give a talk after a priest visited our city and sat in on one of the workshops. He was so impressed with the group and what weâ€™d all achieved that he asked us to travel to his city and help to set up the same at his church. Weâ€™re proud to say that weâ€™ve just hit our tenth city and helped countless young people to abstain and remain in chastity until theyâ€™re ready to marry.
I was also interviewed by House of Denial a month ago to discuss chastity in the kink community. Weâ€™ve heard from some individuals that use a physical chastity device to assist with the abstinence. Some people might think that Iâ€™d be critical of this due to the stereotype created by these kits, but that couldnâ€™t be further from the truth. We actively encourage our group to do whatever they feel is right and follow their own path to purity.
What you can do to help your community
If you think youâ€™re at a loss of things to do to help others the first thing Iâ€™d say is...youâ€™re wrong! Thereâ€™s always something constructive and useful to do regardless of your situation.
The first thing Iâ€™d recommend is to reach out to your local church or youth groups to see if you can be given a platform or venue to offer help to others. Some have websites with discussion boards where you can gauge the response to your offer and go from there.
Online video streaming sites like YouTube also offer an accessible way for people to access information and learn. Try filming some educational, motivational or inspirational videos then ask your priest to share them with your congregation.
Finally, be a positive influence on your friends, family and fellow Christians. Representing yourself and your religion in a positive manner can go a long way to helping people in ways you might not ever imagine. Chastity and abstinence are important aspects of what we do, but being a good person is the basis from which we teach.
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