Reasons for Abstinence

DEFINITIONS: LOVE, SEX, ABSTINENCE, SEXUAL ACTIVITY

Abstinence: A person’s calculated decision and deliberate action to refrain from sexual activities, including but not limited to sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal intercourse and mutual masturbation, including frictional rubbing of the genitalia.

Abstinence until marriage: The practice of abstinence from sexual activity until a man and a woman are united in the covenant of marriage.

Marriage: A lifelong monogamous relationship between a man and a woman that is validated by a mutual vow to each other, before God and others, to remain committed and faithful, to love unconditionally and to remain married until the death of one of the partners. Marriage is recognized in the United States as a legally binding covenant representing a permanent and fruitful relationship between a man and a woman. Research has shown marriage to be the healthiest context for sexual relations and for raising children.

Pregnancy: The condition starting at conception (fertilization of the woman’s ovum [egg] by a man’s spermatozoa) which results in one or more developing embryo(s) or baby(ies) in the woman’s body.

Sex: The innate characteristic of gender, male or female. 2. Sexual activity, including sexual intercourse.

Sexual Activity: Any activity that includes intentional sexual contact of the genitalia, buttocks, breasts or other areas of the body for the purpose of sexual arousal.

Sexual Purity: Refraining from all sexual activity before or outside the covenant of marriage. Reserving sexual activity exclusively for one’s spouse.

Unconditional Love: Devotion based on commitment and unselfish concern for another person. It freely accepts another in loyalty and seeks his or her good. In sexual relationships, a sexual attachment is formed that adds to the commitment. The commitment to love unconditionally plays a large part in protecting the fidelity of the sexual relationship in marriage, which is the only proper context for sexual activity and commitment. Love esteems the other’s needs above his/her own, love is unselfish and gives without expecting in return. The focus of love involves the whole person: intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual [your inner-being – who you are, and] moral [code of conduct] and physical.

Virgin: A male or female who has not participated in the act of sexual intercourse.

[excerpts from “Definitions: Love, Sex, Abstinence, Sexual Activity”, Focus on the Family, adopted 30Jan02]