The Words of the Kittel Family
We talk a lot about abstinence. Right? Its like our mantra: abstinence, abstinence, abstinence. This is the Pure Love Tour, and probably it seems like abstinence is all we talk about. But I want to tell you this morning that abstinence itself -- the absence of sexual activity -- is not the most important thing. We have to look beyond that.
I was recently interviewed by "Good Morning TV" in London, and they mentioned to me Britney Spears' recent affirmation that she'll be abstinent until marriage. So they asked me, is Britney Spears now the new paradigm of abstinence? Well, what do you all think? (No...) Well, we have to look at what abstinence really is. Abstinence is not just virginity. It's not the same thing. It's not just the absence of sexual activity that we're talking about here. If she's a virgin until her wedding night, that's really great. But there's something more.
And sometimes we think the most important thing about abstinence is that it's the most effective contraceptive, the safest contraceptive. You can't get AIDS, you can't get pregnant, you can't get other STDs, and by the way, I really don't know anyone who has ever died from abstinence. Right? Do you know anyone who has died from AIDS? There are about 500,000 people in the spirit world you can talk to you about that. Do you know how many new STD cases there are in the US every year? I mean real new cases, not just how many people have STDs. In the Vietnam war, do you know how many people died? Over 43,000 in about 6 years of fighting. It's a lot of people. Every year in the US, people get new STD infections over 25 million times. It's a lot of people, a lot of suffering. So, some people like to point out that abstinence is the safest contraceptive. But I tell you, it's not enough.
What do you think? Is abstinence until marriage really enough to make a couple happy? How many people do you know who were virgins when they married and couldn't make their marriage work? Sadly, I know some of you whose older brothers and sisters who are in that situation.
No, it's not enough. So, what is most important? What is it that can really lead to happiness in marriage, happiness in love? Most important is public living: unselfishness. Because when you have one man and one woman living together, they have to be able to live with and live for each other. Otherwise it's not going to work. Because the nature of love is unselfishness, the ability to give and receive love unconditionally. You know, I'm married, and often my wife may give me a really great massage, and it feels really great. And you know what? I don't have to lay there the whole time thinking "Gee, now I'm going to have to give her one some time," because I know she's not thinking like that. One of us may even ask the other for a massage sometime -- "Hey, can you do this for me?" -- and we can, because we know there's no debt being built up. That's part of the unselfish nature of love.
I've been reading a book called Kosher Sex by Sumuel Boteache. He points out in the book, the problem with sexual desire is not the desire itself, but realizing the purpose of that desire. The purpose of sexual desire is to create a bond of intimacy between the two people. God created sex as a kind of glue to bind married couples together, but it's not just the kind of super glue that you use once and then walk away and it stays stuck. God wanted to make a glue that you need to use over and over again, and the obnd gets stronger every time.
When I was married, on my wedding day, I realized that saying "I do" to my wife also means that I'm saying "I don't" at the same time. I'm saying "I don't" to every other woman in the world. And here you are right now, not practicing the "I do," not yet -- you're practicing the "I don't." Your abstinence right now is the preparation for unselfish living later in your marriage.
You guys know Tony Noda? He lives near me in the New York area, and the local morning TV show contacted me looking for some abstinent teens for a show on teen sex, I suggested Tony. But they didn't just take my word for it; they wanted to interview him first to see if he's the person they want on their show. So the lady asked him, "You're going to be on TV, you know. Are you okay saying you're abstinent in front of all of your school friends?" Tony said "Sure." She asked him, "Are you going to be abstinent for the rest of your life?" And Tony said," What? No way. That's celibacy -- I want to get married some day." And the lady who did the interview told me afterward that that was such a powerful statement, because she talked to so many kids for the show who were abstinent, and most of them just said, "Well you know, like I'm abstinent know, but well, let's see how it goes. Life is always changing and I don't know what will come up in the future. Let's see how it goes."
So I want you all to remember, your abstinence, your practice of unselfish living, is a preparation for your future. It's not just some decision you make for now, but a way of saying "I do" to your future spouse by saying "I don't" to everyone else right now.
You guys are all doing great, and I want to thank you for being here and standing up for what you really believe in. God bless you, and let's make this tour a life-changing experience, for yourself, and for everyone who sees you.