Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

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Dear Benedict, Live Purely

Dear Benedict,

I wanted to write you this letter because it’s my responsibility to help you grow into the man that you were made to be. You were created with a very specific purpose in the course of Salvation History. Your mother and I are so privileged and honored to have you in our lives. You are a constant source of joy and fulfillment to me personally and to our marriage. You are truly the fruit of our love.

I know that it’s difficult to be a man today. Things were difficult in my youth, and I know that things are 100x more difficult for you now. Time has marched on and our society has continued it’s relentless pursuit of hedonistic individualism. It’s not right that they make it so hard for you to be the man that you were made to be, but we have a secret weapon. We have our faith.

No matter how much the world changes, throughout the history of the Church, She has remained steadfast. Whenever you are in a difficult position, look to the Church for aid and comfort. You can trust Her. She has your best intentions at heart.

I want to take this time to talk to you about the one virtue you must have to be a real man. You must be pure. Sadly, our culture has lost it’s way. We’ve forgotten about the intrinsic value of the human person. We’ve stopped expecting men to be men and we’ve stopped treating women in the way that they deserve.

I hope that I’ve given you a good example. I love your mother and she is the person whom I love most in the world. I hope that by watching us and how we manage our household, you can see that deep love and bond that we share. I hope that as you’ve seen me lead our family that you’ve been inspired to grow in holiness.

In this letter, I want to give you a model for your life and how you relate with women. This is going to be a challenge because almost every point that I will lay out has serious pushback from all sides. The media and probably even your peers would disagree with what I’m about to tell you. They’ll tell you that I’m wrong or old-fashioned or too conservative.

The truth is that what I’m going to share with you is backed by solid philosophy and an evidence-based track record spanning recorded human history. What they tell you is nothing more than thinly-veiled repackaged lies that have been proven over and over again to lead to despair and destruction.

Remember son, I only want what’s best for you. From the moment that your mother and I found out that you existed, we have both sacrificed everything for you and we’ve done it with great joy. The world wants you to follow it for it’s own benefit. Your mother and I want you to follow us for your benefit.

Let’s get started.

  • You need to live a pure and chaste life. The gift of human sexuality is one of the most precious that we’ve been given by God. To be able to actively and directly participate in His plan of creation and salvation is a deep honor. It tells us so much about how He views us and trusts us. It’s true that sex is a pleasurable act. But sex can only reach it’s apex within a marriage. Within the context of marriage, spouses are safe to surrender to each other. The martial act is physical, but it transcends space and time. It binds the spouses together emotionally, physically and spiritually. It mirrors God’s love for the Church and is such a powerful force of nature that it can literally beget life. Sex within marriage is true freedom. Sexual acts of any type outside of marriage are an enslavement. It can lead to addiction just as strong and destructive as any illicit drug or alcoholism. Your future wife deserves to have all of your heart, not what’s left by time she gets to you. Save your heart and your purity for her. If you’re called to the priesthood, save it as a gift to the Church and Her saving mission. By embracing a life of purity, you’ll be the master of your body and will respect God’s greatest gift to you.
  • Purity starts with a proper view of women. One of my favorite activities is to people watch. I like to look at them and think about their lives. Who are they? How did they get here? What do they do? What is their family like? What was their happiest moment? Each person has a soul and God knows their whole story. It’s incredible. Men and women were made for each other. We know this to be Truth in the physical reality of the complimentary nature of our bodies, the complimentary nature of our intellects, and through the teachings of the Church. We weren’t chosen to be the bearers of life, women were. That fact alone merits the highest respect possible from us. We have a role in the family and it, too, is important At the end of the day, however, women have the capacity to nurture new life. Women aren’t sexual objects for us to consume and conquer, they’re human persons with dignity and the title of "life bearer.” If you want to be truly free from impurity, never lose this vision of women.
  • Don’t let anything get in the way of your purity. There are plenty of opportunities to participate in a culture that denigrates women and celebrates selfishness. Our family doesn’t participate in that. This is perhaps going to be the hardest thing for both of us. There will be movies that your friends will see that you won’t be able to. There will be television shows that they will enjoy and talk about that we won’t watch. There will be musicians that they listen to that we don’t listen to. Your mother and I promise to be judicious in deciding what you can see, watch, and listen to and what you can’t. We have a very high standard. It’s a waste of the gift of life to spend our time consuming media that doesn’t build us up. It will seem unfair and it may even be embarrassing for you with your friends, but media has the ability to subvert us. It has a way of changing our perception and normalizing things that shouldn’t be normalized. We want to protect you in these formative years and give you the decision making tools to carry you through adulthood.
  • We will be helping you use electronic communications constructively. We’re both very lucky to be living in the this world of communications technology. You’re able to keep in touch with friends around the world, engage in dialogue, and see some very funny internet videos. Your mother and I are going to help you to use these technologies constructively. We as human persons are the master of these technologies, they’re designed to serve us. We need to keep that in mind. To help, we’re going to sit down together on a regular basis and decide who you should be connected with and whom you shouldn’t. This is about more than just stranger danger. In the summer months, we’re going to have to disconnect from your female peers who show too much skin on the beach. We must respect them even if they don’t know how to respect themselves. We’re going to have to disconnect from your male peers who post pictures of themselves breaking the law. Laws created justly must be obeyed, no matter our personal opinion. Jesus showed us that when He spoke to Pilate. We’re going to put our technology away at dinner, there won’t be any TVs or computers in your room, and at a certain time each night we’re going to take your phone and other technology and put it away. We’re going to have an internet safety plan that keeps us all safe. This, too, may be difficult to endure when some of your friends have free reign. Remember, we love you and we want you to be truly free. This is how responsible adults behave. We know our limits, we see areas of temptation and we avoid them.
  • We’re going to say no to pornography of any type. The statistics on the exposure of youth to pornography are beyond frightening. The scarier thing is the truth behind it. Not only is pornography as addictive as the most dangerous of drugs, pornographers routinely participate in human trafficking to meet demand. Women are literally enslaved. I said a moment ago that we’re going to have an internet safety plan, but there are going to be times when you’re with friends or somewhere else and they’re going to try to show you something. It will be tremendously difficult to say no, but I want you to call me or your mother and we’ll come and get you right away. It’s not your fault, we won’t be mad at you. We want to help you be the man you were made to be. We want to respect women and not participate in anything that continues the immoral and criminal treatment of women.
  • Above all, I’m always here to talk. If you make a mistake, if something pops up on the computer, if anything happens, I want you to have the courage to talk to me about it. I promise not to get mad or to treat you harshly. Even I need mercy in my own life. The evil of impurity relies on secrecy and lies. This is where the Devil operates. There really are accidents and if something happens, I want to work with you to make sure that it can’t happen again. I want to show you that love conquers all and I want to emulate God’s endless mercy for us.

With all of this, I hope to help you to grow and mature. There will be times when we disagree, but know that I seek to do all things to help you be the man you were made to be. Your mother and I do all of this today because there will be a day when you pack your bags and leave the safety of our home. All of the choices will be yours. When that day comes, I want you to have the confidence you need to keep making good decisions so that you can be prepared to give your whole heart to your beloved or to the Church.

Right now, your wife is somewhere in the world. She is either an amazing young lady or the Church. She deserves a great man to love her. With each day, pray for her. With each day, make decisions that will prepare you to be the best husband you can for her.

You were made for greatness. You were made for true freedom. Be that man.

I love you.

-Dad
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