Bernardo M. Villegas
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Teaching Real Love To Children

           If there is a positive spin to all the controversy surrounding the RH Law, it was to drive home a very important lesson to parents:  they have to be the first and foremost educators of their children on human sexuality.  Fortunately, in the final version of the law, the objectionable provisions about eleven-year-old children being educated in school about human sexuality, including the use of artificial contraceptives, were completely deleted.  What will replace these provisions?  Nothing less than the active participation of parents in teaching their children about the true meaning of human love.

          Thanks to a summary prepared by officials of the Parents for Education Foundation, parents can get a handle on this difficult but completely necessary task.  First, they have to be convinced that they have to teach their children about human sexuality.  As the summary states:  Your child’s happiness depends on it.  If training a child to read and write prepares for a good life, how much more training is needed to love in a family!  The great five-word conclusion of Harvard’s longest study:  Happiness is love.  Full stop.  It is no exaggeration to say that children nowadays are threatened by diabolical falsehoods.  Take, for example, the song by Sam Smith that won four Grammy awards this year.  The title may sound innocuous but the content is “diabolical.”  It not only encourages but glorifies casual sex, an overnight orgy.   “Stay with me” even if I know this is not love, but let’s just f…because it feels good (pardon the expression).   Can a parent imagine an eleven-year old daughter uttering those words without even understanding what she is saying, captivated by the catchy melody?

          Porn access, especially through the internet, and a sex-crazed media are actively promoting seeing sex as a trivial toy and bodies as objects to be used for selfish ends.  Porn is as addicting as heroin.  Its use lower academic performance.  And most important of all, the eternal life of your child is at stake.  Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 warned the three children that more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than any other sin.  That is why parents would be totally irresponsible if they are remiss in this duty because of discomfort or a feeling of inadequacy.  There are enough experts with sound moral doctrine who can help them and their fellow parents.

          What is the most important truth to teach to children?  That sex is a sacred gift which enables us to make a gift of ourselves to others.  God is self-giving love.  With infinite love, He made us unto His image.  And so we are all called to love.  The purpose of our life is to love God in return with all our heart and to love others for Him.  The greatest commandments are the secret of the greatest human happiness.  Our model is Jesus Christ who died for us and was glorified.  True love means willing or seeking the good of the other.  Love is not primarily about fleeting feelings.  With or without strong feelings, it means self-giving, a free choice to sacrifice oneself for another.  It is neither infantile selfishness or animal instincts.  Since we humans are not incarnate spirits, we express love not only through our souls, but also through our bodies which include our sexuality.

            Children should be taught as early as possible from the moment that they experience the inner stirrings of their sexuality the value of living the virtue of chastity, which is a joyful self-mastery that frees us for self-giving love, for we cannot give what we do not have.  Chastity is emotional intelligence.  Our sexual urges have to be channeled intelligently for real love, in the same way as we discipline our appetite intelligently for health and protection from illness.  Children should be taught that is unintelligent to look at human bodies with lust.  Instead, they should be made to recognize the truth that human bodies are persons (children, images and temples of God) to be reverenced, served and saved.  Not objects to be used for selfish ends.  As Christ said, “He who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  As an intelligent joyful discipline, chastity demands good habits, striving to put our heart in God, asking for help in prayer and the Sacraments, fleeing to Mary the Mother of God when tempted.  Although humanly speaking, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to be chaste in a morally polluted environment, the virtue of purity can be attained with the help of prayer, sacrifice and the Sacraments.  Parents should always refer to the supernatural means to which their children should have frequent recourse. A very important means is frequent confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist.   For comments, my email address is