For those of you who want to attain heaven, and want to raise boys that will be good and faithful husbands and daughters that will be good and faithful wives this lady has some excellent knowledge to share!

Hi Friend of Catholic Answers,

Former Playboy columnist and writer Bridget Phetasy received social media attention from a recent blog post about the failures of the sexual revolution in her own life. Being promiscuous didn’t bring her happiness, and what hurt most in the process of living out her own sexual revolution was that she had lied to herself. She did not feel good about the entire thing, and she was not okay.

As a follow-up, Catholic Answers published an excellent article last week on How to Handle a Bad Sexual Past. It’s a good read and one that applies to more people than you might think.

One of the ways to make sure your children don’t find themselves going through the same thing is to make sure they have the facts they need to make informed decisions about choices they make and the fallout that will inevitably come.

Authors Trent Horn and Leila Miller have some ideas to help you.

For Boys 

When teaching virtues to boys, you should appeal to their innate desire to be a hero. Give a boy a truly noble task that must be accomplished, and he will naturally rise to the challenge. Even preschool boys use sticks as swords to defeat bad guys and save the maiden in distress. We should cultivate this desire, channeling the power of masculinity toward the good. 

Tell your son that the Latin word virtus —from which we get virtue—means “manliness, bravery, worth, moral excellence.” I remind my sons that the most powerful man in the world is the one with the most self-control, and that the man who cannot control his passions is nothing more than a slave to them. 

Though many teen boys are conditioned to believe that having sex will prove their manhood, you must help your son understand that sex outside of marriage makes him the villain, not the hero. Through one selfish act, he could destroy a girl’s innocence and break her heart into a thousand pieces. At his judgment, what will your son tell God if his “sexual conquest” led to a girl’s spiritual destruction?  

A true hero defeats the dragon and saves the girl; he doesn’t cooperate with the dragon in order to destroy her! 

Sexual sin destroys souls, but it also destroys bodies. We must teach our boys that premarital sex may literally endanger someone’s life. I can tell you that our pro-life boys are shaken to their core when we remind them, “If you get a girl pregnant, she may abort your child, and you can’t stop her. You have no legal rights at all, and you may not even find out about the pregnancy until after your child has been killed. You will have to live with that knowledge for the rest of your life.”  

Teens understand and appreciate honesty and straight talk. There is no need to dwell excessively on these scenarios, lest they be dismissed as wild scare tactics, but we must tell our sons the bad news about sin even as we encourage them with the good news that God made them to be heroes who protect women and children. 

Boys will take up the challenge of true manhood if supported and encouraged by people they trust and admire. Because the culture at large no longer encourages the virtue of chastity as it once did, it is up to parents—especially fathers—and the Church community to fulfill that task. 

For Girls 

Where a boy innately wants to know that he’s “got what it takes,” a girl innately wants to know that she is cherished, captivating, lovely—and worth fighting for. When teaching your daughter about the virtue of chastity, appeal to her sense of intrinsic worth and to her right not to be used, by anyone, as a mere object of pleasure. Ask her, “What words do you want people to use to describe your future husband?” 

Faithful? Courageous? Wise? Honest? Hardworking? Loyal? Patient? Loving? Kind? 

These are all examples of virtue, and whether they can articulate it or not, deep down women want a virtuous man. I have even debated staunch secular feminists who admitted, though only in private, that they would love for a man to protect, provide, and care for them. A man who uses women sexually does not possess those attributes that a woman desires.  

Make clear to your daughters that there is no double standard in your home or in the Church: both women and men are expected to be chaste, and she should never have to offer sex in order to “prove her love,” or in exchange for the opportunity to make her boyfriend a “better man.” 

So how, exactly, does a young woman attract a virtuous man instead of a user? The answer is: “character attracts character.” If a girl wants a virtuous guy to be courageous and ask her out, then she has to practice courage, too. She shouldn’t put herself out there sexually just because she fears no one will date a prude, and she needs to be strong enough to hold potential suitors to the highest standards.  

This doesn’t mean setting the impossible standard of nothing less than a perfect St. Joseph! (I’ve seen Catholic women do that, unfortunately.) But her task is to call men to be the best they can be. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen said so eloquently:  

To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women

Silence is never an option. If we’re not teaching our children how to understand tough moral issues, then the world will. 

We hope you gained some benefit from this excerpt from Made This Way: How to Prepare Kids to Face Today’s Tough Moral Issues.

This is just a small sample of the information covered in this comprehensive volume. It is a book that belongs in the library of every Catholic parent.

In the world we now live in, difficult questions will come. Made This Way has the answers you need to navigate the difficult path ahead.