By helping children understand that their bodies, minds and spirits are not just accidents of nature, but divine gifts given from a loving God, we can teach them how important it is to care for their bodies and to maintain their purity. This is the true meaning of chastity.
Chastity stems from the Latin word cactus, which means pure. Teaching children purity means sharing ways they can protect their body, mind and soul even when they are young.
Long before we talk about the importance of waiting to engage in sexual intimacy until marriage, we can teach children the blessing of being mindful of how they care for the special gift of their body. They need to respect it, protect it and demand that others do the same.
At a young age, a child can grow in their understanding of nutrition as this plays a large role in the care and keeping of the body that God has given him or her. Children can quickly observe the long term effects of how they fuel their bodies, substance use and smoking.
We should desire to clothe ourselves in a way that encourages respect from others and does not distract others from God's goodness. Teach your children to clothe themselves with strength and dignity by encouraging them to ask these questions when they look in the mirror: Am I going to draw attention to myself in a way that detracts from God's goodness? Does this outfit reflect to others that Christ is the most important thing to me and not my body being noticed?
Instructing your children in forgiveness will help them understand how they can seek purity of heart and soul. Encourage your child to keep short accounts by asking forgiveness from those that they have mistreated.
The Squire and the Scroll, a book written for young boys and The Princess and the Kiss written for young girls, appeal to a child's natural desire for adventure and love. Your child will learn the virtue of purity through a fun-filled story!
Learn more about teaching purity to your children through our blog post, What is Sexual Integrity?