The Relationship Pyramid
Imagine a pyramid – let’s call is a “Relationship Pyramid.” At the base of the pyramid is friendship, the most basic of human relationships. As you move higher in the pyramid, the different levels (in order) include: Getting to Know the Person Better; Getting to Know the Person’s Family Better; Exclusive Relationship; Engagement; and Marriage. At the top of the pyramid is the intimacy of sex. Now, who would happen if you built a pyramid upside down, trying to balance in on the point of the pyramid? It would collapse from all the weight at the top. At the very least, it would fall over and get damaged. The same happens when you begin a relationship with sexual activity, in hope that friendship and love will follow. It doesn’t work. It is contrary to God’s plan for life and love, and, in almost all cases the relationship ends up collapsing or really hurting the persons involved.
How do you know “How far is too far?”
When it comes to this question, most people have two sets of standards: one that applies to themselves and one that applies to others. Fr example, if a person were to walk up to you and say, “I know whom you are going to marry… but I’m going to date that person first. So I wanted to ask you, ‘How far is too far?” Or, what if this person asked how far he or she could go with your sister or brother? In both cases, you would have a very clear set of boundaries for their actions.
Why, then, do the standards change when it comes to setting boundaries for our own actions? Often, we come up with all kinds of reasons or excuses why those standards do not apply to us. We say to ourselves, “I really love him, and I can see myself marrying him” or “Why is it that bad? She’s willing to do it.”
Why do we feel a sense of protection for our future spouses or our siblings, but when it comes to guarding our own dignity and innocence, we are sometimes casual or downright reckless?
couple of days I start to… feel this unbelievable love that God has for us.” He knew in the depth of his heart that the fingerprint of God on a relationship is purity and peace. He knew, even as he struggled to live in purity, that sacrificing 1for the good of the other brings a couple closer that any pleasure on earth.
So if you really want to know “How far is too far?” realize that you’re asking the wrong question. What we should be asking is, “God, how do You want me to live and love so I can find the happiness for which I really love?” If we approach God with this type of sincere faith and trust, He will bless us beyond our hopes. Instead of asking how far you can go away from purity, perhaps it’s time to start asking how far you can go toward it.
You will soon realise that the more pure you are, the easier it is to be pure. St. Paul writes, “To the pure, all things are pure” (Ti 1:15). What makes it hard to be pure is when we try to be “sort of” pure while allowing ourselves to get sexually revved-up with things like foreplay, pornography and masturbation. When we compromise our purity like this, our appetite for sexual union only increases and makes us feel like purity is impossible. But purity is possible for the one who truly seeks it.
Unfortunately, may people thing that purity is equal with being prude. It is not. A prudish person things sex is somehow bad or “dirty.” A person who possesses the virtue of chastity, however, is someone who respects, protects, and saves sex precisely because it’s so valuable, beautiful, and wonderful.
In your exercise book write detailed answers to these questions:
What happens to the Relationship Pyramid when Sex comes first?
If you are dating someone and come to the realisation that you wouldn’t really want to be friends with this person what do you think you should do? And Why?
Why is “How far is too far?” the wrong question to ask?
What do you think it means to say, “To the pure, all things are pure?”
What is the difference between purity and bring prude?
Friendship is the most important ______________ for any long term relationship. The key is not to ________________ all our desires, but to realise we should save sex for marriage precisely because it is so _______________, beautiful and wonderful. To help maintain our _______________we should avoid getting sexually revved-up with things like “hooking-up” and _______________. There is no point revving the engine up unless you plan on going for a drive!
Purity Masturbation Foundation Valuable Ecstatic
Friendship Rubber Fondling Desires Pleasure