Home > Spiritual Formation > Guard Your Senses: The Sixth Commandment

The sixth commandment is usually viewed from its negative side – ‘Do not’ It can, however, be viewed from the side of the beautiful things that it implies – Chastity, A pure heart. Let us keep in mind what Jesus has said ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’.


Chastity is the act of abstaining from any activity considered to be sexually immoral.

It means been pure in heart. Even though it is not the greatest virtue there is, it is of paramount importance in our relationship with God. Someone who is chaste is closer to God and therefore, more disposed to doing His Will.


Chastity give true happiness, is attractive, and makes one more feminine or masculine. Also, chastity is very attractive.


Chastity is not just about running away from sin, but also about dignity. One who is chaste normally has self confidence and can love others a lot in a clean way. Chastity helps us to love other people as God loves them.
There should be chastity in courtship (dating), celibacy and even in marriage.


In dating or courting, the two persons get to know each other well. It is during courtship that the two people in love get to bond on different levels. These levels include: the physical level(attractions and feelings for one another), friendship level ( they get to be close friends and talk a lot) and spiritual and life values level. This period of courtship, therefore, becomes an avenue of knowing the other person deeply. As such, it is not advisable for one who is not ready for marriage to court or go into serious relationships.


People often ask ‘How far can people go in dating? May they hold hands, or hug each other, or peck each other?’

The priest emphasized that many people have focused too much on the physical level and so ask this question. He asked us not to forget the other levels of bonding that are present in a relationship. In answering the question, he said that anything that would cause arousal is crossing the line.


Chastity should be practiced in marriage.

Marriage is not a ticket to immoral behaviour or lust. It should be nothing but love and companionship between husband and wife. And so consummation between a couple should be an expression of love, open to life. After all, marriage is all about the companionship and procreation.


In celibacy, there should also be chastity. Celibate people are special people called by God to a life dedicated totally to loving Him and doing His Will. These people are other Christs, Marys, and Josephs.


They are people who would have made great lovers, husbands, and wives, but decide to live their lives dedicated wholly to God. They go on to become spiritual mothers and fathers.


Sins against the Sixth Commandment include; pornography, impure thoughts, masturbation, Pre Union (sex between two people planning to get married but are not married yet in the Church), adultery, divorce, polygamy, and others.


How to keep chaste


Keep busy
Work intensely
Guard one’s senses (what we read, watch, and listen to)
Control other modes of pleasure (what we eat, drink)
Be open in Spiritual Direction (no one is perfect)
Devotion to The Blessed Virgin Mary who is Virgin Most Pure