Renowned chastity speaker Jason Evert shared tips with Franciscan University of Steubenville students on Sept. 4 through his talk, “How to Save Your Marriage Before Meeting Your Spouse.” Evert began speaking at 9:05 p.m. after a brief delay due to an alarm which was set off about 15 minutes before and eventually shut off by a Jefferson security offic
Evert spoke to a full house, with people spilling out of rows and onto the floor in the Gentile Gallery. Many early arrivers were surprised to be unable to find a seat after 8:30 p.m.
In this second talk of the Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium, Evert stressed the importance of living out chastity at all states of life. Peppered with practical advice and entertaining anecdotes, Evert addressed what chastity is and why the current culture is in desperate need of people who practice it.
“Chastity is not a repressive attitude of human sexuality but rather the courage to speak the truth in and through the human body,” said Evert, who explained that chastity frees a person to love and to know if he or she is being authentically loved.
Evert spent a portion of the talk lamenting the state of dating today. “Dating is more confusing than ever,” he said. “There’s a breakdown in the family, in relationships.” He explained that through living out the virtue of chastity, a person will discover not only the authentic love of others, but also a reflection of God’s love for him or herself.
Love, said Evert, is not about finding the perfect person but rather loving someone else enough to grow into the person he or she deserves. By focusing on personal growth and holiness in the “season of singlehood,” a person will grow ready for a mature and holy relationship when that time comes.
In addition to the abstract, Evert presented a plethora of real-life situations relating to chastity, dating and marriage, and he gave practical advice on how to handle them. Some advice was as simple as enjoying the “season of singlehood” and pursuing God and his plans for the present instead of a relationship.
“Chastity is ultimately a gift from God and something that we need to ask for,” said Evert. “The most important thing to remember is trust. Trust the Father and his plan for your vocation.”
Students found Evert’s talk to be both entertaining and useful. Freshman Grace Cech said, “What he’s talking about is important because it’s so countercultural, but he gives simple solutions (to common problems).”