AMERICANS should look up to the Filipino youth in building a culture of life and love, a world-renowned evangelical speaker said.

“The Philippines is a global leader in terms of the virtuous culture,” said Jason Evert, American speaker on chastity, in the “Real Love Revolution 2013” forum last Sept. 5 at the University of Asia and the Pacific.

“The morality of the Filipino people is generally higher than any other countries. One of the examples is its youth’s almost 10 years delay in sex debut,” he said.

Recognizing Philippines as a predominantly Catholic country, Evert noted that Filipinos, despite some vices as part of culture, still manifest conservative living.

Evert believes that teaching young people chastity at home is more helpful than letting social influences do the work, provided that the wrong perceptions towards sex are avoided.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines chastity as the “successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being.”

Chastity is not a religious conviction that an individual has to follow, but an act to uphold one’s dignity, Evert clarified.

“It is not about repressing our sexual desires, but it frees us not only to love, but to let us know that we are [being loved].”

The presence of chastity in one’s life results in equal love given to himself and his loved one, he added.

While abstinence is choosing not to engage in sexual relationship, chastity is defined by what a person is doing with his or her sexuality, Evert said.

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Chastity does not end at marriage, but abstinence does. “[Chastity] answers the question of God's plan on sexuality. Chastity is a virtue that defends love from selfishness and frees us from using others as objects,” he added.

‘Not too late’

Crystalina Evert, wife of Jason and fellow speaker, said everyone could start over, even if one had already violated his or her purity.

“When I was in high school, I was a party girl. But I realized that I wanted my old life back— a life of chastity and purity,” she said. “I saw the value of my dignity. I saw the value of myself that my friends didn't see.”

Chastity, Jason said, gives people a chance to experience real commitment and love.

“It makes us capable of authentic love. Abstinence ends in marriage, but chastity holds marriage together,” he added.

Crystalina urged individuals who want chastity and purity back in their lives to answer the call.

“I don't care about your lifestyle [and] your past. I don't care what your home life is like. God can use you and can do better things to you. You can do everything better if you give him your ‘yes’.”

Virginity concerns sexual history, but chastity is not concerned with the past, she said.

“This is a foreign message to anybody. It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done,” she said. “You can start over again. All that matters now is where you go.”

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