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Chastity Is for Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin Paperback – November 28, 2014
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"I'm so grateful--both as a father and a youth worker--for this new book by Arleen Spenceley. She is a masterful storyteller and writer, engaging the heart and the soul with every turn of the page. She doesn't just have a story to tell, she shares her own--with unrivaled rawness and authenticity--in a way that even the most cynical heart will be moved. I have always admired Arleen's writing, her passion, and how she gives a voice to the Lord through modern media. In Chastity Is for Lovers, Spenceley establishes herself not merely as a voice but, rather, the voice of and to the young Catholic Church." --Mark Hart, Executive Vice President, Life Teen
"God always allows U-turns, no matter how many mistakes we've made. But there is also a better and truly beautiful way to live one's life and avoid the pain that comes when one doesn't follow God's perfect plan for sexuality. What a powerful resource Arleen is providing for women and men in today's oversexualized culture." --Teresa Tomeo, Motivational speaker, best-selling author, syndicated Catholic talk show host
"With clarity and charity, and a good dose of touching story, Arleen Spenceley has opened a space to discuss authentic chastity again. She does so not with a negative, repressive, or condemning tone, but with one full of joy, hope, and humor. She reminds us all to find, in every state of life, the truth that our hearts really long for: the deepest love, the one every heart is made for!" --Bill Donaghy, Curriculum specialist and international speaker and teacher, Theology of the Body Institute
"A frank, funny, honest, and insightful look at one of the most important topics of our generation. Arleen beautifully unpacks what chastity is (and isn't!) and provides us with practical examples on how to live it in our everyday lives." --Bob Rice, Author of A 40-Day Spiritual Workout for Catholics
"Arleen's courageous witness of being a virgin in the twenty-first century is awe inspiring. Every young person that reads this book will be encouraged to save sex!" --Justin Fatica, Author of Hard as Nails and Win It All
"I commend Arleen for not only writing this book, but also for taking a stand in a world that encourages non-marital sex and where chastity is mocked or disregarded by the general public. She affirms the will of God for all of us: greater intimacy with Jesus, who satisfies all our needs!" -- --Wilna van Beek, Motivational speaker and chastity advocate
About the Author
Arleen Spenceley graduated from the University of South Florida in 2007 with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism, and in 2013 with a master of arts degree in rehabilitation and mental health counseling from the same university. She first wrote professionally in high school, as a correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times, and joined the Times as a staff writer during college. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Austin-American Statesman, the Journal Gazette, and the Herald Times in Indiana; the Norristown Times Herald, the Star-Courier, the Hometown Punxsutawney Magazine, and the Dispatch in Pennsylvania; the Record Courier in Ohio; the Houma Today and the Daily Comet in Louisiana; and the State in South Carolina. She has written on a freelance basis since college, including contributions to Chastity Project and a monthly column on Ignitum Today, and has contributed popular essays to Relevantmagazine.com, including "Is There Room for Erotica in Christianity?" and "Confessions of a Catholic Christian." She has also written for Busted Halo, Relate Magazine, and Lifeteen.
Spenceley blogs at arleenspenceley.com about love, relationships, and sex, and about the impact of American culture on Christianity, from a Roman Catholic perspective. In January 2013, she participated in a roundtable discussion of abstinence and virginity on NPR's nationally syndicated radio show Tell Me More. Though she left the Tampa Bay Times in 2012 to finish her master's degree, she returned to the Times staff in October 2013.
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CIL is an absolute gift to Catholic millenials who are attempting to wade through the murky of waters of contemporary western young adulthood. Perfectly balancing both teaching (the full grandeur of Catholic chastity, as opposed to 'purity culture' or plain 'virginity', is on display here) and witnessing (her stories are hilarious and her vulnerability is praiseworthy), Arleen has woven together a text that challenges both your mind and heart.
Some of the more significant contributions she offers are her takes on the why's and how's of Catholic dating and dealing with the fears and challenges of single life, especially the fear of ending up single for life. Yet her most important contribution, hands down, is her life--her witness. Arleen demonstrates that not only does Chaste living correspond with the desires of every human being, but--and this is equally significant--that it is possible.
If you're uncertain as to what, exactly, "Chastity" means, buy this book. If you know what it is but continue to struggle with it, buy this book. If you rejoice in embarrassing and painful dating stories, buy this book.
Arleen's mother, apparently, can "draw a killer uterus." Arleen, simply, has written a killer chastity book.
Spenceley's book is a much needed witness that flies in the face of a world and a culture that tells us that sex is a necessity, and the goal of all relationships. As a woman, I am SO appreciative that Spenceley has written this book - and know that each and every person that reads it will benefit from reading this fine book.
The most important part of the book for me begins before the first page. The word "happy" in the title tells you everything that you need to about the rest of the book. What Spenceley provides for all who read "Chastity is for Lovers" is not only a compelling look at chastity lived out in today's world, but more importantly than that it is proof that living a life ordered towards authentic love brings about an indescribable happiness.
Chastity is for Lovers is a must-read for young or old, man or woman, single or married - every single person will benefit from reading this book, and learn more about what it means to be truly happy.
Rather, Spenceley writes in a way that you feel she's having a conversation with you. She provides stories of her own past in each chapter and includes many different examples from all sorts of people in order to help show that chastity is for everyone. When I was reading this book, I felt so much like I could relate to what she said, because of her honest, personable writing. It didn't feel like a lecture or like what she said only applied to any one type of person--I feel anybody interested in learning more about the TRUE meaning of chastity and not a misconception of it could benefit from reading this book.
I think combined with her sense-of-humor/down-to-earth writing style, her self-confidence and knowledge on chastity, and her willingness to touch on all aspects of chastity and answer even the hard questions that many wonder about--"What if wedding night sex is awkward?" "Why do the guys I like never like me back?" "Will I ever find a man who is on the same pursuit of chastity...am I going to end up remaining a virgin forever?"--is what makes this book so hard to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I think it would be a great read for a Theology of the Body or similar ministry. You will not regret reading this book!
When you hear her talking about chastity you do not conjure up an image of frigidity, prudishness, or fear of sexuality. You see a woman who speaks of the upside and downside of chaste living in a culture that rejects or misunderstands the meaning of sex and its power. You see a woman who is honest about failed relationships and loneliness, but who is so self-possessed that she knows she is making the better choice. And, at the end of the book, you find that you agree with her.
Chastity is not easy today. Virginity is not an illness to be cured by loveless relationships or a rushed marriage. Chastity is all about integrity, and this author has it in spades. I have recommended this book to married couples, parents, college students and young adults alike.
"Chastity is for Lovers" is a great title, because it isn't just for women, shaming them into behaving correctly. This is for both men and women to realize their dignity, to really give of themselves in love, and to know that love, freedom and commitment are still ideals worth striving for in this post-modern apocalypse of dating. Boom.