The key to maintaining chastity is to safeguard the heart. The Bible says: “More than all else that is to be guarded, safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) What is “your heart,” referred to here? It is not the literal organ. This heart is figurative. It refers to the person you are inside, including your thoughts, feelings, and motivations. The Bible says: “You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your vital force.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) Jesus referred to this commandment as the greatest of all. (Mark 12:29, 30) Clearly, this heart of ours is of enormous value. It is worth safeguarding.
However, the Bible also says that “the heart is more treacherous than anything else and is desperate.” (Jeremiah 17:9) How can the heart be treacherous—a danger to us? Well, an automobile, for example, is a valuable tool, even a lifesaver in an emergency. But if the driver does not control the car, constantly guiding the steering wheel, that same car may easily become a deadly weapon. Similarly, unless you safeguard your heart, you will be at the mercy of your every inner desire and impulse, and your life course will veer into disaster. God’s Word says: “He that is trusting in his own heart is stupid, but he that is walking in wisdom is the one that will escape.” (Proverbs 28:26) Yes, you can walk in wisdom and escape disaster if you use God’s Word to guide you, much as you would consult a road map before beginning a trip.—Psalm 119:105.
Our heart will not naturally veer toward chastity. We must steer it that way. One way to do so is to contemplate the true value of chastity. This quality is closely related to holiness, which signifies cleanness, purity, separation from sinfulness. Holiness is a precious quality that is part of the very nature of Jehovah God. Hundreds of Bible verses associate that quality with Jehovah. In fact, the Bible says that “Holiness belongs to Jehovah.” (Exodus 28:36) What, though, does that lofty quality have to do with us imperfect humans?
In his Word, Jehovah tells us: “You must be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) Yes, we can imitate Jehovah’s holiness; we can be clean before him, maintaining our chastity. So when we refrain from unclean, defiling acts, we are reaching out for a lofty, thrilling privilege—that of reflecting a beautiful trait of the Most High God! (Ephesians 5:1) We should not assume that it is out of our reach to do so, for Jehovah is a wise and reasonable Master who never demands more of us than we are able to do. (Psalm 103:13, 14; James 3:17)
Granted, remaining spiritually and morally chaste requires effort. The apostle Paul noted, though, that “sincerity and . . . chastity . . . are due the Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3) Do we not owe it to Christ and to his Father to make every effort to keep morally chaste? After all, they have shown us more love than we can ever begin to repay. (John 3:16; 15:13) It is a privilege for us to express our gratitude by living a clean, moral life. By thinking of our chastity in this way, we will value it, safeguarding our heart.