A critical step for taking back marriage and helping young people develop healthy relationships that can lead to marriage is to reintroduce the reality of love. When we use the term, hardly anyone knows what we mean. Is it a romantic feeling, is it compassion for others, is it about acceptance or tolerance, or is it being directed toward the good of others? If the later is the case, what does "directed toward the good" mean, and more fundamentally what is "good"?
Fr. Karol Wojtyla, who would become St John Paul II, taught the best way to understand love is by looking at what it is not. Surprisingly, the opposite of love is not hate. It's use!
So the question we must ask ourselves is, "Am I loving or using? Am I loving or using?" Start early with young children, asking them to ask this question as an examination of conscience.
This question lays the foundation for a new way of thinking about the relationship between love and sex, a new approach to sexual ethics. Reflecting on the question reveals the truth about sexual acts outside of marriage, and some within marriage as well.
Father John Hollowell does a good job of introducing this new way of thinking about love and its relation to sex.