BTSCelebs: Tell us about your upcoming book. Why did you choose to release a book about this particular subject?
Arleen Spenceley: My book, which will be released by Ave Maria Press on Nov. 28, is called Chastity Is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin. Ultimately, it’s about why I — a nearly-30 year old journalist (I’ll be 29 on Nov. 7) — am saving sex for marriage in a culture that calls that crazy. I decided to write this book for a couple reasons: one, because virgins exist, and so do people who are saving sex from now on, who have felt very alone in their chastity. I want them to know that they aren’t. Two, I wrote the book because others exist whose lifestyles haven’t resulted in the kinds of relationships they’ve hoped for. I want to present an alternative way of life to them, and encourage them to try it.
What chapter of your book is your favorite? Why?
My favorite chapter is the third one, which is called “Providence: A Reason for Reckless Abandon.” I couldn’t write it and can’t read it without crying. You’ll have to read it yourself to find out why, but it illustrates what we who practice chastity all must do: seek first the Kingdom. As Christ tells us in Matthew 6, when we seek first His kingdom, we’ll be given what we need. I think that’s in part because our perspective changes when we’re focused first on Christ. What we actually need becomes so much clearer. And I don’t think we can get very far in any part of our lives if we aren’t seeking Him first. So that’s why it’s my favorite chapter.
What advice would you give to fellow virgins that have low self-esteem and are willing to be with anyone to avoid being alone?
I’d first remind them that they are of infinite value, and created in the image of a very amazing God. Second, I — a proponent of counseling (as somebody who has a master’s degree in mental health counseling) — would suggest that they consider seeking counseling from a licensed counselor who is trained to help people see their value and worth if they have had a hard time doing that. And third, I’d suggest that they read my book, parts of which are about what they are struggling with. One of my hopes for the book is that God will use it to help the people you’ve described.
You were bullied online about your virginity based articles with the Tampa Bay Times, how did you overcome the negative backlash from readers?
I reminded myself over and over that what other people think of me is irrelevant. I don’t need the general public to agree with or support what I believe in order to feel good about living what I believe. In some ways, what the bullies have said to me or about me, or about virginity or the virtue of chastity, has only fueled my passion for telling the world around me the truth about chastity.
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* A Special Thanks to Arleen Spenceley for the exclusive interview and image.*