Nearly 135 eager students of the University of Denver crowded Lindsey Auditorium late Wednesday night as they waited to hear speaker Jason Evert reveal “life changing” words. The title of last night’s speech was How to Save Your Marriage Before You Meet Your Spouse. Accompanying Evert on stage were stacks of books titled Pure Womanhood and Porn Detox. A rewound and devout Catholic, Evert spreads the gospel of chastity to today’s youth, specifically targeting high school and college students.
According to Evert, his work boils down to one key aspect, “The virtue of chastity frees you to love and frees you to know if you’re being loved…it’s about falling in love for all of the right reasons.” As he began his seven tips for relationship success—based off the 1940’s social construct of courtship—the auditorium was taken over by a mixture of high-pitched awing and the uproar of laughter.
Starting with a quirky story, Event told the audience of the time a popular TV series titled Anna in Wonderland that explore the world’s odd cultures, such as the underground world of vampires, asked him and his wife to be in an episode. At the time, they were engaged. But, they were not having sex nor living together-a true oddity.
“Chastity shouldn’t be that surprising or rare,” said Evert, “It should be a way of life for all people. This is the overriding and most important step in having a healthy relationship.”
As for the seven steps, three are particularly resonating. The first is enjoying time being single. As I listened to Evert, I could feel the male presence in the room justifiably nod in agreement to this statement. But then Evert discussed singleness is a mechanism to understanding yourself and learning how to love another person.
“The greater the responsibility you feel for the other person,” Evert began. “The sincerer the love is.”
Second, is to look within yourself and question if you are ready for a relationship. The use of pornography and allowing the male mind to run ramped with sexualized fantasies was heavily discussed in this step—as was the notion that women should dress in a modest fashion, not allowing the body God made them to be seen by others. Rather, both men and women need to find the beauty in each other that lies beyond the surface and find respect for themselves through modesty.
Third, is facing your fears. As Evert mentions, men need to court women more with face to face interactions and avoid online dating and apps like Tinder. This received cheers from the women in the crowd. “Take notes,” one woman whispered behind me to the man sitting next to her.
“The woman is the prize, not the pursuer, but she’s welcome to pursue if she wants,” stated Evert. “It’s probably going to be counterproductive. Men have become such pansies culturally where we don’t want to ask a girl out anymore but would rather play video games and watch porn. So girls meanwhile want a relationship…while men are just initiating lust.”
Evert makes clear and deliberate analyzations of contemporary society, while breaking it down in humorous and charismatic way. The crowd cheered and some gave a stand ovation, Evert was soon swarmed by the devoted fans curiously asking him how to fix their own personal love life.
Women particularly liked him as he clearly outlines how men should treat women in a respectful way. Ali Hilliard, a freshman studying Biology and Chemistry, stated that she learned from the lecture to, “Be myself and never let a guy tell me I’m not good enough”.