The L.I.F.E. Program is based on three controlling principles. The program is designed to be:
- Love-based: any teaching on sexuality and sexual abuse should be looked at in the wider context of positive, loving relationships.
- Family-based: any teaching on sexuality, positive or negative, should involve the parents talking with their own children.
- Faith-based: all teaching on sexuality should be permeated with faith and rooted in the moral teachings of the Church.
- Our happiness in life depends largely on the quality of our love relationships.
- Relationship education should precede, and be a foundational pre-requisite for, sexuality education.
- Young people need to be taught the characteristics and the inter-relationship of the four kinds of relationships represented by the acronym L.I.F.E. -- Love, Infatuation, Friendship, and Exploitation
- Infatuation is wonderful and exciting, but it isn’t love. It can grow into love, but it can also lead to exploitation.
- Sexual attraction is a powerful force that needs to be controlled. If uncontrolled, it becomes exploitative and addictive.
- A primary task of childhood and adolescence is to develop the virtues, the self-discipline, and the strength of character that will be needed to control the sex drive once the child enters puberty.
- Chastity is defined as sex controlled and channeled by authentic love.
- Parent-child interaction is the appropriate setting in which to teach and learn about topics involving faith and love, relationships and sexuality.
- Parental love is an untapped power that should be harnessed for teaching children about these important topics.
- Parents know best how to approach these sensitive topics with their own children.
- Parents want to have meaningful conversations with their own children on the topics of relationships and sexuality. They don't always know how to do that. They appreciate any help we can give them in this area.
- It is easier for families to have these discussions if they are surrounded by other families and are given a set process to follow.
- The facilitated family sessions provide structure for "Intentional Conversations" that may not be already happening within each family.
- The facilitated family sessions begin an ongoing conversation that can be integrated into family life by the parents. Once the topic is introduced, it becomes safe and feels comfortable to continue the discussion at home within the family.
- God is love. God created us from love, for love, to love.
- The teachings of Jesus focus on the two Great Commandments: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.
- We are created in God’s image. Every person has intrinsic dignity and worth.
- The human body is a sacred gift from God, meant to be cared for, protected, and treated with honor and respect.
- Family life is rooted in Gospel values, such as love, concern, forgiveness, and care for the vulnerable. Children learn these virtues in family life.
- Relationships are a sacred and essential part of human life. God wants us to care for and protect one another.
- Sexual intimacy is a sacred treasure to be shared only within marriage.
- The Church’s moral teachings concerning sexuality are meant to protect the sacredness of sex and marriage.
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