There are some laws that the world overlooks. One of these is the relationship between parenting and chastity. We see the results of this in the lives of others around us. But never really put it together.
Our children are, as it were, a tree. There is a sacred influence that we have as parents that supports and protects that tree. This influence is a spiritual grace that is not normally perceived. It is as real as the light of Christ, and is similar in some ways. It comes from God and it provides light and spiritual strength and goodness to our children that is very real. But when parents violate fundamental laws of chastity, that protection is taken away, and it is as if our tree is burnt down.
This influence is so much a part of how we grow up that we don’t really notice it exists, any more than we notice the light of Christ or the gentle presence of the Holy Ghost in our life. But, just as with the light of Christ or the Holy Ghost, we notice a drastic difference when it is missing.
Because it is normal throughout our lives, we notice it when it disappears, more than we recognize it during our lives.
Chastity is the law of a body, and the law of the family. When a parent violates the law of chastity, it is, as it were, as if they have burnt down their tree. It is not that the children don’t still have choices.
But it is as if much of the protective and supportive goodness the child acquired from that parent suddenly disappears. The child may still stand strong, possibly all the children will, but that protective tie is gone and it is as if that parents effect for good has largely evaporated, leaving the children on their own.
It is always surprising to see the results of this. A parent gets involved in immorality and not long thereafter the children that seemed to be well raised seem to fall apart morally. This is most surprising when it is a much older parents and not long thereafter some of the adult married children suddenly start falling apart morally.
When we get involved in serious immorality, we burn down our tree that spouted from a proper use of the fountains of life.