Dating/Family and Friends/Holy Friendship/My Relationships How to Help Me Get to Heaven: 15 Guys and Girls Weigh In by Teresa Nguyen Let’s be honest here. Our different genders are ridiculously complex and difficult to understand. Sometimes it’s hard to know what are the different things the other gender struggles with. The hard truth is that we could be doing a lot more to help our brothers and sisters to get to Heaven. I’ve heard people ask, “Why is it my job to help them get closer to God? They can get themselves to Heaven.” They’re right, they can. But sometimes our actions, without us even knowing, can make it more difficult for each other to get closer to God and Paradise. Thankfully, God gives us the Church, His commandments, and teachings. They are not rules but a guide on how to best love God, others, and ourselves. In addition to that, we can also be humble enough to listen to each other to learn how to be better men and women of God. So, I asked 15 people who I know are striving for Heaven, what guys and girls can start doing to help them grow closer to God. Their answers were surprising, hard to take in, but ultimately inspiring for all of us to be greater. Ladies: you can help me, as a guy, become closer to God… “… by challenging me to a higher standard than I have for myself. Guys have an innate desire to rise to a challenge; and that is especially true when the challenge comes from a girl (regardless if there’s romantic interest or not). So commend me when I have displayed saintly virtue, and call me out when I’ve acted below my dignity. Sometimes we know exactly what needs to be done, a lady’s suggestion just sets that action in motion. The Wedding at Cana is a good example of that, I think.” -David “… by allowing yourself to be pursued. You are the crown jewel of creation. Through pursuing you either romantically or as a friend, I come to know your beauty and what sets you apart. There are many beautiful women in the world, but there is only one you. The more I am pushed to know you, the better I can come to know the one whose image you are made in.” – Brandon “… by refusing to gossip and involving yourself in drama. By not doing this you show me the beauty of sisterhood and hold me and my brothers to higher standard of how to treat women.” -Matthew “… by dressing like you care about your brothers. I know this is hard. My sister, you have a right as a human being to wear what you want, so I’m not saying that you are to be prevented. But in no other place in the Christian life does one Christian say to another, ‘Deal with your own problems’ instead we say, ‘help me carry my cross.’ Yes, I will try my absolute best to defend my purity and to defend your inherent dignity. But I see too often my brothers struggling with seeing you as an object. Modesty both helps you and me. My sister, you are so much more than just a body and dressing modestly reminds us of that.” -Nick “… by not believing what the world says you are but what God says you are, created in His image. Your dignity and worth comes from God’s unconditional love. You striving to embrace and live as a child of God reminds me do the same and to see that same dignity in everyone I encounter.” -John “… by using your nurturing nature to be in defense of the poor, the marginalized, and especially for the unborn. Your self-sacrifice and gift of self shows me the poignant beauty of the sacrifice of the cross and the fullness of life.”- Steven “… by not putting up with my mediocrity; by insisting that I treat you as the beautiful and wonderful creation that you are; by commanding respect through the outward articulation of your beauty, so that when I see you I am reminded of He who is Beauty. And if you do that, then I can never forget that I too was fashioned and made for something far more beautiful than this world: Heaven.” -Troy Guys: you can help me, as a girl, become closer to God… “….by being intentional in everything you do. Let your actions line up with your words. Tell me exactly what your intentions are. Protect my emotional chastity. And let your words always consider that I am a daughter of God, inherently beautiful and dignified. You can lead me to Heaven by letting every encounter with you be one that directly reflects the glory of the Father, not your own.” – Sarah E “…by being vulnerable. Being a man means being in touch with who you are fully and learning how to express those feelings in a healthy ways. When you can be vulnerable, I see a stronger reflection of who Christ is.” -Dominique “…by not watching porn. Seriously. Stop. Porn teaches you that people are objects whether you think it does or not. By not watching porn you fight for the dignity of all women and are able to stand up for authentic love in your relationships and in our culture.” – Sarah M “….by seeking what it means to be a Christian man and striving to live that way, by praying for me without the expectation of any kind of relationship or attention/affection in return, by affirming my attempts at virtue, and by leading me to the sacraments by your example and your encouragement.” -Leah “… by understanding that physical acts of affection actually hold meaning. A kiss is sacred. What does a kiss mean to you? What does holding her hand mean to you? We as women take things to heart so your actions have a lot of meaning. Your words have a lot of weight too, so be authentic with your intentions, don’t just say it because “it sounds nice or looks good to others” say it because you mean it not because you want it. We want you to be upfront about your intentions with us, don’t beat around the bush and make our hearts unsure.” -Tiffany “… by promising to never lead me to yourself. If you are committing to love me, then knowing and loving Christ first is what will really get us both there. If you authentically hold onto Christ with both hands, and I do the same, then He will mercifully bring us to Himself.” -Kaitlyn “…by not looking at me as an object to be used. I’m more than what I can offer you emotionally or physically. I am not just a body, but a soul- a daughter of God. So don’t confuse what is sexy with what is beautiful. Affirm me when I dress and act modestly. Remind all women of our value. Because we have been told too many times by the men in our lives that we are worthless. So please, be a man who is countercultural.” -Julia “…by seeking Christ first and growing in devotion to His Mother and our Mother. You can lead me to heaven by praying for discernment and truly being open to God’s call for you. You can lead me to heaven by learning about the lives of the saints and striving for holiness in little ways each day. You can lead me to heaven by recognizing the devil’s snares in your life and running to Confession and the Eucharist so the Divine Physician can heal you. You can lead me to heaven by loving the people God has placed in your life, especially those who are difficult to love. Authentic masculinity takes courage, strength, perseverance. Dying to self will lead me to heaven and help you to be a saint for Christ and His Church.” -Elissa Made for more I don’t know what thoughts are going through your head as you read this blog. I know for me, some of these responses made me uncomfortable. Some of these challenged me in ways that my prideful self was not prepared for. But what their responses really showed me was that there are young men and women who are greatly dissatisfied with what the world offers and desire more. It inspires me to not settle with mediocrity. It encourages me to to love more. For to love others is to love God Himself. I pray these vulnerable words from our brothers and sisters soak into your heart and challenge you to love more radically — even when it’s difficult.