Celibacy, aka no sex until marriage, has become quite the hype. Just think of #TheWait movement by DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good or the courtship of Ciara and Russell Wilson. But above all, it is biblical (1 Corinthians 7:1-5).
First off, I want to say that I am not writing this from a place of perfection. I have given in to my desires and sexual temptations before I became a believer but also while supposedly being committed to Christ. I know, from my own experience, that this is not an easy sin to overcome: sex is powerful but that’s precisely why God has reserved it to be enjoyed within the covenant of marriage.
I will be posting a series of articles on this topic but the best way to start is to list 3 things celibacy is often defined as but in reality is NOT :
1. A physical fight
The physical aspect obviously plays an important role but so does our mental, emotional and spiritual state. Being celibate is not just about keeping our physical desires in check. That would be as if we’re putting a bandaid on a wound that is so deep we need stitches. Is it crucial to identify physical triggers so we don’t put ourselves in situations with “sin” potential? Of course! But we often ignore the underlying reasons for those sinful desires.
Is it a lack of self-control? A cry for attention? A way to forget about issues? A search for love and acceptance? Sex is more than a physical act so our celibacy journey must go beyond it as well.
2. A waiting period
It breaks my heart to hear, read and see many messages to single Christians involve the word “waiting”. Now I know patience is a fruit of the Spirit but it does NOT equal being passive. If you play sports, are you just gonna be lazy and do nothing during the off season? I’d be curious to see your stats once the season starts back up. What I am saying is do not waste this time of celibacy by just waiting around! Shift your focus and actively pursue God’s will for your life without the distractions of sex (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). It is not a season to simply accept. No! Fully embrace, thrive in, grow through and enjoy this time of celibacy.
3. A marriage hack
Celibacy is not a golden ticket to marriage or love. Raise your hand if you’ve ever been told to stay obedient while God is preparing your Boaz or Ruth. Okay I get that but what if Hes’s not? God does not owe you a spouse! How will it affect our journey of celibacy knowing God doesn’t have a husband or a wife lined up for us? If our motive for celibacy is so He can send us a spouse, I’m afraid we’ve missed the whole point. Celibacy is a biblical principle that we live out because of our obedience and our desire to be like Christ. Do not get caught up in the “well if I do this, then God wil do that” game. Everything will come to pass but only in the realm of His will and timing.
Do you practice celibacy?
If so, what has been the most difficult and the most rewarding part of the journey?
If not, what keeps you from practicing it? Do you have any questions about the concept itself or how to live it out in your own life?
The comment section is open for all questions but also to share your experience and struggles. If you don’t feel comfortable commenting publicly, you can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.