Celibacy

To the best of my knowledge, everyone in the youth group expects to get married. Why is this so? It’s tradition. Everyone gets married if they[sic] have a choice, right? So, what am I going to say now? Am I demanding that we all remain celibate? Not really.

What does [the] Bible say about celibacy? Let’s take a look at what Jesus says and what Paul says. Then, we’ll glance back at Genesis. In Matthew 19:31, Jesus says, in reply to his disciples’ question regarding the benefits of not getting married, that we should accept it [celibacy] if we can, but not [accept it], if we can’t. He implies that marriage [is] only around as God'[s] gift to us because some people choose not to remain celibate. Feel free to read the passage to explore the context further. Paul says in I Corinthians 7:41-50 that it is better for people not to marry, “but if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Feel free to read the passage to explore the context further.

That sounds an awfully lot [as if] God doesn’t like marriage. He does, though. Genesis 2:26 reaffirms the notion that marriage is cool with God, especially since he designed it. Feel free to read the passage to explore the context further.

So what’s my point? When a youth like myself approaches a fellow Christian seriously with the question of remaining celibate, he is often not encouraged to stick with such ideas as permanently abstaining from marriage. However, suppose a youth like myself approaches a fellow Christian seriously with the question of [getting married]. He is warmly greeted with a plea to pray for the right spouse that God will prepare for him. Why is that? Let’s stop. Celibacy should not be as rare as exorcism or speaking in tongues. Neither Paul nor Jesus tells us that it is good for a man to speak in tongues, but if he cannot control his mouth, then he shouldn’t [with the possible exception of I Corinthians 14]. Do not discourage those who wish to remain unmarried. [Celibacy] is God-honoring and good.

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3 Comments

  1. Yo, Bah!

    Even though I am married now, I haven’t really changed my stance on this.

    I do believe that those who wish to remain celibate shouldn’t be discouraged.

    Nor do I believe Christians should be actively seeking marriage. Being single is good, and Christians should embrace and cherish singlehood. If they happen to get married, that can be a different kind of blessing.

    But right now a lot of Christians assume from an early age that they will get married and that they should be actively praying for and seeking out a spouse. I’m not down with that culture, and I don’t think it’s biblical.

  2. I think that this is a very good article, cutting straight the word, without any consideration of personal prejudices. I definitely agree with you about if a person having the feeling that he / she should remain single, for the Lord’s sake, that this is a good thing, and should not be discouraged. What impressed me the most was from 1 Cor. 14, where Paul says that those who remain single act for what pleases the Lord, but those who are married act for what pleases his wife (I suppose in our case, it would be his / her spouse).
    The harsh truth, though, is that there may not be many out there who truly live for God. In addition, people change. Though a youth may be on fire for God today, when he / she matures, he / she may have a change in attitude. Yet, few people wish to marry someone who is past their prime (more so towards women, then men, I think).
    So, either out of personal experience, or out of fear, the ones who are older, who may have experienced the same many years before, may discourage young people from remaining single. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, as there will still be those who choose to remain single. But, their choice will be much stronger, and more thoroughly thought out after having someone try to persuade them otherwise. But at any rate, I personally feel that the best way is prayer, whether for marriage or for remaining single. Ask the Lord about how He feels. Yes, marriage should be prayed for too.

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