The Blessing of Celibacy

Posted on January 13, 2014 by


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This is a guest post by a Christian single man, Jason Piecuch.  He is a soldier in the Salvation Army and a Boy Scout leader. I appreciate his willingness to share on this important topic.  ALL of us will have periods of celibacy in our lifetimes, before marriage, sometimes in marriage if there are medical/spiritual/emotional/physical issues, during a severe injury or extreme illness, during widowhood/widowerhood, or, for some, it will be a lifelong circumstance.  
It’s important for us to understand how to honor God and give thanks to God for the gifts He gives to us in every stage of our lives and in every situation. Paul wrote that singleness is a gift, and he thought it to be a superior gift to that of being married.  I appreciate Jason’s willingness to share his heart on celibacy with all of us.
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Isn’t that a funny title? How could being celibate ever be a “blessing”?
  • How could it ever be even considered that leading a “celibate” life is a blessing, let alone a gift?
  • Who would want to live such a life? Why would anyone dare consider this?
  • What about love, and children, and family……and of course, sex?
  • Who will take care of you when you get old?
  • Look what they all miss out on?
  • Doesn’t the Bible say it is not good for man to be alone?
  • Doesn’t His Word tell us to be fruitful and multiply?
  • You’re not a Catholic priest?????

Why is this a blessing?

Isn’t this just a crazy thought, you know, being a lifelong celibate? Only people who are losers, ugly or just didn’t have “confidence” to get a spouse would take this route! It’s a cop-out. It’s that second-hand door prize. The prize of “You’re single, yeah God still loves you if you don’t have a spouse but……” kind-of-prize.
Men who are celibate?
  • They are not “real men.”
  • Men are supposed to pursue, want and need sex. This is all they live for and need!
  • They must live boring, pathetic lives!
  • He’s celibate? He must be “gay” or a closeted one.
  • Something must be wrong with him.
  • He has “the gift of celibacy?” Yeah…sure he does…..those kinds of men are actually the worst ones to be around. Creepy with a capital “C”!
  • He must live a drab life, the “Father McKenzie” character from that Beatles’ song “Eleanor Rigby” comes to mind.
Women who are celibate?
  • They must be dour, have a bad personality and something must be wrong with them.
  • What woman doesn’t want children!?
  • She must be bitter, and she hates men!
  • No real men have ever stepped up to what she expects!
  • She’s just too picky, demanding perfection from an imperfect world! No wonder she is single!
  • She needs to lose weight.
  • She must have a “bad” past, no wonder no guy wants to be involved with her!
  • She just doesn’t have the “confidence” to trust herself.
  • She’s a prude.
  • She must live a boring spinster life.
  • The Beatles’ song “Eleanor Rigby” comes to mind.

A blessing???? A gift????

How come everyone else gets to get married and I don’t???????

What kind of “gift” is that?

I have said this also many, many times when we would discuss “spiritual gifts” in adult Sunday school at my church. The wry smiles, the “snickers and giggles” when this gift was talked about.
First and foremost, now that we got some of the nastier perceptions of “the blessings of celibacy” out of the way…
LET ME GIVE YOU A FEW BASICS ABOUT MYSELF:
This is what I call a “reluctant” gift for me. Since accepting this blessing, I know now that I have always had it. What I fully understand now is that I was always “running” from it. Consciously or subconsciously. Also, God Himself must have been protecting me, even when I did not know Him. He preserved so much of my innocence in a very non-innocent and reckless life I was living in San Francisco. Glory to Him!
My name is Jason and I am 42 years old.
  • I have always been single.
  • I have never had a girlfriend.
  • I have never kissed a woman.
  • Never had a hand held.
  • Never had a “date” so to speak.
  • Never was “endeared”
  • To my knowledge, I never caused a girls’ pulse to quicken at the sight of me.
  • I also am a virgin.
Please DON’T be sad for me, or pity me!
So many of you are thinking, okay “why” did this happen? It must be his looks. It must be his personality, and personal habits. He must play video games 24 hours a day, and I “bet” he goes to “Star Trek” conventions! That’s why he has always been single!
Okay, let’s go with that. First, I am far from an unattractive man. I am 6’5″ still very slender, with friendly blue eyes and I have always had a “knack” for style. Fresh breath, clean fingernails. Hair always freshly barbered every-two-weeks. Sure, at 42…..my once blonde hair is now silvering up and is thinning on top; but that happens to the best of us. I am college educated and degreed (BS if you must know). I am well traveled (India for six months in the 1990’s, and an American exchange-student when I was in high school when Germany was still West and East! Been to Japan, and the UK as well) and I can speak a foreign language fluently (Welsh). I have many hobbies and interests too numerous to list here. I play only one video game by the way, it’s for the PC and it’s called “SimCity” and after about an hour tops I am done for the day! I have not owned a “video game system” since my Atari 2600 back in 1982! As for ‘Star Trek’? It’s a great show, but I have never gone to a “convention” or had any crazy fascination for it.
My personality? I was always wide-eyed and eager to please. I am well liked, and loved in my church and it isn’t out of pity. It is a love that is real in its intensity that is lived! Even when I was in the world living a crazy drug and drink-fueled life on the slummy Victorian San Francisco streets in run-down neighborhoods…….I was the peacemaker. I was the one who broke up fights. I was the one who calmed people down in the dive-bars. I was the one who was a friend to people when the world seemed to be closing in. Remember, drug addicts and alcohol abusers have wives, children, sex, and dates too. Even in this lifestyle I was “hanging” and “slumming” in; I could not seem to ever find a girl who was willing. I could not seem to ever get a date. Even one hooker in San Francisco late, late one night said to me “You’re too good for me!” when I tried to solicit her! Sometimes God has indeed other plans. It took awhile to see what they were. We are on His time. Not ours! He was protecting me in this way before I ever knew Him. He had a plan.
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So “why” did this happen to me? Who am I? Why was I always single? 

Sometimes God indeed has other plans for us. Sometimes God wants to use us more to help further His kingdom. He does this with ALL of his gifts to us!
The reason why celibacy is the “reluctant” gift is because in and out of the church we are a culture that snickers at it. Everyone wants to have the gift of service, or prayer, tongues, helps, evangelism, and others. Gifts that we can see tangible evidence in their action. What does celibacy do? What is its action? We are surrounded in and out of church of a world that glorifies the sex act. A world that looks at in wonder of the beautiful hope in babies and children. Celibacy is a gift and blessing that is misunderstood by too many of our church communities.
People who do have this gift, or even a long season of it must understand first and foremost that God wants us. All of us. With our singleness, our celibacy, He is preparing us.
  • He wants us to grow our other gifts without the distractions of the world, and no, I am no expert….but children, marriage, dating are big distractions for a lot of people.
  • He wants us to be true to Him, and Him alone.
  • He desires folks like us to carry on.
  • He wants us to support ministries and to accomplish the tasks He has assigned to us for His kingdom’s glory.
  • He desires us to be an EXAMPLE to parents and married people that indeed ALL are His children and every gift is important.
  • All are valuable in His kingdom.
  • He wants us to be an example to the youth of serving “joyfully” and being different in a world of norms, and expectations.
We in celibacy also know first hand that “God does not see things as man does” and we live it, and know this first-hand!
The other blessings of this gift make themselves know as we grow in it.
  • People with this gift can be great listeners. We have struggled and mapped out those extreme areas of loneliness in our own lives, and this prepares us to give excellent counsel to people who are struggling with their own pains and hurts where they are feeling alone in their sins (yes, people who are married do have problems, and have sin too!) We have a golden and great opportunity to uplift, are we taking it?
  • We also can be an inspiration to people to “wait” on God. In our culture we have a “right now” attitude. In celibacy, we have learned to “wait” and it’s a beautiful balance in our respected communities of faith. Yeah, I also like the option of still deciding that I am going to eat a box of donuts for dinner once in awhile too.
The question I have for everyone who finds themselves in a season of celibacy, or they find out they do indeed have this gift is this:
What are YOU doing with it? Stewing? Stomping your foot and saying “God you don’t understand!” or “I deserve a wife / husband!” and “How come such and such has a wife / husband? I am nicer, prettier / more handsome better prepared?”
Because if indeed you are asking the above questions to God. You are not ready for God’s plans for you, whatever they may be.
  • Are you in prayer? Deep prayer? On your knees for an hour in prayer when you are sad? That kind of prayer!
  • Are you talking ACTION? Are you asking life-long singles in your community of faith “Hey…not prying, but may I ask you something???” You will be surprised at some of the great testimony you will hear.
  • Are you serving? Are you not just “trusting God” but are you “obeying Him?”
  • Are you in prayer, with a trusted friend, family member, or pastor?
  • Are you asking the right questions and dropping ALL assumptions in and out of the church about celibacy?
  • Are you knocking the “idol” of marriage off it’s pedestal and saying “Not my will Father, but Yours, help me find a wife / husband but I am housecleaning on my end too. Guide me and show me!”
One thing in my short walk with Christ (just over four years) which I have never regretted: It is an unexpected journey, and He will continually reveal Himself to you.
If you are like me and called to celibacy, I can help you. Pray with you. Talk to you. I am comfortable and confident in this. If you are in a “season” of this, and you do want that husband or wife there is so much to learn from people who indeed have this gift. That is why there are singles in the Rock (the church). That is why celibacy is such a great example to others, and that is why it is a gift!
FROM PEACEFULWIFE
I would also add that there are other blessings, as well, including:
  • learning the sufficiency of Christ
  • learning self-control
  • learning to deny self and die to self
  • learning to depend more and more completely on Christ alone
  • learning to find contentment in Christ (we are all able to learn this through various struggles and trials)
RELATED:
WHAT GOD’S WORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT SINGLENESS (I Corinthians 7):

7 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Concerning the Unmarried

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivideddevotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong[b] and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.[c]

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

 

 
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