How Do You Know if God Wants You to be Celibate Your Whole Life?
- Kris Swiatocho, Cliff Young
- 2017 21 Sep
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
Hello. I'm Jonathan and I'm 40. I have Asperger’s or at least scored quite high on the scale. I'm delighted in how the Lord has blessed me with so many things. I had a conversation tonight with an “aspie” friend who is married but like me he struggles with people. My friend and I were talking about singleness. He says that most men have a strong sex drive. But I don't. If I had a wife I could be quite happy never having sex, but I do want intimate friendship. I'm a seeker of the Lord and I've enjoyed lots of good times with the Lord over a coffee or lying in bed or riding my bike. It seems like I have the gift of celibacy. That is quite a hit if that were true. Then I would have to sleep alone the whole night for the rest of my life. But I'm not alone. Jesus is with me. When I open my heart to him I sense his love. I hope your single readers will be encouraged that Jesus can be our intimate friend, more intimate than any loved one can give us.
Thank you for the candidness in sharing your refreshing outlook and perspective. It’s difficult to have an unconventional and unadulterated point of view let alone live in a manner contrary to how mainstream and social media promote.
As “inclusive” as culture makes itself out to be, it does so only for causes and those whom they want and agree with their positions.
The term celibacy is not even in the vocabulary of society today, and sadly some Christian circles, and it would be a safe guess to say most these days would not use the term gift nor consider it to be one when referring to it.
God has blessed each of us with different gifts to be used for or aid us in His glory during our time on earth. Some are for immediate use and others take time to discover, develop and materialize for opportunities down the road in different seasons of life.
If you believe you are to stay celibate, you should for as long as God gives you that desire. I have many single friends who have decided not to marry and live a life of joy and giving to others. Jesus may be all you need relationally and He will provide you the comfort you require.
Paul confirms in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 that some should not marry.
To the unmarried and widows, I say that it is best for them to remain as I am. But if they do not have self-control, let them get married.
As close you are to the Lord, continue to seek Him and His direction for you. Strive for and stay in community with others. Look for opportunities to make strong friendships of all types and see what happens.
You may find celibacy isn’t for you someday when God changes your desire as one of your friendships develops into something more.
As I grow older, I seem not to trust my personal feelings as much as allow God to show me through His Spirit how and what is right for me. Oftentimes when we have preconceived notion of what we think we should be and do, we don’t allow room for God to work.
Now that is a good question, how do you know if you have the gift of celibacy? I believe that 99.9% of all singles, those adults who are not married, want to be married. This is based on my own research of leading singles for most of my adult life as well as being in full-time singles ministry. I believe God designed most of us to want marriage. However, due to our broken world that continues to get farther and farther from God’s design, for some it will not happen. Does the increased number of singles mean that these singles are called to remain single and not pursue marriage? And as a result, do they have the gift of celibacy?
I would say no. I have maybe met one or two people in my entire life that truly understood a calling to be single and celibate. As a single adult myself, I choose to not have sex and to be celibate. Would I call that a gift? No, it’s a struggle to avoid temptation. I desire sex, intimacy and marriage. But either because of my own personal issues, other people’s issues, and this fallen world, it has not happened. Choosing not to have sex is not a gift of celibacy but simply a choice—a choice to obey and trust God.
Now let’s look at the small percent that may be called to a life of singleness and celibacy. I have met singles and even some marrieds with a low sex drive. And while sex doesn’t make a marriage, intimacy is important. Your struggle with a lack of sex drive sounds more related to your health than a gift. You do desire intimacy and someone to share your life with, so in my opinion, you are not necessarily called to remain single. However, I love that you have found the amazing intimacy with Christ. And if you never marry, he is enough. Christ has to be enough for all of us.
I would start praying with your married friends, single friends, join a prayer group such as www.PrayforaMate.com.
1 Corinthians 7:7, Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.
Philippians 4:19, And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
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Publication date: September 21, 2017