People like Meagan Good (and the Jonas Brothers?) made celibacy look cool, but you and I both know that it is so hard! And here are the reasons why:
##1 People think you’re crazy.
University was a major eye-opener for me. Everyone was having sex. Picking someone up at the club for a one-night stand wasn’t weird and if you had a boyfriend then obviously you were sleeping together. When you reach a certain age, being the celibate one or the virgin seems crazy and weird. But hey, dead fish go with the flow.
#2 You’re constantly assaulted by images of almost-naked women and men.
There’s a TV show that’s dedicated to showing women in bikinis washing cars, even running marathon episodes- why?! On TV, online, on billboards, in magazines – sex sells and it is everywhere. Keeping your mind free of lustful thoughts is near impossible.
#3 You feel panicked at the thought of being within five metres of your crush.
Someone must invent a word for that thing where your eyes are involuntary drawn to someone who is across the room, especially when you’re pretending that you’re completely oblivious to their presence. It’s infuriating. Social contact with super-hot humans really does damage to your powers of resistance.
#4 You have
regular occasional meltdowns in private.
You’re at a wedding. Your buddy and her beau just made their vows to each other – beautiful. You excuse yourself just after the best man’s speech to go to the bathroom. As you look down to wash your hands you see just how un-ringed your ring finger looks. And just like that something is in your eye and you’re sniveling and trying not to go into the ugly cry.
#5 Sermons about sexual sin feel like they’re targeted at you.
You know that you know that you know that there is no way that the Pastor could know the temptation that you’re facing right now. But why does it feel like he’s been looking straight at you the whole time and saying everything that you needed to hear? You can’t say ‘Amen’ lest you sound too interested in the topic, you can’t be too quiet cause that’s really suspicious.
#6 You’re the victim of “He wants to be a priest/ she wants to be a nun” jokes.
Chastity has it’s benefits – zero risk of: STIs, pregnancy or the kind of false intimacy that having sex with someone you’re not in a legal commitment with can create. But people have a way of making you feel like a fool (at best) or a religious fanatic (at worst) for choosing not have mind-blowingly awesome sex with the person you’re married to.
#7 Your spirit fails you at the thought that Armageddon could come before you’ve done the deed.
#8 You worry that God will call you to a lifetime of singleness.
People keep their money in savings accounts because of the interest that they’ll earn from it. Suffer now, profit later. The one thing that makes celibacy bearable is the faith that one day, one sweet day, you’re going to hit the jackpot baby! And the one gift that you never want to find under the Christmas tree is the gift of singleness.
#9 You have to endure the embarrassment of people talking about their sex lives.
If you want to avoid getting caught in the crossfire, stay away from: elderly humans, drunk humans and humans at bachelor parties/ bridal showers. Things get awkward when people start sharing their battle stories and friendly tips. Note: Bridal showers and bachelor parties are particularly hazardous given the presence of elderly and drunk humans all in one place.
#10 You dread the thought of having to reveal your behind the scenes footage.
To stay celibate you need accountability partners. Accountability requires two things: courage and vulnerability. You need people’s help to keep you from compromising. It takes courage and vulnerability to confess your struggles to God and to people you trust. The fact that you know it’s good for doesn’t make it any easier.
These are 10 reasons and I bet you could add 9, 990 of your own. If celibacy is sheer agony then why do we punish ourselves? Why not just let go and let flow, no strings attached? I see here’s a mystery hidden in the answer to this question:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed in us.
For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8: 18- 23
Bondage to Decay and Hope of Freedom
No doubt, choosing celibacy in obedience to God comes with its own form of “suffering” and “groaning”. But we need to begin to see it in its larger context and find our place in the spectacular tapestry of redemption that God is weaving. This verse reveals the tension between our bondage to decay and our hope of freedom and glory. Our physical bodies are corrupted and yet we subdue them in anticipation of the freedom that awaits us.
As you wait in hope, remember this:
But hope that is seen is not hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8: 24-25
Thanks for reading.