Taking Singleness SeriouslyApril 17, 2012
For the past couple months Chuck Swindoll’s series on marriage, Strike the Original Match, has been on the air. While I’ve enjoyed the teaching in this area one concept caught my attention in particular—marriage distracts us from our devotion to the Lord.1
Honestly, I’ve never thought about marriage like this before. But I think it’s accurate. While digging into 1 Corinthians 7—considered the chapter on celibacy—Chuck focuses on verse 34, which says, “…And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit….” When you’re married, you can’t focus on the Lord 24-7. You must serve the Lord, but you must also meet the needs of your spouse and family. Therefore, if your desire is to give 100 per cent to the Lord, you embrace celibacy.
There have been times I’ve wondered if I was “the marrying kind.” Embarrassingly it wasn’t from a desire to give the Lord 100 per cent, but because it wasn’t something I longed for. I was content being single, or being married, or whatever. I read somewhere this is the trend for many 20somethings—marriage is something not considered while they are busy doing other things.
Despite this trend, there is an expectation in many or most churches that people become married and have families. Which doesn’t leave a lot of room for those who are single, or those choosing a life of celibacy.
Celibacy doesn’t have to be a lifelong call. My first year of Bible school I had a strong sense I should not date while I was there and it was one of the most transformative years of my spiritual life. I directly correlate my choice to be celibate and focus on getting the most out of Bible school to my spiritual growth.
Those who have chosen celibacy would say it’s the best way they’ve found for living a meaningful and committed life. I would say that it allows you to freely follow Christ, wherever He leads. What an incredible calling.
1From the sermon “Commitment is the Key (Part Two)” in the series Strike the Original Match. Copyright 1978 Charles R. Swindoll Inc. All rights reserved.