The “righteous” way to express sexuality (for the Christian extremist!) is to enter into marriage and enjoy the freedom that it brings. The alternative to this “certified” monogamous approach is often perceived as a tainted expression. If you’re having sex outside of marriage then you’re slumming it with the “heathens”, and you will inevitably be lamented by judgmental religious naysayers! Seriously though, this great gift of sex is something worth cherishing and is in my opinion (and the bibles) best enjoyed when served with a wedding ring.
One of my favourite preachers Mark Driscoll puts it this way: “Marriage is the hearth that houses the fire of sex” Sex, of course, is not the only reason we choose to get married! There are many great benefits to married life. Never the less, I believe it is true to say that without the safety and containment that “the hearth of marriage” brings, the “fire of sex” is destructive in a relationship.
For humanity, sexuality is the deepest expression available to us. It is probably the strongest and greatest gift God has given to mankind. We have through sex, the opportunity to offer our whole being to someone. We can offer our entirety to the person with whom we have been united in sexual intimacy. In a healthy relationship, sex can cultivate a deep and enriching bond between a man and a woman. In this intimacy, layers of emotion are peeled away and unspoken sentiments are expressed and exposed in a redeemed sexual exchange.
For me as a chaste and celibate man, refusing to use my sexuality means taking the greatest gift God has given me and offering it back as a gift to God. Instead of giving it to another person, I present myself as a living sacrifice to him. This is a unique offering, this is a truly radical gift… or is it?
I recently heard a monastic monk talking about chastity; he defined it like this:
“Using our sexuality in a moral way in accordance to what the creator calls us to”.
Though this may not be the standard definition of “chastity”, by this definition all of us are called to live a chaste life. Even within marriage our objective should be to use our sexuality in a moral way that would not dishonour God. Bottom line, adultery is “a no no”, pre-marital sex is “ill advised”, and pornography is “a toxic ingredient!” In my opinion, we are “all” called to a “chaste life”, and though it may sound containing and restrictive, it is actually the most liberating of experiences.
Contrary to popular opinion, the” great commandment” given by Jesus in the New Testament was not “Go forth and multiply” but rather “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” You may be passionate about expressing your sexuality, but I challenge you to develop a passion to nurture a loving relationship with someone else… I think you know who I’m referring to!
Celibacy does not mean I’m no longer a sexual being, it actually means I’m choosing to take my sexuality and offer it as a gift to God. My body belongs to him, and I choose to give it undiluted.
Though celibacy is my gift, I do occasionally day dream about an alternative. I toy momentarily with the idea that this gift, though currently mine, might be on temporary loan! Whether God will ask me to give it back in exchange for a domestic goddess I don’t know! The truth is I can’t argue with the benefits of my current experience, I am celibate and I am totally fulfilled.
The “statement” made by my celibate choice is this “nothing is more important than God”. Such is my belief in this that I stake my life on it, my whole being, my fulfilment in relationship, it’s all pinned on my an unwavering conviction in Jesus.
Is my blog offensive? is it challenging? What are your thoughts about this subject? Please express yourself in the comments section below and help to “educate me”!