Okay, so I sort of click baited you with that title!
But before your turn away hear me out because we ARE discussing why I choose to not be labelled as celibate. I think any Christian who is single and abstaining from sex NEEDS to hear this. I’ve made the decision not to label my obedience in not having sex out of wedlock as celibate because I’m chasing something deeper and longer lasting than not having sex.
I chose to pursue purity over celibacy.
One day, God convicted me on my celibacy pursuit. At that point, I’d been so fixated on being celibate that I missed the root meaning of why God wants us to be celibate and the holy transformation that should take place due to my obedience.
Anyone ever correlate the obedience of celibacy with the reward of marriage? Yeah, that was me!
So, one day He told me that celibacy should be a result of purity rather than just pursuing celibacy. Because celibacy is the absence of an act while purity is the reflection of the heart. When you’re pure, you’re cleansed from the plague of immoralities and by default you’re actions will follow suit by mimicking your clean heart.
I don’t know about you, but I want my heart (and actions) to be a reflection of God’s!
God wants us to obey him and more than anything He wants us to look like Him. The bible tells us that we are made in his image and I think that goes deeper than outer appearance or act. By being made in His image with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can produce the same fruit as Him and in essence look like Him.
My goal as a follower of Christ isn’t to obey law, my goal is to be TRANSFORMED daily by God so that the way I do life will be different – and then ultimately make disciples. The intentional pursuit of purity is the gateway to be completely transformed by God to look more like Him which is the image He created you in. So yes, I’m celibate by default because I am pursuing something far bigger which is to be purified by Christ.
Below, I have listed 3 benefits of pursuing purity.
1. Brings you closer to God. The difference between celibacy and purity is that one doesn’t require God to work while the other does. In order to attain purity, you need to have a relationship with God so that He can cleanse you of your impurities. My recent (and ongoing) struggle with celibacy was tied to my pursuit of celibacy which was hallow and couldn’t carry the weight of my falling. I took God out of my journey to not have sex and as a result I gave room for temptation to creep in. But when I added God back into the mix, the struggle became bearable but also my relationship with Christ got tighter.
2. Purity is a lifetime pursuit. You see, celibacy is a temporary state that ends after you say “I do” but purity lasts forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 states that it is God’s will for us to be purified, to avoid sexual immorality and to lead a holy life. With the life that God has planned for each of us, we need to be sanctified and die daily so that we can make room for his plans.
3. Fruits of purity go beyond celibacy. When you pursue purity and become pure, you receive a multitude of gifts that include and go beyond the desire to honor God with celibacy. Purity takes the impure, old you and replaces it with new, pure virtues like faithfulness, love (biblical love), kindness and much more. I wrote a blog post on how to attain fruit of the spirit, click here to read it.
I hope that this post can bring clarity on celibacy vs purity. I pray that it shifts your perspective on how you approach your celibacy journey.
As always, would love to hear your feedback on this post so please comment! Prayer requests are accepted in the comments or by emailing me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, here are some other reads that relate to this post that I think you might like!
“I’m Single, Celibate And I Want To Have Sex”- http://withlovebylove.com/im-single-celibate-and-i-want-to-have-sex/
“Tips On How To Protect Your Celibacy”- http://withlovebylove.com/tips-on-how-to-protect-your-purity-celibacy/
“3 Tips On How To Bear Fruit Of The Spirit”- http://withlovebylove.com/bear-fruit-spirit/