1 Corinthians 7:1-9; 32-35 – It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs–how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world–how he can please his wife– and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world–how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord
Matthew 19:10-12 – The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry." Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
Believers all have different God-given gifts, talents, ministries, results and purposes in the Body of Christ (2 Corinthians 12:14-31). God gifts each one as He sees fit. We do not all have the same gifts, but we all have the same Spirit and we are all united with Christ. Some believers have been given the gift of singleness. That doesn’t mean that they are alone, but that their union with Christ sufficiently sustains their spirit and their sex drive does not cause them to burn with great passion and need for a spouse. God knows our constitution and He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to endure (1 Cor. 10:13). With this awareness, Paul places celibacy in a superior state to the married state in 1 Cor. 7, while making it quite clear that it is not a sin to marry (vv. 27,28). He also made it abundantly clear that sexual relations within marriage is not a sin. However, both Paul and Jesus declare that the gift of celibacy provides greater freedom for the believer to serve the Lord’s purposes. The married person should rightly consider the needs and interests of his/her spouse, while one with the gift of celibacy is free to give his/her complete and undivided devotion to the Lord.
We’ve all seen some of the sorrowful failures of individuals who have been pressured or coerced into a celibate lifestyle without a true gift of celibacy. They were unable to discipline their passions and sexual desires and caused shame and reproach to the Kingdom of Christ because they should have heeded Paul’s advice – “If they cannot control themselves, they should marry…” Of course, we all must exercise godly discipline and periods of celibacy even when married. There are times of sickness, hospitalization, and separation (work, military, etc.), or times when couples devote themselves to prayer and seeking spiritual renewal – but this should only be for a short time so that temptations will not overpower! The gift of celibacy is not given to everyone. If you’ve been given that gift, then give yourself in undivided devotion to the Lord!
- Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team.
- Love God with all your heart, with all of your mind, and with all your soul. Give yourself completely to Him!
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Steve Babcock (Maribeth, Zach), Kathleen Bauman (Grant), Bonnie Bitetti (Samantha, Denny, Chris).
- Thank God for His moral laws that promote sexual purity and guide us into wholesome oneness and unity.
- Pray for a revival that sets men and women free to follow the Spirit into sexual and moral purity.
- Join in with our Sunday prayer services to pray for God’s presence and blessing.
- Ask God to strengthen your refusal to be influenced by the world’s models of sexual relations.
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Pray that men and women may clearly see that sexual relations must not be separated from the intimacy of marriage.
- Ask God to help you to wisely assess your ability to be celibate. In your singleness, devote yourself to Christ’s service!
Prayer Challenge: Cherish the gift of sexuality as one given so that we might reflect the image and likeness of God!