Relevant Magazine highlights one woman’s decision to embrace the celibate life.
Until I quit dating and decided to pursue celibacy, I’d never actually met a single Christian who was not interested in finding a mate. Have you ever met someone who has chosen singleness? I am not talking about being single as an inevitable state before getting married. Being not-yet-married is not the same as making a conscious decision to forsake the possibility of love and marriage in order to pursue the Lord’s work wholeheartedly. I am referring to singleness or celibacy as an act of sacrificial worship, offering one’s body as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2).
More than five years ago as a 20-something, career-oriented woman, I decided to pursue celibacy. My decision was not well thought-out; on the heels of a break-up, I decided to drop out of the dating-and-romance race for one year. As I came to depend more on prayer, scripture and meditation to exert control over my mind and body, I not only persevered through my new austere life style, but found it to be a profound learning experience. I realized that I came to see men as more complex people when there was no possibility that romance could develop. I found I had much more time to devote to my Lord’s service without all the excitement of meeting guys, dating them, and eventually moving on. Now, not quite six years down this road, I love celibacy. It has been a profound experience of growth and worship. I would be honored if God saw fit to keep me single. On the other hand, I have taken no vow; I am not a nun. If it becomes clear than marriage is right for me, I can live with that, too. No matter which path I follow, I will always be an advocate for singleness because I deeply believe that it is part of God’s plan. So, why choose singleness?