Celibacy: A Lifestyle Change for the Better
I compare my decision of practicing celibacy with cleaning my house in anticipation for a long-term house guest. When someone comes to visit, you do your best cleaning, you prepare their space, you consider their dietary needs and you make sure things are in order for the time they are visiting. I made an active decision to embrace celibacy, and change my life in preparation for someone whom I have yet to meet (my husband). Whom I consider important enough to not only dust and mop out my place, but get my “ish” pressure washed in anticipation for his lifelong stay. I’ve been celibate for going on two years now and it’s been the most amazing experience. My celibacy decision was prompted by my wanting to rededicate my life to God in preparation for my husband. I needed to clear my space inside and out. I’ve been able to heal from old wounds and just get in a better place on every level. Embracing celibacy has allowed me to gain clarity on myself. It helped me reflect and make space for the type of bond and intimacy I look forward to with my life partner. I’m healthier, happier, more in tune with what makes me tick, my relationship with God has strengthened and that is the whole point. I’ve learned how to properly love myself and God. In turn, I can properly love others and add value to their lives in love. I still actively date and actually have been surprised at how supportive the men I’ve gone out with have been with it. I’m flirtatious, but also upfront. I let them know, so as not to lead them in on in case they’re intentions are something other than what I am willing to consent with. I don’t believe in wasting people’s time.
I will be honest; celibacy takes an incredible amount of self-discipline, prayer, and patience. I allow myself to feel naturally about being turned on and desiring to be sexually intimate sometimes. I don’t beat myself up for being attracted to someone I’m dating and wishing we could progress to another level physically and intimately. It’s natural. What I do is check it and remind myself of my commitment to God. God is my accountability coach. I’m accountable to him and his word. I’m honest with Him when I am tempted and I pray and ask for help to not act on the temptation. He helps me and I have learned to channel the energy into creative projects. It inspires me and as a creative, I can take the energy I would expend on sex and allow my imagination to act it out in craft, mostly writing. My most beautiful work has come out of my having to release the energy, but not wanting to slip up by giving into the temporary desire to have sex.
Celibacy is a lifestyle. I don’t do home dates anymore. While before I might be more apt to entertain at home and have men over for dinner, I realize the flesh is weak. If you can limit putting yourself in situations where the temptation is higher, you should. If for some reason we are in the same space overnight, I will sleep on the couch or ask for the spare room. It’s awkward, but let’s be real, if two adults who are attracted to each other…yup the rest is going to be history. Not dating during your time of celibacy I feel is a disservice to the experience. How can you grow in faith and dependence on God, if you don’t have opportunities to seek him when you are weak? It’s easy to be celibate when there is no temptation is present. Talk to me when you are able to grow and mature in your decision by resisting the temptation. It can be done. It’s being done and it is an extremely beneficial experience if you stay the course and know why you are doing it. Sometimes I get annoyed at the fact that I have to suppress an emotion which is as natural as breathing, but I also know the importance of what it means to me on a personal and spiritual level. I have no plans on being physically intimate again until my wedding night. By God’s grace I will be able to stay with celibacy. One day at a time. I celebrate all small victories! I’m excited about his arrival, whenever it may be and I know he will appreciate feeling welcomed in my space that’s already been cleaned and prepared especially for him.
Tips to Hold On to Your Celibacy:
- Stay connected to God and ask Him for help when you are tempted.
- Be serious when you make the decision and don’t try, decide and hold yourself accountable.
- Don’t put yourself in situations which make it harder for you to resist the temptation.
- If you fall off, get back on track. Ask for forgiveness and don’t beat yourself up if you fall off.
- Be truthful with yourself and God about your feelings and desires.
- Know why you’re embracing celibacy. It will be a more meaningful experience if you are deliberate about your decision.