Navigating your Season: All About Celibacy (EP 07)

Podcast Episode 7 (Condensed)

If you read my previous blog, then you know I’ve been single for a while. God knows, it has been a journey. Apart of being single(as a believer of Christ) involves celibacy. Those may not be the words you want to hear if sex is something you don’t think you can live without. To be honest, many people try and sometimes can’t follow through with it. For those that think being single for a long period of time is hard, being celibate can be even more challenging. Now, if you’ve been thriving on your celibacy journey, praise be to God. Keep on keeping on, girl.

In 2018, God called me to a season of singleness. As I discussed in my podcast episode and previous blog post, I experienced several ups and downs. Things haven’t always been the easiest with celibacy either. I am all about being transparent and candid with people like you. Why? Because when we keep our former shortcomings and struggles to ourselves, we help no one. What good does it do to keep the goodness of God to ourselves? Maybe you say, “Well, I don’t want people in my business like that.” But I say, why not if God gets the glory for what you overcame in the end? That business we sometimes don’t like to “put out there” can be the very thing God wants to use to help someone else. The Bible says we overcome by the power of our testimony (Revelations 12:11). My celibacy journey is truly a testimony that I hope inspires you in the end.

Being that I’ve been single and celibate for 5 years, there are so many things I want to share with you that will help you along your journey or someone you love. I’ve learned so much about myself, others, and what God desires for me during my celibacy journey. When you embark on a single journey, there are certain lifestyles choices that must shift. If not, you’ll find yourself gratifying your flesh and giving in to sinful desires. I talk more about my struggles with this in my podcast episode here.

First thing first, let’s get into some major red flags when embarking on a celibacy journey.

Red Flags/Things to Avoid When Celibate:

Fornication

Lust

Porn

Sexual Temptation (even through Social Media)

Music/Movies that Glorifies Sexual Promiscuity or Sex Outside Marriage

Tips for Maintaining a Pure Celibacy Journey:

Fornication:

Fornication is sex outside of marriage. God designed sex for marriage only. 1 Corinthians 6:18 NLT says, “Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” God makes it clear that our body is supposed to be a holy temple for Christ. It was not designed for us to allow any and every man to get a “piece” of our temple. I say this in no way to shame anyone. I’ve fallen short when I wasn’t living right for God and when I was also lukewarm. It takes true surrendering to God to give Him every part of you. That includes your body as well.

The following verse (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT) says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.” This scripture lets us know how valuable our bodies are to God. He doesn’t want us falling into sin and committing such a vile act against it. The Lord wants us to value our temples (aka bodies) as much as He does. By doing this, we are honoring God.

I know there are several women that may claim to be a Christian but also is a part of a feminist movement that is all about “women having rights over their bodies”. First of all, God gives us all freedom of choice. Therefore, God will never force you to be celibate. So do you boo. If you call yourself a believer of Jesus Christ, you have to make that choice to give your body to God though. 1 Corinthians 10:21 NLT says, “You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.” Making a lifestyle of fornication is demonic. So pick a side –either you’re rocking with God and His Word or you’re in this world and on the devil’s team.

Romans 12:1 NLT tells us to, “Give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice–the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.” So not only are we honoring God when we refrain from fornication, but we’re worshiping God by doing so. Our obedience to God with our bodies is special to Him.

Lust:

Oxford Languages define lust as having a sexual desire for someone. Matthew 5:28 NLT says, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” So, if we never even touch someone, but thinks something sexual about them, we’ve already sinned in God’s eyes. Remember, God searches the heart. He knows our intentions and thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV says, “For as a man thinks, so is he.”

Even when we compliment someone attractive (either a celebrity, crush, or stranger) we have to be careful not to think sexually inappropriately about them. If we do, then we are lusting after them. It may seem harmless because you didn’t physically act upon it, but in God’s eyes it is not. The damage is already done.

Therefore, we must make sure our thoughts align with God’s thoughts. If they don’t, that’s when we pray and fast. We must ask God to cleanse our thoughts, deliver us of our iniquities, and renew our souls. 1 Peter 2:11 NIV says, “Abstain from sinful desires that wage war against your soul.” That is God warning us to not allow how souls to be tainted with sin (whether sexual sin, lust, or any other kind).

Porn:

This topic is truly a taboo for the Christian community involving women. The church has made it such a norm to direct it mostly to men. In reality, women struggle with porn just as much as men do. But a lot of people are not ready for that conversation. I do a deep dive on the subject of porn on my very first blog post from 2021. I encourage you to read it if you or someone you know are struggling with pornography here. There is no shame or condemnation. My hope is for you to overcome it. Click here to read my blog post.

Porn is so easily accessible because our society is wicked and corrupt. If you’re single and celibate, you cannot allow the enemy to trick you into damaging your brain by watching porn. You may think that because you’re not physically having sex that watching other people online is ok. In actuality, it is not. Porn leads to unrealistic expectations when and if you do get married one day. Also, porn is simply lusting over strangers (whether they are married or single, it doesn’t matter).

Hebrews 13:4 NIV says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and sexually immoral.” Watching porn equates to committing adultery and being sexually immoral in God’s eyes. Some people may even say, “Well, I’m just gathering ideas for when God sends me my husband.” No boo boo, that is not how it works. God never calls us to expose our minds to sexual visionary to prepare us for a future marriage. When that time comes, then praise God. But until then, we have to walk by the spirit and not by the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

Again, none of my tips are to condemn anyone that has fallen short. Trust me, I’ve sinned many times before and can only thank God for His saving grace. I am here today because of God giving me another chance and allowing my former mishaps to help people like you. So, be inspired, not ashamed.

Sexual Temptations:

God never promised that we won’t be tempted. Let’s face it, even Jesus was tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). But Jesus did not give in to the temptations and neither should we (Hebrews 4:15). For a more thorough discussion, read my 3-part blog series on Overcoming Temptations by clicking here.

1 Corinthians 10:13 should be an encouragement for us regarding temptation. It states, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.” Praise God for how knowledgeable He is of what we will endure. He knows. He sees. And He provides a way out for us to escape temptation at the point of giving in.

Some people become frustrated with themselves or even God when they are sexually tempted. Truth be told, we should direct that disappointment to ourselves and never towards God. James 1:14-15 NLT keeps it real by saying, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” Ouch! The first time I read that after struggling with temptations, I was extremely offended. I couldn’t understand how my own desires caused my relationship with God to be stagnant–to dishonor God. It wasn’t until I repented with a true heart and surrendered to Him, that He cleansed me. I became fully aware of how sinful my life was before He rescued out of that dark, pit of destruction. And God can rescue you too from the bondage of temptation.

With a world full of social media apps, we even have to change our algorithm. Think about when you go to your explore page on Instagram, it is likely filled with various types of reels or photos that the algorithm believes we are interested in. Well, if you’re following sexually promiscuous people or celebrities, half-naked IG models, or any other accounts that glorify sexual sin, then you are putting yourself in a direct path of temptation. The bible tells us “not to give the enemy a foothold” in Ephesians 4:27. It doesn’t matter how much gospel music you listen to, how often you go to church, or how many Christian memes you post online, keeping those sexually inappropriate accounts on your social media pages will only cause you to fall into habitual lust, temptation, or even fornication. That alone is giving the enemy a doorway into our lives.

So, do yourself a favor.Clean up your social media page to reflect the lifestyle you’re trying to live. That’s what I did a few years ago. I can assure you that the algorithm on your Instagram, Snap Chat, YouTube, Facebook, Tik Tok, or Twitter (aka X) will shift. You’ll be glad about it.

Music/Movies that Glorifies Sexual Promiscuity or Sex Outside Marriage

Music can be a stumbling block in our celibacy walk as well. Music an be used to glorify God or glorify the devil. All throughout Psalms, David used music to worship God. That is what we’re instructed to do. Colossians 3:16 ESV gives us instruction by stating, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” God wants us to glorify His name and not anything sexual. We must make sure the music we listen to doesn’t pull us away from God. I talk about this more in my blog on music found here.

When we listen to music that glorifies fornication, porn, lust, adultery, and temptation, we are opening our ear gate to sexual immorality. I know that it is hard due to our musical culture today. Nearly every genre (outside of Christian and Gospel) have songs that discuss sexual sin of some sort. Listening to that type does nothing but fill our mind with ungodly thoughts. Remember, we’re trying to maintaining our celibacy journey, not call up an old flame and give in to our flesh. Galatians 5:19 NLT lists acts of the flesh, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;” God is instructing us to stay away from these things. Furthermore, The Lord reminds us what His will is in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 NLT, “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.Then each of you will control his own body[a] and live in holiness and honor—.” All sexual sin isn’t just about physical acts as we’ve discussed, but also watching movies, shows, or listening to music.

If the movies, shows, or music are unholy, then it is best to stay away from it. If you’re planning to go to the movies, do your research on if the movie is rated “R” or include any type of sexual scenes. If you’re favorite streaming services have tons of sexual and lust-filled movies/shows, try to filter them out so that you don’t slip into watching soft porn on television. It is best to avoid movies that may cause you to stumble. Yes, everyone’s convictions are different. But God gives us common sense, right? It doesn’t make since for Christians to watch sex scenes in movies if they’re practicing a life of celibacy. That’s a little backwards, isn’t it? Some of our favorite shows and movies may need to be cut out of our binge-watching schedule. What you see has the power to affect your thinking. We should try to have self-control and be sexually whole. Being careful of what we watch and listen to contributes to that. After all, self-control is one of the fruits of the spirit. It doesn’t just pertain to temper tantrums and anger issues. Self-control involves sexual desires too (Galatians 5:22-23).

I know that we’ve covered a lot on celibacy, but you deserve to know the truth. I believe that God will give you strength on your celibacy journey. If you believe it as well, say this prayer below:

Dear Lord,

I repent and ask for forgiveness of all my sins. Forgive me for anything I’ve did, said, or thought that was contrary to the Word of God. Help me to think thoughts that please and honor you God. I ask you give me strength during my celibacy journey. Cleanse me of all iniquities. Deliver me from all ungodly and sinful desires. Create in me a clean heart. Give me a sound mind. Direct my paths on how to remove all sexual temptations from my heart and soul. Help me to keep my temple holy and honorable in your sight. When I feel like giving in to my flesh, send your Holy Spirit to help me endure. I surrender everything to you. What I cannot do on my own, Lord you can equip me. Thank you for your mercy and grace. I love you with all my heart. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Thank you so much for sticking with me until the end of my blog. I dive even deeper on this subject in my latest podcast episode. Listen to it here. Share this blog and the podcast with someone you love that is single and celibate (even struggling to be). Until next time!

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