The New Logic

To Be Celibate for Christ Alone

July 27, 2018

I save it for my future husband until I don’t. I can’t stop the wanting, but I’ve given up on the finding. I compromise. It seems that this mystery man I’ve been promised since my youth is not riding on the horizon gallantly coming to my lonely heart’s rescue, and I’m so tired of chasing fairy tales. I did everything right, you know? I went to church, pledged myself to my future-husband, focused on becoming a Proverbs 31 woman so that I could be prepared for him. But in the end, he never comes, and I find myself alone when the clock strikes midnight, waiting for nobody.

All my life all I’ve ever been told is to prepare myself for my future husband. To get in good habits so that one day, when I’m a wife, I can glorify God by pleasing the man I married. It appears that most pastors believe the only motivation women have for obeying the Lord our God is the promise of a husband. For some of us, that’s true, but only because we’ve been painted the hope of marriage instead of the hope of redemption. We obey so that we end up happily married to dashing, Christian men in a four-bedroom house with two arms full of the children we’ve borne. Husbands, not holiness, are our dream and we will do everything God wants us to so long as he gives us what we really want in exchange. We use God like we might use a side street: not because we love the view, but because it gets us where we want to go faster.

I remember being young the first time I heard the refrain, “If you walk with Jesus, he’ll lead you to the right man.” I remember it gave me hope. It was simple, an equation I could handle: do what God says, and he’ll reward you with a husband. But I know so many Christian women who did everything right and still married scumbags. I know so many women who indulged in hedonism and married some of the best men I’ve ever known. This equation doesn’t add up, and it is not Biblical. To prize whatever Christ is leading us to more than Christ himself is idolatry and to walk with him only for the purpose of receiving a blessing is sin.

My husband will never be enough to make the waiting worth it, but Christ is. To be close to God’s heart in the desiring, and to be like Christ in the abstaining is an infinitely better bargain than to wait so that I can get anything else. To point me to my husband for hope will only end in disappointment. To point me to success for hope will only produce empty joy. My hope is in Christ alone. I obey to get Christ alone. I am saving it for Christ alone.

With love and no man,
Jess

 

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