So this is it: The mountain I am going to die on.
Some days I think I’m really going to die alone and celibate on this mountain. For whatever reason, God has called me to be Holy in this area. Holy simply means to be set apart. To not follow the regular customs of the rest of the world. To live life differently in some way. I ask you God, “Why me?”
In contrast with my incessant need to question,
God’s response has actually been pretty consistent.
I have a dream, a vision and a desire. The day I realized my marriage was over, I crept into my boys’ room while they slept and quietly wept for the future they would have. I hoped they would come through unscathed, all the while knowing nobody comes through divorce unscathed. So, I prayed two things that night: that they would know how very much Jesus loves them, and that I would never, ever put them through another divorce again. The first prayer is a topic for another blog, but the second prayer… it haunts me. Every decision I make, every man I date, everything I Iearn, every moment of the day is filtered through the question, “How will this impact my precious boys?” Therefore the dream/vision/desire for my life is simple – to be in a happy, God honoring marriage to a man who loves me, loves my boys and whom I love dearly.
And yeah – I get it.
I hear the cynics among you chuckle or even gasp in disbelief,
“That will never happen,” “That doesn’t exist,” and, “You. Are. Dreaming.”
To the doubters, I agree: you are absolutely right! I am dreaming. But this isn’t my dream… its GOD’s dream for me. Don’t you know? His dreams are bigger than our own. He created us to be in relationship, and to long for healthy companionship. He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. He promises that he can and will do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine. He came to heal the broken hearted, redeem our lives and recover what is lost.
Okay ladies – I’m talking to you.
You know who you are, my sweet single friends who’ve lost hope.
You listen with trepidation to the cynical cries of your heart. Cries that threaten to drown out God’s tender whispers of love. You may jump into bed with any Tom, Dick or Harry because it feels good, or because that’s what everyone else is doing – so it must be okay (even if you’re not really okay), or because you are trying to stomp down the broken, hurting places in your heart. You who don’t know that you are worth So. Much. More. I know where you’ve been. I’ve been down this path – and not so long ago. I’ve chosen his bed instead of the doubts in my head – because I believed if I didn’t, I would be cast aside and my heart would break all over again.
Somewhere along the way,
I realized this path I’d chosen didn’t lead where I wanted to go.
My empty heart was still empty, and more broken than ever. I was potentially going down a path that would lead to another divorce, because I couldn’t see myself as worthy of something more. I was not dating men who honored God or me. I was dating men who honored their own feelings of desire and entitlement.
Sisters, you desire so much more than what you are getting through casual sex.
I know it because you’ve told me so. It is your hearts’ deepest desire to thrive in a state of “yada.” The “yada” is a Hebrew word meaning, “to know and be fully known, to be deeply respected.” Ask yourself this question, and allow yourself to be honest: After sex, what does your heart long for? Was your heart satisfied in the moment of climax? Do you leave the room feeling fulfilled on a soul level? Or more empty and alone than when you walked in? Do you believe that’s what God wants for you? Do your choices reflect your true worth – the valuable woman God sees in you?
I know your heartbreak sweet sisters!
But my absolute, gut honest personal truth is – I want an amazing marriage and life for my boys. I have struggled with this issue of knowing God wants me to wait to get married to have sex, and the rest of the world thinking that’s just crazy talk. I struggle even writing this down, because I know I may lose friends over it:
In considering desire on a deeper level,
I have learned I won’t achieve my heart’s desire by sleeping around.
Ladies (and gentlemen – I know you’re reading, too), I pray that you’ve taken to heart that God is not trying to ruin your fun, or be an impersonal God of rules and regulations. He knows the number of hairs on your head and the number of your days. He knows every wound and every scar. He knows your heartbreak and your children’s heartbreak, and he desperately wants to heal your family and fulfill your heart’s desire.
Would you prayerfully consider letting God into your heart? He offers healing and truth beyond the temporary solace you may find along a lesser path filled with lesser choices.
And that mountain I am climbing? Some days I am thirsty, but I have learned to seek refreshment in a well deeper than the shallow pleasures of this world. And I am really loving the view from up here!
15 thoughts on “Celibate”
Fabulous, Lori!! So inspired by you!
60’s love turned out to be a lie quickly after. SportF-ing. Media tv is telling the men what they need to get, to rate for the other men-I don’t think its about women. I do not look like a model. I have been fit on and off though. It stupid-do you think these guys are attempting to be great men at home? I don’t think so. I am not inspired. Thats why I think the divorce rate is high. They just want a women to take it. What ever it is. Unless you are thin, or look like a model.
As I go into dating again, I an not very expectant. Maybe I should pray about that.
Dear precious sister — I am speechless. This is such a gut-level, raw honest, rich, deep post on this topic and I am honored to stand and applaud you. Not just for a well-written post on a tough topic, but for the way that you have grown. You walk this out with so much determination and grace and I live you for that!!! Well done, sweet friend.
I meant to say “I love you for that” 😉
As a recently divorced Christian mom of 3, I appreciate your honesty and commitment to God’s will. It is frustrating to find so many articles, shows, etc that portray sex outside of marriage as normal, even necessary. I, too, pray for my children that they may see what God truly intends for marriage and relationships. I pray I can model that for my children by His Grace. Thanks for the post!
I absolutely think you are on the right path. I say that just having celebrated my 50th wedding anniversary and not having a clue about what you’re going through. But I know that those who honor God with all aspects of their lives honor Him and themselves. And someday, God will bring that ‘just right man’ into your life. Don’t settle for anything but His best!
Our world is so far away from God’s best and younger generations then mine, have been dupped into thinking that all this ‘freedom’ with sex is just what they ordered. They’re WRONG. They’re messing up their lives and making choices that will live with them forever. Stay true to what you have determined to be right in God’s sight.
Sandy, Thank you so much for the affirmation that God will bring the just right man into my life. It’s very easy to settle due to lack of hope, impatience, and fear. But I’m so encourage by you. God bless you and your marriage of 50 years!
Wow! Such a tender honesty and profound wisdom that just hits me right between the eyes. My struggles with ‘holiness’ my be different but girl!! I can totally insert the things I need to stand firm in and overcome into every sentence. Your heart is totally a reflection of our Christ! We can do all things my friend! All things!! Our rewards for standing firm will far outweigh the temporary pleasures we get from ‘causal sex’!
Wow! I read your testimony today (actually twice) and I have to say it brought me to tears. I am currently going through a divorce and there isn’t a day that goes by I don’t lose it, I would never wish this pain on anyone. When I look at where I was and where I am I understand Gods plan for me. Isaiah 43:18 Forget all that, it is nothing compared to what I am going to do, For I Am about to do a brand new thing I have already begun! DoYou Not See!! Thank you for the hope you have instilled in me.
Feeling encouraged!! Just what I needed to hear!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject.
It’s like you are writing about me! Thankfully my boyfriend and I are both waiting because God has wonderful plans for us! He brought us together for starters. The rewards of God are so much greater than the rewards of the flesh. If I dwell on what I’m missing, I lose sight of what I can have. Kudos to you and thank you for your honesty!
This is good as long as you don’t sit on the throne of celibacy. My husband’s parents divorced when he was 9. His mother took the celibacy route but since the kids are all she has here on earth there’s been lots of quilting when it comes to the kids’ normal process of growing up. God needs to be your rock, the center of your home, the real father figure, or else you’ll claim to be the celibacy martyr and hurt the kids in other ways.
Lori, Stick with it, it’s hard as Guy who has chosen the same path it is really hard. It is less than a year since my divorce and I have chosen to take at least a year to figure myself out and devote more time to God and listening to him and praying he can fix the mess I created. Our children are our most precious resource and God has trusted us to do what is right by them as he does by us his children. Great article. Ladies there are men out there who want more than a one night stand. Take your time listen to voice in your heart it is God speaking to you.
Great post. I just recently became a widow after 25 years of marriage and the thought of giving myself to anyone else is a bit alarming. I too, am trusting God and staying close to Him. I am setting myself to be single the rest of my life (I am 51) but am not totally closing the door if God sends His desired partner at some point down the road. Casual sex is never the way to go. It just leaves men and women feeling empty. God bless you for being so transparent.
I been celibate for a while now, and I’m finding it very hard and lonely I been having close calls lately and know I would regret it if I do, I been looking for a support on Facebook or something that will help, Thank you for your story this helps.