In this day and age, the true value and absolute standard of marriage and sex have been reduced to a relative idea of emotional proportion without any moral boundaries. Many men and women have given in to the lusts of the flesh, either out of rebellion or ignorance of God’s original and fixed design for sex and marriage. Even Christians may struggle to keep their purity and holiness, but there are some who are innately more resistant to the struggle; they are those who are gifted by God with the gift of celibacy.
Celibacy is a willful vow to stay single or a voluntary abstinence from any sexual acts, mostly for religious purposes. Such a vow can also apply to those who have remained unmarried after the death of a spouse or divorce. God may call a person for celibacy for only a certain period, or it may be a lifetime commitment. Though the term “gift of “or “gift of singleness” is not specifically expressed in the Bible or included in the list of spiritual gifts, it is, in fact, described in two accounts. One passage was told by Jesus in Matthew 19:9-12 and Paul told the other in 1 Corinthians 7.
The first account was Jesus’ response to the Jews who had misunderstood Moses’ law of divorce. Jesus taught that anyone who divorces one’s wife, except for reasons of sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. And as the disciples were surprised at Jesus’ teaching about what is really a valid divorce before God, they expressed that it would be better not to marry. In answer to that, Jesus said in Matthew 19:11-12:
“ But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.  For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”
By using “eunuchs” to illustrate His point, Jesus tells us that not all men have the natural propensity to be celibate. He describes three types of eunuchs: those who were born with a birth defect that prevents them from producing offspring or weakens their desire for sex, those who were made eunuchs through castration, and those who willfully chose to be eunuchs for God’s sake. The last type of eunuch that Jesus describes is those who have received the calling of celibacy for the glorious reason of serving God in the advancement of His kingdom. This means that not all men or women are called to have a long-term or life-long gift of celibacy.
The second account about celibacy is found in the whole chapter 7 of 1 Corinthians. Paul tells us that while it is not wrong to get married (to keep one from sinning due to the struggle of sexual lust), it is better for a Christian to remain unmarried. Compared to those who are married, single Christians can give undivided devotion to God since they don’t have spouses to think of pleasing as well. Though celibacy is a very noble calling because of how one serves God in such a capacity, it is not for everyone, nor is it required or commanded of anyone who desires to fully serve God. Paul made it clear when he said in 1 Corinthians 7:6-7:
“ But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.  For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.”
Being single and able to fully serve God in an unrivaled capacity is a wonderful gift that applies to every Christian who truly follows Christ. Even those who once had or are about to receive the gift of marriage should be living life as short-term celibates for the sake of loving and honoring God above all. The gift of celibacy needs faith and trust that God completes us, not marriage; that it’s God and not sex that can truly satisfy our deepest physical needs. Ultimately, we will be presented as the bride of Christ (Revelations 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.), and on the day of resurrection for all people, none will marry nor be given into marriage since we will be married to Christ. So as we live for Christ, let us use our bodies and devote them to service and worship of Jesus, Who deserves our all.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
(Romans 12:1 KJV)