Thursday, January 17, 2013

Celibacy and Abstinence

Don't they both mean the same thing? Its rather redundant, isn't it?

That's what I thought. I had to look them up to be sure. Oddly, celibacy means to abstain from sex while abstinence is not to indulge in things of temptation such as alcohol and drugs; that which one becomes dependent on. Interesting, I had to stop and contemplate on that for a moment.

When are these 2 topics appropriate for discussion on a date? I saw this question in a singles group on Facebook and was astonished that the question didn't die as fast as it appeared. I was at the ready to also add a comment and decided to wait to see what the other responses would be. The adjective best describing my reaction to what I read initially was appalled.

The thing is, none of these people have designs on pleasing me and I am well aware of that; but what about the time their parents took in teaching right from wrong, if their children read the comments, or their co-workers all of which we try to present a certain standard hoping to influence our parents that they did well. We show our children the correct way to be successful and our clergy is pleased to see that all of their efforts have been received with good fruit as the result. Well, ha... I guess they have all been fooled!

Understanding that we don't live our lives to be pleasing to men but unto God (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 1 Peter 4;1-5 AMP). So then, how pleased would He be to see that in the hearts of these believers answering the question, there was actually a debate on the time as to when it was more appropriate then any other time. Really? Where is it written? Who taught that lesson? Where did this standard come from?

In commenting finally to the question, I wrote a synopsis of what I am writing here, on this blog. If you are single and a Christian, to abstain and be celibate is a given much like when deciding to date a particular person. That person is also supposed to be single and a Christian - right? Its an automatic thing. 
Question: When would celibacy and abstinence be appropriate to discuss (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 AMP) ? 
Answer: Before you invite or accept going on the very first date.

Personally, I think its time out for acting like we know what the Word says but when our loins scream for attention, the Word goes on the back burner until we get that "itch" scratched. But that's just me. In the real world people do what they do, as my children has so often told me. I asked a question in the same Christian group if I am giving people too much credit? The answer I got back was that I am (2 Timothy 3:1-7 AMP). Yeah, that was enough for me to pause and think on that calmly (selah).

I often wondered why ministers repeated messages over and over again. I wondered why did I and the rest of us that heard the message took so many notes just to hear the same sermon 6 months to a year later? It was the same testimony, the same verses, the same joke for added interest, and more then likely the same worship and praise music - why? The Word says the Lord prepared a table for us (Psalm 23:5 AMP). Would He put on the table leftovers? He is the Lord. Wouldn't He give us a fresh, new dish every time we sit to dine?

I recall coming home from school, my mother was busy with dinner and any other household duty. By the smell that would hit my sister, brother, and I when we came in the door, we knew what we were going to have. Spaghetti and meatballs, beef and peppers, or stuffed peppers were 3 separate dishes that all had the same smell to me. While my brother was happier when getting one dish more then the other, he liked them all. I, on the other hand, liked Saturday nights when I knew it was pizza, hot dogs or burgers. Those other 3 dishes had an element that I detested. No matter how much I didn't like that ingredient, my mother still added it because she wasn't just feeding me and the ingredient was necessary for the dish to be what it is. The ingredient - green pepper. At the end of the meal when it was time to clear the table, I would have a small pile of chopped green pepper and onion where I took the time to go through on my plate to make sure I wouldn't taste or crunch into not even the smallest piece of the vegetable. I saw the look on my father's face, probably wondering if I was alright and if there was a reason to be concerned - still he allowed it without confrontation.

My point being, no matter if I didn't eat the green pepper made in each dish, I had the opportunity to and reap the benefits from what the green pepper offered. I chose not to. I also recall having childhood health issues that no one else had in my family. Would green pepper have assisted with me not having those problems? I don't know, its just that no one else had small piles of discarded food on their plates.

Would this also be true with spiritual food? Here is a man or woman of God preaching a message with the same tenacity he/she had when first preaching the message. The same people were there listening and taking notes as they did when the sermon was first preached. Once coming out of the service, what happens to the notes? Do we enjoy the meal, pondering over what was said? Do we relish in the lesson given knowing that it was exactly what we needed to endure for the week or is the bible and the notebook tossed in the glove compartment or the back of the car until next Sunday? Do we take full advantage of what is being offered?

Answer: if I were to go by the question asked in the singles group, apparently not. Someone pushed their plate away. Someone has a small  pile of something picked out of the dish that is necessary for optimum spiritual health. Someone bought the DVD or CD and never opened the case. Someone decided not to take notes. Someone came to church just to say that they came and didn't hear one thing preached.

In reading the different answers from the original question in the singles group, I took solace in believing that there will be others not responding. Those who have only been watching and could have possibly been interested in dating someone in the group, just learned who is appropriate marriage material and who still needs to hear the sermon again or at least stop picking out crucial nutrients needed for their benefit. 

1 comment:

sheree brown said...

Love how this is broken down! Never knew the two had two such diff meanings. Amen!

Check out our website and this article about Dating Non-Christian men:

God bless.