Thank you for posting this –– great to have you joining us on Connect. And thank you for that encouragement.
The reasoning of your friend is not uncommon –– that celibacy is untenable. It is the pervasiveness of this way of thinking that led me to write 7 Myths About Singleness.
The problem with this way of thinking is that it is contradicted by the Bible in so many ways:
- Paul speaks with unbridled positivity about singleness. It is a gift (1 Cor. 7:7). It can be an advantage in ministry (1 Cor. 7:35).
- Jesus himself was single, and yet was the most complete human who ever lived. If we think being married or romantically fulfilled is intrinsic to being fulfilled as a human, we are saying that Jesus was not fully human.
- Marriage is not without its only difficulties and challenges (see 1 Cor. 7:27 –– “those who marry will have worldly troubles”!). We are often comparing the ups of marriage with the downs of singleness, without recognising that there are downs of marriage and ups and singleness.
That said, the church has far more work to do on being a place of deep community and social support. I take your friend’s point on that. But it can never be an excuse for sin.
The best thing you can do is to offer the sort of healthy, biblically appropriate intimacy yourself that the church should be providing –– to be a starting point at least for him on this. You will be living proof that there is an alternative to illicit intimacy.
I hope this helps. Thanks again for sharing with us.