Andy has been a committed celibate for over ten years.
Undividedblog recently asked him a few questions about his celibacy. Here’s what he said:
Tell us a little about yourself and why you are celibate
I became celibate in 2001 after I had been a Christian for eight years. I was becoming increasingly aware of God’s power and love towards me. I felt like God was limitless and that I was limitless in him. I wanted to give myself to him as fully as possible. It was a very difficult decision because I had always wanted to get married. But God softened my heart gradually until I reached the point where I chose celibacy.
How have you found celibacy? (i.e. your experience)
There was a time shortly after I committed to celibacy when I really regretted it. I felt like I had ruined my life. I was not living in Christian community at the time and celibacy seemed pointless. But when I moved into community, celibacy made perfect sense.
Although it can be tough at times, I regularly thank God for the gift of celibacy because it makes me more available to him and the church.
How have people both inside and outside the church responded to your celibate commitment?
When I made my celibacy commitment, I was a member of a church where the gift of celibacy was not properly understood. Although most people were supportive of my decision, some didn’t like it and said I shouldn’t talk about it. Others thought it was a bit weird and that there must be something wrong with me if I didn’t want to get married. I found that hard.
In the Jesus army, there is a much clearer understanding of the vision and purpose of celibacy and so I feel valued. New friends often ask questions about it and I really enjoy sharing with them my passion for God and how that is expressed in celibacy.
What is your vision as a celibate?
This has changed over the years. When I first became a celibate, I had delusions of grandeur! I thought God was going to make me into some kind of Christian superstar! I hoped to be an international Christian celebrity speaking at churches all around the world!
I’ve realised that celibacy is a much humbler path than that! Single-heartedness in my walk with God. Availability to others. Freedom to love all kinds of people.