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sell Chastity

More Than Animals – Week 1 – Chastity

person Mike Wilson
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Welcome to our teaching series, “More Than Animals.” This series explores the aspects of human life that set us apart from animals. Today’s message is particularly sensitive and carries a PG-13 warning as we delve into the topic of Chastity.

Celebrating Singleness and Chastity

A Message for Singles

Many single people in our church feel left out. Much of our teaching focuses on parenting and marriage, which might make singles feel like second-class citizens in Heaven. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many great fathers of our faith were never married. Consider Jesus and the apostle Paul—two of the most influential figures in human history who never married.

Redefining Marriage

Before we proceed, let’s define what we mean by marriage. The world has co-opted the term to control us with taxes and legalities. However, when we speak of marriage, we refer to a covenant before God—a commitment to monogamy that is more spiritual than legal. The early church even held celibacy ceremonies, highlighting the importance of commitment, whether to chastity or marital fidelity.

The Concept of Chastity

Chastity often carries misconceptions. When we hear the term, images of Catholic priests or chastity belts come to mind, but it’s much more than that. Chastity means refraining from sexual intercourse, which is a good thing at times. Some people are called to live a life of complete chastity, giving up sex but not relationships.

The Gift of Chastity

Paul talks about this special calling in his letter to the Corinthians:

“But I wish everyone were single, just as I am. Yet each person has a special gift from God, of one kind or another” (1 Corinthians 7:7, NLT).

However, the word “single” isn’t in the original text. A more accurate translation would be:

“I wish now all men to be like even myself, but each has his own gift from God, one has indeed this, others that” (1 Corinthians 7:7).

Paul wasn’t single in the lonely sense. He always had companions. He continues:

“So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust… I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9, 32-34, NLT).

Therefore, a better term than “single” might be “devout.” Someone who decides to remain unmarried should do so to fully dedicate themselves to God.

“But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry” (1 Corinthians 7:37, NLT).

The Church’s Role

Unfortunately, the church has idolized marriage, implying that it will fulfill you. This has alienated unmarried people and placed undue pressure on marriages. We need to celebrate those who choose a different path, one of chastity and devotion to God.

The Greatest Love

Jesus highlighted the highest form of love:

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NLT).

This doesn’t require marriage. It’s about deep, intimate Christian friendships. Chastity isn’t just for those without a sex drive. Even Paul, in one of his last letters to Timothy, emphasized the importance of staying close to God:

“Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1, NLT).

Avoiding Temptation

Paul advised Timothy to avoid situations that could lead to sin:

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts” (2 Timothy 2:22, NLT).

We can have equally yoked friendships that provide companionship and support.

The Misconception of Chastity

The traditional response of the church to people attracted to the same sex has been chastity. However, we’ve glorified marriage and sex so much that chastity seems like a miserable alternative. Paul, however, celebrated it as a better choice.

If you are attracted to the same sex, consider praying about chastity. You might be called to it or to marry someone of the opposite sex despite same-sex attractions. We need to apologize for taking away this gift from those whom God has called to chastity.

When Marriage Isn’t the Answer

Not everyone finds the right person to marry. Maybe God hasn’t placed that person in your path because He has called you to a period of chastity or perhaps lifelong chastity. Remember, marriage and sex can’t fulfill you. Only a relationship with God can.

Jesus spoke about this:

“Some are born as eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose not to marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let anyone accept this who can” (Matthew 19:12, NLT).

Jesus understood intersex issues and sexual abuse. He acknowledged that for some, there is a higher calling than marriage.


In your Life Group discussions this week, pray for each other. Even if you’re married, it’s our responsibility to correct the over-glorification of marriage. Let’s start celebrating those called to chastity. Chastity is not a lesser path but a calling to a deeper, more devoted relationship with God.



Did you like More Than Animals – Week 1 – Chastity? If so, check out more of our Sunday teachings here.

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