It only took us 64 episodes to talk about celibacy! Join Tom, Ryan, and Jacob for a discussion on sex, singleness, marriage, healthy sexuality, and this mystical notion of “calling.”

How many guys in our YOBBERS group feel “called to celibacy”? We dive into our very scientific poll results and answer the question ourselves.

We also look to Scripture to round out our celibacy discussion: from Genesis (what does it mean for man to be “alone”?) to Jesus’ bluntness on marriage and eunuchs to Paul’s charge for singleness, along with his (and our) thoughts on those “burning with passion.”

We hope you enjoy our latest episode below: CELIBACY.

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Enjoy our CELIBACY episode! And don’t forget to comment below. We’d love to hear from you. We’re with you.

Do you feel called to celibacy? Or to marriage? Or do you find yourself somewhere in the middle: open, content, or lost? Tell us a story, if you’d be so bold . . .



About the Author

  • The concept of celibacy has been on my mind for the last several days, so this episode came at the perfect time for me. And it was a great discussion, as always.
    When you were talking about the conversation Jesus had with his disciples, if it might be better to just not marry at all, I couldn’t help but think of something Johanna Finegan said at Revoice a couple years ago. In her talk she suggested that those gay or SSA people considering marriage to someone of the opposite sex should ask themselves this question: “Am I able to be a gift to this person—who they are, their personality, their temperament, their needs? Could I, with all that I’ve got going on, be a gift to them.“ And later she states: “There is nothing weak and unmanly about declining to marry a woman because you sense that marriage to you would not be a gift to her, that you could not love her as she longs to be loved. That is Christ-like preferring another to yourself.“
    I love her use of the word gift here. Could I truly be a gift to a woman in marriage? I like to believe that I’m open to either celibacy or marriage, whatever God should call me to, but I honestly don’t think that I have a desire to be married at all. I am currently very content and satisfied in my current singleness, and I’m hopeful that I can continue to build strong, healthy relationships with others to fulfill my human longing for connection, in whatever form that may take. Does this mean I feel a call to celibacy? I’m not sure. For now I’m living the way Jacob described, I’m single today, so I will strive to be celibate today.
    Also, #TeamJacob

    • The Remnant is growing…God help us all.
      Great pull from Johanna. I love that simple concept: can I be a gift to this other person? So much of my “desire” for marriage, if you can call it that, is completely self-centered. A marker of “growth” or “healing” for my journey and my story, my testimony. “Hey everybody, look what God is doing in my life.” If that’s my primary (or even secondary, tertiary, etc.) motivation for marriage, then I certainly best not wade into those waters.
      Great stuff, Randal. Thanks for sharing!

  • What a wonderful and peace-giving conversation. Thanks for putting into words the intricacies of “being called to celibacy” and offering vocabulary and experience to help us consider the concept more fully.
    This podcast truly gave me pause because I have borne the banner of “pursuing celibacy” in recent years. I think I would have answered you “yes, called to Celibacy,” on your recent Facebook poll because it seemed like too many of my life events have perfectly aligned to guide and support my walk towards celibacy, even if there never was a loud voice saying, “Be Celibate.”. In fact, you joked about imaging little Samuel hearing a call from God to be Celibate, but even before I had language to think that I was SSA (late 4th grade to be exact), I remember whole-heartedly swearing to my friends that I would never be married. For a while, it seemed like a goofy, childish thing to do, but still, me as a 9 year old boy, pulled out a piece of paper and signed a literal “contract” with my friends saying I would never be married (by my own insistence not any pressuring of theirs, as they were insisting we would all one day be married).
    Lo and behold, closeted, Christian me goes to college, still thinking I’ll just keep it to myself, or maybe it will go away, when none-other than Wesley Hill is a guest speaker at our college in my freshman year. It was like a re-realization of how God could use me to inspire more intentional relationships between me and my friends sans romantic intention. Add Debra Hirsh, Champagne Rosario Butterfield, and Preston Sprinkle to the list of speaker and writers that I truly stumbled across and it became quite clear that I could help bring an openness and clarity to conversations about sexuality and intimacy through my celibacy within my friend group and beyond.
    Even today, with co-workers and friends who ask if I ever want or think I might get married, my gut response is that I do believe it is possible, but I am quite certain that I am meant to be Celibate. I greatly appreciate your quote from Aquinas and it reminded me also of a Sam Alberry quote from “7 myths about singlesness.” — which roughly reads — “If marriage be the image of the Gospel, then Singleness is the proof of it.”
    All that being said, I greatly appreciate your willingness to step back and give a bigger context to Celibacy and singleness. Certainly, God works through our “weaknesses” and situations, but it was necessary for me to hear ways it’s worth pushing back on the verbiage of “Called to Celibacy,” opposed to simply being called to Christ. I know i certainly take pride in bearing celibacy as a burden and that struggle makes me holier or greater than my peers, but in all honesty that very thing I see as a means of Gods work in me can become my own work for me.
    Love the Podcast and all the Other Brothers who take part in making and supporting it!

  • Hey y’all! I was listening to this episode, and you guys touched on a lot of different things that directly relate to my life, so I felt the need to share a bit.
    First off, calling. Calling is a very difficult word for Christian folks, because we tend to think of it like Paul’s Macedonian call or Samuel’s calling. But, this is rarely the case. I have been heavily involved in missions work, and let me tell you I’m called to cross-cultural ministry in some way. Did I hear the voice of God regarding that? No. But, every time I find myself working cross-culturally, I flourish. In this regard, I’m called to missions.
    With regard to celibacy, however, I really love what Jacob said about being called to it for this day. Again, I’ve never had a supernatural moment where the Lord directly told me to pursue celibacy. But, it is where I currently find myself, so I am called to it.
    Another aspect of calling to consider is from a spiritual disciplines perspective. As my mentor once told me, “We are called to different spiritual disciplines for a season.” For instance, I was called to Lectio Divina for a season. When that season of two months closed, I moved on to contemplative prayer, a discipline I still engage in five months later. If it helps anybody in the “open” category of celibacy calling, you can think of celibacy as a spiritual discipline. In this way, you are called to celibacy for this current season, however long or short that may be. If and when God closes that season, then you are called to marriage.
    Second, the reference to Yoda made me immediately wish all celibate folks could walk around in Jedi robes. We would stick out like sore thumbs, but at least people would know and respect that we’re celibate like when married people wear rings. Perhaps Pair of Thieves would make them? In all seriousness though, I’ve considered buying myself a celibacy ring. We’ll see if that ever actually happens.
    Lastly, expressing your sexuality as a celibate queer Christian. That can be a very difficult thing to figure out. I’m in the learning process of that now. Ryan’s explanation of pursuing friends was very helpful for me in understanding this. At the same time, I think it’s possible to express our sexualities through art or music or other hobbies. In a way, everything we do becomes queer, simply because we are queer. (Ok, maybe not wearing camo, but that’s the one exception)
    Anyways, thanks you guys for this episode! It was really good.

  • Two thoughts, maybe three. If we are not in an opposite sex marriage, we are all called to celibacy and chastity. Also, if celibacy is a gift, it’s like getting socks for Christmas. Sure, You need socks, but do you want them for Christmas?? Finally, Go Team Jacob. The Remnant will prevail.

    • I don’t know, Sergei, in recent years I have come to DEEPLY appreciate socks. The good ones. Not the sandpaper ones from Walmart. So, maybe not a new iPhone. But still. A solid gift in my world.
      Jacob will be so delighted.

  • I’m only close to being 20 so I don’t really have much to say about living the celibate life. However, I have wrestled with these questions in my head in dedicating my life in singleness for the glory of God. I’m not in any way attracted to women though in some strange way, I can acknowledge their beauty. But I am open to pursuing a life of marriage if the possiblility allows. On the other hand, I can see a fulfilling life in singleness with the example of Paul and our greatest proof in Christ. I can definitely see more opportunities to serve in ministry as a celibate believer while acknowledging the blessings that come with becoming a husband and/or father. I just have to remind myself that it is not I, but Christ who ultimately chooses how I will live out my life. In the meantime, I hope and pray that I would fully live out my life to the glory of God whether in singleness or in marriage. Praying for you all always!

    • Thanks for listening and commenting on this old episode, Sam! And for your prayers for us, too. Always a joy to see old posts and episodes revived for people just finding us. We’re glad you’re here!

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