Sex and the Single Guy

One of the first articles to appear on Boundless from CHBC folks was Physical Intimacy and the Single Man by Matt Schmucker which is based on the talk he has given a couple of times in the church’s sexuality talks and at the Sex and the Supremacy of Christ conference (and taken from the conference’s book). Well now Boundless have published an interview their staff had with Michael Lawrence and Scott Croft on the subject of sex and the single man, which is well-worth reading. In part 1 they discuss the extent of what constitutes sexual activity, the need for asking specific questions to single men regarding their ‘struggles’ and the obligation for many men to pursue marriage. In part 2 they discuss the marriage norm and the gift of celibacy being a rare thing and that often men attempt to use 1 Cor 7 to justify selfish singleness, and they oppose married couples choosing childlessness. There is also a comment to women who desire marriage regarding singleness being a gift in the sense of 1 Pet 4:8 and also a form of suffering.

While I disagree with some of what they said, particularly regarding the gift of celibacy, I do think that there are some helpful points that they raise. Here are some key points:

  • Singleness is a gift to be used for the church, as in 1 Pet 4:8.
  • Unwanted singleness is a sharing in Christ’s sufferings.
  • There should be no getting onto the sexual on-ramp outside of marriage (see also the last reply in this Q and A post).
  • Extended singleness requires particular sexual control (Michael and Scott take a gift of celibacy position that goes further than I do, believing that the gift involves no sexual struggle).
  • Extended singleness is for the purpose of ministry (indeed Michael includes having such a ministry as part of the way to identify the gift).
  • Extended singleness is a sacrifice.

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One Comment on “Sex and the Single Guy”

  1. gortexgrrl Says:

    As much as I appreciate Lawrence and Croft’s fresh perspective on singleness and marriage, their use of 1 Peter 4:8-10 to justify holding onto the trendy term “gift of singleness” is even more dubious than using 1 Cor 7:7!

    Once again, you have to look at the whole context of 1 Peter 4, or at least some of the verses surrounding their cited passage.

    The word “charisma” (grace gift) in 1 Peter 4:8-10 isn’t really referring to “the gift of the circumstance that they are in” as ML claims, but rather the gifts/strengths mentioned in verse 11. I wonder if he has just thrown that in so that his colleagues who have used the term “gift of singleness” to apply to circumstantial singleness can save face. Nevertheless, I do appreciate that this represents an alternative away from the old “God gives some the gift of marriage and some the gift of singleness” misinterpretation of 1 Cor 7:7.


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