Unmarried and celibate - The brothers of the church speak up - Pt 1
"I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs - how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world - how he can please his wife - and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world - how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.
For the next few weeks, we will get a front-row seat into the lives of young evangelists and preachers who are unmarried and who are refraining from any form of sexual exploration as biblically instructed.
It is no easy feat, but they will explain how they cope daily in a world where immorality is justified and their support may be limited.
Meet Silburn Reid, a born-and-bred Seventh-day Adventist who knows all too well the luring abilities of the world but is pushing through as a man of God.
"I got baptised at the tender age of eight, and by then, I understood enough to love Jesus and accept that when He comes, I want to go with Him. The fact that I have been in church all my life, all my sinning took place while I was in church. This happened, basically, for almost all my high school years, until I got to a point where I felt I had done enough sinning. I tried almost everything I wanted to do when I was young, but I got to the place where I turned right back to Jesus because I knew it's the best thing."
Reid said that it took five years of prayer and fasting for his spiritual renewal, and even up to this day, his praying regime is very intense lest he falters.
The young preacher told Family & Religion that he has been out of a relationship for the past four years not because he wants to remain single, but because he "wants a wife for life, not a girlfriend for a moment".
"I have created a realistic list in my mind of the qualities I want my girl to have, and if after dating I don't see them coming out, I just end it and move on. Most males may not agree with my politic because in their minds, even if she's not the one, I can still keep her to get the package. However, I was able to grow, and still continue to grow, beyond that childish ideology of wanting to go in a female's garage without being willing to make a commitment to live in the house. So if I start dating a female and she doesn't have a personal relationship with God and I am not attracted to her more than what I can physically see, then I know that woman is not for me ..."
When asked what was on this specific list, Reid was very detailed.
"I ask God first for a woman who can pray. I want her to love ministry not because I do it, but because she has a genuine love to see people get saved into the kingdom, and I want her to know God for herself, having her own personal relationship with Him."
If you thought the list ended, there is more, much more.
"Now, on paper, this might look like a superspiritual woman like Ellen White that I am asking for. Nope, not at all, because I also want a woman who is unconventional; is from the West Indies or has a West Indian background; believes in Genesis 1:28, (be fruitful and multiply); sloving and playful; loves to travel and do new things; is strong to let me know when I am going down the wrong path; loves football or lets me watch it in peace; can handle things in the kitchen and the bedroom; is ambitious, virtuous, and humble and beautiful in all forms, especially on the inside."
But is this very long list a reason Reid could be single? Could a woman possessing these qualities be a figment only of his imagination?
To this, Reid stated that he is waiting patiently for God to provide 'the one' and will continue to remain true to the vows he made with God and himself to stay circumspect.
Next week, we conclude Reid's story and hear about his coping methods: 'Netfllix and Nobody', 'Block and Delete' and how to avoid masturbating.