Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Unmarried and celibate - The brothers of the church speak up - Pt 3

Published:Saturday | August 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jeremy Arnold

Mandeville, Manchester:

'Sex is a problem of pleasure' were the words of Jeremy Arnold who recently sat down with Family & Religion to discuss his life of celibacy as a Christian soldier.

It may sound like a thing of the past, but young men and women today continue to devote their lives totally to the cause of God, bearing in mind His law and staying true to their covenant with Him.

But how do they do it and what prevents the weakness of flesh.

"Sex brings about a connection, that even if the person is wrong for you, because you would have opened up yourself to such a connection, it is difficult to break from that connection. Some behavioural psychologists suggest that after an individual has sex outside of marriage - having been convinced that sex should be done in the context and confines of marriage - that a severe attack of depression occurs, more so for females. So, in essence, sex is a problem of pleasure."

He continued: "I recognised that my body was made by God and for God. By God means He knows how the body operates. He has the manual for the human body and knows what the body needs and when the body needs it. He gave us these desires to be acted upon in a particular context (marriage) so when I rely on Him, He will keep me in perfect peace. It's not something I can do in my own strength, given the provocative songs and images which I'm exposed to daily."

Arnold revealed that being actively involved in the work of the Church is what keeps him, and being intentional about what it is that he should be doing.

"'For God' means I am a representative of God, and for me, being aggressively busy in ministry keeps me connected to Him, who is able to keep me from falling. My advice to young men like myself is to guard the avenues of the mind from worldly lust, and come to a place to recognise their purpose in God. Also to know that God has a plan for each and every one of them - Jeremiah 29:11."

 

Fight to Stay on Track

 

The young minister who is presently in a relationship and who is looking to be married in the near future, said that single men of the Church have to fight to stay on track as the temptations are not just out on the street, but also in church, in the front pew and even on the choir loft.

"For an individual who has been exposed to all forms distractions, be it music, images and the likes, coming to church should provide an escape from the daily distractions that, in some cases, bombard the mind. One would believe that the Church would not be a part of such distractions, but not so. However, when a person's mind is stayed on the Lord, such things won't bring about a sexual desire, but a spirit of displeasure to see how the Church would have lowered its standard for the sake of fashion, and would seek to bring about a change. So I am reasoning for a balance where we care for one another."

Arnold expressed that moving around a lot doing evangelical work made his life without a courting partner manageable, but he charged single men to not be eager, but through prayer and supplication, make their needs known unto God.

Next week, we meet another fighting soldier.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com