Three New Testament unmarried men stand out: Jesus, John the Baptist, and Paul. While it was very unusual, it does not appear that it was a popular subject for debate or criticism by the religious leaders. Apart from Paul, their unmarriedness is never mentioned. And, certainly their focus was undivided in serving God.
The matter of intimacy is a big one for the unmarried folk who desire to live faithfully in the physical sense. The world has no problem flaunting sexual freedom in our faces. Television and the internet bring vivid images to our sight 24/7. We have to make choices which are in harmony with our commitment to Christ. Can we tune out all temptation? No. Being tempted is not a sin. Yielding to it is. James is very adamant in his summary of temptation: (James 1:13-15)
- God tests us, but never tempts us to do wrong.
- We are tempted when our own desires take a wrong turn – to ache to do something immoral.
- . We have a choice: turn away, or follow it and let it take over.
- Sin results, bringing death with it.
Eugene Peterson says it this way in The Message: “Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”
Obviously, temptations take many forms as addressed very clearly in the Ten Commandments, and breaking them begins with lust or the inordinate desire to do wrong. Most of them have nothing to do with sexual issues. And, obviously, these things apply to men and women alike, married or unmarried.
God’s grace and mercy, forgiveness and restoration also apply to men and women alike, unmarried or married. We have Jesus as an Advocate who can empathize with our weaknesses and understand every temptation. He not only provides a way out of every temptation; the Holy Spirit and Jesus intercede for us! (Hebrews 4:15; I Corinthians 10:13; Romans 8: 26-27, 33)