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CELIBACY. The state of being unmarried, particularly when this state is deliberately chosen. The Bible lays down no definitive rules about it. John the Baptist, for example, was unmarried, but Peter was married. Jesus himself did not marry, but he contributed notably to the wedding celebrations at Cana (John.2.1-John.2.11). He realized that some “have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt.19.12), and once he warned against wrong priorities if to become married would be a positive hindrance to discipleship (Luke.14.20). Paul recognized the dangers of earthly ties and stressed basic principles: God has an assignment for every life, and whatever our situation, married or single, the main thing is to be able to exercise our God-given gifts to the full (1Cor.7.7-1Cor.7.9, 1Cor.7.17, 1Cor.7.32-1Cor.7.38).

See also

  • Marriage