Celibacy is common in our churches today and is the cause of great suffering. This phenomenon seems more and more common, and especially among those in full-time service for God.
So, how can we facilitate a place for these single Christians who want to follow the direction of God for their lives to meet up and spend time together?
Fear of making a mistake, missing out on “the one”, wounds from their past, etc., are all barriers that paralyze younger and older singles alike from looking for a soul mate.
Let me describe the levels of intimacy that cultivate new friendship between two people of the opposite sex.
Imagine a ladder that has to be climbed, one bar at a time to the top, the wedding day. One of the essential foundations of God’s heart and intention is that each couple build a solid friendship before marriage begins.
These first three levels enable singles to freely get to know each other without any danger of cultivating emotional, spiritual, and physical ties that prepare the man and the woman for the level reserved only for marriage. This is the ideal "safe zone" for Christian singles! They can discover each other and have the opportunity to seek the will of God, side-by-side, with full knowledge of all the facts necessary to decide whether or not to move further.
The first level of intimacy is Intellectual:
This is where you respectfully share your political, economic ideas, etc. You can discuss your world views and discover how both of you see the world.
Pastors, why not organize "debates" to allow singles to discover their similarities and differences in a healthy and constructive setting? Confronting your ideas with those of others, is always a great way to open up your mind.
The second level of intimacy is Social:
Outings and group activities provide a secure environment to get to know each other. The different levels of interaction within the group allow friendships to grow. The young man and woman interested in each other can remain balanced, open to others with a sufficient number of common Christian or non-Christian friends.
Pastors, why not organize activities , where ties between single Christians can be woven ...?
The third level of intimacy is Relaxation:
These simple moments, without any particular goal other than to relax, offer another level where singles can discover each other in a more individual way, while remaining in a restrained activity, which will not affect the growtv of the future couple.
Pastors, why not organize fun activities (games, sports, fellowship...) in a setting conducive to relaxation that will provide all the decency required? This is another excellent, more intimate discovery field for your singles.
These first three levels make it possible to get out of a box that is sometimes too restrictive in order to go learn more about each other without making oneself vulnerable. Shared activities and spending time together will allow singles to remain in the "safe" zone . They can therefore, if the possibility of a relationship presents itself, seek the will of God, individually without being "involved" in a relationship before getting the green light from God!
During this period of searching,, having a support group to pray and share with is essential. When you have climbed the first three rungs of the ladder and God has confirmed that He has chosen you for each other, you can move into the last three levels that will complete the building of the friendship reserved for a husband and a wife.
The fourth level of intimacy is Emotional:
Soul ties are made here, when two people share what they feel deep on the inside. The souls of future spouses bond one to another, this is part of the mysterious union being cultivated for the future husband and wife.
It is therefore extremely dangerous for two Christians, still uncertain of whether it is the will of God for them to be united for life, to share their feelings with each other. This is the most common mistake we see today!
The fifth level of intimacy is Spiritual Sharing:
Be careful, be careful: Do not pray together lightly! The interweaving of the two spirits is finalized when the future couple prays together, asking for the blessing of God on their lives, and uniting spiritually. This is the last level before the wedding night...
The sixth level of intimacy is reserved for the wedding night:
The bonding of the husband and wife is completed with their sexual union.
The first three levels affect the external, the last three the internal person. Explore without fear, actively looking for your future spouse by staying exclusively in levels 1, 2 and 3! God will bless you when climbing the last three levels that will lead you to start life's biggest adventure together: marriage!