Jesus viewed celibacy (sexual abstinence) as a supernatural gift imparted to certain people by God (Matthew 19:10-12), and He chose this way of life for Himself. He never married, and He taught that some individuals were empowered to live a life of celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul was also single (1 Cor. 7:7-8), and he recognized that this divine spiritual gift enabled him to remain single, without suffering from excessive sexual desire (1 Cor. 7:9). Paul recognized the benefits of the celibate life, free of marital responsibilities, in order to give total service to the Lord, when he wrote, “He who is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord; how he may please the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:32).
Like Jesus, Paul was not ranking celibacy above marriage as a morally or spiritually superior way of life for everyone. Paul teaches that it is good for believers, but that not all men and women can live such a life; only those who are divinely empowered: “But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that” (1 Cor. 7:7).
As a spiritual gift, celibacy is a supernatural empowerment for the single believer to live a life of total consecration and devotion to God, that follows in the way of the Master, advances the Kingdom of God, and brings glory to God. Let the unmarried disciple of Jesus Christ be encouraged in their pursuit of this blessed way of life, and find their strength and dependence on the grace of the Lord, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.