Today’s dictionaries often still have Required Celibacy; not Chastity it is unlikely that any of them anticipated that
Cross-Cultural Worker that definition but usually add another two of every five babies born in the USA
Singles Issues: definition which includes abstaining from The “therefore” in the quote from would be to unmarried mothers.
sexual intercourse, and they give chastity as a Encyclopedia Britannica above is what people
Celibacy and Chastity synonym. Encyclopedia Britannica online in Western cultures used to believe. That is, if
reads: “celibacy, the state of being unmarried individuals were unmarried, they would be Celibacy’s threats to Chastity
Celibacy and chastity are synonyms, and, therefore, sexually abstinent.” Rather sexually abstinent. Making this assumption,
aren’t they? The dictionary seems to have the than propose a new word meaning Legislators in many Western cultures raised Three times in 1 Corinthians 7 Paul
same definitions for both. If you look one up in “unmarried” I am using celibacy in its original the legal age at which people could marry, mentioned that remaining unmarried could
a thesaurus, the other one comes up as a meaning. As you read please remember that assuming that these young unmarried people threaten one’s purity.
synonym. That is like stating that something is celibacy means unmarried, nothing more. I would abstain from sexual intercourse. Since there is so much immorality both
redundant, and it says the same thing! am married, so I am not celibate. If you are As we well know now, that often is men and women should marry to have
unmarried you are celibate. not the case. As reported in Public Health their own spouses (v. 2).
Lost in Translation Reports the National Survey of Family If people can’t control themselves, it is
Chastity Growth found in 2002 that by age 18 60% of better to marry than to burn with passion
Who would know more about things the men and 54% of the women reported that (v. 9).
getting lost in translation than cross-cultural The word “chaste” is from the Latin they had experienced premarital sex. These If a man believes he is acting improperly
workers serving in places other than their castus which literally means “pure.” adolescents were nearly all unmarried (not old toward his fiancé who is getting older, it
passport culture? Such cross-cultural workers Dictionaries up to the middle of the 20th enough to legally marry), so they were living is good for him to marry her (v. 36).
are keenly aware of trying to explain the century typically defined “chastity” as “not in celibacy but not chastity.
concepts of Christianity in cultures which may indulging in illicit sexual intercourse; People may not tell the full truth on What can we do?
not even have such a concept, much less have a virtuous.” surveys, but other data confirms that many
word for the concept. Today’s dictionaries often define it as unmarried people have sex. The USA Centers
The most important thing single
Contemporary English has appropriated purity, but add something about not being for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in
cross-cultural workers can do to maintain
two different Latin words with different married. Again, rather than propose a new 41% of all births in 2008 were to unmarried
sexual purity is to love God with their whole
meanings and now uses those two words as word meaning “sexual purity,” I am using women 15-44 years of age. Those 1,700,000
beings, their heart, soul, strength, and mind
synonyms. This results in confusion between chastity in its original meaning. While women were living in celibacy, but they were
(Luke 10, Deuteronomy 6). Your
the two related concepts. In requiring vows of reading this, please remember that is the only not chaste. They were unmarried, but they
relationship to God must take top priority
celibacy for priests and nuns, the Roman meaning of the word. Individuals may live in had illicit sexual intercourse.
Catholic Church also often got chastity as well. Have a daily, consistent devotional time
any of the following four states. Sexually transmitted disease rates in
to maintain your relationship with God.
However, when Western culture required Neither celibate nor chaste: Married and the USA are at historic highs. The CDC
celibacy of all adolescents, it did not get Include at least reading Scripture,
engaging in illicit sexual intercourse. reported the rates of gonorrhea by age and sex
meditating, and praying. (Bible study for
chastity nearly as often. Both celibate and chaste: Single and not and the highest rates of any group are women
sermon preparation, writing, teaching
engaging in sexual intercourse. 15-19 years of age. Many of those cases are
preparation, and so forth is not enough!)
Celibacy Celibate but not chaste: Single and gonorrhea of the pharynx contracted by these
Receive God’s love, experience God’s
engaging in sexual intercourse. young women giving oral sex to their male
The word “celibate” is from the Latin love, surrender to his love and let him
Chaste but not celibate: Married and friends. These thousands of people are living
love you (as a Single).
celibatus, which literally means “a single life.” engaging in sexual intercourse only with in celibacy (illegal for them to marry until at
By definition unmarried persons are celibate. least age 18) but not in chastity. Make a specific commitment to God to
spouse. live a holy life free of sexual sin. Write
Dictionaries up to the middle of the 20th century When General Booth and other well-
typically defined “celibacy” as “an unmarried meaning people campaigned to have the this commitment down and place it
state; single life.” minimum legal age of marriages raised to 16, where you will see it daily (desk, mirror,
Study, meditate on, memorize, and apply List sexual things that may be permissible grabbed his coat and asked for sex, but he left
scripture on this topic. Note that in the but not beneficial, things that may master his coat and ran out of the house. You can
major passages where the Bible talks about you as in 1 Corinthians 6. These are maintain your sexual purity too, but you may
being holy it is in the context of sexual sin things not specifically mentioned in have to run from a person, or your computer! Cross-Cultural
(Leviticus 18-20, I Corinthians 5-7). Scripture, such as certain movies, music,
Review these on a regular basis.
The second most important thing single
TV shows, books, Internet sites, and so
forth. These are not necessarily sinful, but
Member Care Consultant
cross-cultural workers can do to maintain sexual
purity is to love others (Luke 10, Leviticus 19).
they may lead to sinful behavior.
Concentrate on “renewing your mind” as
GO InterNational Issues: Celibacy
Your love relationships with others must have a
high priority as well. Relative to sexual purity
described in Colossians 3 and in
Ephesians 4. Take every thought captive
This brochure is one of a series, and
you are invited to suggest other topics you
this would include the following. to make it obedient to God as described in would like to know about to the following:
Learn the cues in your host country that 2 Corinthians 10. Think on the kinds of
signal sexual purity and sexual availability. things mentioned in Philippians 4. Ronald Koteskey Ronald L. Koteskey
These include such things as dress, eye Avoid danger zones for you. If you know 122 Lowry Lane
contact, posture, gestures, and so forth. that you are tempted visually, do not Wilmore, KY 40390
Be aware that even within cultures people watch videos or TV shows that you know
vary widely on the meaning of touch. will contain graphic sexual images. If you Phone: (859) 858-3436
Something you consider indicating only know that you are tempted verbally, do
friendship may be interpreted as sexual by not visit Internet chat rooms or read e-mail: email@example.com
another person. Touch is not improper, but explicit romance novels.
be aware that what you mean as “good Develop an early warning system to Visit the following web site to access
touch” may be interpreted by another as increase your awareness of problems other brochures in the series:
“bad touch” or erotic touch. coming. Knowing that you will be talking
Be especially alert when in “high risk” with an accountability partner is likely to www.crossculturalworkers.com
situations, such as being alone with another make you more aware of danger zones.
person, spending prolonged time working Develop a plan for combating temptations This brochure may be reproduced
with another person, and so forth. which will occur in spite of your attempts
Meet weekly an accountability partner (or to avoid them. If your greatest temptation
group) to answer specific questions about is visual images, train your eyes to
your sexual purity. “bounce” away from such images as soon
The third most important thing that single as they appear. If your temptation is
cross-cultural workers can do to maintain sexual through touch, train yourself to withdraw
purity is to love themselves, to care for as soon as any touch becomes erotic.
themselves as they care for others. Joseph was a handsome, single, young
Accept your own vulnerability. man with hormones raging (just past puberty)
1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we when he was taken to a different culture.
think we are standing firm, we must be When his boss’ wife asked him to have sex
with her, he politely refused and gave her GO InterNational
careful or we will fall.
List (actually write them down) sexual good reasons for his refusal. He refused her
things you will not do, such as those found repeated requests. One time when he went to without change and in its entirety for non-
in Leviticus 18-20. work and they were alone in the house, she commercial purposes without permission.