Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Celibacy" is Not a Dirty Word

We live in a world that believes Celibacy is impossible.

Just look around if you don't believe me [I bet you didn't have to look did you?].

When my husband first abandoned me, Celibacy was a HUGE concern in my mind. I didn't see how on Earth I'd accomplish living a Celibate life. I was never one of those folks who lost interest in the, um, "marital union", shall we say. I never got "bored" with my husband [or with monogamy].

The idea of living a Celibate life was scary.

But I know that Celibacy is exactly what God is calling me to, and I Submit.

When my husband left, I knew *immediately* that I would never, ever expose my children to some string of "boyfriends" and "lovers" like so many single parents seem to do. You only have to look around at our broken society to see why I feel that way - children are frequently abused by their biological parent's boy/girl friends. My kids have suffered more than enough and I will never put them in a situation where they are at risk.

It took me another year after he left to realize that "Remarriage" was also a bad idea. IF my Annulment comes through [and there is no reason, at all, to think that it won't - there are at least 8 different grounds that make my marriage invalid], I can certainly remarry with the blessings of my Church.

But is that wise? I did a lot of reading about step families a few months back, and I think the answer is NO. It is not wise. At All.

Remarriages that involve existing children have an astronomical rate of unhappiness - and generally the children suffer. Step parents in general do NOT love their step children like they love their own children [ no matter how much we want to believe in the Brady Bunch, it is extremely rare to see a remarriage come together like that - you'd be more likely to hit the Big Game lotto.].

Remarriages with children have an extremely high divorce rate too [I've seen some estimates as high as 90%].

The best one can *realistically* expect from a step parent is that they won't abuse your kids. The step parent may turn out to be decent to the kids. [Odds are against this however, single parents should not kid themselves]. Certainly there are step parents who genuinely love their step children and who are wonderful to the step children - but they are NOT the norm.

There also appears to be a good deal of "pretending" going on in single parent courtships too from what I gather from my reading - potential partners "pretending" to just love those cute little children until after the wedding - when suddenly they feel comfortable enough to voice their true feelings. So even if I found a guy who seemed perfect, I wouldn't really KNOW if he was until after I'd taken that unbreakable Vow, would I?

And even if I did "luck out" and happen to get that Knight In Shining Armor who is a Paragon of Christian Love and Decency and he doesn't harm my children - is it really in my children's best interest to have him around, even then?

I kinda have to say No. I had a very brief period where I spoke with a Catholic Gentleman who was very interested in dating me seriously and we went out on one date. What I found in that time period was that a lot of my energy went towards that relationship - my thoughts, my time, my energy, etc were invested in him. All of that SHOULD have been invested in my children.

My thoughts and my time belong with my children right now. My children have been through a very traumatic experience. My children only have one real parent. My children NEED me - it is not in their best interest that I invest my time and energy in dating Some Guy. My children need everything I have to give and it isn't fair to them for me to squander myself on some stranger who most likely won't ever be a member of our family - and who is most likely to be a negative force in their lives if he DOES become a member of our family.

I am firmly convicted at this time that God is NOT calling me to remarriage. This may change as my children get older and need less from me, I don't know. But at this point in my life, I am prepared and willing to remain single because my Vocation of Motherhood is DEFINITELY where God is calling me - THAT is where my energy belongs.

So, remarriage is out for me. God and I will prayerfully review this every 6 months [we have a standing date] and I trust that HE will make it clear to me if this ever changes. I don't have to worry about it - I am focused on the things He has set before me, nothing else.

And it goes without saying that if I am remaining single, I have to be a *shining example* of Purity if I want my children to believe what I have taught them - that sex is good [AWESOME!] in marriage but that sex outside of marriage leads to pain & misery.

Fornication is just unwise, for a million reasons - not the least of which is because God specifically and clearly says "Hey, don't do that Crap". The older I get, the more I realize just how amazingly BRILLIANT our God is. He is WAY smarter than you, me, or any of those liberated intellectuals out there who are arguing with Him.

I have learned [absolutely the hard way] that when I stray from what God tells me to do, it goes badly. 100% of the time.

It only took me about 38 years of being a Head Strong Idiot to finally put the pieces together and have that light bulb moment, but there you go. :)

This is a lesson that I want to teach my children - I don't want them to have to learn this the long, hard, insanely painful way like I did.

So, remarriage and fornication are out as far as I'm concerned and that leaves.... Celibacy.

Our culture clearly believes that Celibacy is impossible. Our sex drives are too powerful, we are too weak to say no to our most base desires, and we should not even be expected to resist our animal instincts.

Our Catholic Priests and Religious face this prejudice as well - people simply don't believe it is *possible* that they could be celibate. Many people who even call themselves Catholic believe that priestly celibacy is wrong, or at the very least impossible for normal men.

Personally, I have been surprised by the actual Reality.

Celibacy IS very possible. It CAN be done. You don't shrivel up and die and your private parts don't even turn blue.

Who knew?

But I believe it takes a strong faith in God to manage it. [Thus why most Westerners can't even contemplate it].

God has granted me incredible Grace in this matter. I said to Him "God, you know I'm lonely and you know I miss having a partner, but I am open to your Will. WHATEVER it is." [I was scared to say that, by the way].

And God, gentle and loving as He always is, took my feeble "fiat" and piled Grace upon Grace on my head.

He gave me the answer I feared [that I should remain Celibate and unmarried] but then He turned around and gave me the Grace to accomplish His Will - without much effort of my own.

Here are the things I found that have helped me keep this vow of Celibacy that I have made:

1. Guard your eyes. We live in a society that is so saturated with Sex that you almost can't avoid it. I stopped watching TV shows that caused my mind to stray to inappropriate places. [I was already pretty strict about what I watched, but I had to get even tougher. I needed to omit shows that were not overtly sexual but which portrayed things that were sometimes not appropriate. I'm contemplating ditching TV altogether]. When I stopped allowing myself to watch or read anything like this, celibacy became a LOT easier.

2. Keep Busy. This one I have covered. LOL! But it does help. That old adage about Idle hands being the Devil's playground is not wrong.

3. Don't Tell Yourself Lies. This probably sounds crazy, but people OFTEN tell themselves "Oh, we'll just be friends" or "Oh, nothing will happen" and they believe themselves and put themselves in tempting situations. I think they actually believe their own lies until they end up in bed with someone they shouldn't be.

4. Use Common Sense. This goes hand in hand with the thing above - but don't put yourself in situations that could become an occasion of Sin for you - just don't do it. Your life will be a lot easier.

5. Pray. Ask God to help you. He will. This should actually be Number 1.

These are the suggestions I have for anyone who is struggling with this issue. These are the things that have helped me. I'm sure there are many other great ideas out there, but this is what works for me.

Sex makes people do stupid things.

Sex makes people stay with lovers who are HORRIBLE for them - lovers that they wouldn't think twice about walking away from if they weren't sexually entangled.

I think Sex disengages our brains actually. We get so involved with Sex that we can't think straight.

When we have a sexual relationship, we spend SO much time and energy on that relationship [even if it isn't a GOOD relationship]. That time and energy could be spent on so many more beneficial things. Like scoping out the potential partner's actual character and whether or not we should stay with them....or finding a cure for cancer. Stuff like that.

My kids can't afford for me to make any more bad choices in our life. [That "picking a husband" bad choice I made was a hum dinger]. I can't afford it either.

So, personally, I'm keeping my brain fully engaged and avoiding the alternatives.


God Bless You!

No comments:

Post a Comment