Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A symbol of your covenant

Now what? You’ve made your commitment – covenant – with God to remain celibate until marriage (or, just to remain celibate, if that applies)… and I know you’re wondering what you should do now.

Step 1: Make the covenant.
Step 2: Obtain a symbol of that covenant.

Pastor Bronner said there’s always a sign of every covenant. For instance, when God made a covenant with Noah that He would never destroy the earth again He put a rainbow as a sign of that covenant. “You have to have something that you can keep before you that says, ‘This is my covenant. I understand why I have it and I understand the virtue that is in it. I understand the blessing.’ The greater the commitment of sacrifice the greater the blessing,” said Pastor Bronner.

“I wear a wedding band because this wedding band reminds me of my covenant,” he explained. “Now, in the same way that a person who’s single might be afraid to make a covenant towards celibacy, a lot of men are afraid to make the covenant for marriage because they don’t trust themselves in terms of being able to be faithful to one person. …The wedding band is an external sign of an internal covenant. Now, married people have an external sign of the internal covenant that they make to keep them devoted to their marriage. I believe that single people ought to have a covenant sign of their commitment to celibacy.”

Remember Michael from the last post? The symbol of his covenant was a silver ring with three braided cords intertwined as his covenant sign. Each time he looked at that ring it reminded him of his promise to God.

The ring I chose was a thin gold band with diamonds. I kind of joked that, “I can buy my own diamond!” So, it served two purposes for me: 1) I remembered my covenant each time I caught sight of that ring. 2) The covenant – and the symbol – helped me to feel complete and fulfilled. And it can do the same thing for you.

When I got married, I passed my covenant ring onto my young daughter. She’s 14 now… don’t miss a single post. Eventually we’ll talk about passing the covenant down to the next generation and helping them to commit to a celibate lifestyle until marriage.

"If you really want something, you can figure out how to make it happen." -- Cher

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Take the first step

It was during 2000 that Michael McNeely revealed he initially had some trepidation about making the single's covenant. “When I first thought about making a covenant, there was a certain fear,” he said. “It was more than just telling myself that I won’t have sex. Making a covenant is more serious. It’s a binding thing – it’s finality.” Michael, who at the time was the single’s ministry leader at Word Of Faith Family Worship Cathedral.

“When you make the covenant God will come in and become a partner to that thing,” Bishop Bronner said (you remember him. He’s the pastor at WOF Cathedral). “That means that we take that thing seriously at that point. Most people don’t trust themselves well enough to make the covenant because they’re like, ‘Lord, I don’t want to play with you and I’m scared that if I make this covenant that I will not be able to keep it.’”

Michael said that once he’d made his covenant, celibacy became easier to maintain. God gave him a supernatural strength to abstain until marriage, he said.

Making a covenant with God is just the first step. “Without us taking our first step, He can’t take His two steps. Singles must walk by faith (that’s an action) and God will help to fulfill that covenant,” Michael said.

Update: Michael is now happily married to Jennifer.
To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten. —Anonymous

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Make a covenant or promise to God

You know the story: You’re single and you’ve been praying for a spouse “forever,” but it’s not the right time. Despite your frustrations – physical and otherwise – you are determined to do what’s right. Or perhaps you haven’t been praying for a spouse and don’t desire to get married, but want to live a right or godly lifestyle.

The best news about this is: God is your biggest supporter of your determination to do the right thing according to the law He has set in His word: “Thou shalt not commit adultery,” Exodus 20:14. Adultery is any sex outside the bond of holy matrimony.

Bishop Dale C. Bronner, pastor of Word Of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell, Georgia, said, “Anyone outside the union of matrimony is required to deal with a life of celibacy.” Singles – divorced, widowed and never married – are required to abstain from sexual intercourse. And a good way to do this is to make a covenant, or promise, to God.

“One of the reasons that a lot of single people are never kept is because they are afraid to make a covenant with God,” Bishop Bronner said. “They’re afraid that if they make a covenant that they won’t be able to keep it so they don’t make it. And the trick of that is this: We are only committed to what we confess. So if we don’t confess and make a covenant in that area that becomes one of the most powerful things in terms of helping us to actually walk in celibacy.”

Check back next week – on March 15 – for more on the covenant! ... Don't forget to tell someone about this blog.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." -- Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Getting down to business

Let’s get the “business” out of the way first. For our purposes here, sex was created to be shared between a man and a woman who have committed to each other under the covenant of marriage. There are many people who believe this to be true and wish to live a godly lifestyle, but have a difficult time doing so. What I’m presenting here is information to assist them in doing that. For those who don’t believe that to be true, I invite them to read the information offered with an open mind.

And, of course, your respectful feedback is always appreciated.

I’m writing a book that is tentatively titled “The Single’s Series, Part I: How to make and maintain your promise to God to remain celibate until marriage.” The book is for singles – whether you’re widowed, divorced or never been married. It is for those who wish to commit to a celibate lifestyle until marriage, but who’ve had a difficult time doing that (or not doing that, if you will); those who are already celibate while they wait until marriage and just need support and tips on maintaining their celibacy; and it’s for those who’ve committed to a life of celibacy.

The information I’m offering here, which will also be included in the book, will discuss everything from dating tips and suggestions, how to make a covenant with God and what that involves to the often taboo subject of masturbation. (More about the book – and your input for the book – later.)

This book is envisioned as the first part in a series of books that will be written specifically with singles in mind. As time passes, I’ll reveal what the topics of the other books will be.

Most of what I’ll present is from a biblical standpoint, but it will also be practical. I hope you enjoy what you read, are inspired by what you read and pass on what you read. Tell your friends, families and associates to drop by … There will be something new at least once a week.

The next time you return – sometime after March 9 – I’ll talk specifically about making the agreement, or covenant, with God to remain celibate until marriage.


“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always gotten.” Bishop Dale C. Bronner, pastor of Word Of Faith Family Worship Cathedral often says this. Do you know who originally said it? If so, let me know!