So I'm uncomfortable with both asexual and celibate labels. Why?
I feel more like I'm being practical than sacrificial. If you don't have to get mixed up in the morass of romantic/sexual relations, why on God's green earth would you? I think all people desire intimacy, but some of us just realize that sex doesn't have the market cornered on intimacy, and sexual relationships are not necessarily superior in the intimacy department. Unfortunately, a lot more people don't realize that, so relationships in the church are skewed from the ideal just as much (if in different ways) as those outside the church.
The church, the body of Christ, should be about real love (intimacy), but nowhere do people get as hysterical about the idea of intimate, chaste, male-female friendships as in the current church. It's unconscious and systemic. The book Singled Out picked up on it and painted kind of a beautiful picture but stopped before going nearly far enough with the analysis and suggestions. I hope the authors are working on a sequel. (Does anyone know of any other books that explore this practical aspect further?)
The church should be the place where people are a family, one body, intimately involved with each other's lives and not so LASER-focused on spouses and children to the exclusion of any other intimate relationships.
Yeah, I said it. It's pretty radical, I know, and it's hardly well-developed and well-thought out enough to write a book about. But when I look at what I know of the life and example of Jesus and the early church, I can't help but think that maybe it's true.
What do you think?