next episode
PodcastCAMP HODPatreonblogHamburger Navigation IconSearch Icon

Will I be single forever? POV from a Celibate Christian


Dr. Gregory Coles

Today Kait and JJ are joined by Dr. Gregory Coles to talk about celibacy, shifting our mindset around singleness, and how to flourish as a single person. 


Hey hey hey Heart of Dating fammm! We’re back in a NEW year with a NEW season! Welcome to season 12 you guys. This one is going to be a good one. We’re talking about all things singleness and giving you all the tools you need during this season. Today is super special because we have a returning guest from an episode years ago in 2021. His name is Greg, and the episode is 121: Single, Gay Christian with Greg Coles. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t listened before. So, without further ado, lets jump into episode 216 of the Heart of Dating podcast! 

Greg, what do you say about the title, “Single, Gay Christian?”

The word, “gay” has been a really controversial word around this whole conversation because it begs the question, how should we put words around our experience in a way that the people around us are going to understand correctly? The trick is that in a lot of christian spaces we hear the word gay and we immediately think, “oh, okay someone says they’re gay so that must mean they’re seeking out a same sex sexual relationship, that must mean they have the following beliefs about theology.” What Greg has found about his non-christian friends is that when someone says they’re gay it ususally just means they’re attracted to the same sex. 

So, as Greg was trying to choose a word for himself, he thought he can either, choose to use the best language to communicate with people who really need to hear the gospel and hope that my christian siblings will listen long enough to understand what I’m saying OR I can pick words my christian siblings will understand but maybe aren’t actually effective for having conversations with people outside the church. 

Greg’s Journey to Celibacy…What assumptions did you have about being single for the rest of your life?

Greg thinks back and wonders who told him singleness was going to be hard. He thinks it might be because he heard such good things about marriage and things you would get in marriage and essentially marriage was lifted up. If you got all of those things in marriage then it must mean that being single meant that you would live alone, lack intimacy, and not involved in the lives of kids. 

Greg is 33 years old, in his Jesus year! Around 25 it felt clear from the Lord that he was going to be single for life. One of the things he’s found as time has gone on is that the more he stops fighting the feelings of unfairness, and really thinks about how how to live in this season and be fruitful. The more he has created space to ask God those questions and for God to answer those questions the more God has really interesting and fun things that Greg is invited to be apart of in it. 

A lot of times the temptation is to miss the really good gifts God is trying to give while looking for another gift in another season. 

Do you feel like your life changed when you were faced with the decision and call that this was indefinite celibacy? How did your mindset change?

It’s important to be open handed in whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. So much of the logic was skewed when it came to what Greg learned about stewarding his body sexually as a young person. Something that was really significant that he had to really change in his mindset was that he started needing to perceive the value of stewardship of his body as something that he doesn’t do because of the care of a future marriage but he actually does because of the deep interest and delight that God already takes in him.  

What if you lived a life in singleness so rich that even Greg at 33, it is so fulfilled that if I gave you a matrix pill and I said, “here’s another universe, where you could be 33, 3 years married with 2 beautiful children,” and you say I don’t really know which one I’d pick because they are both so spectacular. 

Greg believes so deeply that the things God is using him for now are so GOOD that he can’t really imagine an alternate universe without them. He is deeply convinced that God has given him good gifts in this vocation and he doesn’t want to swap them out because those are someone else’s gifts. 

In the gospels there’s this moment where Peter talks about leaving everything to follow him. Can you talk about Jesus’s response and the promise that there is for those who give up everything for him?

One of the things that Greg loves so much about this part in scripture is that Jesus doesn’t deny that there is something given up to follow him. There’s a recognition that there’s a price. Jesus doens’t just promise eternal life, he also promises things in this lifetime. He’s promising we will be family to one another. Friendships are eternal, marriage isn’t. 

How do you think the church and indidivudals in the church can cultivate a better culture of singleness?

It’s important for people to rise to the occasion to rise up and be the family to each other. How are you called to be the answer to prayer someone else is praying for family? The more Greg participates in christian community that operates like family. There are no guarantees. We’re called to bear each other’s burdens. There’s no way to set up a fool proof way to be taken care of when I’m old.  

So as a single, celebrate person… We want to know, can you flouirish and be happy as a single person?

Everyone’s journey is going to be different. It’s been crucial for Greg to let God speak into his purpose and how he’s called to invest in the others around him. So many are taught that marriage is the purpose of life when it’s really not. Ask yourself, “what am I here for?” 

Headshot of Greg Coles

Greg Coles

Website IconPodcast Mic IconInstagram IconFacebook IconLinkedIn IconTick Tok IconTwitter IconYoutube IconYoutube IconCustom Icon

Gregory Coles is the author of Single, Gay, Christian, No Longer Strangers, and The Limits of My World. He holds a PhD in English from Penn State and lives in Boise, Idaho, where he works as a writer and speaker. Greg is a Senior Research Fellow at The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender.

Website IconPodcast Mic IconInstagram IconFacebook IconLinkedIn IconTick Tok IconTwitter IconYoutube IconCustom Icon

Website IconPodcast Mic IconInstagram IconFacebook IconLinkedIn IconTick Tok IconTwitter IconYoutube IconCustom Icon

Website IconPodcast Mic IconInstagram IconFacebook IconLinkedIn IconTick Tok IconTwitter IconYoutube IconCustom Icon
Share this episode
Headshot of Kait Warman

Never Miss an Episode

Let’s clear through the dating fog together.

Stay up to date with all our latest episodes featuring fresh, compelling topics and guests weekly!

Meet us on the Gram!

White close sign

Looking for something specific?