Does Long-Term Celibacy Lead to Careless Dating Decisions?

Hello World,

When I first heard the story about a metro Atlanta minister being accused of infecting unsuspecting women with HIV last year, I knew I had to write about it at some point…On Tuesday, Craig Lamar Davis, a 43-year-old Atlanta minister, was found guilty of two counts of reckless HIV by a Clayton County, Georgia jury after having sex with a woman without disclosing his status…Although the woman has not tested positive, she said the experience has been on “ongoing nightmare” and that “whenever [she] tests, [she] gets anxious.” Davis, who was reportedly married at the time that he was involved with the woman, will be sentenced on Feb. 21 at 10 am. He faces up to 20 years in prison for both charges, according to Tracy Graham Lawson, Clayton County district attorney. James H. Walker III, the woman’s attorney, said they plan to pursue charges in Fulton County.

I pray this woman continues to test negative. However, the second woman who testified in the case has tested positive unfortunately. According to the article “Second woman testifies in Clayton HIV case” in the AJC, Davis met the second woman in church where he led the men’s ministry, and she worked with the bishop of the church. Their interaction at church led to a romance. This woman had been celibate for 15 years prior to having a sexual relationship with Davis in 2010!

I cannot pretend to know this woman’s state of mind when she met Davis nor do I want to trivialize what has happened to her…But her testimony has me asking several questions. First of all, I’m assuming that she opted to be celibate because she is a single Christian woman. What made her throw away her celibacy to get involved with Davis? It has been said that one should never be too hungry, too angry, too lonely or too tired (H.A.L.T.) because any of these could cause a normally reasonable person to make a poor and often regrettable decision…Was this woman so lonely after 15 years of celibacy that this minister appealed to her when he normally wouldn’t have?

I mean we are told in the very first book of the Bible that “it is not good for a man [woman] to be alone,” and even animals entered into Noah’s Ark “two by two.” Not to mention the verse that says “it is better to marry than to burn.” And then again, on the other hand, Paul said he wishes everyone could be single like him but concedes that not everyone has that gift…

While every human being comes into this world as a single person and will likely live as a single adult for sometime, I’m not sure that God intended for most people to be single for decades and decades….I’m not a Biblical scholar, but I imagine that the average age of a person getting married during that time was considerably younger than the average age for getting married today. According to Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America, the latest report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, and the RELATE Institute, the average age to get married for the first time is now 27 for women and 29 for men, which is a “historic high.”

Since delaying marriage is a current cultural trend, I wonder what churches can do to help support men and women who endeavor to be celibate for decades…Or should single people be encouraged to marry earlier?

Any thoughts?





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2 thoughts on “Does Long-Term Celibacy Lead to Careless Dating Decisions?

  1. Why oh why are you putting these two women in different categories when CLEARLY they made the same bad decision? Is one better than the other and therefore more likely to make less horrid decisions? Being celibate doesn’t mean that you think any better than anyone else. Without clicking a link or having heard of this case prior to this article (so I’m debating this article only) we don’t know why she was celibate and it isn’t any of our business. She chose to be with this man and so did someone else. Neither deserved being with a person who knowingly would give them THE STD, but just because she hadn’t had sex by choice doesn’t mean she makes great choices.

    Thanks for the article though.

  2. Definitely not putting the woman in separate categories….It’s just that one indicated she had been celibate for 15 years prior to encountering this man, but as far as I know, the other woman did not have the same history…and being celibate doesn’t mean that you necessarily mean you make better decisions than others do but does indicate a degree of self-control that many others don’t have…so it makes me wonder what made her lose her self-control in this case…