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Would he have been such an effective pastor of churches and mentor to young church leaders if he had his own young family?
He clearly expresses the benefits for the gospel of his celibate life in 1 Corinthians 7 and we need to start promoting similar thinking in our churches today.
Or, to put it another way, we need to start reading our Bibles again.
For it is hard to see how the Bible could be any more positive about the celibate life.
As a result the church needs to ignore the giggles and start rehabilitating the concepts of celibacy (or singleness) and chastity (or sexual self-control).
We need to articulate the benefits of a celibate life for some and to encourage chastity for all.
The single-minded bachelors that used to prop up most British institutions, the devoted spinsters who spent their lives caring for elderly relatives, used to be admired not pitied.
So life without sex for a Christian should never involve an unhealthy repression or denial of their sexuality – any attempt to act as if it didn’t exist.
The danger of this is they may then discover that desire is almost all they have in common with the person they have now committed themselves to for life.