One of the perks of being a chastity educator are the random inspirations of relevant analogies pertaining to subjects covered in our In Control program. A few weeks ago, I was talking about priests and religious' vow of celibacy on Sacred Heart Radio's Son Rise Morning Show, when one such revelation hit me.
Living celibacy "for the kingdom of heaven," as Pope John Paul II refers to it, does not negate the value of marriage but rather emphasizes it. When we choose to sacrifice something for lent, we give up something meaningful like chocolate (well, chocolate is very meaningful to me). If we were to "give up" Brussel sprouts, though, it wouldn't mean much because there is no sacrifice (at least for me, since I abhor Brussel sprouts).
If celibacy is a sacrifice then it proves the value of sex and marriage. If they weren't special, then giving them up would be meaningless. Instead, men and women who take a vow of celibacy do so to offer up something good in order to point us to something better -- God and our relationship with Him in heaven. They are simultaneously showing us the value of sex and marriage by offering them up to God as a sacrifice out of love.
If sex wasn't important, then celibacy wouldn't be either and vice versa.