She smoked, drank, and dated high-profile men, while he was an uber clean-cut preacher who’d been celibate for nearly a decade. But when things took off between actress Meagan Good and film executive DeVon Franklin in 2011, they felt that God had put them “on a love-collision course,” according to their new book, “The Wait.” Before the pair married a year later, they chose to refrain from during their courtship, and suggest that others might find this faith-based approach to love as fruitful as they did.
“We would like this book to become a positive cultural-conversation starter as we all strive to live our God-given destiny,” they write in the first few pages. Even for those who aren’t contemplating following their lead, the book offers wise advice on becoming a more self-actualized person. Good is perhaps known for showing off her comedic chops in “Anchorman 2” and co-starred in the “Think Like A Man” franchise.
Franklin’s latest project is producer of the upcoming Sony film, “Miracles from Heaven” with Jennifer Garner.
They both had a lot going on as busy entertainment professionals. But they found that choosing to remain celibate removed distractions, helped them see one another clearly, and put them on track to be blessed with greater God-given opportunities. “As a man, if you can be disciplined in your life,” Franklin says in the book, “there’s nothing you can’t do.” Good, however, wasn’t feeling so upbeat. She was coming out of a relationship that was destructive, so the chance to take courtship with Franklin more slowly gave her “needed time to heal.”
The two had known each other four years, but after a first date felt platonic, they weren’t sure about moving forward. On the second date, a Prince concert, he grabbed her hand to dash out of the crowd, and that’s when they felt sparks.
But it didn’t mean they were a great match. “I didn’t want to date an actress,” he recalls. “I just didn’t think it would be the right career fit.” He was also well aware that Good smoked and “liked to drink,” he says. Though she had been saved since 12, she had reservations about pairing off with such a religious guy.
Yet spirit kept nudging them together and the same discipline that they drew upon to refrain from physical helped them become more on point in other areas of their life: in their fitness routines, in budgeting, in their prayer life, and in their willingness to be of service to others. They got to know one another better, too, and built “a home within a home.” “Home is about the person more than the place,” they reflect. Once they tied the knot, they found, “our marriage [became] our home, and it fills us back up when the world drains us.”
That doesn’t mean that being celibate before marriage was breezy. Committing to it took vigilance, as triggers can make one vulnerable to giving into the hunger when a friend or family member gets married, a “big” birthday comes up, or a job loss. They suggest that a couple committed to celibacy not let evenings linger too late, avoid touching, as well as drink, which can lower defenses. Double dating or going out with a group of friends can support “the wait,” as does staying busy, and not watching film.
They advocate consistent prayer and meditation, creating a support system, and carrying a meaningful object or token that reminds one of the commitment to God and to celibacy. (It might help to write down a statement of why one is choosing to wait, and to keep it in one’s phone for quick reference.) The overall effect of their choice was like cleaning out a cluttered house, “where the windows have been opened and 90 percent of the furniture has been moved out. [There’s] room to breathe, think, stretch,” they say. A gentle space they used to focus on pursuits that would make them better mates to one another.
In the age of hooking up, speed dating, and dating apps like Tinder, one Hollywood couple is encouraging singles to wait until marriage to have relation. Actress Meagan Good took a vow of celibacy before she married her husband, Hollywood producer DeVon Franklin. After working together on the 2011 film, “Jumping the Broom,” the two dated for 11 months before marrying in 2012. Good and Franklin, 37, who had been celibate since his 20s, penned a book about the experience, titled “The Wait,” which is out Feb. 2. It encourages singles to practice delayed gratification when it comes to pleasure and think of celibacy as a tool to having a successful life.
“It’s a tool to put things in perspective in your life,” Franklin told ABC News. “A lot of times we give up ourselves and our bodies what we think is required just to be in a relationship or feel like we can date or feel like we can be an available option in the dating scene. What we’re saying is celibacy is a tool to help you build a powerful life. When you take the power back … you preserve clarity and can ask, ‘Who is the person that I’m dating?'”
Good, 34, agreed. “It says something interesting for both women and men, especially women that a lot of our value that we put on ourselves and a lot of what can be insecurity is wrapped up and tethered to our life,” she said. “For me, learning that my relationship is not wrapped up in my was key.” The couple is not alone. Russell Wilson made headlines last year when he announced that he and his girlfriend, R&B singer Ciara, were practicing celibacy. Miley Cyrus, Lenny Kravitz, Jessica Simpson and model Adriana Lima have also publicly sworn off at one point.
Chance Cessna said she’s going to wait to have until marriage. Cessna, who lives in Los Angeles, recently shared her decision on Social media and is now being praised for her stance. Cessna told ABC News, “I’m not a pure. I’m not a saint. But I have come to discover the true mystery, beauty and power of purity.” The 25-year-old actress explained she initially chose to become celibate in 2011 but slipped because she was “in a relationship with someone who wasn’t on the same page.”
“I thought being celibate was impossible when I was coming into a woman,” Cessna added. “I was like, ‘I don’t know how people do it.’ But as I grow and matured in my personal faith, it became a lot easier to grasp the concept of actually waiting.” Good understands. She admitted that her journey in the beginning was “tough.” “There’s no going back. There’s no loopholes,” she continued. “It did get easier because [DeVon and I] were in it together and having the support of someone, who was on board with the same goal, made a difference.”
In her Jan. 16 announcement, Cessna said she has recommitted to a life of celibacy and has been free for 12 months. She said she’s already gained peace of mind. “When you abstain from relation, you don’t have to worry about STDs, you don’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancy, you don’t have to worry about infidelity and you don’t have to worry about being enslaved by lust,” she explained. “I was in these relationships in the past that were driven by lust.” “I’m excited because I feel like I’m going to meet my husband,” she added..
This is how people reacted to this post:
Fit2BJustMe – They are just the cutest couple and it’s refreshing to see a faith based couple speak about their relationship
YoungOle’Soul – I agree. Celibacy is more of a disciplined practice. You understand the greater purpose. I am happy with her change and her relationship. I don’t know her but a relationship that involves God, commitment and spiritual intimacy is destined for longevity.
Lady Virgo – These ladies keep saying how they wish they had a man/husband like Devon for all y’all know he could be a different person behind closed doors. Just pray that God sends you a husband that is fit for you and pray to God to make you fit for your future husband.
Duo Flowerchild – Culturally most of us will think this is some what acting because we are so backwards that when we see it being done the right way it appears foreign to us
Tapered Natural – The question about relation was unnecessary, but Devon handled it well. He basically said he is not the type of Christian that would condemn someone because they are or that person differently.
He alluded to having different “views”, but said his views wouldn’t get in the way of the way he treated them. Now THAT IS a Man of God. He never said anything was ok. Folks are bothered because he didn’t jump on the “being gay will get you to” train. If he wants to win souls for Christ, it won’t happen that way. You meet the person and eventually they will ask you about your faith through your good deeds and then the Holy Spirit convicts them to share the things they struggle with and then there is the opportunity to share the word in respect to that. He also never said ” we wrote this book because the bible says that fornication is wrong and we don’t want anyone to go to”, although I’m sure he knows that already.
This Article Was First Published on nbcnews.com