So much has been said about whether or not to remain celibate before marriage. Times have changed, people’s views have changed, and even social standards for relationships have changed. Through it all, some people prefer to hold fast to tradition and keep sex within the marital institution. I think it’s remarkably difficult, but as some have proven, it’s something that can be done.
Ebony Magazine recently caught up with newlywed Tamera Mowry Housley and it looks as though she is quite passionate about ‘no sex before marriage’. She revealed to the publication that she was abstinent before she got married to Fox News Anchor Adam Housley and she does not believe a couple should live together before marriage.
EBONY: Tamera you mentioned in an interview that you and [your husband, Fox News Correspondent] Adam [Housley] not only didn’t live together, you also remained celibate until you married last year. Why did you choose that route and do you have any advice for your fans who are trying to follow in your footsteps in that regard?
TAMERA: Adam and I took a break from dating for about a year. We missed each other and something was drawing us together, but more than that, we wanted to make sure that this relationship was what God wanted for our lives. [In order to know] if we are meant to be together, we said, ‘it’s got to be God’s way and not our way.’ We didn’t want to half-step anything [or have clouded judgment]. So our right way was the way we felt God wanted us to do it which was being celibate. We said to God, ‘This is who we are, I know you take us as we are, our faults, our fears, our joys, our hope as a couple and have your way.’
I tried the ‘missionary dating’ [in the past] where you have a person with a great heart who you think is perfect and wonderful except for this one important area that you try to change. That’s unfair to that person. That person needs to be who they are 100%. And it’s unfair to you. You don’t want to drag somebody to church with you. My husband wakes up on Sundays and says ‘Hey, are we going to church today?’ It just makes [waiting] all worthwhile. I dated guys who did not share those same beliefs and it was hard. There were many nights of heartbreak and crying, and that’s not what God wants for us.
But if you want to be celibate, definitely don’t live together [laughs] because that makes it harder for you. Have people around you to keep you accountable! Surround yourself with people who support your decision, because they’re only going to root you on. Make that covenant with God and with each other and just let go. God is going to see you through the difficult times. Whenever you’re feeling discouraged just pray together. Like I said it’s not going to be a perfect journey, but you just have to keep God the center of your relationship.
Before Meagan Good tied the knot with her Sony Pictures Executive husband DeVon Franklin, she was very open about their devout Christian faith and how they both had decided to remain celibate until they got married. What many don’t know though, is exactly how long DeVon had actually been celibate for. Earlier this month in an interview with Global Grind, he recently revealed that he was able to abstain from having sex for over 10 years! Now, that’s what you call discipline!
She was celibate before we got together and I was celibate. You’re not going to believe me. Let me just put it this way, [I've been celibate] over ten years. Part of what I also do is preach and the thing that I couldn’t do, which was eating me apart…What was happening with me is that I would go and preach one thing but I was going and living another and I could not do it. I could not look at myself in the mirror. I was like, ‘No, I cannot live like this,’ so I had to stop and say, ‘You know what, until I get married, that’s off the table.
Before their wedding, Meagan and DeVon chatted to Sister 2 Sister Magazine about their engagement, as well as the reports that they will not be having sex with each other until their wedding night. Devon expressed that he hoped their union would be an inspiration to other couples, while Meagan said that removing the physical and intimacy from the relationship gave them a chance to really get to know each other and what they were getting into.
Devon: We want our marriage to be one of truth, one of love, and hopefully model God’s love. In reality we’re not perfect. But we are striving to live a life of Christ. We are striving to be an example of what his life looks like on this earth, and hopefully through our union people will be inspired, people will see themselves in us.
Meagan: The relationship is completely different. When you know somebody and you know their heart, it’s not even a question about the physical part of it that comes into play completely later on. You really just get a chance to understand what you’re getting. You don’t just want to be with this person on Friday night, but Saturday afternoon too. That’s just icing on the cake.
Back in 2010, Necole Bitchie spoke to Lance Gross and he had a different view when it came to ‘living together before marriage’:
Necole Bitchie:: I don’t know if I’d move in with a guy before the ring. It’s like “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”
Lance Gross: I’m not going to put a ring on your finger until I live with you. I have to know you inside and out. So it’s not going to work if you got that mindset…
Necole Bitchie:: Lebron James lives with his kids’ mother and he once said, “If she’s living with me, she’s my wife” [but he hasn't bought the ring].
Lance Gross: You can definitely get it twisted. If she’s cooking for you, cleaning up after you and doing your laundry, that’s a role of the wife. It’s the woman’s job to hold out on certain things and save something for the marriage. You can give little hints of it but you can’t do it all because a man will get comfortable. Don’t take on the role of a wife unless you are married. As a man, why take the vows if you already got it?
I really am conflicted about this one. Sex is a really HUUUUGE part of any relationship and not just for the men. Women rank it quite high in their list of priorities as well. When I was in pre-marital counselling, sex was cited as one of the causes of conflict or divorce in marriage. Life would be so much simpler if there was a blood test for sexual compatibility. Unfortunately there isn’t. The only way to tell if you are sexually compatible is to…..well, have sex! So what happens if, after marriage, you find out that he or she doesn’t quite do it for ya? Let me tell you what happens. You’ll be stuck. Society does not look too kindly on people who divorce their spouses “just because the sex sucks.” So you’ll be one very stuck and very unhappy person in your very short life.
Also, I hate it when people start putting rules or boundaries in their relationships. When it comes to love and romance, I like to be adventurous. That’s why they call love a rollercoaster. You’re meant to go with the flow. Don’t limit yourself. When it feels right to have sex, don’t stop yourself because of some rule you think you should follow. Do it because it feels right or don’t do it because it doesn’t feel right. It’s similar to the woman who won’t date a man who does not open car doors for her. While you’re waiting for him to open doors, you might be missing out on something else very amazing about him.
And then we come to the inevitable question: What happens to those who are not going to get married, or even legally can’t get married? The instruction to wait forever to experience a fundamental human pleasure is pointless and cruel. If you can go celibate, then do it. Just let it be about more than just celibacy. Make it mean something.
Most adults will have a great many important relationships in their lives – some of those relationships will be romantic, and some of those will be sexual. That’s a good thing: our relationships with other people, sexual or not, are how we grow, evolve and learn about ourselves. They’re how we figure out what love is, what we like physically and emotionally, and how to negotiate our own needs with someone else’s. Despite the claims of the wait-till-marriage camp, waiting to have sex won’t protect you from heartache, frustration or love lost. But a variety of fulfilling relationships, sexual and not, will make you a more well-rounded, compassionate and self-assured person.
What are your thoughts on celibacy?
Check out the author’s blog HERE