Devon Franklin and Meagan Good offer relevant advice on celibacy based on their New York Times Best Seller “The Wait,” which chronicles their 13-month journey of celibacy before the Hollywood couple tied the knot in 2012.
Franklin, who cut his teeth as a Seventh Day Adventist preacher, now also serves as CEO of Franklin Entertainment, producing the soon to be released “Miracles From Heaven.” Franklin and Good, who has been a leading actress on both the big and small screen, may seem like an unlikely pair, but the two share their love and hopes for the book’s impact with JET.
JET: How can your story as it is told in The Wait change lives?
Devon Franklin: I think it can change lives because the health of the community eventually rests upon the health of the relationships that make up that community. Marriage is such a foundational element of the strength of the community. The health of those marriages becomes all the more important. It’s very hard to have healthy marriages if you don’t have healthy dating. By putting this book out, people will begin to make better choices in (the dating) area that might lead to better relationships, better marriages and ultimately the strengthening of the community and the strengthening of the family unit.
JET: It seems that the message of the family unit also carries through in your upcoming film, Miracles From Heaven.
Devon Franklin: When you look at that particular story, they are just like any other family and all of a sudden tragedy strikes. What’s fascinating about the story [is that] the miracle wasn’t just the miracle of her healing. They experienced miracles along the way—miracles of community, miracles of joy, miracles of kindness, and people in the community that helped them along the way. So it does underscore the power of family and (faith), how family can influence each other at times of crisis and to have a community surround the family to help them make it through.
JET: What does faith have to do with The Wait?
Meagan Good: It has a lot to do with it. The difference with abstinence is that you’re abstaining from sex. The difference with celibacy is that you’re abstaining for a purpose, a spiritual purpose. It’s wanting to get to know yourself. It’s wanting to grow in God. I fell more in love with myself; I grew a lot. Then, when it came full circle and I did get married, and the wait was over, it really was a spiritual experience across the board. I couldn’t have gotten through it if I didn’t have faith that the reason that I was doing it was because I wanted to please God, because I wanted to be closer to God, because I wanted to know myself more, because I wanted to grow. If I didn’t have faith that all these things were taking place, I don’t know that I would have been as open to receiving it and open to the process.
JET: What conversations do couples who want to make the decision to be celibate in their relationship need to have?
Meagan Good: For us, and I think for anyone, it can be very organic. I think it’s more of deciding what the two of you want, ultimately. Are you in a relationship where you have enough potential to actually turn into a marriage? Are you both willing to take the time to really get to know each other… and see if this relationship can be built on something solid?
JET: What do single men and women need to say to themselves to get themselves ready for this kind of choice, not knowing how long it will be before they get married?
Devon Franklin: 1) It’s possible. 2) Take it one day at a time, one moment at a time. 3) You’ve gotta say I want God’s very best. Committing your life to achieve that becomes a very powerful anchor to prepare you to be successful in doing so.
Meagan Good: I just kept reminding myself that I did it the other way and had to ask myself what was the result and what was the benefit. At the end of the day, I believe it’s the way that God wants us to do it.
JET: What advice can you offer because every day the struggle is real?
Devon Franklin: Know your triggers, know the things that make it hard for you to keep the commitment. Know the things that can send you into a tailspin. It could be something as simple as spending too much time alone at night. It could be something a little more dramatic like the death of a loved one where you go through difficult times and you’re emotionally vulnerable. Find other things to do together beyond just hanging out at the house…things that can make the time you’re spending that much more fulfilling.
Meagan Good: Another thing that helped me was my love for him. When I felt weak and I could have given up on myself, I couldn’t give up on him. I felt like I don’t want to be the reason that he falls. I also kept reminding myself that God always gives you an out. If you get close to the edge, God always gives you an out. Don’t wait for the 2nd time and the 3rd time, take your first out.
For more information on “The Wait,” visit thewaitbook.org.