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Photo credit: Harpo, Inc./Huy Doan

When Meagan and I began talking publicly about our courtship and our celibacy, the questions during interviews from hosts and audience members naturally started off being mostly about sex. Giggling like teenagers in a locker room, people would ask the obvious: How did we stay strong? How did we resist temptation? Things like that. Both of us answered honestly and clearly from our experiences, and in time the questioning became deeper and more serious. There was a desire, a hunger, behind the inquiries. The unspoken message was: We want to have real love. Is it really possible? Your love appears to be so real. If it is, tell us how you got it, please. 

So we started looking at the choices that had taken us from being two coworkers in the entertainment business to being a blissfully happy husband and wife, sitting in front of audiences talking about how we’d made it work. As we did, a pattern revealed itself. Again and again, faced with the choice between instant gratification and delaying our own satisfaction to pursue something better, we chose the latter. When we weren’t even together but were coming out of unhappy relationships, we each chose not to be intimate (intimacy isn’t just about sex; it’s also about sharing emotionally) with anyone for a time. When we grew closer but were unsure whether we were really right for each other, we waited for clarity from God. When we felt those incredible second- and third-date connections, we didn’t go crazy, get engaged, or even jump into a relationship the next day. We waited and got to know each other. As our physical attraction grew stronger, we resolved to wait until after marriage. Faced with choice after choice, when it would have been easy and fun to throw caution and good sense to the wind, we waited.

But why? Why did we consciously delay the gratification—not just sexual but emotional and spiritual— that would have come with diving headfirst into a passionate relationship? The answer is simple: we wanted God’s very best for our lives, collectively and individually, and we wanted it in whatever way He intended. This required patience. In the past, we’d both been burned in unpleasant relationships because we acted impulsively, leaped before we looked, or let our emotions overwhelm our judgment. We got tired of doing things the same way but expecting a different result (this is the classic definition of insanity). Maybe there was a way God wanted us to date that would bring us peace and what we wanted most: authentic love.

We had the incredible opportunity to sit down with Oprah to talk about sex, faith, celibacy, and more on Super Soul Sunday. If you missed the show, click CONTINUE to watch the entire episode. I know you will be blessed from this conversation!

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