First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…sex? At least that’s the case for Hollywood power couple Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin. In an industry that often glorifies premarital sex in everything from chick flicks to thrillers, the actress and the executive movie producer are an anomaly—going against the grain of the typical and reverting back to traditional views of marriage in which the honeymoon comes before the honey.
And if you ask the duo, it was certainly worth the wait. Not just because of the anticipated wedding date, but because of the rewards that came with the risks (or in this case the sacrifices) of not diving into a relationship centered around sexual pleasure as detailed in their latest book The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and The Life You Love. Flip through the pages of their love story and it’s almost a perfect script of its own. Although the couple have been around each other for years from movie sets to red carpet premieres, it wasn’t until the pair begin filming for Jumping the Broom in 2011 that the two would fatefully cross each other’s paths, which ultimately lead to a 13-month long courtship before the couple finally tied the knot in 2012.
But as magical as their story seems, it wasn’t always a fairytale. There were moments of frustration as the couple tackled every issue in their relationship from baggage from previous relationships to deeper insecurities that are often overlooked when couples rush to get in between the sheets. And of course, there was the whole no-sex until marriage thing that came with its own set of challenges. As DeVon likes to jokingly say, “I mean, it’s Meagan Good!”
Not everyone served as a solid support system either. Meagan’s reputation as a “party girl” dimmed the light of her relationship with the part-time preacher, while DeVon, who was already 10 years deep into practicing celibacy, was met with opposition from peers who didn’t understand his decision of delaying gratification for the sake of spiritual, personal and professional gain. But both the Think Like A Man actress and the former VP at Columbia Pictures (DeVon recently left the company to start his own production company, Franklin Entertainment) credit their strength and perseverance to God, who remains at the center of their relationship and marriage.
With over three years of marriage under the belt, the couple have come together to give insight into the one decision that built the foundation of their matrimony, getting real and diving into the questions and mentalities that make many hesitant in chapters such a “If I Don’t Sleep with Him, I’ll Lose Him” to “The Problem with Sex.”
To shed light on what made Meagan and DeVon’s practice “The Wait” before saying “I do,” we spoke with the couple on how they successfully navigated celibacy while working in Hollywood. Catch the highlights below!
Waiting allows you to get to know ‘The Real’ in your partner
DeVon: I think so much came out of practicing “The Wait” and having the time to get to know each other and see things clearly, and not allowing sexual attraction to cloud the vision and also cloud our judgment. I think that in dating, your judgment is one of the things that will serve you the best if you do everything to preserve it. And our dating situation, having judgment and being able to see her and her being able to see me gave us both the confirmation and the confidence that we were meant for each other.
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Marriage Should Push You Out Of Your Comfort Zone and Make You Better
DeVon: What I say is that you can’t go into marriage trying to change someone, but marriage will change you. So me, it’s like hey I’m going into marriage I am the essence of who I am and Meagan gives me the freedom to be that, but marriage has totally changed me because every day I’m not only married to the love of my life but I’m also have to consider what are her thoughts? How would she want me to do this? What does she need from me? And how does she need for me to be supportive? And just those considerations change me. I think I’ve gotten more overall in my life more understanding, more compassionate, more patient with people. I’m very different then how I was when I was single.
Meagan: DeVon has always been, from my understanding, very career-oriented and focused and by the book. He’s willing to do the work and go above and beyond, so the way that he approaches life is like that across the board. And for me, while I have a great work ethic, I’m a lot more free-spirited and chill, and so when we came together we were able to give that to each other. He helped me straighten up a lot and get even more focused on my career and how to approach things and not to just do the work, but go above and beyond. As a result it changed my career; it created different opportunities before me.
Meagan: For me personally, I had to allow God to really work on me because I had a lot of damage and baggage coming into it, and things that I had to work on and I had to face those things head on. I’d never really done that before. So that was the biggest transition for me—facing my fears and allowing God to work it out. A lot of the healing that came was in the relationship, because a lot of it was about acceptance and being loved for who I was. Even when we got married one of the things that DeVon said was, “I love you for who you are right now, even if you never change a thing about you, I love you exactly how you are.” That was good for me because I’d never experienced that before. It was always some type of conditional feeling that even though I felt like I was enough, that the person didn’t feel like I was enough.
The person who is meant for you will stick in there
Meagan: In the beginning I self-sabotaged because there were all of these feelings of unworthiness and not being good enough, a lot of fear, and seeing how far I can push the person before they give up on me. And he stuck in there with me and literally it’s been the best thing because his love, and the love that God gave him for me, was a huge catalyst to a tremendous amount of healing that I’ve needed for such a long time.
It’s Important to Leave Room for Mistakes in Marriage
DeVon: It was God, for sure. And just having patience and then love. We’re in this together. I’m not going to assume that I know how to be married or that you know how to be married. We need to have room to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes and come into a better understanding of what oneness looks like, so it was like being flexible and give each other room to get adjusted. I think so many times we have this romantic idea that we get to the altar and say yes and everything is going to be great. No, that’s where the work begins. There’s a whole lot that goes into creating an environment of freedom and flexibility and faith in a marriage. So as we in that first year continued to figure out how to navigate our marriage in a successful way it was just staying focused on God, staying focused on our love and knowing that a healthy marriage is not made over night.
[Tweet “”We need to have room to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes.” – @DeVonFranklin”]
Pre- and post-marriage counseling is key to strengthening communication
Meagan: We live in a climate where a lot of marriages don’t last very long. We wanted to give ourselves every single opportunity to be preventative. Not to walk into a situation like we need help now, but before we get to that place let’s talk through everything, let’s work out everything. With him and I both, we have things from childhood and past relationships and from a lot of different things that needed to be talked about and worked through. How are we going to raise our children? What is the kind of lifestyle that we want? What do we want out of our lives? Definitely it was something that was invaluable, and it’s something we’d still do now. I would encourage anybody thinking about getting married or already married, it’s such a blessing.
The joy of a relationship has little to do with sex
Meagan: It’s interesting because in a relationship there is so much joy, and I don’t think that the joy is wrapped up in the sex, I think sex or making love is icing on the cake, but I think that there’s a time for that. And for us while we were dating I had more joy in us dating then I had in any relationship that I’d been in. Because that joy was dependent upon us and our connection and the fun that we had together and getting to know each other and being excited about the possibility and it really was two best friends that are physically attracted to each other and falling in love with each other really enjoying life and so I would say that I don’t think that would take any joy out of the equation.
[Tweet “”The joy isn’t wrapped up in the sex, sex is icing on the cake.” – @MeaganGood”]
Practicing “The Wait” Not Only Benefits Your Relationship, But Your Career As Well
DeVon: When you can be disciplined in this area of your life it lays the foundation of success that your entire life will then rest upon because history is littered with great men who for whatever reason because this area is very difficult to get control of, this area of their life has lead to nations falling and so many things have happened because men have not taken on the charge of taking control of their sexuality and finding out how to manage it and tame it. I promise you once you start to manage this area of your life and to put it in perspective and having authority over it and it not having authority over you, you’re going to see your life go to another level. And you’re going to see the things that you’ve been wanting begin to manifest and then once you achieve them you actually will have the discipline and the respect and the poise to manage the success that you will have.
I can tell you so much of the success that many people see in Produced By Faith (DeVon’s first book) and the movies that I’ve been associated with, producing my own film, running my own company and having an amazing wife and life, so much of it has come from the decision to live life in a way that I believe God wanted me to live, and to offer up my body as a living sacrifice everyday with the desire of not only doing His will but to become everything that He wanted me to become and the result and the reward has far exceeded anything that I ever thought possible.
A Great Marriage Isn’t Built Overnight, It Takes Hard Work
DeVon: You have to give each other time to know one another. A great marriage is not built overnight. And a great marriage is built upon a foundation of peace and trust and freedom to get to know one another, so we’ve had to continue to learn to be committed to know each other as husband and wife and give each other enough room to grow and the freedom to express ourselves and also making sure that in the environment of our marriage there’s also an acceptance of that expression, which is very important. And her and I want to make sure that we both feel comfortable being who we are and sometimes saying what we need to say in order to grow into not only our best selves, but to be the best husband and wife to each other.
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Get your copy of “The Wait” available in stores and at thewaitbook.org in stores now.