In the past had either of your attempted celibacy with a partner and if so, what was the response to it?
Meagan: Yea, in almost every one of my relationships I attempted celibacy and I would for months at a time and we would fall off the bandwagon and then we repent and pray about it and try to get back on. Tough to do it if both aren’t really committed to it because you have to support each other, everybody has moments of weakness and if you are both being weak together you will never succeed at it. For me personally there was always that concern of I’m being celibate, is this person going to cheat on me? Is this person going to leave me? It wasn’t until my last relationship when I said if that is the case then that’s not my husband and that’s ok.
DeVon: For me, yes, I’ve been celibate for some time before we started dating and most of the women I had dated they were accepting of it. In some instances one of the challenges was that so many times sex is a way of expressing affection or interest and when that’s not there, for some women it was hard to know that I was really into them. I had to sometimes keep reassuring that I thought they were great and I had to learn another way for them to really understand how I communicated affection.
How difficult did you find celibacy and what practices do you have that you think could make it easier for other couples?
Meagan: I think it was equally difficult but in different ways. For me, it was challenging because it was my first time really doing it and sticking to it and also I wanted the blessing I knew that we would have on our marriage if we went about it the right way and allow God to really work in the relationship. What also kept me focused was he had been celibate for so long and I definitely didn’t want to be the purpose to cause him to trip or anything like that because I couldn’t have lived with myself because I have so much respect and love for him. On a practical level if it’s getting hot and heavy, you got to talk way and say hey, let’s go grab something to eat, just get out of the house.
In the book you say waiting gives you better knowledge about your partner, how so and what knowledge did you gain from each other?
DeVon: It gives you better knowledge because when you take sex off the table and you say I want to get to know who you are. I want to see you in the cold light of day. Do I like this person? When you don’t have sex in the equation and you take the time to really know the person you get clarity on this is someone who I actually like and this is someone I don’t.
Another concept you have in the book is putting you back in control, how did you find that control essential in developing you two as a couple?
DeVon: It played a huge role. When you are saying this is what I want from myself and I will not allow myself to make a choice differently than what I know was it best for me there is a lot of power and control in that. So many times in relationships, not just being in relationships, but the people who we’ve counseled, sometimes there is this pressure and having sex is almost like an admission ticket to love. What if the person you are dating don’t want to accept your desire to stop or your desire not to do it? Some feel in order to get what I really want; which is love, I have to give up control. What we are saying is when you decide to practice this way you take the control back.