Meagan Good and her husband DeVon Franklin have been candid about their religious beliefs and views about celibacy in the past, so much so that they co-wrote a bestselling novel about it. But as a woman who didn't always consider herself to be a religious person, Meagan Good finally opened up about what it's really like to be a preacher's wife.
The couple met nearly six years before they went on their first date during a brief exchange brought on by a mutual friend, but it wasn't until they bumped into each other at her premiere for Jumping the Broom that the two finally connected. She told Parade:
"I saw him at different events over the years, but it wasn't until 'Jumping the Broom' when we really reconnected, and that was like almost six years later and I just remember like a time when we hung out on set and I was thinking, 'That's the kind of guy I wish I could marry.'"
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Meagan's wish came true, but only after she made the decision to heal herself from the inside-out. Meagan explained that 10 months prior to meeting DeVon, she had given celibacy a try in an attempt to find some clarity about what and who she wanted in her life.
"I had gotten out of another relationship and started praying about what was next and what I should be doing and I started being celibate and working on myself and healing."
That night, DeVon asked his one-day wife on a coffee date that, less than a year later, would turn into a wedding engagement.
"He asked me out for coffee and two weeks later we went out on our first date, it was 10 months later that we were engaged, a few months later we were married, and it will be seven years on June 16."
DeVon clearly didn't waste any time putting a ring on it, but the engagement came with some stipulations that Meagan hadn't exactly anticipated. The actress told MadameNoire that celibacy may have been the craziest thing she's ever done for love, but she worked through it because she was committed to the payoff.
"Ultimately I stayed in it because I felt like I wanted to do things God's way and I felt like I wanted to honor my marriage and I wanted to set us up to win and to do this thing once."
Meagan explained that abstaining from sex before marriage in she and DeVon's relationship was necessary to building a truly long lasting marriage.
"I believe that it helps because the relationship wasn't based on physicality and I think sometimes when that leads the relationship and that type of connection, I think sometimes you can't really see clearly and you settle for things that you wouldn't settle for during long term. And you don't really realize that until three or four years down the line."
It's big facts that when you have sex with someone, you both chemically and physically bond with them; and don't get me started on the spiritual aspect because if you know like I know, there are some real soul snatchers out there who we mistakenly see as potential through rose-colored glasses; but Meagan insisted that by abstaining from sex before marriage altogether, she was able to see things for what they really are.
"I think you get so wrapped up in a person in a certain way that you don't always see all of them and you can't really always determine if you can actually spend a lifetime with that person."
While Meagan is proud to have remained celibate before her wedding date, she shared that there are other some rituals that come with religion that she isn't fond of.
Although I am a woman of God and will be until the day that I die, I can acknowledge that religious rhetoric can sometimes be twisted and transformed into a very dangerous thing. It's this rhetoric that contributes to the level of homophobia and sexism that exists in our community today. It's the same rhetoric that Meagan says has at times, made her feel both unworthy and unwelcome. Despite being a devout Christian, this is the real reason Meagan says she doesn't always attend church with her husband:
"If I'm being completely honest, my experience with some church folks has not been that positive. It's unfortunate because we're supposed to be the biggest lovers. And it's like even if you disagree with someone or you don't think what they're doing is right, you're supposed to mind your own business and pray for that person. Other times, you're supposed to correct in love if that's what God told you to do. And there was no correction in love. It was like a complete assault."
She explained that though she will always love God and the church, she knows herself well enough to know that you have to love some of the congregation from a distance:
"And even though I've gotten to a place of balance, I'm the type of person if I see someone crying, I'll start crying. I'm extremely sensitive so I have to protect my spirit because those people don't always know what they're doing."
Despite the fact that she's had some bad experiences in the church, Meagan says that her marriage to DeVon is proof that you can't generalize a religion based on a few of its members. I think we all remember the viral video where DeVon had to check a church-going woman about coming for Meagan's wardrobe, and he's kept that same energy throughout their marriage. Meagan explained:
"The great thing about him is like he wasn't looking to change me in marriage. He knew who I was before marriage. And so there is growth that happens individually and collectively. So, it wasn't like 'Now, you're married. You can't do this anymore. You can't do that.'"