Hello iWaited Family!! Welcome to this month’s feature!
I want to introduce you to Devin and Christele Francois! Devin and Christele are NEWLYWEDS! They got married just this past April. I’m not sure when I started following Devin on Facebook but I was intrigued by his posts on relationships and dating. He tells the raw truth always, for both men and women. When I realized he and his fiancee were waiting I knew I had to interview them. Now, Devin and Christele’s story is a bit different in that they started to abstain after they became engaged. I believe that God honored their commitment to wait in their one year engagement. God gives us the opportunity to get it right at every point in our journey. I definitely enjoyed this interview :). Please help me welcome Devin and Christele!!
- Please state your names and tell me a little bit about yourselves.
Devin: My name is Devin T. Robinson X also known as Egypt. I am an actor/activist and I spend a lot of my time educating people about healthy relationships using one man shows and workshops. I also write books on the benefits of loving properly and being in non-toxic situations to create a healthier lifestyle.
Christele: I am Christele Francois—or formerly Francois—now Christele Robinson. I’m originally from Orlando, FL and I currently work as clinical pharmacist and that’s a little bit about me.
- How did the two of you meet?
Christele: Originally the first time we met was at the University of Miami. Devin was performing and we had a brief interaction there. In 2011 we reconnected back in Atlanta. Originally when we reconnected it was just on the terms of being friends–just getting to know each other but he said that he knew that there was something about me. I actually moved away back to Florida and he would travel a total of about 10 hours to come and see me. That obviously sparked a relationship and I eventually moved back to Atlanta and it became official.
- How long did you date and how long was your engagement?
Devin. We dated from—I call it a courtship process, if you read my books, I talk about it all. So from 2011 to 2013 is the courtship process, dating exclusively to being engaged. From August 2013 to April 2014 was the engagement process.
- How early on in the relationship did the subject of sex come up?
Devin: It was pretty early because this is what I do for a living. I do it every day and I have to talk about it every day. Her mother, my mother-in-law, is in HIV/AIDS education just as I am so that was always part of the conversation because it was in our field. She met me talking about HIV as well, so the ice was broken almost 10 years ago.
- You started abstaining once you become engaged, how did you make that decision?
Devin: We wanted to go deeper into God and go into this marriage pure. My idea was that sex wasn’t a big deal before then we needed to make sure it wasn’t a big deal after. If sex was the main motivation on why we’re together then there’s no reason to get married or go forward in our relationship. We believed that our relationship was much more than a physical connection, it was more spiritual and mental. That was the deciding factor, getting closer to God and proving that this relationship was built on a strong foundation and not a worldly foundation.
- Once you started abstaining do you think that strengthened your relationship?
Christele: It definitely strengthened our relationship. It allows you to really just focus on the relationship and find other ways to be intimate with person without the physical attached to it, whether it’s holding hands more or hugging more. It really built the relationship. One thing that’s important with the engagement period is that you’re preparing yourself for marriage. We did premarital counseling and the topic came up with our pastor and he asked what our decision was concerning sex. All these things are beneficial for strengthening marriage which we were preparing for. I think by taking away sex it allowed us to fully engage in those questions that we needed to address going into a marriage.
- While you were engaged did you live together?
Christele: We did not live together. We decided to keep our separate places and just visit each other. He (our Pastor) said something that stuck with me, and I share it with my girlfriends all the time. He said this is the last time that you will be by yourself, you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after anyone, you don’t have to worry about cooking and if you want to eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner you can do that because you have your own space. You have to enjoy that time to yourself. Enjoy that singleness that you still have before you become one with someone and move in together. Sometimes people are in a rush to live together, again that’s a personal decision, but I believe there’s a reason to have that personal time alone. Once you’re married you’re always going to be together, you’re going to see each other all of the time. Just enjoy that singleness while you can.
- Were ever tempted to have sex, especially since you had engaged with each other sex together? I figure it’s hard to start then stop having sex with the same person.
Devin: For me, not really. I wasn’t tempted because it was my idea to abstain, so I had to hold on for the both of us. I always felt bias about women and that they could abstain at any given moment of their lives so I thought “She ain’t worried about nothing!” 🙂 I didn’t feel any temptation to have sex with her, I was OK. Actually I’ve abstained a few times in my life, in my early twenties, for about a year. At that time it was much easier to be promiscuous and have that type of lifestyle. It was good preparation for now.
Christele: For me as well, there was no temptation there. I think for me it was always a concern prior to and it was always something that I personally battled with and I was very open and vocal with him about those concerns; feeling a certain way about sex, so when that time came it was like a burden was lifted up. There may have been some times where I would have been tempted but the fun of that moment was not worth the guilt. Whenever you’re making a commitment or disciplining yourself for something, you want the person around you not to be against you and purposely tempt you, whether you’re fasting or you’re working out. That’s something that strengthened us because we didn’t tempt each other; we respected what we were doing.
- So while having sex prior to the abstaining period, you did feel conviction?
Christele: The reality of it is, true Christian women that do engage in premarital sex, you know that what you’re doing is wrong in a sense and there is that conviction. Your flesh becomes weak and you’re left to deal with the consequences. When it comes to that, one of things I think is really important is having an accountability group. Prior to, in your single state, you should have a group for if you get tempted. It’s about being open and being true to you. I was actually talking to a friend and she was talking about her choice to be celibate and I was encouraging her and being transparent with her. We as women deal with these urges and desires just as men do, so it’s just a matter of being proactive and helping each other out.
Me: I think there’s a misconception–even Devin said the same things my guy friends say–that’s it much easier for women to abstain as if we don’t have the same desires like men. It’s still that struggle when you know sex is wrong outside of marriage, but what do you do when you have that urge? I think it’s something we’re not transparent about in church and we’re not transparent as people in general. Women have sexual urges just like men, just because we’re of a different sex doesn’t make it easier. I’m always trying to figure out how to communicate that it’s hard for all of us and we have to figure how to deal with it in a way that works for us individually. I was talking to a friend about my triggers and knowing the things that I shouldn’t do in order to remain celibate.
Christele: You let your accountability group know your triggers as well, so if a friend tells you that there is a guy that’s about to come over and spend the night and you remind her about telling you that her trigger is having male company in her home. And maybe suggest she calls him to meet up at a restaurant rather than her apartment. You help that person because once they’re caught up in the moment they won’t really care about what they just said to you.
10. Why do you believe God asks us to remain pure before marriage?
Devin: I believe it’s what’s we said previously: It allows you to see the true foundation of your relationship. If it’s lust it’s not going to last long. If it’s love, you have a higher opportunity for it to last forever
11. Do you have any final thoughts or words of encouragement for the readers?
Devin: If you’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect your decision to abstain, then you may be in the wrong relationship; an unhealthy relationship. On top of that it’s your decision to abstain in faith and if they are still against it, you have to sit down and talk with them about your faith and make a stand. It’s not about their feelings or their desires; it’s about your faith. At the end of the day when you stand to be judged it’s not going to be about “Well the only reason I did this was because I didn’t want to offend or hurt someone’s feelings”. You want to put yourself in a position where your faith is first because even in our marriage our faith comes first. I take my bible, I get away from my wife and it’s not an “us” thing when I’m having my private time with God because I have to keep Him first. You have to have strong, rebellious Christians to be able to make a move like this. If you want to be celibate, you have to be strong and you have to be rebellious. Rebellious against the world and align with The Word. That way you don’t fall victim to trying to please people and fail God.
Christele: I cosign with that. *laughs* Be open with your partner and be true to yourself. Always keep God.
Devin: AND don’t be celibate as leverage! That is dumb! 🙂
PAUSE (I died laughing)
Devin: Do it because you know it’s the right thing to do and that you deserve that relationship with God. Don’t do it for leverage because guys can see through that. Every girl that I’ve met that said “I don’t want to have sex because God blah blah” we can see through that. Men aren’t as dumb as TV would have you believe. We’re going to try you, “Oh really you’re celibate because of God, ok. What are you doing tomorrow night? Maybe I can cook you something to eat.” Now I’m at your house and now you’re naked. How did that happen? You lied to yourself. You’re doing it to make a man feel a certain way about you, so he’ll take you more seriously. Now you’ve lied not only to yourself—and you’re now this guy’s booty call—you lied to God. Don’t do it as leverage. It’s stupid, it won’t work and most guys will see through it. You will be in the “I hate men” bitter stage of your life because you lied to God and used God to keep something away from some guy that you were going to give to him anyway.
Additional Info on Devin: My one man shows are based on relationships but as it relates to HIV. When we talk about HIV, we go straight to the disease not realizing that before someone makes the decision to have sex with somebody there were other things going on. Your decision on why you’re having sex and why you didn’t use a condom happens way before you get HIV, so that’s what I focus on. Everything thing I talk about relates to HIV—who you date, how you think of yourself.
Check out Devin’s organization! à http://www.aapoets.org/
And His Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/devin.t.x?fref=ts