“I am so honored and blessed to be Stephan’s wife. We met in 2012 while we were both in pharmacy school at Florida A&M University. I was in the pre-pharmacy program and elected as Class Queen by my classmates. He was in the professional doctoral program and he was elected King by his classmates.
Stephan always made me nervous, I’d try to dodge him while on campus and avoid interacting with him. It wasn’t that he wasn’t attractive or my type, but I had been warned to stay away from ‘the frat boys.’ Stephan said he just wanted to be ‘friends’ and get to know one another. So after communicating on and off for about a year, we eventually began engaging in lengthy conversations and truly getting to know each other. Stephan moved away for his clinical rotations, so we usually communicated via phone and we hung out when he came back to Tallahassee (college town).
Stephan never asked me to be his girlfriend. Once he graduated from pharmacy school, he invited me to his graduation dinner where all his close friends and family gathered to celebrate him. Then he just announced that I was his girlfriend. I was as shocked as everyone else in the room. I just smiled and waved. His family and friends were ecstatic. They began taking pictures and talking to me. Little did they know, my head was spinning.
One thing that Stephan and I had in common is our love for God. However, we crossed the line by having pre-marital sex. We acknowledged it was wrong several times before seriously agreeing to back away and wait until marriage. I remember Stephan saying, ‘This isn’t right,’ and sharing his thoughts regarding fornication. We never battled with if what we were doing was wrong. However, we struggled with setting boundaries after so many lines had been crossed. Unlike many celibate couples, we didn’t have an intense dialogue about our decision. We simply supported one another and did our best to be obedient after acknowledging that our actions were wrong. There was no desire to let guilt fester because we know that we serve a forgiving God. That’s something our pastor, Quincy Griffin, taught us as he coached us and the entire congregation on obedience.
While waiting, we journaled and kept ourselves busy with work, church and school. Eventually, we turned our personal journal entries into a book with hopes to help other couples. On May 7, 2017, we got engaged and I was so happy we could finally start counting down the days until we finally got married. Stephan popped the question during a photoshoot. I was so excited that I forgot to say YES!
We wed on December 17, 2018, and it was the best day ever. Since, we have really enjoyed being newlyweds. I take pride in sharing our love story and how we faced change within our relationship.
If we had to leave anything with couples aspiring to be celibate, we’d say:
Celibacy is one of the most important acts of spiritual growth in preparation for a healthy relationship and successful marriage. It’s extremely difficult to check your heart and measure the love you have for your significant other while your vision is clouded with lust and fornication. How can we even pray for clarity about a situation when we aren’t even trying to keep God’s commandments? When we commit acts against His divine law, we are pushed further and further away from our purpose.
Putting our fleshly desires to rest and focusing on God will give us discipline and discernment. Focusing on Jesus will give us the ability to transfer the energy that we once gave to sex over to His kingdom. Even if we have met the man or woman whom God created for us, we can ruin it by being disobedient. We might end up destroying our good thing by making poor decisions and outright disobedience. So if God places the desire in your heart for change, take advantage and choose to TRY! It may not be perfect but with GRACE you will make it.
Now that we are almost one year in, with a baby boy on the way—I am glad that we stepped out on FAITH and tried a new way. I can’t wait to share this experience with our children.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alexis Jones. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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