Devon Franklin is a Hollywood producer, author, preacher, and media personality. He currently serves as the President/CEO of Franklin Entertainment, a new first-look production company with Sony Pictures Entertainment. He attributes his success to both the patience and discipline developed by waiting. Married to actress Meagan Good, the couple has written their own story to encourage others to abstain from sex before marriage.
His first book, Produced by Faith, is a best-selling book that guides others how to find success without compromising one’s faith. This second book, The Wait: A Powerful Practice to Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love, co-written with his wife Meagan, has already made the New York Times Best-Seller List. Together they encourage others to practice “The Wait” as a key to enhancing your relationship, your success, and your life.
In my parent’s generation, waiting to have sex before marriage was the norm. In my day, it was transitional. For a Hollywood producer and actress to bring this commitment to the forefront is a rarity in this day, but much needed by our culture. Is it any wonder Ebony Magazine has named Devon as one of the “Top 100 Influential African-Americans in America? Beliefnet has also named him as one of the “Most Influential Christians Under 40.”
Sonoma Christian Home was delighted to interview Devon Franklin at the National Religious Broadcaster’s Convention about the relevant message in the couple’s book that is garnering attention across our nation. SCH Editor at Large Ginny Dent Brant reports.
SCH: Why did your wife and you decide to write this book?
DF: We wrote the book because we got so much interest in our story. Waiting until marriage was an integral part of our success in our lives and in our relationship and marriage. And we really wanted to share what was working for us.
SCH: Whose idea was it to wait – one or both?
DF: Both. I had been independently waiting for a long time. And Meagan had been waiting for one year. So it was wonderful when we started dating and realized we were both committed to wait.
SCH: How hard was it to wait?
DF: It is the most difficult thing in life—the most difficult thing you could do. But the blessing is so phenomenal and worth the wait.
SCH: What suggestions can you give couples to help avoid temptations when they are committed to waiting to have sex before marriage?
DF: We cover this in the book. You must know your triggers and avoid these things, because they keep you from keeping your commitment. There are also events in life like the passing of a loved one or something traumatic. These moments cause you look for comfort, and you are most susceptible to give up on your commitment. So it’s always important to know those triggers. And protect against them.
The Bible teaches us there will never be a temptation that is too much for us to bear, and there is always a way of escape. So when in doubt, look for the exit sign!
SCH: Define “The Wait” for us. What is permissible in your eyes?
DF: No, we don’t tell people exactly what to do—these are the rules. We do share how we were able to practice “The Wait.” The Bible has a lot of principles and speaks directly about fornication, but God wants each couple to wrestle with how to apply what the Bible says to our lives through intercession and talking to each other. If God told us exactly what to do, then why do we need Him? We wanted to write a book that is clear on our story, but also leave room for the reader to intercede and pray for God’s direction in this area.
SCH: Explain how “The Wait” will help you to know your partner better?
DF: Christians tend to say today, “Oh, God will understand if we don’t wait. This is the way we were made.” But, if you have a great experience sexually, it confuses things. When the haze clears, and it will clear, you often realize you don’t have that much in common. When you take sex off the table before marriage, it allows you to get to know a person at a much deeper level.
As a man, I don’t want a woman to associate the way she looked at me as my value. I want her to value me for who I am, how I treat her, and how I love the Lord. Waiting allows me to discover: Is this person someone I actually love? Is this someone I actually like? Is this person going in the same direction as me? Can we get along? Can we communicate?
Sex is just one part of marriage. It’s important. But we don’t want to put it out of place.
SCH: What benefits or blessings do you feel you two have received for waiting?
DF: I attribute so much of my success in life to practicing “The Wait.” I started practicing “The Wait” in my twenties. As a result, I was able to rise in the studio ranks as an African-American and as an out-of-the-box Christian in Hollywood. I’ve worked on some of the biggest movies of all times. Now at age 37, I have my own production company, and we are soon to release Miracles from Heaven along with TD Jakes and Joe Roth.
Doing things God’s way produces results and rewards that are unparalleled and unprecedented. That idea of learning to delay gratification, which is what “the wait” is all about, helped me in my career. Once I realized I must be patient because God has a plan, I stopped being so obsessed with instant gratification, climbing the corporate ladder, and wanting success right now.
There is power in delaying gratification, and that patience gave me a different type of work ethic. Millennials tend to want it all now, and if they don’t have it, they feel bad and unsuccessful. But that’s not true. Everything takes time. Learning that good things do come to those who wait, and patience is a virtue, helped me in my career. Developing discipline in this area gave me discipline in every other area of my life.
SCH: Since, waiting until marriage is a rare phenomenon today, have you thought about making a movie to demonstrate the value in this?
DF: People have been asking us this question, and I don’t know if it is God asking the question or what? No, we haven’t, but if the book is that successful where it says we need to make a movie, we will, of course, listen to God.
SCH: Speaking of success, were you surprised when your book hit the New York Times Bestseller List on this topic in this day and time?
DF: Yes, but here is the surprise. While the topic is a sticky topic, it also wasn’t viewed by the publisher or bookstores as a book that would sell a lot of copies. They weren’t sure this topic was going to work. So we understand the blessing and the magnitude of this success. And we are grateful for it.
So many people are in pain, and they carry the pain of each relationship into the next relationship, and we never stop to heal from it. We never talk about the fact that dating is painful. “The Wait” is all about let’s get healing. Let’s get whole. Let’s become the purpose God wants us to be. Let’s understand the value God created within us, and then let’s enter back into a healthy relationship preserving our body, spirit, and soul. You can’t have a healthy marriage unless you’ve had a healthy dating process.
When you look at the books written on this subject, there aren’t many.
Devon’s success in Hollywood is indisputable. His movie “Miracles From Heaven” recently released and grossed nearly 15 million during its first week at the box office. His most recent film “Heaven is for Real” grossed over 91 million in 17 weeks. Devon has a gift for bringing stories that motivate and inspire to the big screen.