Hello iWaited Family!! Welcome to this month’s feature!
I want to introduce you to Phylicia and Josh Masonheimer! Phylicia and Josh have been married for one year. I stumbled across Phylicia’s blog, Phylicia Delta, while reading another article on purity and I am so glad that I did. The information that Phylicia shares on her blog is so on point and filled with God’s word. I love that Phylicia doesn’t speak out her opinions but relies on the perfect Word of God. Phylicia and Josh were so transparent during the interview and they truly blessed me. I so appreciate them! Please help me welcome Phylicia and Josh!!
1. State your names and where are you from?
Phylicia: My name is Phylicia. I was born and raised in Michigan. I have five younger siblings. I grew up in a Christian home that focused on purity and intentional dating. I didn’t actually date in high school, just had a great core group of friends, a bunch of girls and guys who were committed to that same thing. I had a good support group that helped me set on this course for my life. However, it was kind of something I just did because it was the culture I was raised in. I never really understood the motive behind why we did that. I hadn’t really been put to the test because I hadn’t been in a relationship. I didn’t know what the temptations were. I kind of looked down on those who had slept around or lost their virginity. It was because I didn’t understand how Christian girls behaved that way. Once I went to college—I went to a Christian college—I started dating and that’s when I realized what the temptations were; from just settling for someone to the actual sexual temptation. So fast forward and I dated a guy where I came to understand what it felt like to be pressured and used by someone. It made me reassess my values and why purity is important and why holiness is important, it’s not just about obeying rules. That’s when I met Josh who has a different story. Given that fact, we had the same end result in mind and that’s what drew us together.
Josh: My name is Josh Masonheimer. I come from a family of about equal size, and I had all sisters so I knew how to talk to girls, which did end up getting me in some trouble over the years. I was in and out of relationships. I was raised in a Christian home. It was very focused on strict guidelines. We had a chart for how many switches you got for lying etc. For a couple of years we did ATI with Bill Gothard. It was very strict the majority of the time. There wasn’t a whole lot of relationship behind it. When I first wanted to date girls, my dad micromanaged it all—“You can only do this for this many minutes and you can’t sit next to her”. It was all about the rules; I heard the story about not giving away your pie. It didn’t really connect for me, I just thought “What’s the importance of keeping the whole pie?”. It just didn’t mean a lot to me because there wasn’t a whole lot of explanation. Going into marriage I wasn’t a virgin, abstinence was more of a recent thing. I waited a while just because of my upbringing. I had been in relationships that were very physical and physical participation outside of relationships. When I was going to college at Liberty University I started to find myself and find my relationship with God. I started defining who I wanted to be and what I wanted my standards to be for myself. I ended up meeting Phylicia and saw that she was a godly woman and strived to be godly and that’s what attracted me to her
2. How did the two of you meet?
Josh: My roommate was actually in the brother (male) dorm when she went to school. I came a semester after she left and I transferred into school. When she finally came back to the school to work for them, Liberty University, she was in communication with my roommate at the time.
Phylicia: We met in a bookstore parking lot and I—we laugh about it now but we didn’t find each other attractive. We both were actually seeing other people at the time, we just became friends. Since both of those relationships were kind of poor quality, we were counseling each other through the process. He was kind of my shoulder to cry on. After I broke up with that guy, I took a three month hiatus and I didn’t date anybody. I just took some time off. The day my hiatus ended he asked me to be his girlfriend.
Me: Oh wow! So Josh wasted no time! J
Phylicia: No he didn’t.
3. How long did you date and how long was your engagement?
Phylicia: We dated for a year and a month and engaged for three months.
Me: Short engagement! Me likey J
4. How early on in the relationship would you say the subject of sex came up?
Phylicia: We talked about it before we were dating. We were talking (before the interview) and looking back on it, we really think we talked about it a little too early. It was good to know but it’s also intimate conversation and it brings you closer. We talked about it about two months before we actually started dating. But it was a topic we brought up later on when we were closer to getting engaged. We did sit down and talk about: What are you expectations? Is there anything you’ve always wanted in marriage sexually that I need to be prepared to accommodate, etc? I think one of the things I really appreciated was that Josh was very open about his past. Even though our pasts are very different, I knew he had repented of his past. It helped me to just put that behind me and just forgive him and not hold that over his head. He also learned of some of the mistakes I had made.
Josh: I think the reason we started talking about it as early as we did was because of the relationships we were currently in. It was something we had to sort of counsel each other on. It was a whole new thing for her and it was something I was trying to stay out of/stay away from. That opened the door to that conversation.
Me: I love that you all talked your sexual expectations going into marriage. I think a lot of people don’t discuss those expectations and they go into marriage and have expectations that may not get met.
Josh: Phylicia likes to be mentally prepared for things. *laughs*
Phylicia: I think as Christians sometimes we think we can’t talk about sex with our partner because it makes us think about it and that’s evil. And that is wrong. As long as you know the limits and you’re trying to think about it in a holy context and you bring it to conclusion. It’s not sinful in and of itself.
Josh: I heard that it’s healthy to be aware and knowledgeable about something but it’s not healthy to be consumed by it.
5. Did you both come to an agreement to wait or it went unsaid?
Josh: We kind of agreed early on. We definitely wanted to wait until the altar, which came in conversations that we had—waiting until our marriage night to have sex. It was kind of the unbreakable rule. *laughs* As human as we are, there’s definitely flirtation with that rule. It was just a restraint we were able to hold, as well as not kissing on the lips.
Phylicia: I would never say it was easy. Some people are stronger in that area and some people are weaker. I would say we were weaker in that area, which is one of the reasons we chose not to kiss.
Josh: It would have been over! *laughs*
Phylicia: It would have made it too difficult for both of us. It was a given that we wouldn’t sleep together until we were married.
6. Were you ever tempted to give into the temptation to have sex?
Phylicia: Oh yea! I’ll be honest with you, we really struggled and it was not easy. We realized just how much damage—I mean didn’t have sex but we broke our standards. We had to set our standards back up and assess what they issues were. We really understand the implications of sexual sin. It’s not just “Stay away from it because you’re going to go to hell”, it’s so damaging emotionally. It made Josh less confident in his ability to lead us and it made me feel like a failure. It made me feel like my value was dependent on how I looked…my body. Although Josh never made me feel that way…. When you’re controlled by your desires, your relationship becomes shallow—based on only the physical. We set up boundaries such as don’t stay at each other’s apartment. We realized that the single best thing we could do was to do devotions both personally and together and to pray together. Once we did that it changed the whole environment.
Josh: When you just focus on “Do this…don’t do that”, it’s gets too legalistic and about the rules. If we have all these boundaries and rules and don’t have the Lord’s grace it all just goes to the wayside.
7. How long were you abstaining before you met each other?
Josh: A couple of years.
Phylicia: I had never slept with anyone prior to my wedding night.
8. In what ways do you think keeping sex out of the relationship benefitted the relationship?
Phylicia: It allowed us to focus on each other and getting to know each other. I remember one particular instance and we had been struggling for a while and Josh stepped up said “This is damaging, the temptations that we’re dealing with and we’re going to say this is what we’re going to do”. I really appreciated that he led that way. If he said let’s not to any dates or movie nights at the apartment, because that’s where we’re most tempted, let’s go to a coffee shop or a Starbucks. So that is what we started doing. And we would just sit there and talk about the future—finances, etc. There wasn’t that physical, that gnawing little thing in the back of our minds. We really got to know each other. In the Greek, the word “Intimacy” means ‘to know’. It was very helpful for us to get up and get out.
Josh: Every time that we did stumble, it was never premeditated. It was an in-the-moment thing. If she was really tired and falling asleep on me while I was on the couch… I can tell you that during the times that we did stumble, I hadn’t read The Word (bible) that day and hadn’t spent time with The Lord. Going into a situation without my armor, that was a really big factor.
Me: Josh was dropping knowledge! J The bible admonishes us to put on the WHOLE armor of God DAILY so that we can withstand the tricks of the enemy. Read Ephesians 6, it will bless you!
9. Why do you believe that God asks us to remain pure before marriage?
Phylicia: If you’ve read my blog then you see I’ve talked about it probably too much. J It just breaks heart to see the devil has twisted….The devil will always try to counter the goodness of God. Anywhere that God lifts up a standard, he’ll try to….I think God places value on sex because it’s something that’s very close to His heart. If you really think about God taking the time to design something that feels that good, that allows you to be that close to someone…then He designed it for our protection and our security. Also for our affirmation and emotional security. So God wants us to save it for our own sakes, emotionally, physically and mentally, socially and spiritually. I also think He wants us to save it because it gives us a glimpse of His glory and His intention for us in marriage and in our relationship with Him.
Josh: Sex is the most unique interaction. Kissing and communicating verbally are all one thing but if you have sex with someone, that interacts with the person on the inside, spiritually. The bible talks about keeping our temples clean, both outside and inside. When you have sex before marriage you’re sinning from within. It’s something that affects you through and through and brings on guilt and shame. Even scientifically it imprints that memory in you permanently. It’s designed to be wonderful and enjoyable and you never forget it. It was designed with all these good purpose, all within a marriage. Once you have those unique memories and that moment shared with person that you’re married to.
10. What are final thoughts for the readers or words of encouragement?
Phylicia: I think as a woman who got married as a virgin, it doesn’t matter if you’ve made mistakes in the past, God’s goal is not virginity His goal is Holiness. He offers us chances. The second thing I’d say is knowing your values and having confidence in your values. We are the crowning glory of God’s creation and Josh is actually the person that he told me that. With that in mind, remember that when you are tested or you’re with a guy who is pressuring you. As a woman just remember your value. In marriage that value is safe. You’re affirmed by a godly man, if you choose to marry a godly man. You’re being affirmed and you’re being protected by that man. The will say “Do it now” but it’s a lie. Those girls might look fine on the outside but there’s a lot of pain on the inside. You have to have faith to battle this. Strong women choose to do this, not the weak ones. You are a strong woman and you should be rewarded.
Josh: It’s a really a heart matter. We have many people that have sex and most of the times don’t even feel bad and if they do feel bad it’s just a natural guilt that they soon get used to. If you have a heart for God and a heart to obey then you will strive to do what’s right. You will have grace because you’ll know to ask for it. If you have a heart for God you’’ think about where you are and continually return to God. Put on your armor every day. If you get to a state of rebellion, that just leads down a road of shame and regret.
P.S. If Josh were entering my family through marriage I would totally approve of him, because it’s obvious that he takes his responsibility as the head of his family seriously. Well, Phylicia is my sister in Christ, so I approve Phylicia 😉 Ha!
Make sure to visit Phylicia’s blog, Phylicia Delta, it WILL bless you!
Thank you Josh and Phylicia!
**This marked our 100th post on the blog and I’m so glad it was Phylicia and Josh 🙂
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