Ciara reveals it took 'a lot of prayer' to remain celibate with Russell Wilson until marriage
To the outside world, Ciara and Russell Wilson's four years together have flown by - but to the couple themselves, the early days of their relationship were a challenge, as they made the decision to remain celibate until they were married.
The Level Up singer and her NFL player husband began publicly dating in April 2015, but didn't consummate their love until they tied the knot in July 2016.
In a new interview, Ciara recently touched upon how hard abstaining from sex was for her, claiming that it took "a lot of prayer" to get through it.
Speaking to InStyle, the 33-year-old took a FaceTime Call from her shirtless hubby - whose, in writer Lola Ogunnaike's words, "muscles appear to have muscles" - and afterwards confessed that waiting until marriage: "Took a lot of prayer. It was hard. I can’t lie."
She went onto open up about her past relationship with rapper Future, who she shares a son with, claiming that when it went sour, she had to do some serious introspection.
"If you want to get somewhere in life, you’ve got to have a compass" she explained. "You’ve got to know where you really want to get to. And my heart, soul, spirit, and mind just desired to be loved. To be truly loved the right way."
The 1, 2 Step star admitted that knowing what she wanted was as important as discovering what she could no longer tolerate, stating: "I knew I didn’t want to cry tears of hurt anymore. I didn’t want to keep going around in circles."
However, when she met Russell, she found the unconditional, drama-free romance she'd yearned for for years. "He’s my sounding board for pretty much everything I do in my life," she said. "He doesn’t want to see me fail. He’s got my back. That’s an awesome feeling."
It's not the first time the Christian couple's celibacy has been brought up in an interview. Speaking to news anchor Gayle King in 2015, the Goodies hitmaker claimed that abstaining from sex had helped her and the Seattle Seahawks quarterback to really get to know each other, and laid a great foundation for their relationship.
"It's awesome," she said. "I think the cool thing is just being able to share our journey with some other people like us. It's a great challenge. I can definitely say that. But it's awesome because we get to really challenge ourselves, get to know each other and really build a foundation."
Russell - who was previously married to his high school sweetheart Ashton Meem - revealed the couple were opting to go "the Jesus way" by avoiding pre-marital sex in July 2015, explaining the decision came about after a "conversation with God".
"She was on tour and I was looking at her in the mirror, and she was sitting there," he explained. "And God spoke to me and said 'I need you to lead her'... And I was like, 'Really? Right now?' And he goes, 'No, I want you and need you to lead her' ... If you can really love someone without that then you can really love somebody."
Ciara and Russell have now left celibacy firmly behind them, and share a daughter, Sienna Princess Wilson.