Justin Bieber’s public journey from squeaky clean teen pop star to tattooed-and-troubled rock star seems to have recently taken a turn for the better. In late 2018, Bieber married his girlfriend—model Hailey Baldwin (daughter of Stephen Baldwin). Recently, the Biebers have made entertainment news headlines because of their decision to abstain from sex until marriage.
The couple admitted that the decision wasn’t easy. Bieber’s talked openly about his sexual addiction. But he expressed a sincere desire to honor God in his relationship with Baldwin, and says God honored their relationship in return.
Now that he’s a married man, his fans are still watching. And, though no one’s perfect, Bieber’s giving his fans (known as “Beliebers”) some decent advice in the marriage and relationship arena. Here are three marriage lessons from Justin Bieber.
- Save Sex
Beyond the dangers of STDs, sex outside of the context of marriage has emotional consequences few pop icons would ever dare acknowledge or discuss. Though Bieber’s been criticized—and even called crazy—for his year-long vow of celibacy before he and Baldwin married, Bieber believed it was what God wanted him to do.
Here’s Justin Bieber’s explanation of why God asks us to save sex and why it’s hard:
"He [God] doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff," Justin said. "He’s like, I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain. I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that. I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul. And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result. There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior." (Cosmo magazine)
- Date With Dignity
Sex isn’t the only way people can hurt each other in dating relationships. It seems that Bieber gained some insight on that front before he started dating his now-wife.
Though the media has tracked an alleged trail of girlfriends and hook-ups, Justin seemed to apply great care in his dating approach with Hailey.
Here are his words: “What if Hailey ends up being the girl I'm gonna marry, right? If I rush into anything, if I damage her, then it’s always gonna be damaged. . . It’s really hard to fix wounds like that. It’s so hard. … I just don’t want to hurt her."
Kudos to Bieber for modeling that we must value each other in dating relationships. The Bible tells us to treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. The hook-up culture promotes something entirely different—meet your own needs and don’t worry about the other person. Hopefully Bieber’s example will encourage others to date with dignity.
- Get Help
The son of a single mother, Bieber grew up without his dad. Some say that Bieber’s public struggles with mental health and depression are about trying to heal that deep wound. As Care Net’s president and CEO Roland C. Warren often says, “children have a hole in their soul in the shape of their dad.”
What may be even more interesting to Bieber fans is that Bieber was almost aborted. His mother, Pattie Mallette, was just eighteen years old when she got pregnant with Justin. Though her mom kicked her out and her options were limited, Mallette resisted the pressure to abort her baby. She delivered Justin in a home for pregnant girls and says he came out of the womb singing.
Though some think marriage itself will heal their wounds, Bieber seems to acknowledge that his internal struggles didn’t disappear when he said, “I do.” Marriage often brings out hurts and insecurities in a way that nothing else can.
But, instead of hiding behind those struggles, Bieber decided to get help and tell the world that he’s doing it. Though he may not realize it, he’s setting a great example for others dealing with personal or marriage struggles.
There’s no shame in counseling. Instead, seeking outside help is wise.
Here’s what Bieber’s said about the role of therapy: “The whole point of counseling and therapy is to get to the bottom of why you feel the way you feel. Once you reach the truth about yourself, you tell other people the truth . . .” (People magazine)
Something else Bieber acknowledges—he didn’t have a good example of marriage and fatherhood to learn from. This meant he needed some outside help. Bieber told People magazine that his desire to be a good husband, and someday, father led him to therapy. And he’s optimistic about the results.
“The thing I am most excited for is that my little brother and sister get to see another healthy stable marriage and look for the same!” Bieber told his Instagram followers.
As pro abundant life people, we know that 86% of women who have abortions are unmarried. When a girl is raised in a home without married parents, research shows she is much more likely to have sex as a teenager and, accordingly, to experience teen pregnancy. Therefore, we must help young women and men re-link sex, marriage, motherhood, and fatherhood back together. This not only will save lives from abortion but also help parents and children experience the abundant life God intends.
Hopefully Bieber’s fans will follow his lead in choosing marriage.