Rebecca St James, with several gold albums and singles to her credit, granted StandUpGirl an interview. We discussed what she hears from young women as she tours on concert around the world, depression, redemption, and self-esteem. In her career as a singer she has met thousands of young women and tells us what she hears and feels about their relationships.
StandUpGirl – Hello Rebecca, thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to speak with us.
Rebecca St. James – My pleasure.
StandUpGirl – You have spent most of your adult life singing to young people around the world. Your music touches on the joys and the sorrows that young women experience as they set out in life. You have had a lot of singles that have gone gold and several albums including If I Had a Chance To Tell You Something, a brand new album just released. You have written 3 books, Away From Me, Sister Freaks and recently, She Teen. Through all that work you have talked to a lot of young people about being faithful and patient. You must have heard back from some of them about their life experiences with young men. What are you hearing from these young women?
Rebecca St. James – Every night at performances young people thank me for my message about saving sex for marriage. I started speaking about that when I was probably 16. So really my entire ministry, 12 years now, I have been speaking about this issue of purity. I so believe that it is incredibly important because I see a lot of my generation being ripped off in this area and really thrown a lie that you can do whatever feels good and just please yourself and they are not talking about the consequences. They are not talking about the emotional pain that comes from giving yourself to somebody outside of the commitment of marriage and the covenant of marriage. They are not talking about STD’s. They are not talking about AIDS.
So I really want to be a part of pointing young people to God’s way. That it is the best, and it is wonderful and that it is doable. You know that I am 28 years old and I am a virgin. I am waiting you know.
I hear lots of stories from young girls and I have spoken to young girls who are now married who are dealing with STDs (sexually transmitted disease). Because of opportunities, I met one girl who slept with her boyfriend after he pressured her to have sex with him and he broke up with her a week later. And because of that she got involved with drugs and alcohol and slept with a bunch of different guys after that.
StandUpGirl – A story our visitors have seen play out time and time again, unfortunately.
Rebecca St. James – I hear the pretty intense stories but then I also talk to them about forgiveness and second chances. And they know that there is hope.
StandUpGirl – On that theme, Becky and the staff at StandUpGirl talk to a lot of young women every day. A common thread that we see in our communications with these girls is the idea that once virginity is lost there is no point in thinking about purity any longer. That they simply can’t go back. So, what would you say to those girls, Rebecca?
Rebecca St. James – Yeah. Well I think that is one of The Enemy’s biggest lies in this area. Is this lie that, “Hey, once you’ve had sex you have blown it so you might as well keep having sex.” I believe that The Enemy just wants young people to stay living in that sin and stay trapped by it. To really steal, kill and destroy trust in these young people’s lives. What I really share every time I talk about purity I talk about forgiveness. And I have a love song I wrote to my future husband saying, “I am waiting for you. Will you wait for me too?” And there is a line in the song that says, “Now, I know you may have made mistakes, but there is forgiveness and a second chance. So wait.”
That message of forgiveness is so important for all of us because every one of us has made mistakes and fallen short. We all deal with guilt. We all deal with shame. But, God is the Father who has His arms open wide and is waiting for us to run home to Him. I have a song on my new album called, “You Are Loved.” It was partially implied by that girl that I told you about before, whose boyfriend broke up with her a week after she had slept with him. That boyfriend told her that the reason he slept with her was to make sure that he didn’t love her. So she was dealing with such incredible amounts of rejection from that that she even tried to commit suicide along with all the other stuff that was going on with her life, slashing her wrists. I really felt lead just to talk to her about forgiveness and second chances. I wrote on her hand in black marker, “YOU ARE LOVED” and I told her everyday to look at that and to remember that she is so loved by God. God doesn’t want her to live in that sin. She can be free. She can have a second virginity and so that is something that is really, really important to for me to share.
StandUpGirl – We have heard a lot of stories like that on StandUpGirl as well.
Rebecca St. James – Yes. It shows.
StandUpGirl -Your experience there with her is something that is not as uncommon as we would like it to be, certainly. It is heartbreaking.
Rebecca St. James – Yeah, it is.
StandUpGirl – So, I want to go back to another idea that you touched on in your first answer. This notion that abstinence is a good thing for women and is a realistic lifestyle is something that shows up in your concerts and in your music. How do you think that young women are responding to that idea and how does that effect your personal relationships with men?
Rebecca St. James – OK Well, I think sometimes this concept of waiting is a wonderful way. I think it is something that really needs to be affirmed in our culture because I think there is almost this conception, and I have spoken of this in my concerts, in “Oh, yes. So we should wait.” Like Christian teens. “We should wait. I know it is a good idea. Like, I know God wants us to do that.” But not really like celebrating how awesome waiting is. I think waiting is one of the most romantic things that you can do. I mean, really. I have t-shirt that says, “Waiting For My Prince Charming” you know and I just feel like I just had another t-shirt made recently that says, “Waiting For My Holy Hunk”. I think there is a lot of joy and celebration in living God’s way. Like I said before, you are free from so many things not only the emotional consequences but all the other things I have listed before too. And it is something to celebrate. You can stand for God in this area with your friends and pray for accountability.
I am just so excited about going to my honeymoon, you know, on my first night with my husband not thinking about all the other guys I had been with. I am just excited about how romantic and beautiful and right that is. I think just affirming that, “Hey, God’s way is the best and it’s not like you are missing out on anything. You’re making your future more wonderful and there is a lot of joy in the journey while you wait.
You also asked about my boundaries with men. How my commitment effects my relationships with guys. I only date, obviously, Christian guys, also guys who are already committed to waiting as well and they are going to stand with me on that and are not going to push me down a way that I feel very strongly about not going. And then there are other things like if we happen to be alone in a room, especially alone in a room at night, we keep a shoe in the door. Keep the door propped open so that anyone could walk in at any point. And just that whole knowing that somebody could come in at any point really keeps me from getting up to mischief. Those are just some things that I have instituted in my life that have really, really helped.
StandUpGirl – I know you have to go, and we only have a couple of minutes left. I did want to ask, you have this “Waiting For My Prince Charming” T-shirt that you have designed. Would it be possible for us to sell that on the website?
Rebecca St. James – Oh, I am sure, you would be very welcome.
StandUpGirl – Thanks so much Rebecca, good luck with your performance tonight.
Rebecca St. James – You keep up the good work there too!