Former boxing champ Evander Holyfield might have to pick and choose his battles when it comes to things like child support and home foreclosure, but he seems to have done something right with one of his
9,9870 eleven children.
Holyfield’s 27-Year-old daughter Evette credits her father with teaching her the importance of saving herself for marriage, and she even spends some of her time encouraging young women to do the same.
She recently sat down with Essence to share her views on abstinence and her choice to remain a virgin until marriage:
ESSENCE.COM: When did you decide to be abstinent until marriage?
EVETTE HOLYFIELD: We grew up in a Christian home. When I was around six years old, my dad said to me, “You don’t need to have sex outside of marriage.” He went through the whole spiel with me. So as I grew up, I thought, okay dad, if you don’t want me to do it, I’m not gonna do it. Then I started to really understand church – the words in the Bible and what the pastor is really saying. At that point, I wasn’t just doing it because my dad said don’t, but rather, I now believe that by waiting, God will bless me and bring me a great husband.
ESSENCE.COM: Has it been a difficult decision for you?
HOLYFIELD: Honestly, it’s easy for me. I was in a three-year relationship, and I never had those desires for him in that way. He never pressured me. In my mind, I already have it set that I’m not gonna do it, so if someone were to pressure me, it wouldn’t even phase me. I just don’t have those desires.
ESSENCE.COM: How do your girlfriends react to your stance? Women can be emotional bullies too.
HOLYFIELD: My sister is a virgin, and I have a couple of friends who are virgins too. Some women have said to me, “Why would anyone want to date you if you haven’t had sex?” I ask them, “Why would anyone want to date someone who has slept with the whole world?” Having sex with a man is not what’s going to set you apart. What’s going to set you apart is what’s in your head.
Evette also gave her two cents on whether or not she thinks other women should follow in her footsteps..
ESSENCE.COM: Do you encourage others to make the decision you have?
HOLYFIELD:I have talked to young groups of kids at different schools about the keys to success, and one of the secrets I tell the young girls is to preserve themselves and their bodies and not to give them away to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Guys are going to treat you how you allow them to, and if you don’t respect yourself and feel like you’re worth something, then you will feel like you should do whatever a man wants you to.
ESSENCE.COM: Should every woman wait until marriage?
HOLYFIELD: I would prefer if women waited to have sex, but I know it’s unrealistic to think that all women are going to think like me. I think women should make a list of what they really want in a man. Then, wait, really stick to your guns, and have faith that God is going to give you that person. If women did that, it would save them a lot of heartache. Never settle.
Good for her. You can check out the full Essence interview with Evette here.
Photo Credit: Evette Holyfield