Compiled by Billy Hallowell, Deseret News
It’s rare to find a well-known media personality who openly discusses abstinence, which is why “Inside Edition” correspondent Megan Alexander’s candid approach to the topic has captured headlines over the years.
Alexander, who’s out with a new book this week titled, “Faith in the Spotlight: Thriving in Your Career While Staying True to Your Beliefs,” is hoping to inspire young people to stay true to their faith and values, while achieving their dreams.
The book, which includes a chapter on abstinence, comes two years after Alexander openly shared her decision to save herself for marriage — an admission that made a splash back in 2014.
“You want to clear a room or quiet a room, start talking about abstinence in New York City,” she quipped in a recent interview with “The Church Boys” podcast.
Alexander, who is now a married mother of two, explained her decision, saying she grew up in a Christian home and committed to abstain from sex while she was a high school student.
“I never thought I would talk about it publicly,” she said.
But that all changed a few years ago when Alexander’s pastor called her one day and told her that Whoa Women magazine was having a hard time finding someone in the entertainment industry who supported abstinence.
So, Alexander volunteered to speak up, and she and her husband shared their story. Then, her employer, “Inside Edition,” picked it up, as did others.
Listen to her share her story at the 2:30 mark:
Alexander, who said she and her husband want to help others by sharing their experience, is hoping to open up young people’s eyes to another potential option when it comes to sex.
“I think the young generation just simply doesn’t know this is an option,” she said of abstinence. “I just want those young people (who) are faced with an incredible amout of pressure to just jump into bed and not even think about things to know, ‘Hey, this is still a relevant option. It worked for me, it can work for you.'”
Alexander said she knows the topic is difficult for a lot of people, but that too many people don’t realize it’s something they can — and should — consider.
“I just made the committment to God and to my future husband that I was just going to save that,” she said of her decision. “Waiting was just one more way that I could try to fortify my marriage in this world and make it the best it could be.”
Abstinence is among the many subjects she tackles in “Faith in the Spotlight” — a book she first pondered writing after receiving a random email a few years back from a pastor in Seattle.
“He wrote, ‘Megan, I have a church full of young, ambitious women of faith. They have big career goals and dreams, but they’re worried they’re going to need to compromise their faith,'” she told “The Church Boys.”
Alexander, who is also a special correspondent for CBS’s “Thursday Night Football,” said the pastor told her he had few role models to point these women to — and asked if she’d consider coming out to the church to speak to them.
She agreed, but also realized there were likely many other women out there who were also in the same boat, so she decided to write the book.
“There wasn’t a book for the young, ambitious woman of faith, (who) has those big career desires in the secular world, in the corporate world — but still wants to figure out how she can make her family proud and hold true to her faith,” Alexander explained.
She also argued that Christians who want to change culture “must engage culture,” saying she’s had an opportunity to make her voice heard in both entertainment and media.
“You need to have a seat at the table. I’m at ‘Inside Edition.’ I’m in the newsroom,” she said, noting that she can “be another voice” adding to the discussion.
As for the purported disconnect between faith and media, Alexander believes many people in the industry aren’t “against faith and values,” but that the arena tends to attract people who might not see church as a big part of their lives.
“It’s not on the forefront of their mind,” she said.
With that dynamic in mind, Alexander said there will be times in which Christians might find themselves facing a tough decision while working in the secular world.
She recalled once being asked to wear something she wasn’t comfortable donning, as she sometimes models outfits that celebrities wear at award shows for “Inside Edition” segments.
“One particular award show a certain reality star had walked the red carpet in a very revealing dress,” she explained. “I would not choose that dress for myself and I don’t feel comfortable wearing it.”
Instead of outright refusing, Alexander came up with another plan: she found a more modest dress worn by model Heidi Klum and convinced her bosses to make it work; in the end, she was able to do her job while holding on to her values.
“I tell young people work the problem,” she said. “I gave them a plan B. I was able to hold true to my values and stand for what I believe in.”
Now, she’s hoping to inspire other “practical solutions” through “Faith in the Spotlight.”