Singer-songwriter Rebecca St. James, a longtime supporter of the True Love Waits abstinence movement, announced Jan. 3 that she is engaged to be married.
"St. James will wed the man she's been waiting for -- Jacob Fink -- on a date soon to be announced," a news release from her publicist said. "The Christmas Day proposal came at Rebecca's family farm in Franklin, Tenn., where she was presented the brilliant, solitaire diamond ring. The groom-to-be asked her parents, David and Helen, for their blessing prior to him surprising Rebecca with the engagement ring and his request for her hand in marriage."
Fink is originally from Colorado and now resides in southern California. After spending two years as a missionary in South Africa, he earned a degree in communications with an emphasis on film production, and the couple met through mutual friends in Los Angeles, the news release said.
"We are truly amazed at finding our dreams and ideals met in the love we've found," St. James said. "We are exceedingly grateful for this precious gift from God."
For years St. James, 33, has promoted a lifestyle of sexual purity until marriage, lending her talent to the True Love Waits movement and, most recently, to the pro-life movement through starring in the film "Sarah's Choice."
"Rebecca St. James has been a prominent, positive example for sexual abstinence for many young people during her teenage and young adult years. She was one of the first Christian artists to support and encourage True Love Waits and has stayed true to her commitment to remain sexually abstinent until marriage," Jimmy Hester, cofounder of True Love Waits, told Baptist Press.
"Rebecca has participated in many True Love Waits rallies and events. Most notably was her participation in our 1996 Thru the Roof National Rally in the Georgia Dome. And now her testimony will be even stronger as she enters married life," Hester said. "For students who face the challenges of living a pure life that includes remaining sexually abstinent until marriage, Rebecca gives testimony that it can be done and is worth the wait."
St. James' new studio album "I Will Praise You" is set for release April 5, with its first single, "Shine Your Glory Down," hitting radio Feb. 11. Her ninth book -- "What Is He Thinking?" -- is due out in September.
In 2006, St. James discussed her commitment to purity with Baptist Press, admitting that she dreamed of marriage but had to hand over control of her dream to God.
"What He was wanting me to do is just trust that He's going to take care of me no matter what, whether that means having a husband or whether that means fulfilling me in another way," St. James said. "That was probably one of the hardest things I've done in my life, to actually give that dream over to God and let go of [the control]."
During the tough times, she said she was able to stand on God's Word because it is solid truth.
"If I'm going to believe that the Bible is true, which I do, then I need to trust it because that's where push comes to shove," St. James said. "If I believe it, then I'm going to stand on it."
Richard Ross, another True Love Waits cofounder, told Baptist Press at the time that St. James was an ideal role model for teens struggling to abstain from sex in today's sex-saturated culture because she walks in their shoes.
"God has been gracious to allow some of us middle-aged married people to speak out for True Love Waits. But I am so thankful teenagers also have heard other voices," Ross said. "Rebecca St. James has been one of the most valuable of those voices. She is young, full of life and single -- what a platform on which to stand for purity."
A decade ago, St. James released her landmark single "Wait for Me," which helped spur the purity movement by challenging young people worldwide to wait honorably for the spouse God may have for them.
"I think deep down young people do know that waiting is the right way to go, and they just want encouragement to wait," St. James told Baptist Press. "I think for a lot of girls that heard it, Wait for Me became kind of their song that they were singing to their future husbands that encouraged them to be strong. I also think we girls are such romantics at heart, and it's a song that is romantic but also pure. I think that's why it connected."
Lots of young men have thanked her for recording the song too, St. James said.
"It's a pretty well-known fact that guys would like to marry a virgin. I think the whole idea that a girl is singing that song and is waiting really appeals to them too and helps them to strive to be men of honor," she said.
Ross said the song played a large role in the success of True Love Waits.
"Wait for Me has been one of those pillar songs for True Love Waits. Both the words of the song and the purity of the artist behind it have carried great weight with Christian teenagers," Ross said. "We know from the Reformation and the Great Awakenings that music fuels movements. Rebecca's Wait for Me would be an example of that phenomenon in our day."
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