Justin Bieber felt like it was his ‘calling’ to ‘get married and have babies’

Jennifer Aniston at the Apple TV's The Morning Show World Premiere at David Geffen Hall on October 28, 2019 in New York city.

A tattoo-lover once told me that Justin Bieber has good-quality ink and I think about that every time I get a good look at his tattoos. While I do think some of his ink is good quality, the sheer quantity of it is just… a weird look for Justin in particular. Justin covers the latest issue of GQ in what the online edition calls “The Redemption of Justin Bieber.” He speaks at length about his new album, Justice, his marriage to Hailey Baldwin, his sober journey and his journey with his faith. He sounds like a man who has gone all-in with several 12-step programs all at once, but it’s not a bad thing. He’s become very earnest, very raw. I wasn’t looking forward to reading this but once I sat down and actually went through it, I appreciated him a bit more. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

How did he come out of the damage intact? “I’ll answer as best I can… Hurt people hurt people—you know? And there’s a quote; I’m trying to remember it. I don’t know if it’s biblical, if it’s in the Bible. But I do remember this quote: The comforted become the comforters. I don’t know if you’ve heard that before. But I really do feel comforted. I have a wife who I adore, who I feel comforted by. I feel safe. I feel like my relationship with God is wonderful. And I have this outpouring of love that I want to be able to share with people, you know?”

He won’t let his past dictate his future: “I don’t want to let my shame of my past dictate what I’m able to do now for people. A lot of people let their past weigh them down, and they never do what they want to do because they think that they’re not good enough. But I’m just like: ‘I did a bunch of stupid sh-t. That’s okay. I’m still available. I’m still available to help. And I’m still worthy of helping.’ ”

Where he was five years ago: Bieber was at a low point in what was supposed to be a charmed life; at night, he says, his security guards began to slip into his room and check his pulse to make sure he was still alive. “There was a sense of still yearning for more…It was like I had all this success and it was still like: I’m still sad, and I’m still in pain. And I still have these unresolved issues. And I thought all the success was going to make everything good. And so for me, the drugs were a numbing agent to just continue to get through.”

Finally dealing with his physical & mental health: “To be honest, I am a lot healthier, and I did have a lot of things going on. I did have mono, and I do have Lyme disease. But I was also navigating a lot of emotional terrain, which had a lot to do with it. And we like to blame a lot of things on other things. Sometimes… It’s a lot of times just your own stuff.”

He felt “compelled” to marry, he says. “I just felt like that was my calling. Just to get married and have babies and do that whole thing.” (On the “babies” part of that: “Not this second, but we will eventually.”) Bieber is honest about the fact that his marriage has not always been easy. “The first year of marriage was really tough because there was a lot, going back to the trauma stuff. There was just lack of trust. There was all these things that you don’t want to admit to the person that you’re with, because it’s scary. You don’t want to scare them off by saying, ‘I’m scared.’ ”

On God. “He is grace. Every time we mess up, He’s picking us back up every single time. That’s how I view it. And so it’s like, ‘I made a mistake. I won’t dwell in it. I don’t sit in shame. But it actually makes me want to do better.’ My goal isn’t to try and persuade anybody to believe in what I believe or condemn anybody for not believing what I believe. If it can help someone, great. If someone’s like, ‘Hey, I don’t believe that. I don’t think that’s true,’ by all means, that’s their prerogative.”

Vaguely addressing Hillsong and disgraced pastor Carl Lentz: “I think so many pastors put themselves on this pedestal. And it’s basically, church can be surrounded around the man, the pastor, the guy, and it’s like, ‘This guy has this ultimate relationship with God that we all want but we can’t get because we’re not this guy.’ That’s not the reality, though. The reality is, every human being has the same access to God.”

He enjoys meetings now. “I have meetings now, which I was never very good at. But now I’m like, ‘Okay, in order to be a healthy individual, this is what healthy adults do. They have schedules, they have calendars, they go by their calendar,’ and it’s beneficial, right? It’s not that it’s rocket science. But for me it’s like I lived this crazy lifestyle and this was just not the norm.”

[From GQ]

I’ve covered a lot of interviews from giant celebrities and rock stars and from what I’ve seen, the men always get to the point where they exoticize “normalcy.” They meet someone and they realize, “oh, I could have a real home and a wife and a real family life and we could have dinner with each other every night” and it comes as some big revelation to them. That’s part of Justin’s journey – he was living on the road, he was doing drugs constantly, he didn’t have real friends and Hailey represented the life he wanted for himself, a more fulfilled life, a normal life (for him).

Photos and cover courtesy of GQ.

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36 Responses to “Justin Bieber felt like it was his ‘calling’ to ‘get married and have babies’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    I don’t think Justine knows what he wants. IMO he seams reckless and as if this is the newest drug to help him feel good. I wish him happiness and health and that this is the right road for him.

    • joanne says:

      I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make by feminizing Justin’s name. Is it meant as an insult?

  2. Redheadwriter says:

    Kate McKinnon’s impression of him on SNL is all I can ever see when I see Bieber anymore.

  3. duchess of hazard says:

    I think he gets a few tattoos done at Bang Bang. That being said, I don’t like the ink for reasons of proportion, and aesthetics.

    To speak on the article: Bieber came out on the other side, huh? Good for him.

    • Snappyfish says:

      I remember when he was on David Letterman & he showed off his first tattoo. David said “now don’t go down the Sistine chapel road & get too many” & Bieber answered back “don’t worry no 16th chapel for me”

      So that pretty much summed up Bieber & he clearly hasn’t changed much “w/age”

  4. Cecilia says:

    I didn’t know the biebs had Lyme disease. That’s a new one for me. I do really hope that his marriage with hailey is a forever thing. I don’t know. I just feel like this man has been through a lot and he needs the stability.

  5. VS says:

    A “man” child having children…. good luck with that!

  6. Dl says:

    I believe his journey and I believe him. I never ever cared for him. I think he actually grew up. I respect his journey and applaud his honesty and sobriety.

  7. Mcmmom says:

    I really don’t care for him (though I’m nowhere close to his target audience and my daughters are too young to have been his target audience the first go-around), but I appreciate his comments about mental health. Hurt people do hurt people – he’s right on that.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Isn’t that the truth. That one declaration sounded honest, sincere and spoken as a result from his steps and his journey. Good for him, but I am a cautious person. I don’t know how you can build and sustain a marriage unless they are both on the same trail, therapy, religion and other priorities.

  8. Malificent says:

    IIRC, both of his parents were pretty checked out from actual parenting. Even without fame, kids need security and boundaries. And everyone needs comfort.

  9. Willow says:

    I really feel for these young people in their late teens / early twenties, going through this turbulent time in their lives in the spotlight. It’s always obvious who has a good support system and who doesn’t, when the risky behavior starts.
    It sounds like Justin is in a better place, but what about Hailey? I had a friend who ‘fixed’ every man she was in a relationship with and it never ended well. Hopefully, they supported each other, but I get the impression Hailey did all the work.

    • Lucy2 says:

      It seems rather one-sided to me as well, and if that is the case, it’s eventually going to be exhausting for her. Seems like there’s some classic codependent stuff happening there, as well as that sketchy church being his new obsession.
      Hopefully I’m wrong and they happy and healthy and he finally grew up.

  10. Veronica S. says:

    I guess that’s a nice reverse to hear that coming from a religious man for once, re: spouse and children. It’s almost invariably gender flipped in other contexts.

    I feel like Bieber and Selena represent yet another example of what celebrity does to child stars. They might love their parents, but frankly I don’t respect any adult who puts their kids through that. We see the same story of them struggling over and over again into adulthood: drugs, mental health issues, drinking, etc. I just don’t get how any responsible parent thinks that is worth it.

  11. ce says:

    The holier-than thou Justin I don’t enjoy, only because people with this attitude are generally the biggest hypocrites (see Hillsong, see Kanye). I think we’re a few years out from another ‘rock bottom’ moment for him. He seems like he threw all his past mistakes at Jesus instead of going to therapy and taking accountability for his actions. Let’s see

    • Melissa says:

      Yup. You nailed it. Every few years he says he’s learned from his past and does some subtle shade to Selena. There’s even an article from 2013 linked to this one at the bottom saying the exact same thing this one does! I feel bad for Hadley because she seems so exhausted by him and he is still obsessed with Selena. I hope she can get out relatively unscathed.

    • Jules says:

      Yes. Child stardom is a recipe for disaster, no doubt. He is taking the religious redemption route, and as you say, people who talk about how spiritual they are, generally are doing it just for show. And his marriage seems incredibly codependent. But I wish him well, and time will tell if it all holds up for him. I could say a lot about the Hanged Man image but whatevs.

    • Valerie says:

      I agree with every word.

  12. Midge says:

    Religion is a bigger crutch than drugs. It’s no mistake that the bulk of born agains are former addicts.

    • Dl says:

      So would you prefer them to continue to be addicts? I would much prefer someone off Drugs and preachy than on drugs and dying.

      • Merricat says:

        Zealots are worse, because at least addicts know their drug is harmful, and they can get help. A zealot wants to impose his vision on everyone because he’s so certain that he’s right. No one is going to say “Congratulations on your heroin addiction!” But most people say, “Hey, good for you for finding God.”

    • Grant says:

      The bulk of “born agains” are former addicts… Please cite your source for this blanket statement.

  13. Jaded says:

    I’m no Bieber fan but his father was atrocious and was the direct cause of his problems. He bullied Justin into stardom and became his enabler – they did drugs together, and he let his son go down a very dangerous path so he could make bank from him. For that I give Justin a pass in his sobriety, marriage and religious beliefs. If this gives him the anchor he needs then good for him. Bad parenting creates monsters and I’ve seen kids go from one extreme (drinking, drugs, unsavory friendships, etc.) to the other (religion, a steady relationship, sobriety) trying to deal with the aftermath of an unhealthy upbringing.

    • Normades says:

      I’ve always given Justin a pass because he was surrounded by enablers and yes-men including his parents who gave him no boundaries. I think his struggles are far from over but at least he realizes that he has suffered trauma, has owned up to his mistakes and is prioritizing his mental health.

  14. cassandra says:

    I love (🙄) that marriage and babies have become a ‘calling’ for him as opposed to being a choice that billions of people make yearly. That’s the child stardom effect- having to make every choice seem special.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    When you find yourself constantly thinking about yourself and talking about yourself, yourself is all you are. Marriage doesn’t fix it. Children don’t fix it. Drugs don’t fix it. And in my case, shopping and eating don’t fix things either. Until you open your heart and mind to others and those around you, you won’t evolve past yourself. Go make someone happy today. It’s an elixir.

  16. Imara219 says:

    I hope for his sake that this is a real change, that he understands his choices. If faith grounds him, I don’t see a problem. There is no need to snub it. Perhaps for him believing in the Most High is a form of accountability, a release from a “you are a pop star, you are a god, you can do whatever you want” mindset.

  17. HeatherC says:

    Well I hope his wife wants to raise a family because he said “have babies.” Not raise a family. Hopefully they wait a long while. He still sounds like a spoiled brat with real issues he’s not going to be able to just pray away.

  18. Lauren says:

    This crowd is hella harsh on someone who was thrust into the spotlight as a child by problematic parents. He lost out on normal education and socialization during important developmental years. And yeah, he screwed up – a lot – as an adolescent and young adult. (I also had substance abuse and mental health issues at that age and I am SO glad the whole world wasn’t watching.) He has clearly done a lot of work and has chosen a partner who is good for him. Does it absolve him of everything in his past or mean that he won’t screw up in the future? Of course not, but his progress is still notable.

  19. Kristen says:

    I feel bad for Hailey. If he thinks it was a calling to get married and have babies, he likely picked someone who fit that narrative (rather than picking a partner for who they are), and he could just as easily feel called to do something totally different all of a sudden. Like, if that’s how my husband talked about why we got married, it would be a huge red flag.