"I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul," Justin Bieber tells Vogue
For the March issue of the world-renowned fashion magazine, the newlyweds look madly in love in their first photo shoot together as a married couple, which was shot by Annie Leibovitz.
The 22-year-old top model glowed in a classic, cream-colored Prada dress with beaded design work, boasting a bare face, stud earrings by Tiffany & Co. and hair flowing down her back — with her engagement ring front and center.
And the 24-year-old pop star stripped down and dressed in nothing but a pair of dark Dior shorts and white sneakers, showing off the tattoos covering his body.
This shoot comes with a long-awaited interview, where the couple finally gives fans what they’ve been wanting: an exclusive scoop on their love, what their marriage is like and what they hope for the future.
While the two have not yet wed in a traditional wedding ceremony, they did legally tie the knot back in September in a New York City courthouse after a two-month engagement.
And part of the reason (though not the only reason) they chose that route is because they waited until marriage to have sex, Bieber tells Vogue, citing religious commitment.
“[God] doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,” says the singer. “He’s like, ‘I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain.’ I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that.”
“I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul,” Bieber adds. “And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result. There are perks. You get rewarded for good behavior.”
Bieber admits he’d been less than perfect in the past. As a teenager, “I started really feeling myself too much. People love me, I’m the s— —that’s honestly what I thought,” he admits in the profile. “I got very arrogant and cocky. I was wearing sunglasses inside.”
As he grew older, Bieber says he began abusing Xanax to bridge the gap between how he had been raised and how he had been acting.
“I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff, and I think I used Xanax because I was so ashamed,” the pop star admits. “My mom always said to treat women with respect. For me that was always in my head while I was doing it, so I could never enjoy it. Drugs put a screen between me and what I was doing. It got pretty dark.”
In early December, the pair were spotted posing for photos together and a source confirmed to PEOPLE that they were for the legendary fashion and lifestyle publication.
“The shoot was all day. Both Justin and Hailey were super into taking the pictures. They did multiple outfit changes. Hailey looked so gorgeous, and Justin looked very happy. It was a fun and playful shoot. She was doing cartwheels, and they were both laughing a lot,” an insider at the shoot shared with PEOPLE.