My bags were packed, the car was loaded with snacks, and I was ready to embark on a milestone road trip with my mom.
It was a very significant trip in my life because it marked the end of my childhood season and the beginning of womanhood.
My family has a really neat tradition where each kid gets to take a special trip with one of my parents (girls go with mom and boys with dad) shortly after we enter our teen years. The purpose of the trip is for my parents to spend quality one-on-one time with us and to officially launch us into becoming men and women.
Once we return home from our special trip, both parents take us out to dinner and talk about purity and the value of saving ourselves for our future spouses.
If we’re on board with this Biblical plan for purity, my parents give us a purity ring which acts as an outward symbol of our commitment to God and our future spouses.
Now, purity rings were all the rage when I was in my teen years, but since then some major controversies have come up amongst Christians.
Some are for purity rings and others aren’t big fans.
The biggest question that comes up is this: Should Christian girls (and guys) even bother to wear “purity” rings at all?
Where did purity rings come from?
Purity rings hit America during the 1990’s and quickly became all the rage amongst Christians. Youth groups and teen ministries waved the “true love waits” banner and focused a lot of their attention on teaching abstinence.
Dads and moms suddenly began taking their daughters (and some sons) out to dinner and placing a ring on her finger and encouraging her to commit to saving sex for marriage. As this generation of Christian girls grew up and hit college age it became very clear that they were nothing close to “pure.”
Parents and churches were left scratching their heads at why the purity rings didn’t seem to be working. As a result, a lot of Christian parents and churches decided that purity rings were a thing of the past and weren’t worth their time anymore.
On the flip side however, there were a lot of teen girls who wore purity rings and stayed faithful to their commitment until marriage (me included).
For some Christian girls it seemed to be working and for others it didn’t.
Why was this happening?
It was happening (and still happens) because some churches and parents viewed the purity ring like a “magic ring” that would somehow protect their daughter’s virginity.
The truth is, being pure has nothing to do with your ring and everything to do with your heart.
Whether you decide to wear a purity ring or not is completely up to you; but before you decide whether you hate the idea or love it, just make sure you have the right understanding of it.
The wrong way to view purity rings.
The reason so many Christian girls lose their virginity while sporting their purity rings is because their hearts are in the wrong place. Purity rings have to be so much more than saving sex for marriage. Anyone can choose to remain abstinent; but for Christians, there needs to be a much bigger vision than that.
If a Christian girl wears a purity ring but messes around sexually without ever going all the way…is she remaining pure? Not at all.
If a girl views her purity ring as her ticket to looking “holy,” but is filling her heart and mind with lustful thoughts and pornographic images, is she remaining pure? Not at all.
Some girls view the purity ring as a cool and godly thing to wear, but then don’t take their commitment to be “pure” seriously at all.
Being pure isn’t a choice you make once for your whole life – it’s a choice you have to make on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.
The right way to view purity rings.
The purpose for the purity ring can’t be about looking pure…it has to be about being pure. It needs to stem from a heart that desires to honor and obey God in every area of life.
Purity has to start in the small areas. The girl who wears the ring should work hard at keeping her mind and heart pure.
She needs to fight the battle against lust by taking her sinful thoughts captive. She should guard her eyes from looking at sexually explicit images and filling her mind with sexually charged romance novels. She should care about protecting her brothers-in-Christ by not tempting them in sexual ways.
Like I mentioned in a previous blog, she should strive to be a “mind-virgin” as well as a body virgin.
Saving sex for marriage should be the outpouring of everything else the girl is doing to stay pure in her life.
If her heart is in the right place, she will view her purity ring as an outward symbol to God, her future husband, and the world that she is committed to being a pure woman, in every way.
The way you treat your purity is a direct display of your personal relationship with God and your respect of Him.
With all that being said, should Christian girls wear purity rings?
Personally, I am all for purity rings if they’re viewed and treated with a sincere heart and the right mindset. Just like a wedding band in marriage, purity rings can serve as a reminder of your commitment to honor God and your future husband.
In a culture where staying pure isn’t promoted or encouraged, I’m all for something small, like a purity ring, that will visually encourage Christian girls to stay on the right track.
How about you?
- Do you wear a purity ring? If so, why do you wear it?
- Do you view purity rings as a symbol of chastity, or a symbol of total purity?
- What benefits have you seen come from girls who have committed to stay pure and have chosen to wear a purity ring?
Photo credit: flickr.com | Sarah Ross Photography