You know about purity rings, right? They are typically worn by adults to represent their commitment to remain sexually pure by not having sex until marriage. Purity rings were really big when I was a teenage girl, but I never got one because I felt that the decision to remain pure or not was personal and wasn’t anyone else’s business. You want to know the truth; I still feel that way.
For starters, wearing a purity ring does not mean that you are “married to Jesus”. A lot of people asked me if Jesus was my boyfriend and I bluntly said NO!. I didn’t deny Jesus, what I simply meant was; the decision to wear the ring was entirely mine and not because I was “married to Jesus”. Some even went further to caution me that wearing a ring will chase interested men. Well, I still wear my ring!.
That being said, purity rings can be a great reminder of a choice to remain sexually pure, but are by no means a prerequisite for abstinence. Choosing purity goes deeper than virginity. It is not the fear of pregnancy, ridicule, shame or STDs. In fact, it is more than waiting until your wedding night to have sex. Purity even goes deeper than promising to never look at porn again. Purity is a lifestyle, not simply a part of your life. Need I tell you how hard that can be?
About 8 years ago I started wearing “purity rings” after making a decision and a vow to God to remain sexually pure. That was a very important decision to me and I made it without blinking an eye. Little did I know that “purity” is a daily decision. I was so confident in the ring that I forgot to constantly ask the Holy Spirit to renew my mind (Romans 12:2) . When I left home without my ring, I felt incomplete. A few times, I had gone back home to get back the ring and have it beautifully resting on my finger. I idolised the ring and in no time, I was back to making the silly mistakes I told God I was never going to make. Oh!, that broke my heart!.
See, while I was proud to wear a purity ring, I also gave the ring more power than it actually has. When it failed, I had to go back to God to ask where I got it wrong. I wasn’t a perfect Christian; I am still imperfect. But my loyalty wasn’t to the ring but to my Father. My attitude completely changed after that revelation. My ring is ONLY a reminder to treat myself with honour and respect, and to never give up on that. My ring was a reminder of the commitment I made to GOD.
In the last couple of years, I have learned that “abstinence and purity” are two different things. Young people are told to “wait until marriage” and to us, this means doing every other thing but “the real one” but this is not what the Father is asking from us. He is asking us to “present our bodies as living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1) . He is calling us to a place of commitment to not only “wait until marriage to have sex” but to REMAIN PURE . Which was were I got it wrong the first time; I assumed kissing and holding a little tight was okay as long as we’re not doing “it”. Young people need to know that “waiting until marriage” while watching pornography is not “PURITY”. They need to know that “Virginity” and sexual purity are two different things.
While saving sex for marriage is something to be celebrated, it’s a low bar for measuring purity. Purity is deeper! Purity looks at the state of my heart and the nature of my thoughts. Staying pure is tough in a world that’s constantly selling sex. It requires the working of God’s Holy Spirit in us. It requires God’s grace and His strength in order for us to live lives that honour and glorify Him.
My best friend recently said to me “Grace is calling us to a higher standard of living than the law. That’s why the Bible calls us to more than virginity. The Bible calls us to purity.”
If you struggle with remaining sexually pure, it’s okay. We’ve all been there. Ask God to help you! Understand that getting and wearing a purity ring won’t magically make you pure or prevent any sort of impure temptations from happening.
Go beyond saving sex until marriage!
Stay sexually pure!