What Is a Promise Ring? The Real Meaning and Purpose

The thin silver band that year-old Katie McMunn wears on her finger is a placeholder. Someday, she hopes, it will be replaced by a wedding ring. In the meantime it serves as a daily reminder of a vow she made three years ago to remain chaste until marriage. She was 14 when she first slipped on the silver band during a program promoting abstinence for teenagers, in Pittsburgh. The three-hour event, called the Silver Ring Thing, featured music videos, comedians and speakers who introduced an idea McMunn had not considered: that somewhere out there, her as-yet-undiscovered husband was waiting for her. McMunn is among tens of thousands of young people who in the past decade have taken a chastity vow until marriage and slipped on a ring to symbolize it. Chastity rings, part of the controversial abstinence-only movement in sex education, are becoming more mainstream. Also known as purity rings, they are being purchased by college students, members of church youth groups and abstinence organizations, and couples who are dating but abstaining.

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I was the teenage girl reading Christian books about modesty, purity, and relationships. I often read my favorite books over and over again. In recent days, there has been a lot of talk in Christian circles about those who grew up in the purity movement generation and how it impacted our hearts, relationships, and views of sexuality. Due to some of these unbiblical perspectives, many women and men believe they developed a warped view of sexuality, dating relationships, and marriage.

My marriage is sweet. I had a wonderful honeymoon and enjoy intimacy with my husband.

Protestant world. From purity rings and purity balls to books and bracelets, an entire Avoiding interaction and even dating is not a good solution. Putting the.

When I was 17, my parents gave me and my sister purity rings. My older brother never got one. I remember the night I wore my purity ring for the first time. My dad took me out for pizza and told me all about the meaning of the ring he and my mom had picked out for me. I remember thinking it was odd that my mom didn’t join us, that it was freezing outside, and that I was more than a little uncomfortable about the whole outing.

After all, we were essentially discussing the state of my hymen and the future “Godly husband” I wasn’t even sure I wanted.

How I Took My Sexuality Back From Jesus

Project Inspired started a group specifically for the Girl Talk questions, which typically come from the Girl Talk chat wall on Facebook. Click here to safely join our chat group. In the Christian world of dating or courting, having a purity ring is quite common as well as having a promise ring. The question this week is: What is the difference between the two different rings? A purity ring can be a commitment of someone wanting to remain sexually pure before marriage. Since we are on the topic of engagement and purity rings, what is the difference between courting as a believer and just dating?

That is how many girls feel about the binding power of the purity ring. during dating; and the rebellious once-churched somethings who.

I n my early teens, my bookshelf included such titles as:. I grew up at the height of the purity movement: a church-led initiative encouraging commitments to abstinence, intentional relationships, courtship and purity rings. My dad gave me my ring at age 13, and most of my friends had one, too. I thought I had relationships figured out.

And then I got into a relationship, and I discovered that not only did I not have it figured out, but there were capabilities within me directly contrary to all I had ever learned. As I wrote about in my post Prone to Compromise , every young woman — regardless of her background — is susceptible to compromise when given the opportunity. Many Christian girls postulate about relationships from the pedestal of singleness, only to find that navigating an actual relationship with a man is much different than the formulas previously set out.

These girls are home schooled, Christian schooled, church-raised, and come from solid families. Church friends and family whisper tearfully over the runaway daughter; emails confide in grandparents of the baby that is coming — no one had any idea. Parents stay up late trying to sort out why their daughter has rejected everything she was taught for a guy she would have never considered in her earlier teens.

The church is baffled when good girls give in to lust. Everything he does is dictated by his obsession, and in the end the ring kills him. That is how many girls feel about the binding power of the purity ring. Perhaps in emotional decision, pressure from parents, or even out of a genuinely hopeful heart many girls have donned a purity ring in their teen years.

Purity Rings: The Good, The Bad, and the Beautiful.

TLW launched in , and since then has spread to at least denominations and student organizations in countries worldwide, with an estimated 3 million students making TLW pledges. Yet the latest critics in a year stream of TLW naysayers claim abstinence emphases by evangelical churches wrongly shame girls and cause them to view their bodies as threats. Another critic, progressive pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, has asked women to send her their purity rings — which symbolize a commitment to sexual abstinence until marriage — so she can melt them down, The Huffington Post reported.

And I doubly grieve when I learn that some have carried pain into their adult years. Still, Buckley said critics of TLW over the years have helped refine his presentation of biblical truth. Now, for instance, he tells young couples in premarital counseling to expect challenges in their sexual relationship even if they saved themselves for marriage.

“When you’re about 15, 16, and start dating, and you go, ‘Wait a minute. What did I say I was gonna do?"” he joked, as he looked at his left ring.

When my dad gave me the ring, he said it represented my commitment to guard my heart. But after a while, my virginity vow no longer felt empowering. As the first of my friends to receive such a gift, they came to me for tips on taking care of the first precious piece of jewelry many of us had been entrusted to protect. She looked apprehensive.

The concern over leaving her ruby ring just hanging there on a hook was apparent. I slammed my locker, forgetting to take off my own ring. On my 13th birthday, my parents escorted me to a candlelight dinner and presented me with the finest ring I had yet had the privilege to call mine. Accepting it meant I promised to stay a virgin until my wedding night — to keep my mind innocent, my body untouched, my soul blameless — so that I could one day present my husband with the ultimate gift.

Protecting my purity was a daily topic in my devout Christian household, located a few rusty miles outside of Milwaukee. In our born-again circles, word spread through church newsletters arguing that Christians could no longer be complacent over the epidemic of premarital sex.

Selena Gomez Is Not Embarrassed That She Stopped Wearing a Purity Ring

With it, I pledged before them — and Jesus — that I would “remain pure” until marriage. I was raised being told that all I needed to know about sex was not to have it. Educators from my church berated fellow classmates and me, insisting we experience guilt and piety anytime our desires threatened to distract us.

Such is the case for abstinence-only education. The effects of all of this religious sex-shaming were varied among my church friends. Some of us bought into it, hiding our questions and curiosity from our parents while our hormones raged.

“I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” Promise rings. For the past several decades, the Christian community promoted these touchstones of sexual purity.

It had him in chains. Nick Jonas opened up about his now-broken virginity commitment and the origins of his purity ring during a loaded Reddit Ask Me Anything on Thursday, March 31, telling commenters he was too young to realize what it meant. The youngest Jonas brother, 23, and his older siblings, Kevin , 28, and Joe , 26, famously wore purity rings during their breakout years on the Disney Channel. In November , Nick finally explained why he no longer wore his once-beloved ring, and yes, it was because he had lost his virginity.

So long before our career started in music, that was what we were dealing with. But as you do, you grow up, you live life, you gain some world perspective and you develop your own views and opinions as it relates to faith, as it relates to sex, and everything that falls under the bounds of what your parents teach you and what comes from religion and you get to make your own choices.

The “Purity Culture”

For evangelical Christian teens growing up in the ss, purity culture was ubiquitous. From purity rings to True Love Waits pledges, millions of adolescents across the country formally vowed to abstain from sex and save themselves for marriage. Amid the rise of the MeToo movement paired with reports of sex abuse within the Church, individuals whose lives were shaped by purity culture began to push back. They shared stories of how some of the more problematic aspects of the movement, though well-intentioned, caused them to have an unhealthy relationship with religion, relationships, and sex.

Cait West, an English tutor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, grew up in a home that practiced Christian patriarchy, a movement in which women live within strictly enforced ideas of wifely submission and male headship. The movement places an emphasis on sexual abstinence before marriage and promotes a strict approach to romance: no casual dating, only serious courtship aimed at marriage, with parental involvement throughout the process.

Nick Jonas on His Purity Ring, Virginity Commitment: We Didn’t Have ‘A of dating, and subsequently started hooking up with Kate Hudson.

The Jonas Brothers famously wore purity rings as a sign of chastity when they first rose to stardom. About four years ago, rumors began to swirl that Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas had reneged their pledges. During a HuffPost Live interview Tuesday, Nick confirmed that he’s no longer wearing the finger bling. Nick continued, “But I’ve got my set of values, things that are important to me now at this point in my life and that’s all that matters.

I’ve had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my own growth. My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person and I think that’s all that should matter. I grew up in a church environment and still have love for the church. Joe, meanwhile, lost his virginity at age 20 while he was dating Ashley Greene. The “See No More” singer, whose exes include Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift , added, “I’m glad I waited for the right person, because you look back and you go, ‘That girl was bats–t crazy.

I’m glad I didn’t go there. Kevin Jonas didn’t have sex until his wedding night in

Guide to Purity Rings

Church and ministry leadership resources to better equip, train and provide ideas for today’s church and ministry leaders, like you. In its most extreme, the purity culture involves giving up dating for a return to parent-guided courtship, and even arranged marriages. I grew up in the purity culture. I had a purity ring, made a promise to remain a virgin until my wedding night, practiced strict modesty standards, and committed myself to courtship.

In college and the years that followed I began to question the teachings of the purity culture.

No wedding date is set and there’s no single meaning to the ring. Unlike promise rings, it’s rare for purity rings to feature diamonds or other.

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Purity ring

Purity rings are symbols of chastity, meaning the person who wears one vows to wait until marriage to have sex. While some celebrities, such as Kevin Jonas and Jessica Simpson , wore purity rings and actually waited until their wedding night to do the deed, many people removed the rings prior to marriage for various reasons. Here’s what some of your favorite Disney Channel stars had to say about why their rings came off. The Wizards of Waverly Place star began wearing a purity ring when she was 13 years old, but the ring surreptitiously came off when she started dating Justin Bieber a few years later.

In , she told The Sunday Times , “I’m also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off,” adding , “I got it was I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn’t for everyone. Back in , Miley spoke to TV Guide about her purity ring: “I like to think of myself as the girl that no one can get, that no one can keep in their hand.

For the first time in my dating history, the lack of a second date had nothing to do with its inevitable lack of sex. So why do I remember Anthony.

Sex was pretty much a mystery to me, growing up as I did in a conservative, evangelical home. Which I always thought was ridiculous. There must have been a series in Sunday school that was a little more in-depth because I remember a car ride home after church and my mom asking me what I thought about Sunday school. I do remember that they had talked about oral sex in class and I thought that it meant talking dirty.

My mom explained what it actually was and I was pretty grossed out by the concept. My body was a source of embarrassment to me and so I disconnected from it. I went deep into the life of my mind where I felt safe. I remember girls having conversations about boys and sex and I just had no interest. Sex and boys just seemed bizarre to me.

A Ring That Says No, Not Yet

I was raised in Christian purity culture. The evangelical purity movement—born in the s and still alive today—uses false promises, misinformation, and shame to persuade people to abstain from sex. When I was nearing thirty and in a committed relationship with my now-husband , I questioned why I should wait. I was beginning to realize that purity culture encourages Christians to wait to have sex out of fear and in anticipation of perfect future relationships.

Chastity or purity rings, part of controversial abstinence-only abstinence organzations, and couples who are dating but abstaining from sex;.

I just want to write about things that matter, rather than about movies or books all the time. And those percentages are all accurate. Even if I made them up. I grew up learning about purity. I read all the books. I participated in all the Bible studies. By the time I was twelve, I knew all about saving myself for marriage. At least, I thought I did. When I was younger, I would subconsciously judge someone based on whether or not they had one. After all, how could you claim to keep yourself pure for marriage and not wear a purity ring?

And if a guy wore it… WOW. Hashtag marriage material, amiright??? I knew guys whose mother forbid them from wearing them because rings were too feminine. My sister and I walked away from that question wondering how wedding rings were different… and how wearing a ring deprived a man of his masculinity.

MAKING PURITY A PRIORITY


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