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Should Christian Girls Wear Purity Rings?

By: Kristen Clark

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

Girl wearing heart ring

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  • merci

    Great Post! I wear a purity ring from my dad and it’s definitely a good reminder each time I look at it.

  • Yes I do wear a purity ring, however it is more then that it is a reminder for me to put God first in my life. I wear it on my wedding finger because I know the God is my true husband, and definitely need to be reminded of that!

  • Tammy Carroll Martin

    What a great post. Thank you Kristin for sharing your family’s neat tradition for supporting and encouraging your purity until marriage! Purity is definitely a heart issue and should be taught that way from an early age.

  • Susanna

    My sisters and I get a purity locket from our parents! =)

  • Quite Distinguished

    My parents gave my sisters and I each a purity ring when we turned 13.Since my ring looks like a smaller version of my Dad’s wedding band, it’s not only a reminder of the commitment I have made to “honor [my] husband all the days of [my] life,” but also that until I say “I do”, I am still under my father’s authority and protection.

    At my sister’s wedding 6 years ago, my dad incorporated her purity ring into the service while giving away the bride. My dad took the ring from my sister, then he presented it to my brother-in-law saying: “This ring is a symbol of her commitment to guard her heart and purity. With God’s grace, and in His strength, she has done so. As God has placed her under my authority to physically and spiritually lead and protect her these 25 years, I now transfer that to you. Who gives this woman to this man? Her mother and I wholeheartedly present her to you pure; a woman after God’s own heart.” (There wasn’t a single dry eye in the sanctuary) My brother-in-law actually wore that purity ring on his pinky finger for years after.

    • Brooklyn Mikinzie

      Oh my goodness! Love, love, LOVE this!

    • Wow, that is such a cool tradition! Love it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Maria

      I LOVE that idea of incorporating the purity ring into the service. I always wanted to do something like that at my future wedding. (whenever that will be) Thank you so much for sharing. <3

  • Brooklyn Mikinzie

    Such a great post! I have a purity ring that I got from my parents on my 13th birthday. When I look at it I remember my commitment to my future husband.
    I agree that purity isnt just staying physically pure, but mentally pure as well. Thank you for this post! So encouraging!

  • Graciela Acosta

    Also, another aspect that a friend of mine pointed out is that staying pure isn’t just for marriage. Purity isn’t to honor your future husband. We shouldn’t necessarily be saving ourselves for him. The commitment to purity is to honor God. God doesn’t call us to be pure and clean so that he can give us a great husband. He calls us to be holy and set-apart for Him, so that we can live our lives to the fullest and give Him all the glory. I think sometimes girls, myself included, misunderstand this.

  • Jesusfreak17

    I wear a purity necklace instead of a ring mostly because I can’t keep track of rings. I wear it because I want to remember to not only wait for my future husband but to pray for him as well. It reminds me to keep my mind pure as well as my body.

  • Mama Baird

    Beautiful post, Kristen. I love those sweet memories of all the wonderful trips with each of my precious daughters! I am a very blessed mama!

  • Sam

    I think purity rings are nice.. but not totally necessary 🙂

  • I just got one!!! I see it the exact same way you do, total purity!!!

  • Ellie

    I have had my purity ring since I was 13 (I am almost 15). I wear it with pride to show that I will remain pure and that my parents have my heart until my new God-given authority comes. 🙂

  • Maria

    I have a purity ring! My parents gave it to me when I was 14 ( I am almost 20). I wear it as an outward reminder to myself that I am a daughter of the One true King and I only want what’s best for me. That includes staying pure body, mind, and spirit. I know a couple people who think that wearing it is weird because I don’t need everyone to know that I am staying pure for my future husband(whoever that may be). However I wear it not for what others will think or say but a reminder of what it personally means to me. I do have to say that while wearing my purity/promise to my parents (That promise is that my father both my earthly and heavenly father will help me guard my heart until the right man comes) ring has sparkled many great conversations (some awkward) with those that God has placed in my life.

  • Bia Baraldi

    i have a purity ring too and it remenbers me that I need to stay pure with all my heart and soul every day!

  • My MARRIAGE BAND is a purity ring! It’s made of silver with the word ‘purity’ inscribed inside the rim. My wife got it for me to remind me that Godly purity is a lifelong commitment requiring all of one’s heart, mind, soul and strength. That we ought not to resist merely lust but all willful sin as we grow in the purification process.

    In God’s wisdom in the Old Testament He encourages writing His commands “on the door posts of your house and upon your gates” (Deut. 6:9, Deut. 11:20). And I hope to someday soon have His purity written on my heart–until then I wear it on my finger. 🙂

  • Kwini Acosta Altamia

    I started to use purity ring when i was in college until now am wearing it but it did nit actually serve as it supposed, and i just realized that this ring covers a lot of commitment , in body, thoughts and most in heart. Heart matters above all. This ring should remind us not only to keep our bodies pure but most our thoughts and heart ( and sometimes we fail) thank you for laying points that i haven’t heard before it’s profound. Ring will be worth to wear if we really know and understand it’s purpose.

  • Annika Smith

    I don’t wear one, sort of because I was hoping my dad would get one for me when I turned eighteen (and therefore became a legal woman). I would like one, though, as a reminder to myself about my convictions and to show people that I AM striving to be pure.

  • Ruth Wu

    I actually just got mine this year as a birthday present but I’d been looking forward to getting it for a long time. There’s something special about having a physical ring/object – almost like a contract – that is a constant reminder. I love it because it’s shaped like a tiara and it reminds me that I’m God’s little princess and because I love and trust in Him, I will wait for Him to show me the one He has chosen and prepared for me. Even more than that though is how it creates the perfect opportunity to spread the gospel. I like using it as an conversation starter for evangelism because when somebody sees the ring, they’ll be curious as to know what it is and why I have it.

    • Gabrielle

      “There’s something special about having a physical ring/object – almost like a contract – that is a constant reminder.” – YES!!!

      “I love it because it’s shaped like a tiara and it reminds me that I’m
      God’s little princess and because I love and trust in Him, I will wait
      for Him to show me the one He has chosen and prepared for me.” – AMEN!!!

    • Gabrielle

      “…because when somebody sees the ring, they’ll be curious as to know what it is and why I have it.” YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Amanda LaShea

    I do and have since I was around 12 years old, and I’ll be 25 in less than a month. The ring has changed over the years, and my personal reasons and resolve has even changed over the years. In the beginning, I really didn’t understand what I was wearing it for which resulted in my struggling quite a bit to uphold what it stands for. But as I’ve matured, physically and spiritually, God has shown me my reasons for wearing my ring. It’s a daily reminder for me to honor God, my parents and what I was taught growing up, but most importantly it’s to remind me of the respect I need to show myself in how I interact with people, especially guys, around me. I can’t say as though I am perfect, but my resolve to stay pure, in mind, body and spirit, grows all the time. But the most important thing is for each young girl, or guy, who decides to wear a purity ring, fully understands why they’re wearing it and that they are making their decision to do so for the right reasons. #HonorGod #HonorYou #PurityIsImportant

    • Gabrielle

      “my resolve to stay pure, in mind, body and spirit, grows all the time” – Me too!!

      Love your comments!! 🙂

  • Gabrielle

    Nicely written!!

    I personally have a ring that I’m wearing as a purity ring. I wear it just as a reminder to intentionally stay pure in every way, for my husband, and in general before God.

    It’s more of a symbol of chastity than total purity. As you said, purity is a heart thing, and something that you intentionally work on, if you know what I mean. As things happen you seek to guard yourself and take any impure thought that arise captive unto the Lordship of Christ, as the Word says.

    One thing I don’t like is when purity rings say, “true love waits” written on it. Why? Well, because your ‘true’ love has already come – Jesus Christ. Plus, being pure is more than saving yourself for marriage, as Christians and Christ’s Bride, we are to be pure in every area before Him!

    A purity ring isn’t something that you absolutely HAVE to wear. You can and you don’t have to. Here’s the main thing – Where is your heart? Make a real commitment to purity in your heart!!

  • Katharine Menning

    I’m getting my purity ring this year and I can’t wait to start wearing it! Thanks for this post! It was really encouraging. Keep up the great work you two and God bless you, your families, and ministry.

  • I have a question: Is it ok for a girl to buy herself a purity ring? I am becoming a young women and would love something to symbolize my promise to God, myself and my future husband. However, my parents and grandparents (Christians and Bishops) see the purity ring as nothing but a piece of metal. I agree with you about it being a visual encouragement for women and have wanted one for years. Can I get one for myself or does that ruin the “general idea” of what it’s about?

    • Great question! Buying yourself a purity ring is a wonderful idea. I would definitely encourage you to get one 🙂 -Bethany

  • Nikole God’s child

    Being the 4th of 5 girls and the 5th of 11 kids I’ve never really been to high on my parents priority list. My 3 older sisters got their purity rings at 11, 12, and 13, here I am at 14 without one. It could be because I don’t openly talk about boys. I thought about getting myself one but I hope my parents might still get me one

  • Rachel M.

    I have a purity ring that I got this year and always use it as a reminder to stay completely pure. I look down at it and know that I am desperately trying to keep my thoughts on Jesus and stay pure in my thought life.

  • Wolfsmädchen

    When they were a trend, I wanted to wear one because they looked adorable 😀 but that is hardly a good justification to wear one.

    I think that if you wear one, you should be determined to keep your promise and decide on your boundaries beforehand.

  • OrangeGirl

    Personally, my purity ring became a symbol of how terrible of a human being I was and how much I had let down God. I was never good enough in God’s eyes, and he always seemed to be absent when I asked him what to do in certain situations. So I tried to please him by following the word of God. It did not work.

    My purity ring is a never ending circle, a symbol of the prison of thought and movement I locked myself in for so long. Purity rings can be great, but when the symbolize an obligation, rather than a choice, there is a problem.

  • Christi

    Hello, my parents got me a purity ring for Christmas last year and I have dutifully worn it everyday since. I personally am for purity rings as a reminder to stay pure in your mind and with your body. It has also allowed me to have discussions with other people about purity and my faith.

    • Hannah B

      yes it is a constant reminder!!!

    • Arise Sister

      Now that’ll make me wanna get one!… that’s a cool way to bring up a dicussion about the gospel

  • Johanna Harris

    Thank you for another wisdom packed post! I am inspired to view my purity ring in a more in depth way. Often times, people ask me about me ring. I follow by telling them, “It’s a purity ring.” Surprisingly, many people respond, “What is a purity ring?” In your opinion, what explanation can I give that would best glorify God?

  • Léonie

    I would like to have one but I’m from swiss and I don’t know where you can find a purity ring. Does it have to be a specific ring or could it just be any ring?

    • You can buy them online from a Christian jewelery store and customise it or from your local thrift store. It doesn’t really matter as long as its a ring that speaks to you, displays the way you want it to, and you can apply your own meaning to it.

  • Arise Sister

    I personally dont wear a purity ring because i really don’t need one. I got that commitment to purity settled in my heart and wearing a ring really wouldn’t make much difference for me….but i don’t think it’s a bad idea to have one especially if staying pure is a hard struggle for you. Plus I like rings so i wouldn’t mind one…lol!

  • Arise Sister

    I personally dont wear a purity ring because i really don’t need one. I got that commitment to purity settled in my heart and wearing a ring really wouldn’t make much difference for me….but i don’t think it’s a bad idea to have one especially if staying pure is a hard struggle for you – well in reality it’s a struggle for everyone. Plus I like rings so i wouldn’t mind one…lol!

  • Erika

    I have never heard of purity rings, put they sound like a wonderful idea!


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