Should I wear a purity ring?

Purity rings are typically worn by teenagers or adults to represent their commitment to remain sexually pure by not having sex until marriage. The Purity Ring movement started in the 1990s, and some people believe it was inspired by the gold band nuns wear to represent their lifelong commitment to God. The rings are available at lots of places online or in stores, and there are no rules about how to wear or receive one. Both guys and girls can wear them. They can be given as gifts or purchased for yourself. Some families might have a special ceremony, and afterward, the dad gives a purity ring to his teen daughter. Of course, since these rings are a modern idea, they aren’t mentioned in the Bible.

What is in the Bible is God's call for us to remain sexually pure. “You should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God. . . . For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 7). This goes beyond just not having sex before marriage, though—it includes things like avoiding porn and lustful thoughts or actions. On top of that, having sexual purity is kind of like saying that you will keep your mind and body morally clean and pure so that if/when you get married, you can give yourself to your spouse with a completely clean conscience. Not sure what that means exactly? Here’s a good rule of thumb: any activity that arouses sexual feelings should probably be off limits—that is, until they are activities with your husband or wife!

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. A dad who gives his daughter a Purity Ring doesn’t “own” her sexuality. Also, a girl’s purity isn’t any more important than a boy’s. A commitment to remain pure until marriage is a really wonderful thing (Ephesians 5:3). But that commitment should be based on your relationship with God and wanting to follow what He says—not out of fear or shame. You shouldn’t get a Purity Ring if the only reason you’re getting it is to show that you have one or simply because you want to please your parents.

No, there is nothing wrong with wearing a Purity Ring. Just search your heart and make sure that your commitment to practice abstinence (which is a big, fancy word for not having sex) until you are married is sincere. The ring can be a reminder to you about your decision or even point out others who have made the same choice—which can be very encouraging! However, no Christian has to or needs to wear a Purity Ring. What’s inside—your personal commitment to God, understanding the benefits of abstinence and how to avoid temptation—is so much more important than a ring.

1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (Did you know the “412” part of this site comes from this verse? Cool!)

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Jennifer is a teenager who likes to sing, play instruments, and play volleyball. God has blessed her incredibly with a wonderful church, family, and friends. He taught her so much on a recent missions trip to Mexico, and she can't wait to go again. She's joyful and likes to have fun.