Purity rings came into popularity in the 1990s and served as a representation of a Christian's commitment to remain sexually pure until marriage. The Purity Ring movement has received some pushback and controversy over the years. Some believe it was inspired by the gold band nuns wear to represent their lifelong commitment to God. Some have worn purity rings while committing sexual acts to flaunt their total disregard of the Bible's warnings against sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Matthew 5:28).
Purity rings can be purchased in many places online or in Christian stores. There are no rules about how to wear or receive one—any gender can wear them, they can be purchased for yourself or received as a gift. Some families might have a special ceremony, and afterward, a parent or gaurdian will give a purity ring to their teenager.
Since they're a relatively modern invention, purity rings are not mentioned in the Bible, but we can look at some biblical principles to help us out.
The Bible calls us to remain sexually pure¯in singleness and in marriage. “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—it includes things like rejecting porn, adultery, and lustful thoughts or actions.
Committing to sexual purity is kind of like saying that you will keep your mind and body morally clean and pure. Then, if/when you get married, you can give your body to your spouse with a clean conscience and remain sexually pure before God.
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!
"Imagine! His left hand cradling my head, his right arm around my waist! Oh, let me warn you, sisters in Jerusalem: Don't excite love, don't stir it up, until the time is ripe—and you're ready." —Song of Solomon 8:4 (MSG)
If you struggle with remaining sexually pure, that's OK. It just means that you're a human being who feels things—like everyone else! Ask God for wisdom and guidance (James 15). Understand that getting and wearing a Purity Ring won’t magically make you pure or prevent any sort of impure temptations from happening. Be aware of your "triggers" and what encites sexual arousal in you. Prepare yourself for future temptations BEFORE you're face to face with them.
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 sexually pure until marriage is a wonderful, healthy thing for all followers of Christ (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 someone.
There's nothing wrong with wearing a purity ring to symbolize a sincere commitment to sexual purity. Just remember that the ring is merely a symbol and has no power in itself. A purity ring can be a reminder of your personal decision, but no one should feel forced or obligated to wear one. 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.
"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.” —1 Timothy 4:12
A commitment to remain pure until marriage is a 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. There's nothing wrong with wearing a purity ring to symbolize a sincere commitment to sexual purity. Just remember that the ring is merely a symbol and has no power in itself. A purity ring can be a reminder of your personal decision, but no one should feel forced or obligated to wear one. 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.
Jenny is a college student who loves God and loves people! She is a major dog person, plays 3 instruments, and sings. She’s also a hardcore coffee enthusiast. Her favorite verse is Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”