Purity Rings and Chastity Rings
Purity Rings are worn as a sign of virginity and chastity.
All Promise Rings are a visible and open demonstration of a pledge or commitment.
Whereas Romantic Promise Rings represent a commitment from one individual to another, a Purity Ring is a Promise Ring, where the promise is made to oneself and/or God.
The ring is worn as a visual statement and symbol of a commitment to chastity – a willingness to abstain from sexual activity until marriage. These Purity Rings are sometimes called Chastity Rings, Abstinence Rings and sometimes True Love Waits rings.
As with all Promise Rings, a Purity Ring can be a plain, simple band, or a more ornate ring set with a person’s individual birthstone – sometimes even diamonds. It all comes down to a question of budget and the kind of statement you want to make.
Those, who want to make a bold and public statement of their commitment usually have words inscribed on the outside of the band such as True Love Waits” or “Purity”. This open demonstration of their commitment often leads to conversations and gives the wearer an opportunity to share their belief and explain their commitment. This is particularly true of those in the public eye.
Many celebrities have worn Purity Rings and have used their celebrity status to promote their celibacy and purity. Amongst these are Miley Cyrus, Jessica Simpson, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and Selena Gomez …. and the Jonas Brothers.
Most of those committed to chastity and purity simply want a personal reminder rather than an outward statement and opt for a more understated ring.
These Purity Rings are usually plain bands with words engraved on the inside.
Any message can be engraved on the inside of the ring: a scripture reference, a name, or just a simple, personal message of encouragement. Although Purity Rings were originally simple metal bands in gold or silver, such rings have come a long way in design terms. Purity Rings nowadays often incorporate a cross or a birthstone gem as a decoration.
New styles are also available in a variety of different metals to accommodate different budgets and different tastes.
Purity Rings and Promise Rings are often used interchangeably. Historically, however, the rings have different purposes. A Promise Ring is used to symbolize a commitment between two people, a form of pre-engagement ring. In comparison, a Purity Ring represents a commitment to purity, a promise to keep your body and thoughts pure. A commitment to abstinence from sexual activity before marriage.
Such commitments are often made with the support and encouragement from friends, parents and others.
True Love Waits Group and The Silver Ring Thing
The practice of teenagers making virginity and chastity pledges emerged in the early 1990s in the USA amongst Christian and associated religious groups. Members of these groups made a vow to practice abstinence from sexual intercourse until marriage and started to wear a ring to demonstrate this commitment.The theory was that young people would remain chaste if they had stronger community support to remain abstinent and a number of programs emerged.
Programs vary, but in most cases teenagers voluntarily sign a pledge or publicly announce their intention to abstain from sex. Those making a pledge receive a pin or ring to symbolize the promise. In some cases they team up with an “accountability partner”.
Since it was founded in 1993, the True Love Waits Group claims that 2.4 million youths have signed a card stating:
“Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, those I date, and my future mate to be sexually pure until the day I enter marriage.”
Another group is The Silver Ring Thing (SRT). This group was created in 1995 by Denny Pattyn an evangelical Christian youth minister and his wife Amy as a response to the escalating numbers of teenage pregnancies in Yuma, Arizona. The founders saw the group as a way to protect teenagers from an obsession with sex and promiscuity.
Pattyn became Executive Director of the John Guest Evangelistic Team in Sewickley, Pennsylvania in 2000 SRT became part of the national outreach program of the John Guest Team. The target for SRT was to have 2 million teenagers receiving rings as a symbol of their commitment to remain pure until marriage.
Purity Balls are a very elegant and elaborate purity ceremony, symbolic of a wedding.
A purity ball is thrown for daughters and their fathers. The daughters come dressed in beautiful gowns and the fathers come dressed in tuxedos. It is an evening full of dancing, cake, prayer and most important, the presenting of purity rings (or a necklace or bracelet) by the fathers to their daughters.
Fathers make a vow and promise to protect their daughters and guard their virginity. As the fathers are making these vows and promises, they present a purity ring (or other item) to their daughters. These daughters are then under their fathers guard and protection until they are married and replace their purity ring with a wedding ring. The daughters promise their fathers that they will stay pure.