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Girl to Girl Talk: What’s the Difference Between a Promise Ring and a Purity Ring?

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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. A promise ring is a pre-engagement ring showing one’s commitment in a courtship that is one day leading to marriage.

Since we are on the topic of engagement and purity rings, what is the difference between courting as a believer and just dating? I didn’t quite understand the difference until recently, but there is a way to be in a relationship with intention and with the purpose of marriage in a courtship versus just dating random people.

In a courtship, both parties are aware that the relationship could lead to a marriage, and that is the eventual goal. Courting is similar to dating, but is more monogamous and God-honoring. Within a courtship, you may find that the couple most likely isn’t dating other people, yet they are not really labeling the relationship quite yet. The courtship process is one built on the foundation of Christ as the center and it is built off a pure friendship.

Dating, in secular terms, is just going out with different people, seeing who you would eventually want to be with. There is no formality to the dating process and there can at times be mixed emotions if you’re uncertain about the type of future you want. In many cases, dating can lead to an engagement and marriage, but it is not always a pure or clear way to approach the road to marriage. I am not saying dating is always bad, and some may think that dating and courting are the same, but truly they are not.

In a courtship, both people are at the stage of life where they are talking about marriage, building a home and children. Check out this fun video with the Duggars family about their view on courting!

It is important in relationships, whether you choose to date, court or have a purity ring or promise ring, that you look at your relationship with a servant’s heart. Author and Christian singer Rebecca St. James wrote a book, What Is He Thinking?, and she made a good point that relationships are much better when we “outlove” one another.

“How much better would our relationships be if we were constantly seeking to outlove one another, constantly trying to outgive each other and really seeking to prefer one another above ourselves? And if we did this in dating relationships, it would carry over into marriage.”

[Source: christianpost.com/news/exclusive-interview-rebecca-st-james-on-how-men-think-her-near-perfect-marriage-56207]

[Source: https://www.theknot.com/content/what-is-a-promise-ring]

PI Girls, do you wear a purity ring or have you ever been given a promise ring? Comment below!

Image: Lightstock | Caitlin


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  1. Smylinggirl

    Posted by Smylinggirl on April 13, 2017 at 09:09

    I had a friend who got a purity ring for her 13th birthday. I really liked the idea and so asked my parents for one when I turned 13. I wanted to get one because I thought having a physical, tangible reminder of my convictions and beliefs would be helpful going into my teen years.

    Sometimes battling your thoughts is hard and it has, at times, been helpful to see/feel the ring on my finger and to then say, “This is what you believe. This is what you’ve committed to.” For me, it’s not just a purity thing, it’s also my commitment to waiting to even start a relationship until I’m prepared to be married (not that anyone is totally prepared, but you know what I mean).

    If I could go back, I would get a purity ring again, but I’d get one that had a thinner band. Ring on pinkie knuckle, not fun 🙂