I remember when I was just 13 years old, eager to jump into teenage-hood—excited about receiving new privileges that my two younger sisters hadn’t yet been able to participate in.
Along with all these new factors of “growing up,” I also recall that day I wandered around my church’s bookstore, fingering Christian novels and CDs. A display of shining rings caught my eye, and when I got a closer look, I realized they were purity rings. There were several sizes, all with various designs. On some, “Purity” was engraved. On others, “Love Waits” shone on the ring.
I was ecstatic to see these rings. Growing up in a Christian home, my parents had always emphasized how important purity was. When I ran to get my mom and to show her the rings, she agreed with just as much excitement that it would be okay for me to purchase one.
The smallest size they had was a little too big for my ring finger, but I didn’t let that become an obstacle. For weeks I wore that ring, always admiring how nice it looked on my left hand.
It was several months later that I gradually forgot about the ring. I don’t remember why I stopped wearing it, exactly—maybe because I was afraid of losing it or breaking it or something worse. Eventually I did lose it.
The worst part about this situation is that I didn’t even know where it was, and I didn’t really bother to look for it. When I did find it a few months later tucked somewhere in one of my million purses, I finally realized that I had made a terrible mistake.
The significance of this story is not about how I lost the ring and how finding it again taught me a lesson to always wear the ring; it was about how I had misled myself into thinking that wearing a purity ring simply meant “No sex before marriage.”
At first I had thought, “Oh okay, that will be a piece of cake!”
Maybe I thought waiting to have sex after marriage was a piece of cake (for me, anyway), but staying pure isn’t just limited to sex.
Purity is also what lies in our hearts; it’s what we allow into our minds and into our hearts. Lust, impure thoughts, and wanting something in the wrong way are all forms of impurity. By wearing a purity ring, I was supposed to imply that I had vowed to keep myself pure both inside and out. I was reminding myself (and others!) that I was striving to be a Godly Christian girl, not only in circumstances concerning sex, but also concerning all that activity going on in your heart.
My question for you and continually for myself would be: If you’re wearing a purity ring, is your lifestyle displaying purity inwardly and outwardly? Is that piece of jewelry that adorns your left ring finger just a piece of jewelry, or does it represent something more?
Written by PI Girl Rachel