Guest blogger Sarah Joy “Shine” Curtis threw away her purity ring.
Spoiler: she gets another one. Why? Read on:
When I was sixteen, my dad and I went to Olive Garden and he gave me the ring.
It was accompanied by a mini-speech about his heart for me and my future love life. That it all comes down to him wanting the best for me. That God more perfectly desires what my father does, and that He has already planned out every aspect of my life. Including my love story.
By accepting the ring, Dad told me, I was accepting both my parents and God into my love life—committing to allow their input.
It’s worth noting: I wasn’t a Christian at the time, even though I thought I was.
I got to pick out the ring. I chose a silver band with the phrase “True Love Waits” engraved between two crosses.
I’ve gotten rid of it since then, but not because I don’t believe in the idea of purity rings.
Since that dinner six years ago, I’ve come to know Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior and not just the God of my parents’ religion. My heart was transformed, and my perspective of my ring along with it.
Whenever someone asked about the phrase on my ring, I had to work them past the idea of it just being about abstinence. My ring didn’t communicate relationship with God to those who saw it. It communicated, at best, a life of promised virginity until my wedding night. Which is definitely part of it—don’t get me wrong. There’s just more to it. Like, a lot more.
I’m not just waiting to have sex.
Physical purity is only one aspect of purity and what my ring is meant to symbolize. I’m not wearing a ring to chastise myself out of sexually-compromising situations or to solely focus on what I can’t have right now.
I wear this ring because I’ve entered a covenant with God.
Psalm 139:16 says:
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
God’s already planned out what every single day of my life is to look like, and none of it is bad for me.
He’s promised that if something is good for me, He’ll bring it about in my life. Specifically, Psalm 84:11 says:
No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
It’s a relief to know that I’m not blameless because of my own efforts, but Christ’s. Christ has already lived the perfect life, and borne my sin and died for me, exchanging it with His blameless identity that I now wear as a white robe. If we’re children of God, then we automatically have this promise. We don’t have to try to attain it for ourselves.
So in part, the ring is a reminder of who God is and what He has in store for me. But I can’t know for sure that marriage is even part of that “best” that God has for me. If that’s true, then while that will be a bit hard to deal with, I won’t be disappointed.
That’s why I wear the ring.
Because even if marriage isn’t in my future, I still have the most beautiful, perfect, and fulfilling relationship right now.
Marriage is an incredible gift from God, but like anything else in this life, it’s only a shadow.
Marriage is like the shadow of a mighty oak on the sidewalk pavement. The shadow is still lovely, but its beauty is nothing compared to the real tree.
And relationship with God is that real tree.
When we read Song of Songs, we get a peek into God’s heart for us. He passionately and relentlessly loves us. That’s why He chose marriage to represent the relationship between Christ and the Church. The love there is most like His love for us.
My ring isn’t just to say that I’m waiting to have sex until marriage, or that I trust God to bring the right person at the right time in the right way. It’s to say that it doesn’t matter if I never get those things.
I have God’s heart.
I am His and He is mine, and this relationship is and will always be the most satisfying and loving one in my life.
I asked for a new ring this past Christmas:
I went for something that didn’t declare to the world why I was wearing it before I got a chance to.
A recent UCF grad with a major in Creative Writing, Sarah Joy’s goal is screenwriting and living like Jesus did. She’s a proud ENFP 4w5, but you likely can’t tell until she gets started on Stranger Things, personalities, all things Marvel or Jane Austen. You can find her drinking Yoo-hoo and arguing for the validity of Kylo Ren’s redemption arc.