Subscribe via RSS Feed

Why I Wear a Purity Ring

November 11, AD 2012 13 Comments

From the Roman collar to the brown scapular, the Church has developed a plethora of physical signs one can sport to testify to his faith or vocation.  A more recent one which- though not invented by the Church- is gaining popularity not only in various Christians circles but also in Catholic communities, is the purity ring.  These plain, silver bands, often inscribed with words such as “True Love Waits” or “I Will Wait”, are worn as an outward sign of one’s promise to not only remain sexually abstinent until marriage, but also to cultivate a pure heart which will one day, hopefully, see God (cf. Matthew 5:8).

I started wearing a purity ring when I was thirteen; after witnessing the effects dating the wrong people prematurely had on various peers, I knew I did not want to fall into the same trap.  I had heard about purity rings before, and thought that a visible commitment would both keep me accountable and serve as a firm reminder of my promise in moments of temptation.  For me, wearing this ring was more than a commitment to purity- it was a commitment to patience.  I knew all too well that my foolish heart could be won easily, and that this weakness would lead me to start dating any guy who was fairly clean-cut and was quick to compliment.  And so, the night I slipped on the ring and signed the commitment card, I also composed a short list of things I knew my future husband would need in order to be a good help-mate.  It wasn’t too long, and did not include height requirements or specific eye-colors; it was a character check-list, which I would write down about a year later. They were in no particular order, and there was only one that was non-negotiable: “Devout Catholic”.

As high school started and I was exposed to a whole new group of guys, this vow became more difficult to keep.  It was then that I learned how tempting the word “compromise” could be, and where my suspicion that I would “fall in love” much too fast was proved true.  Yet, as the old adage says, practice makes perfect, and as fleeting emotions came and went, my heart became more firm in Him, my Divine Spouse, the one whom I should seek before all things.

Though I am still a far ways away from reaching “perfect”, the decision to wear this ring began a process from which I continue to benefit- the process of discerning my vocation and learning the indispensable value of purity.  As it sits obediently on my finger, it quietly reminds me of the God who is lovingly watching out for me, and the man whom He may place in my life, at the proper time.

But until then, I will echo the words of Rebecca St. James and sing, “I am waiting for/praying for you darling/ wait for me too/ wait for me as I wait for you,”  and hope that, somewhere, there is a devout Catholic man singing the same thing.

“You are not your own.  You were bought at a price, so glorify God in your body.”

-1 Corinthians 6:20

(The verse on the commitment card)

I would like to thank Tito Edwards for including this article in his National Catholic Register post for November 16, 2012.

About the Author:

Abigail C. Reimel is a budding Catholic author in love with her faith. Though her more immediate dreams include successfully completing college and securing an editing position, she ultimately hopes to live in a little beach house with her future family while writing books that present "the good, the true, and the beautiful" to the young adult generation in an exciting way. She has been published in the St. Austin Review and hopes to be published many more times in the future. She adores living by the ocean, but traded salty winds for mountain air to attend Christendom College, where she is majoring in English.
  • Pingback: SUNDAY EVENING EDITION | Big Pulpit()

  • Alyssa

    Thank you so much. You have no idea how much I needed to read this post.

  • Good for you. The battle for the heart is the important one. It must belong to God first, and all your trust must be in Him. Whatever He has in store for you is good beyond your wildest imaginings.

  • Abigail C. Reimel

    Alyssa, that is exactly why I wrote it, out of the hope that my story might encourage and inspire others who are struggling like I am, to live purely and patiently in the modern world. May God bless your journey towards Him.

    Ryan, I read an article once that advised teens to run towards Christ, and then look to see who is running behind them. Making Christ one’s center, and not putting life on hold until that perfect person appears, is essential to living a full life in God. Thank you for your encouragement. May God bless you!

  • Very inspriring Abigail! You will not regret your decision to grow in the virtue of chastity. God Bless!

  • I think the Purity Ring is a very good idea and it gives young girls a sense of value for themselves. I really wish that the people in the English government would see the success of the Purity Rings for young girls over here instead of dishing out condoms etc. Its not only disgusting but so immoral.

    • Lauren

      Purity rings aren’t just for young girls.

  • Abigail C. Reimel

    Cindy, thank you! Already I have begun to benefit from this decision, and I praise God for calling me to it.

    Therese, I totally agree. Wouldn’t it have been nice if Melinda Gates, instead of going against her Catholic faith and paying to provide birth control globally, had taken actions to provide purity rings and materials to encourage chastity among other countries?

    May God bless both of you!

  • I too wear a purity ring, girl! This was a lovely blog post and I thank you for speaking out about the beauty and challenges that these symbols present. I loved how you wrote about the fleeting emotions…I’ve been struggling with those and it is good to remember that they are just a part of growing up. I really appreciate the encouragement to stay strong, especially when around those..ahem…young men. May God bless you, dear sister in Christ!

    • Abigail C. Reimel

      Hey Elizabeth!

      Good for you! It’s wonderful to hear about others out there who are struggling and seeking to grow stronger by using this beautiful “tool”. Yes, everything I wrote about is from experience, and is certainly something I’m still dealing with. 🙂

      Haha! I’m right there with you! I’m happy my post helped you; your comment has comforted me as well! It’s nice to know you’re not the only one out there, right!

      May God bless you as well!

  • Pingback: Men Chastity Rings()

  • angel

    Purity rings are a good reminder for women to value themselves and to keep it pure until they get married. I don’t see anything wrong about wearing it, although i never had one, it would have been nice back then.

  • Lauren

    Ten years of wearing my purity ring daily has always been a priority of mine for the same reasons you mentioned in this article and to set a good example to my older and younger peers. My future husband is definitely worth the wait in God’s time. On the day of our honeymoon, I will give him the purity ring, the several letters I wrote to him (during the single years), each white rose I purchased on V-Day as a symbol of me saving myself for him, and the fact that I take time daily to pray for him. God knows the desires of my heart and what I yearn for the most.. I have no doubt He will provide in His own way.