When we think of purity rings, we think of sex…. or abstaining from it, at least.
But what if purity is about more than chastity? What if a purity ring stands for more than your wedding night?
Why would a married woman, like me, still wear their purity ring?
Our purity doesn’t stop at the altar
Most women see their wedding night as the completion of their promise ring. They save themselves for marriage, and they give their ring to their husbands as a symbol of their chastity.
I don’t want to discredit the symbolism behind such a beautiful commitment. The fulfillment of a promise to remain abstinent is a significant decision to honor God with your body!
But what if purity is about more than that? What if purity is about more than sex?
I still wear my purity ring. And it’s not because I don’t have sex. For months my husband Joseph and I eagerly anticipated our wedding night! It didn’t seem like our getaway car could drive away from the reception fast enough. That could have had something to do with the layers and layers of plastic saran wrap that our groomsmen wrapped around our car, but I think we were mostly just excited for our wedding night!
I still wear my purity ring because my purity didn’t stop at the altar or after the honeymoon for that matter. The intimacy I experience with my husband actually increases my desire to be pure.
I still wear my purity ring because marriage doesn’t fulfill our purity. It doesn’t cure impure thoughts. It doesn’t make us holier. If it did, then every verse on purity would only be for single men and women. But that’s certainly not the case! Last time I checked, the person you are before you get married is the same person who wakes up next to your spouse everyday…. bad breath and all. I had the same insecurities, the same internal struggles and the same need for purity the day before as the day after I said “I do.”
“’Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32).”
I still wear my purity ring because marriage calls us towards a higher standard, a deeper vision of purity, and a daily challenge to display God’s love for His church. Marriage is a symbol of God’s covenant with His people. Genesis 2:24 reveals that a husband and wife become one flesh. And 1 Corinthians 7:4 tells us that husbands’ and wives’ bodies literally belong to one another… which is part of the reason why we can enjoy each other’s bodies without sin. That was His beautiful plan, a physical union of body and soul in a lifelong covenant with Him… a union that displays His covenant love for His people… a union that cannot be separated… a union that explores the depths of intimacy.
We bring baggage into the bedroom
I still wear my purity ring because I don’t want to bring baggage into the bedroom. I didn’t get married and suddenly say… “Oh well, now I can lust and look at pornography and sleep around because I’m married.” No! My marriage bed is to be kept pure. I don’t want to flirt with other men, read erotic novels, or look at digital images of naked bodies that aren’t mine to enjoy (Deuteronomy 5:21).
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral (Hebrew 13:4).”
Hebrews tells us that sex within marriage is pure – redeemed unto the original intention that God designed it. But, it can be defiled by our actions.
Dating books and Christian conferences talk a lot about the baggage you accumulate before marriage. But we can collect it after marriage too. It’s where adultery starts. When we engage in sexual activities… even seemingly harmless ones… with someone other than our spouse (computer screen included), it wounds us deeply. We bring that baggage into the bedroom. And it has to be confessed, sorted through, and dealt with if we desire the deep intimacy God intended for spouses to share. Healing and freedom are possible. But the brokenness of sexual sin is nothing God desires for His children.
We give our whole life to God
I still wear my purity ring as a daily reminder to passionately pursue God with my whole self… mind, body, and soul.
I still wear my purity ring because I want to honor God with my body even after I’m married. I want to be pure in the way I dress, the attention I draw to myself, the way I carry myself, the pictures I post, and how obsessed I am with my appearance.
I still wear my purity ring because I want to honor God with my mind. I want to think honoring thoughts about my husband. Lust, anxiety, crude humor, fear, and worry have no place in my mind. I want to meditate on His Word for my life not my own selfish agendas.
I still wear my purity ring because I want to live for Jesus every day of my life. Purity doesn’t end on the wedding day. It touches every part of our being and exists every day of our lives.
So, please, dear sister, pursue purity in everything you do.… before and after you say “I do.”