Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

She Shall Wear No Purity Ring

I remember several years ago at church hearing a couple discuss the idea of courtship vs dating for young people. Courtship - as they described it - is very much an act of pursuing a marriage partner under the careful, watchful oversight and direction of (ideally) both sets of parents. As opposed to customary dating, courtship is anything but casual. For example, couples who are courting are not to be left alone in one another's company as to avoid temptation. Time spent together is with a serious view toward facilitating  life long companionship. This was all such a beautiful notion to me. In my mind, it was a way to infuse nobility into a budding relationship and help a new couple get off to a truly fresh start. Clean. {And the Angels Sang: Hallelujah!} I thought back to my teen and young adult years that were chock full of carelessness, recklessness, and poor decisions which led to a laundry list of regret that I still find myself dragging around from time to time. Unclean.

This was clearly to be the solution for my children. They would not date. They would court. They would be spared the guilty conscience of their mother's youth. Their lives would be better. Their father and I would pick their mate help them find their (100% unmarred) life's partner and each and every single one of them would begin a life that would undoubtedly result in happily-ever-after-indeed (rewarding their parents' diligent efforts with a flock of white-as-snow grandchildren to spoil.) How wonderful it all would be!

Fast forward to last night, while searching online for a ring to buy Jayla as a gift, I came across several different styles of "purity rings" for girls. I was reminded of an episode of Anderson Cooper that aired a few months ago discussing the Purity Ball concept, practiced mainly by Evangelical Christians. To the best of my understanding, a Purity Ball is where a father takes his daughter to a formal dance (similar to a prom) at which time he gives her a ring to wear signifying her commitment to purity until marriage. In essence, a pledge is made to her father vowing her virginity until she becomes a wife.


For me, there was no chorus of angels accompanying that show.

I couldn't understand! What happened? Had my ideas on courtship changed? Wasn't this also an effort to ensure our children's "purity?" I was all for that! Right? Wasn't it my job to spare them from themselves and the evil onslaught of raging, acne inducing, inhibition crushing hormones they will surely endure at the precise hour they must begin to seek their perfect, wholly unscathed mate?

I began to wonder, if our daughters are to maintain "purity" until they are married, what do they consider their husbands? Deflowering Agents?

As a new wife do they lose their Pure Standing worthy of praise for exercising extraordinary restraint? Will they easily relinquish a title so hard won to embrace the beauty of their rightful sensuality within the marriage relationship? Could "purity" become more of a status symbol than a godly pursuit, like a badge earned for being a very good girl? A badge that must be removed as the marriage certificate is signed? I don't know. I really don't. It seems that it could be - if not kept in the proper framework.

What I do know is that being a wife has been one of the best, most holy, noble, charitable, wondrous, awe inspiring, growth inducing, exquisite gifts of my life. The joy and freedom shared in the union of marriage is unparalleled on this earth. I pray my daughters will be able to unabashedly enter the fullness of all that the marriage relationship has to offer.

It is where we are most truly seen for who we are.

It is where forgiveness is lavished and grace is taught.

It is where we learn to overlook the faults of another as we look upon our own.

It is where we experience the beauty of sacrificially loving another unclean soul and allowing them to love us.

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Cassie said...

miss you.

Tisha said...

I miss you too....

Anonymous said...

My wish is to be the EXAMPLE of the qualities of a good man.
If, I am good to their Mother, they may be instilled with a desire for certain similar qualities in a young man. I can't force my will on their decisions. In my opinion, Fathers spend to much time worrying about the "purity" of their daughters. Whooptiy Doo if they wait untill they are married, if they then have to spend their life with a man who does not treat them like the jewel they are. I am NOT a bald 37 year old chastity belt. I AM an example. May God help me to treat my wife like how I wish my daughters future husbands will treat them.

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