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Purity rings have been around since the 1990s but recently hit the mainstream when prominent celebrities began to sport them. Think Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez and the Jonas Brothers. These famous millennials have popularized this concept and got a lot of people asking – What is a purity ring?
Essentially, wearing a purity ring means a pledge to remain celibate until marriage. It is a promise that you are ‘saving yourself’ for the right person to come along. These rings are also called ‘chastity’ or ‘abstinence’ rings.
But if you’re considering whether a purity ring is right for you, it’s important to know that this is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are the top 10 questions that people ask about purity rings.
1. Who wears a purity ring?
A purity ring is worn by someone who has decided to remain a virgin until their wedding night. The ring can be worn by either a man or a woman as long as they are dedicated to the concept of remaining pure until marriage. This applies to people of any age.
This is a big deal because not only do you have to make a firm decision but wearing the ring is also a public statement. You will have to be prepared to stand by your choice and be proud of your decision.
While most people who wear purity rings state that their decision arises from their religious beliefs, even non-religious people can wear them.
2. Should I wear a purity ring?
This isn’t a decision that you should make lightly. You will have to consider whether you are being externally pressured into wearing a purity ring or if this is something that is important to you and is based on your beliefs.
Why is this important?
If you decide to wear a ring only because others say you should, there is a high chance you may not remain committed to it. After all, this is a personal decision and it should feel right.
If you find yourself thinking frequently about sex or not wanting to wait until marriage to have sex, then a purity ring is probably not for you. It will only be a constant struggle and may end up making you feel miserable.
3. What does a purity ring look like?
There are many options when it comes to choosing your purity ring. It is important to love the look of the ring you choose, seeing as you plan to wear it for some time. The main thing to note is that there is no specific design or symbol that you must wear. Rather, look for something that speaks to you and holds meaning for you.
Here are some popular ring designs for purity rings:
The most common design is a ring with the inscription: True Love Waits. This is a simple message that states the purpose of wearing the ring. The ring is often a simple band made of silver, gold, platinum or other chosen metal which may have diamonds or other embellishments for added sparkle.
Some other common quotes engraved on purity rings are:
- I Will Wait For You
- Faithful to My Beloved
- Heart and Soul
- One Life One Love
- Bible Verses
Rings with gemstones are often very popular for purity rings. You can choose a birthstone or other gemstone that has meaning to you. Just be aware that diamond rings are so commonly associated with engagement rings, that if you wear a diamond ring as a purity ring, people may think that you are engaged.
It is also common to have purity rings with symbols such as the Christian cross or a key. The key often represents ‘the key to my heart’ which is a feminine and sweet symbol.
Most purity rings for males consist of a simple band with or without an inscription. The most popular inscription is ‘True Love Waits’. Some popular metals for male purity rings are tungsten, platinum, titanium and silver.
4. What’s the difference between a purity ring and a promise ring?
All purity rings are promise rings but not all promise rings are purity rings. Confused? Well, let me explain.
A purity ring is a type of promise ring. It is technically a promise to yourself to remain pure. A promise ring is a wider term and can represent a promise for marriage, a promise between two friends to remain friends, a promise between siblings or parents and siblings… the list goes on and on.
5. On which finger do you wear a purity ring?
Purity rings are commonly worn on the ring finger of the left hand, much like a wedding ring. This is why it can sometimes be confused for a wedding ring. After marriage, the purity ring is then replaced with your wedding ring. Having said that, remember that there are no hard and fast rules for wearing a purity ring. If you want the ring to remain fairly inconspicuous, you can choose another less prominent finger to wear it on.
6. Is there a purity ring ceremony?
Some people choose to have Purity Ceremony when they decide to wear a purity ring. This is also known as an Abstinence Ceremony or True Love Waits Ceremony. Often, purity ceremonies are quite simple affairs between families but some can be elaborate and quite formal. Some purity ceremonies occur in front of a church congregation, where young people make their promise to remain pure.
There is also what is known as a Purity Ball. This is where a father vows to look after his daughter and protect her virginity while the daughter makes a commitment to remain pure and under the protection of their father until they are married.
If all this sounds too much for you, remember that at the end of the day, the wearing of a purity ring is a promise made to yourself and is often involves just your parents, yourself and if it’s important to you, God.
Some purity ceremonies are simply between a girl and boy promising to remain pure until marriage.
Do what works for you. This is your decision and you are entitled to involve the people who you feel will support your decision.
7. Can I take off a purity ring?
You can always take your ring off if necessary. For example, there may be instances in which your ring may be damaged if you wear it, such as when engaged in outdoor activities or when exposed to chemicals. In these instances, it’s perfectly fine to take off the ring and leave it somewhere safe.
If you are constantly exposed to these sorts of situations, consider wearing the ring around a chain on your neck, like a pendant. That way, it will remain close to your heart but will not get in the way of damage.
Of course, a purity ring is a piece of jewelry that holds a lot of emotional and sentimental value to most people so if you’re constantly taking it off and putting it on, ensure that you don’t lose it.
8. Can I stop wearing a purity ring?
Of course you can. At some stage, if you feel that this promise to yourself to abstain from sex is not what you want, you can always take off the ring. Nothing is written in stone. Even marriages dissolve, relationships break and promises become void.
You are entitled to change how you feel about the ring. Jordin Sparks took off her purity ring when she felt that it wasn’t what she wanted. However, down the track, she recommitted to the concept of abstinence and began to wear her ring again.
What matters is how you feel about the ring. If you feel that it isn’t working for you and every day is a struggle to maintain your promise, maybe it’s time to reconsider wearing the ring.
9. Are purity rings effective?
Purity is your decision, not something that your parents, community or any other entity forces on you. It is also not a one-time choice, as you have to deal with this choice every day. It requires strength and commitment and is a lifestyle not simply an aspect of your life.
The most important thing is that it is your decision. After all, a purity ring is only a piece of jewelry. It does not have magic powers and wearing it does not guarantee that you will be a virgin. If you have decided that you will remain a virgin, and if this comes from intrinsic motivation, then wearing the ring will serve as a constant reminder of that decision.
10. Where Can I Buy A Purity Ring?
There are many places you can buy a ring that suits your style and preferences. There are many online shops that sell Christian jewelry which are quite popular and reasonably priced as well. You can also search on online platforms Amazon and Etsy which have some beautiful and unique purity ring designs.
While purity rings have been controversial in some circles, they’re a testament to deeply held beliefs about chastity and faith. If you have decided to wear a purity ring or support a friend who has chosen to wear one, be proud. It’s your decision to make.