Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Symbols of Purity

In today's post-modern world, purity is not often looked upon as something to be valued, especially among secular society. Though we may be looked down upon or ridiculed for naivety, purity is something we must hold onto. Some look at it as restricting, but I think that it is actually freeing. It leaves with a feeling of cleanliness and right standing before God, and not feeling dirty or used.

When you see impurity all around you, it can get discouraging. Often it can be helpful to have something as a symbol of your commitment, a symbol of purity. These symbols will vary from person to person, so it's important to find something that has special value and meaning to you. A friend of mine has a hope chest as her symbol; I have a purity ring as mine; and I've heard of others having special lockets or other jewelery. Of course, these things aren't necessary, and there's nothing "magical" about them, but having them to remind you of your commitment can be encouraging.

Do you have something special to you in this way? For over a year, I've had a purity ring, a gift from my brother and sister-in-law, and it has become very special to me. Each time I catch a glimpse of it, I am reminded of my commitment to remain pure for my future husband. The simple gold heart with the diamond enclosed is a symbol to me of my heart, and how I am guarding it for my "Dearest." Each time I am tempted to give into despair and wonder if I'll ever get married, the diamond sparkles, and I'm reminded that the waiting will all be worth it one day.

Wearing it every minute of the day (except when kneading bread or doing other messy things!) also reminds me to pray for my future husband. I pray that he will keep walking God's path steadfastly, and will pursue purity. I also pray that God will prepare us and make us ready for each other, bringing us together in God's perfect timing.

When I received the ring in June 2007, I wore it on my left hand, for that is where purity rings are traditionally worn. I thought of it as saving the space for my wedding ring. While I don't think it's wrong to wear it on the left hand, after some discussion with my family, in May 2008, I switched to wearing the ring on my right hand. My family thought it best that it didn't look as though I were engaged, and thus not confuse people. At first, I thought it would be nice to "scare off" guys who weren't ready for commitment, but then I realized that if young men thought I was engaged by seeing the ring, the truly honorable ones most likely wouldn't even think of pursing me. It also will relieve awkwardness if/when I court from people assuming we're engaged by seeing a ring on my finger, and will help not confuse little girls who have been taught not to wear rings on that finger unless you're married. Plus, as I saw the excitement my sister displayed when she got engaged, and how she showed off her ring, I'm think it will be special to have my engagement ring be the first to wear on that special finger.

Don't think that I am condemning wearing a purity ring on your left hand, however! I'm just sharing what led me to my conclusion, and am following the advice of my family. It will be different for each person - there's no law about purity rings. =)

The color white has also always been symbolic to me of purity. What girl hasn't dreamed of the day when she'll walk down the aisle in a white dress, pure and radiant for her husband? White flowers have always been special to me as well, especially white roses, which have become my favorite flower. Seeing them always reminds me to be like a pure and spotless rose, fragrantly sharing God's love, bright and white in a world of darkness.

What about you? Do you have any "symbols of purity" that are meaningful to you?

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word."
- Psalm 119:9


Anonymous said...

I have a special purity ring that I've been wearing ever since I recieved it four years ago.
I enjoyed reading this post. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Anna. I have actually been looking around for a purity ring lately, but haven't found one I like. Anyway, I do have a hope chest, but never thought to look at it as a symbol of purity. As I mentioned, I do not yet have a purity ring, but hope to get one soon. After discussion with friends, then with my mom, I think that when (if) I do get one, I will probably wear it on the ring finger of my left hand, unless convicted otherwise. :)


Mardi said...

You're purity ring is very pretty! I got a purity ring the day after my sixteenth birthday. I use to wear it all the time, until my fingers became smaller and the ring became to big. Sometimes I wear it with a ring guard, other times I wear it between two smaller thin silver band rings, but that isn't often. I'm thinking about getting another one that fits better!

Samantha Brooks said...

I like your post! I have a fake purity ring, that looks like an egagement ring, but I want a 'true love waits' ring. Also, with the white meaning purity, I agree. yet, with my wedding dress, I want to add something black, maybe a small sash, to symbolize that I'm not perfect, since white seems to go along with perfection and sinlessness.

Anna and Miriam said...

instead of buying a new ring, you could wear your ring on a chain. Just an idea.

Miriam Rebekah

Miss Rose Virginia Butler said...

I have a purity braid. It's a small braid behind my left ear that I keep braided at all times. At first, I decided not to cut it until I got married, but it got annoyingly long and I decided to keep it the same length as the rest of my hair.

Oh, and white roses are my favorite flower, too!


Ella said...

The roses are lovely. White is definitely a wonderful reminder of purity! Yes, my hope chest is my "symbol." While I wish I had a purity ring (since I think people can take a wrong impression of me) my hope chest holds all my hopes and my dreams!

Anonymous said...

I have a purity ring too! I wear it all the time, well except for like you said "messy things". Mine is a little to big, but I just put tape around the part you can't see, so it doesn't fall off. I got a year or two ago for my birthday, and it truly has been a treasure.


Mardi said...

Miriam, I like that idea, thank you!! My ring doesn't have the white in it either, but it means alot to me, so I'm hesitate about replacing it altogether! Thanks again for the idea!

Jack's Mommy said...

I had a purity ring when I was a teenager. I got it for myself when I was 13 after I made a purity pledge in school one morning during chapel (I went to an independent fundamentalist baptist church school). I wore it on my pinkie finger of my (i think) left hand. I don't remember when I stopped wearing it...I never was fond of much jewelery so I probably just lost track of it one day. I did keep my vow though - I married at 23 and my husband is the only man I've ever been with. I'm 25 now and we have a 4 month old son, and I do not regret "saving" myself for my husband! I can truly say that if you wait on God, and keep your convictions, he will provide you with the proper mate for you. I hate today's view that you must "test drive" a potential mate before marriage - that completely cheapens God's plan for intimacy in marriage, and it makes one very selfish indeed to have that impure mindset. (And I must say, selfishness does NOT make for a happy marriage).

Anyway, I think this is the first time I've posted a comment here. I just wanted to let you know I'm cheering you and your friends on - I love your blog and have been reading it for months now. I get quite excited when I notice you have a new post up. :) Because I grew up in such a conservative culture, reading your blog feels like "going home". It's a shame that most of today's teens aren't as mature as you girls are.

Keep it up!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful! I'm 24 and I have a purity ring. I love the reminder to stay pure and pray for my future husband!

Amanda M said...

This is my first comment on your blog, but I have been enjoying reading it for a few weeks now. Thank you both for sharing of yourselves - your expressions of faith & femininity are an inspiration to many people! As for symbols of purity, I wholeheartedly agree. What's in our hearts (and how we follow through) is most important, but a symbol is an excellent reminder of how we ought to conduct ourselves. I never did have a purity ring myself. I a now married, and my wedding ring serves as a constant reminder to me that all my words and deeds should not only bring glory to God, but also bring honor to my husband. Much like a purity ring reminds one to remain pure and faithful to a future husband.

Miss S. said...

I have a purity rin gthat I received fo rmy thirteenth birthday. I wear it on my right hand, like you, and I wear it all the time. It is a beautiful reminder of what and who I am being pure for.
-Miss S.

Zoe said...

I have a purity ring that I have been wearing for several months now.

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! I'm almost 15 and looking around for a ring. I still haven't decided which finger to wear it on yet, though. I do think I'd like a ring with a heart in the design, though. It's wonderful to read your blog and also all the comments, other than my friends and I, it's so hard to find people who are committed to purity. Books, movies and CD's are especially hard.
Thank you for being a shinning light to girls everywhere!

Brooke said...

I used to have a ring that I wore as a temporary purity ring that I wore on my left middle finger, for one it was too big for ring fingers, and two, I didn't want to wear it on my "wedding" finger, like you. This Christmas, I plan on buying a purity necklace.

Prettye said...

Hey! I enjoyed reading your article. I wear a purity ring too. I recieved it for my sixteenth birthday, and everytime I'm tempted to focus on how "lonely" I am, I look at it and it reminds me that the only man in my life right now is God. I got my ring from www.purityrings.com in case anybody is looking. They have really beautiful and good quality rings. I would recommend them to anybody. God bless!