My 13th birthday party is a day that I look back on fondly.
It was a celebration of my life thus far as well as a special ceremony commemorating my commitment to purity.
My father made a video montage of photos and videos including my birth, becoming an older sister, baptism and finally, being 13. My parents explained my commitment to purity through object lessons involving chocolate kisses and rose buds. Everyone prayed for me. I signed a card committing myself to physical, emotional and spiritual purity.
Then my dad put a sterling ring on my left ring finger that says, “I will wait for,” on the inside and, “my beloved,” on the outside.
I was completely happy to commit myself to that ideal.
But as I’ve looked at this ring on my finger for seven years, celebrated my two younger sisters’ commitments
during their purity parties, and spoken about my own commitment at their parties, I’ve had the opportunity to
reevaluate what purity and my purity ring mean to me.
During this time, I decided that I was no longer going to live my life for a future relationship and a mere human being.
Don’t get me wrong: I still believe in purity. But purity is more than that.
Purity is ultimately about Jesus. It’s about the fact that I am currently in the most important and satisfying covenant relationship of my life, which I don’t have to wait for and will continue on after death.
It’s about the fact that He desires what is best for me and is the Lord over every aspect of my life, which certainly includes my sexual activity and my relationship with my future husband.
It’s about the fact that Jesus has made me completely pure.
We tend to make purity about performance. But I’m not pure because I wait, I’m pure because Jesus has redeemed me.
I’m not waiting for a pretty diamond ring to be in the love relationship of my life. I have a simple silver ring to remind me that I’m already in it.
My purity ring is more meaningful to me now than it was before.
When I look at my purity ring and see the words, “my beloved,” I’m not thinking about how those words are
the end of a sentence about me waiting for my future husband. I’m thinking about how, right now, I am my
Beloved’s and He is mine.
Kuykendall is a junior majoring in communication. She can be reached at KuykendallA@jbu.edu.