I showed up to college with a ring on my left hand. I had bought it at a Jaci Velasquez concert for 10 dollars. The ring said “I Promise” on it and my speech coach noticed.
“How are people going to know that you aren’t married, how do you get dates with that thing on your hand?”
“The boys I want to date,” I replied, “they already know what it means.”
I suppose you could say that the answer was cocky, that I was underlining the us and the them. Maybe it was, maybe I was. But that wasn’t my intention. I found security in that ring, in the conversations it brought on with people not in the know. It just put everything out on the table; I still prefer things that way.
Eventually, I stopped wearing it. Maybe I didn’t need it anymore. Maybe I realized that the people who knew me knew what I was about, and the people who didn’t, didn’t think about me anyway. But I stuck it in my jewlery box and eventually my ring tan faded.
I was lucky to be raised by parents who were frank and honest about sex and was thus saved from much of the weirdness and shame that I know comes with the True Love Waits campaign. After all, I was the one who bought myself that ring, it wasn’t bestowed on me at a fancy ball. I never signed a pledge for anyone else to display. It just was, my decision, one that I am still glad I made.
There have been a firestorm of posts about sex and purity, waiting and redemption and the messed up things that shame can do. People are talking about sex and boundaries in honest and beautiful ways. If nothing else let this list of links serve as conversation starters when my babies get bigger.
I am damaged goods by Sarah Bessey
Virginity New and Improved and Am I being “soft on sin?” by Elizabeth Esther
When it should be about love by Preston Yancey
Do Christian’s idolize virginity? by Rachel Held Evans
Damaged goods, sex and Jesus by Rachel Pieh Jones
Why virginity is not the gospel by Carolyn Curtis James and a critique Same stuff, Different Day by Dianna E. Anderson
Everyday Radical: To the Last Virgins Standing by Emily Wierenga
The Day I Turned in My V-card by Emily Maynard
Red yarn, purity, and my misplaced worth by Leanne Penny
The Morning After by Leigh Kramer
When There’s Always Another Story by Elora Nicole
Consent is the First Step by Dianna E. Anderson
I am hoping this list grows in the future. Please let me know who I missed.
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