Purity Popularity

Jonas Brothers

At last Sunday’s Video Music Awards (VMAs), there was quite a buzz.  This isn’t unusual, the popular awards show is often the scene for shocking scenes and scandals, but what was unusual was the subject of all the attention.

The purity rings worn by the popular boy-band, the Jonas Brothers.  Kevin, Joe and Nick each wore a simple band on their ring fingers to symbolize their commitment to sexual purity until marriage.  This receving an offensive string of comments from the show’s host, Russell Brand, whose inappropriate words in turn earned him a scolding from singer Jordin Sparks and hotel heiress Paris Hilton.  Jordin, an American Idol winner and fellow purity ring wearer, said from the stage after accepting her award “it’s not bad to wear a promise ring”, while Hilton told Brand not to “pick on them”.  Mr. Brand later apologized.

Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, and other stars have also worn similar rings in the past.  Many Christians like to use the rings as symbols of an inward commitment to save themselves for marriage.  Christian manufactors like Factory 79 make purity jewelry.  Organizations like True Love Waits support abstinence, purity rings and pledges.

Of course, the real issue is the commitment.  Susie Shellenberger, editor of the popular Christian magazines Brio and Brio & Beyond for teen girls, writes, “Of course, it’s important to remember that your commitment to purity is in your heart and mind — not a piece of jewelry. The jewelry is simply a statement of your pledge.”  In other words, you don’t need a pretty ring in order to make the decision to obey the Bible’s mandate that the marriage bed be pure.  But a ring can be a special reminder of that commitment, and even a conversation starter as to why you believe what you believe.

I don’t know the Jonas Brothers, Paris Hilton, or Jordin Sparks personally.  I can’t answer for their faith or their level of commitment to Biblical chastity.  But I am glad that Kevin, Joe, Nick, and Jordin chose to be vocal about their pledge to save themselves, and that Paris defended them.  In an age when teenage sex and pregnancy is supposed to be accepted, here are some young “pop stars” who have the guts to say, “I believe in something better.”  As for Russell Brand, that he would attack these young men for their stance is very disappointing, but not unexpected.  In the dark world of pop culture, it’s nice to see a little light.  Pray for these young people and their commitments…despite Mr. Brand’s unfortunate remarks, maybe doors have been opened in young hearts throughout a nation desperately in need of a firm belief in the beauty of virtue.


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