A Female’s Virginity Belongs To Her – Not Her Father or Husband – Re: Purity Balls
This story has been making the rounds the past week.
(Link): ‘You are married to the Lord and your daddy is your boyfriend’: Purity balls, in which girls ‘gift their virginity’ to their fathers until marriage, sweeping America, from The Daily Mail
While I do believe the Bible forbids pre-martial sex and supports virginity until marriage; and that virginity until marriage has been under attack from Christians the past few years (in addition from secular culture); and that a person’s choice to remain celibate should be respected by all (not mocked); that Christian parents or parents with traditional values have a right to instill Christian or traditional morals in their children, I do not support things such as purity balls.
One of my first problems with these “purity balls” is that they focus on female sexuality.
In these balls, the young ladies are forced to dress in white wedding type dresses, dance with their fathers, their fathers give them purity rings, and the young ladies pledge their virginity to their fathers.
As far as I am aware, there is no male equivalent, where young males are told to give their virginity to their mother and later, should they marry, their wife.
The Bible is clear that pre-martial sex is forbidden for all, for both genders, not just the ladies.
It is sexist and unbiblical for Christian parents to emphasize virginity only for female children.
I do not feel purity balls are appropriate for several reasons, but if one is going to hold one for females, one needs to keep things evened out by forcing males to participate in them as well, by having the males pledge their virginity to their mothers.
Growing up, I was very much turned off at the idea of marrying a non-virgin male. My preference is still to marry a virgin male.
I do feel that people who have pre-marital sex cheat their future spouse out of something that is rightfully theirs (ie, their virginity).
I know a lot of liberal Christians, emergents, and so forth hate that reasoning, but I apply it equally to males. I am grossed out at the idea of going on a honeymoon knowing the guy I have married has already placed his penis in some other woman’s orifices.
As I get older, I realize I may have no choice, because fornication is rampant these days – adult, male virgins are not exactly a dime a dozen. I’ve made peace with that.
At any rate, male virginity is not valued or upheld nearly as much as female virginity is, especially in religious circles.
I suspect one reason for this is that religious parents do not want to deal with unplanned pregnancies. Who gets pregnant from sex, males or females? Exactly.
I suppose Christian parents find it easier to clamp down on their daughter’s sexuality so as not to have to deal with birth control, abortion, adoption, and medical bills, so they up the pressure on the female children not to put out. One does not have to worry about a son becoming pregnant.
A woman’s virginity belongs to her and her alone.
At this point, I don’t even want to say one’s virginity belongs to God, though I suppose a biblical case can be made that a person’s body, sexuality and so on belongs to God (and there are biblical passages which indicate this), but God does not force Himself on people, their bodies, and their choices.
I have seen numerous testimonies by Christian women who admit to having had slept around many times over their life, and they suffered no ill consequences from that behavior.
God may call pre-marital sex a sin, but He does not enforce any negative consequences – in this lifetime- upon those who engage in such behavior, so far as I have been able to ascertain.
I actually see the opposite: I often see testimonies by Christian women on television programs who said they were big sluts, they admit they knew the Bible is against pre-marital sex, yet had sex anyway, they say they came down with some kind of awful disease as a result, but when they turned to God again, that God completely healed them of their sexually transmitted disease.
Still others said the only bad outcome of whoring around is that they came to feel empty or guilty due to said behavior, later stopped, and later met a great Christian guy who they married.
So, in spite of all the pre-marital sleeping around, they later got married, and now live happy, conventional, married, middle- class- American life styles.
Whether a female chooses to engage in premarital sex is her choice and hers alone.
I am not opposed to parents teaching their children to save sex for marriage and bringing up potential health problems involved of having sex, but in the end scheme of things, one’s virginity is one’s own, and one can do with it as one pleases.
(Note, however, the Bible does in fact teach that pre-marital sex is a sin. You can certainly have pre-marital sex if you so choose, but God does not condone that behavior.)
Forcing girls to attend faux marriage-like ceremonies where they have to devote their virginity to their fathers is distasteful, borders on incestuous, and places unrealistic, unfair pressure on these young ladies.
Give the young lady the proper moral guidance and health information she needs, and step out of her way; stop it with the purity balls.
I find these purity balls to be just as bad as the porn-i-fied culture we live in.
It’s the reverse extreme: usually in our society, people are pressured to have sex, have a lot of sex with lots of people and to start young. They are told their sexual choice to remain celibate is ridicule-worthy, shame worthy.
The virgin’s or celibate’s sexual choice to refrain from sex is often not respected. It is belittled. Virgins are shamed and bullied into acting like whores.
The purity ball is the reverse, but just as bad – pressuring young women into a sexual choice they may not want to make for themselves.
It’s telling them that their body, their virginity is not theirs, but belongs to someone else, either a father or a future husband.
I do believe one should save one’s virginity for a future spouse – so in a sense, I’d say yes, your virginity is owed to your future spouse – but at the end of the day, one’s virginity is still really and finally one’s own.
Your body is yours, not your father’s, not your future husband’s.
What I am getting at is that one’s choices should be respected. If you make all your kid’s choices for her, she will never be able to function as an adult. At some point, she needs to make choices for herself about herself, and that includes what to do when it comes to sex and her body.
Another reason these purity balls are so damaging: they make the job of all Christians (or semi- Christian, semi- agnostics with traditional values) who defend the Bible’s teaching on sex, (such as myself), ten times more difficult.
I already have an uphill battle defending celibacy and virginity as it stands, without these lunatic, crackpot fringe Christian groups holding these bizarre father and daughter virginity dances.
Staying a virgin until marriage does not guarantee great, regular sex, as many Christians like to maintain. I have numerous examples on my blog; just use the search box and type in “sexless marriage” for example after example of people who stayed virgins until marriage, but then their sex lives were terrible or dried up totally.
By the way, I am not fully on board with the “you are married to God” talk one sees pop up among some Christians. It sexualizes God and Jesus. I am an adult single – God is not my husband, and I am not “dating” Jesus.
See these links for more:
- (Link): Article: My Savior My Spouse? – Is God or Jesus Your Husband Isaiah 54:5
(Link): The Sexualization of God and Jesus
(Link): Dating Jesus / Oh No I’m Single! (videos) – for single unmarried Christians
(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both
(Link): Topics: Friendship is Possible / Sexualization By Culture Of All Relationships
Do the people who throw these purity balls ever stop to consider that their daughters may never marry?
I was a Christian since I was a child, I was raised with the expectation that I would marry some day. I am still single in my 40s. No “Prince Charming” ever entered my life.
When Christians teach about dating and marriage, they need to tell all young people, “Just because you desire marriage does not mean God will send you a spouse. It matters not how often you pray, wait, serve in church, how “good” you are, you may find yourself single past age 40.”
Churches and Christian material need to prepare young ladies for the reality they may find themselves single past age 35, 40.
(Link): ‘You are married to the Lord and your daddy is your boyfriend’: Purity balls, in which girls ‘gift their virginity’ to their fathers until marriage, sweeping America
- -Purity balls now take place in 48 states in the US, and in 17 countries
-Daughters promise to remain pure and give virginity to fathers to ‘protect’
-Girls given a ring as well as having wedding style ‘first dance’ with fathers
by Katy Winter
Purity balls, in which a girl pledges to remain ‘pure’ until her wedding day, symbolically ‘marries’ God, and promises her father that she will remain a virgin until she’s a wife, have become a phenomenon in America, now taking place in 48 out of the 50 states.
The balls resemble giant wedding ceremonies, with the girls – all around the age of 12 – wearing white gowns and dancing with their fathers who promise to ‘protect’ their daughter’s chastity.
During the ceremony, fathers present their daughters with purity rings, which they wear to symbolise their commitment to virginity.
In the movement purity means no sexual contact of any kind, including kisses, until after marriage.
One of the largest father-faughter purity balls – which is the subject of a Nightline Prime investigation – has been held for 14 consecutive years in Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.
The event sees upwards of 60 fathers pledging to ‘protect their daughter’s choices for purity’.
Fathers taking part are expected to sign a ‘purity covenant’ in which they, as ‘High Priest of their home and family’ pledge ‘before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity’
The daughters silently commit to live pure lives before God through the symbol of laying down a white rose at the cross, before engaging in a wedding-type dance with their father.
A new documentary follows two families who are taking part in this ritual; the Wilsons, whose father Randy is one of the founders of the father daughter balls, and the Johnsons from Indiana.
While all seven of the Wilson children are home schooled, socialising mainly with other members of their church community, the Johnson children attend a regular high school.
But while they might be exposed to normal teenage behaviour at school, at home they have the message of purity enforced by father Ron, who is the head pastor at the Living Stones Church.
One scene sees Ron kneeling in front of one of his younger daughter, gifting her with her purity ring.
‘One of the things you’ve been asking daddy about is “when am I going to get my purity ring?”
‘One of things I think it’s important to remember is this is your desire to do it the Lord’s way and really save yourself from kissing lots of toads along the way and wait for your prince charming to come along,’ he says.
Brandishing a gold ring, Ron continues: ‘This is just a reminder that keeping yourself pure is important. So you keep this on your finger and from this point you are married to the Lord and your father is your boyfriend.’
He then places the ring on the forth finger of his daughter’s left hand – her wedding finger.
The concept of purity pledges exists in in over 17 countries and across America, blossoming from the original purity movement that began in the USA in the 1980s.
Adolescent members of church groups began taking vows of abstinence and wearing rings to symbolise their commitment as a backlash to the perceived sexual liberation of the past decades and the growing AIDS epidemic.
They soon began wearing rings to symbolise their commitment, but the idea of girls giving their virginity to their father to safeguard until marriage, and the ceremonial purity balls, developed much later in alliance with Evangelical church movements.
Thank God my parents never pressured me like that, and with the extra layers of guilt.
(By the way, pastor dude in the article, your daughter may never get a “Prince Charming.” I’m in my early 40s and still waiting. Do not lead your daughters on that it’s a given that they will definitely marry, because they may not.)
I would have been uncomfortable and totally creeped out had my dad talked about him owning my virginity or wanting me to pledge my sexuality to him or whatever.
By the way, Christian groups who teach that hand holding, hugging, and kissing before marriage are sins are totally wrong. That kind of behavior is only a sin if it violates your personal conscience, as the Bible does not forbid any of that activity.
I think these churches and groups who believe in purity balls have turned sex (and marriage) into an idol.
Again, though, it’s in reverse of the secular culture and liberal Christians who advance a “hedonistic” form of sexuality (ie, any sort of sex is permissible, standards and judgment are wrong, don’t feel any shame or guilt at all over sexual sin).
These Christian groups go the other route and have made way too much about sex, to the point they are making little ten and eleven year old girls think about their sexuality and “pledge” it to their fathers, as though virginity is their most prized, intrinsic value, or the only valuable thing they can bring to a husband.
It’s the same thing in regards to the “modesty” debates: secular culture and secular feminists tell women it’s okay to dress like absolute whores, to go ahead and wear three- inch- high- mini skirts with fish net stockings and stiletto heels…
While some Christians go the other, extreme route by making women responsible for male sexual sin and telling them to wear burkas, or head- to- toe potato sacks that cover every inch of skin. Both viewpoints sexualize women and objectify them. There is no healthy middle course in either view, it’s one extreme or the other.
I also think it’s inappropriate to make ten, eleven year old girls participate in these things.
These parents who put on these “purity balls” are sexualizing their own daughters, as far as I am concerned, and that is distasteful. At age 10 or 11, they should be at that stage where they are still playing with dolls or teddy bears, starting to listen to pop music, experimenting with lip gloss and the like – not thinking about having sex, or not having sex, with a boy.
Outside of these wacko, fringe groups who host these purity balls, Christians do NOT worship or idolize virginity; it’s quite the opposite, see these links (I have many, many links like this on this blog, this is just a small sampling):
(Link): No Christians and Churches Do Not Idolize Virginity and Sexual Purity – Christians Attack and Criticize Virginity Sexual Purity Celibacy / Virginity Sexual Purity Not An Idol
(Link): Religious Dating Sites: More than Half of Users Surveyed Are OK with Premarital Sex
(Link): Anti Virginity Editorial by Christian Blogger Tim Challies – Do Hurt / Shame Feelings or Sexual Abuse Mean Christians Should Cease Supporting Virginity or Teaching About Sexual Purity
(Link): Pat Robertson says ‘Virginity Has Nothing To Do With Marriage’ and Says (Paraphrasing) ‘Virginity Was Fine For Mary But Not Applicable For Any Other Christians’
(Link): Joshua Rogers of Boundless / Focus on the Family Attacks Biblical Teaching of Virginity Until Marriage
Off Site Link (at Christian Post):
(Link): Christian Dating Culture (Part 1): Majority of Christian Singles Reject Idea of Waiting Until Marriage to Have Sex
(Link): Horny Celibacy – Another Anti Virginity, Anti Sexual Purity Essay – Also discussed: Being Equally Yoked, Divorce, Remarriage
Related posts this blog:
(Link): Typical Incorrect Conservative Christian Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough, Mr. Right will magically appear
(Link): Magical Christian Thinking: If you have pre-marital sex you won’t get a decent spouse
(Link): The Christian and Non Christian Phenomenon of Virgin Shaming and Celibate Shaming
(Link): American Christian Divorce Rates Vs Atheists and Other Groups – throws a pall over Christian Fairy Tale Teachings about Marriage
(Link): Mtv is Not Birth Control (articles) – Study Claims Mtv Show About Teen Parenthood Reduces Teen Pregnancy Rates
(Link): Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time
(Link): Students Discuss Dissatisfaction with “Hookup Culture” [Casual Sex, Fornication, Pre Marital Sex]
(Link): Boys Also Harmed by Hook Up Culture (article)
(Link): Part 2 – Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even CHRISTIAN Celebrities Have A Hard Time
(Link): The Netherworld of Singleness for Some Singles – You Want Marriage But Don’t Want to Be Disrespected or Ignored for Being Single While You’re Single
(Link): Celibate Shaming from an Anti- Slut Shaming Secular Feminist Site (Hypocrisy) Feminists Do Not Support All Choices
(Link): Singles Shaming at The Vintage church in Raleigh – Singlehood Shaming / Celibate Shaming
One thought on “A Female’s Virginity Belongs To Her – Not Her Father or Husband – Re: Christian Purity Balls”
I enjoyed your comments related to the purity ball and totally agree with you that the pressure to remain chaste is misdirected by the church (although I think the intent may be good). I also applaud you for your decision to hold sex at a high level and save it for marriage. I would also encourage you to stick with your beliefs and not give in until you are married. I know both Evangelicals and Catholics who chose to give in later in life and had big regrets.
It is a shame that our culture does not understand sexuality enough to realize the damage done by promiscuity. I would disagree with you to the extent that there are no consequences for this behavior (ie- 50% divorce rate).
Ironically, I was flipping channels the other day and came across VH1 Classic showing the Rod Stewart video “Tonight I’m Yours”. I had not seen this video in years and had forgotten the lyrics so I looked them up. I was really shocked to realize how much this song devalued sex back in the early 80s (the culture views has not changed any for the better since that time).
The fundamental problem as I see it is that other cultures where the religion plays a large role have much stronger sexual values and as a result they do not face the problems that we do in the west on as large a scale. As an Evangelical, it has always bugged me that people I work with from other religions seem to have a much better value system and more respect for themselves and others than many in American Christian circles. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.
Keep up the good work blogging!
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