True Love Waits, a ministry of LifeWay Christian Resources, will host “An Evening with the Olympians: True Love Waits” in Athens. The event will take place at Dora Stratou Theatre which is located at the base of the Acropolis on Aug 22.
With the 2004 Olympic Games going on in Athens, True Love Waits will catch world attention while its event is being broadcasted there. True Love Waits will focus on the theme “sexual abstinence” aiming at students and young people worldwide.
“This is an incredible opportunity for us to communicate God’s design for human sexuality,” said Jimmy Hester, co-founder of True Love Waits and director of student ministry publishing at LifeWay. “Sex was designed by God to be between a man and a woman within the boundaries of a marital relationship. True Love Waits is a call to purity, especially to youth, to save themselves for that experience.”
“Unwanted pregnancy and STDs [sexually transmitted diseases] affect us all, and the sad thing is that the consequences for high-risk behavior are totally avoidable. True Love Waits began in 1993 in response to requests from teenagers and their parents for some way to express their beliefs that people should remain sexually abstinent until marriage. We hope this call to purity in Athens raises the awareness of abstinence worldwide,” Hester continued.
For the event, True Love Waits will invite several athletes who will deliver speeches to encourage listeners to remain abstinent until marriage. Athlete Carl Lewis, one of the greatest Olympian of the 20th century, is among many other famous speakers.
One of traditions of True Love Waits’ sexual abstinence campaign in the last 10 years is to require young people to sign the commitment card which reads “Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.”
According to National longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, their study shows that young women who take a virginity pledge are 12 times more likely to be virgins when they marry, compared to those who do not make such a pledge, which proves that public abstinence pledges can effectively help teenagers to abstain from sex before marriage.
“The reason True Love Waits is cross-culturally effective is because it teaches biblical principles,” Hester said. “People are not expected to battle for abstinence by themselves. There is a spiritual element involved as well as the positive peer pressure within a group.”
Over the years, True Love Waits’ emphasis of God’s plan for purity has reached millions of young people through churches, student organizations, health-care groups, and on campuses across the nation.
The Aug. 22 event in Athens will start at 5 p.m. and will be taped and available that evening for viewing via the Internet at www.truelovewaits.com and at www.lifeway.com/news.