Is the subject of purity rings and chastity really a laughing matter? Russell Brand quickly found out that it’s not. At the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA), the comedian attempted humor by sarcastically knocking the Jonas Brothers for wearing purity rings on their left-hand ring fingers representing their personal commitment to stay sexually pure until marriage. What Brand wasn’t prepared for was his cynical wit triggering a swift and public response from singer Jordin Sparks as she stood up not only for the Jonas Brothers’ commitment to sexual purity but also her own - she also wears a purity ring.
Sparks’ public stand against Brand’s jab at those who wear purity rings was met with a loud cheer from the audience. In our sex-saturated culture, one might have expected a different audience response to the ways of God. But in this instance, the topic of purity rings started out as an opener for a crude comedian, then rapidly moved to a sincere moral stand for a young woman, backed by the supportive applause of the audience. How awesome is that?
So, what does God’s word have to say on this topic of sexual purity?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1). Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
God designed sex to be an amazing experience between a man and a woman in the safe context of marriage. Our heavenly Father desires us to stay sexually pure until marriage not to punish us or keep us from enjoying the pleasures of life, but to protect us from the consequences of engaging in sex before marriage. Just like any sin, when we step out of God’s plan for our lives, we incur the consequences of our choices. What are some of those consequences? Well, besides the obvious risks of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy there is the emotional trauma that accompanies a sexual union that was created in the wrong context.
The incredible news is that our God is loving and forgiving and can take our mistakes, including our sexual ones, and heal us and forgive us when we turn to Him. So even if you or the friends around you are not sexually pure - always remember that God - if we just ask for His forgiveness - sees us as white as snow and as pure as gold!
This MTV showdown between purity and crudeness - Sparks and Brand, can be a phenomenal segue into a conversation with those around you on the topic of purity rings and God’s desire for us to live for Him. Read below for some questions to get the conversation moving in that direction with your friends:
• Open the conversation by asking your friends if they’ve ever considered wearing a purity ring. Ask them why or why not. If you personally wear a purity ring, you can bring that to attention and explain the story behind your ring.
• Ask if they’ve heard about Russell Brand’s VMA 2008 comments directed toward the Jonas Brothers’ stand on sexual abstinence. Listen and then tell them what God’s stand on sexual purity is.
• Talk about Jordin Sparks’ public stand against Brand’s off mark sarcasm and the audience’s reaction.
• Use this opportunity to talk about the deep and loving relationship you have with God. Tell your friends about God’s amazing love for them! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Borrow a little piece of bravery from Jordin Sparks and speak up about our loving Savior’s desire to have a deep, personal relationship with each and every human being. Share the good news with your friends!
Jeannae Flageolle serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries International (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.