On Sunday Aug.22, the 10th anniversary of the True Love Waits sexual purity movement was held at the Dora Stratou Theatre in Greece.
True Love Waits partnered with Lay Witnesses for Christ International to host the event. The theme of the event was “sexual abstinence” which was designed to call on youth of the world to remain sexually abstinent until marriage.
More than 460,000 commitment to abstinence cards were gathered from more than 20 countries. About 200,000 such cards came from South Africa.
The commitment card 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.”
Prior to the event, Hester, director of student ministry at LifeWay, expressed his hope to raise awareness for a biblical approach to abstinence by joining TLW ’s marital purity movement in Athens, Greece.
“I believe the diversity of countries from where we’ve received either cards or word of commitments made shows the global scope of True Love Waits,” said Hester. “True Love Waits is based on God’s biblical design for human sexuality. He intended for sex to be between a man and a woman and within the boundaries of marriage,” Hester added.
Richard Ross, the cofounder of the movement, declared to the crowd “You stand before a holy God today and you have to make a decision,” Ross challenged the audience. “Do you love God to the point where you are willing to set yourself apart from what the world is doing so that you can be a holy vessel through which He can work?”
Greece’s high abortion rate has become a key form of birth control in the country. The average girl may have multiple abortions before she reaches age 25. TLW’s sexual abstinence campaign can play a major role in birth control while helping to lower abortion rate. In addition, delaying sexual intercourse until marriage can significantly help teenagers from contracting numerous types of sexual transmitted diseases such as syphilis and AIDS.
“Sexual activity outside of marriage leads to all types of tragic consequences,” Ross said. “You can see the escalation around the world in sexually transmitted diseases and the AIDS crisis spiraling out of control. The very sad thing is that it is all very much avoidable if young people heed God’s biblical precepts.”
The event was broadcasted via the internet. The address for the website is www.truelovewaits.com . Additional information regarding True Love Waits and the Athens 2004 event can be found at www.lifeway.com/news.