Virginity pledges, in which young people vow to abstain from sex until marriage, have little staying power among those who take them, a Harvard study has found… More than half of the adolescents who make the signed public promises give up on their pledges within a year.
—Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2006
LifeTime Ministry would like to take this opportunity to address a recent report by a certain godless institution that claims to have found that many of you have failed to fulfill the terms of your Virginity Pledge. Do not fear. We are here to tell you that your purity is still very much intact. You were obviously just mistaken as to the subtle nuances of the pledge. So, to clarify any confusion that might have prompted an inaccurate response to the heathens’ survey, we here at LifeTime are pleased to present “Virginity Pledge 2.0,” a detailed, “user friendly” version that will purge any lingering uncertainties and confirm that your actions and behavior have, in fact, been fully consistent with your commitment to the purity lifestyle.
“Believing that true love waits,”
It has. See below, notes 2-11.
“…I make a commitment to God,”
Not to worry. He is aware of these annotations and is totally cool with them.
Actually, an interesting existential question. Who are you, really? It’s difficult to say as, often, we just don’t act like ourselves. For instance, sometimes you have to tell your friend Claire that she just wasn’t acting like herself the other day, that she seemed distracted or distant. Or, sometimes, it’s like how one may act differently after a couple of Jello shots while celebrating a big victory at the Homecoming game. That certainly isn’t the real you, not the frequently sober and socially appropriate you. So maybe that wasn’t really you behind the school cafeteria with the cute but troubled guy from gym class. You know, the one who barely noticed you existed for several weeks despite your having lost three pounds and gotten some killer highlights. In fact, with all that shrubbery around, no one could be sure who that was. No, it probably wasn’t you.
In fact, maybe it was Claire.
Not a critical part of the Pledge. Mom and Dad aren’t that interested in your life and they certainly don’t “get” you, as you surely know. To be honest, this one is only pro forma (“just because”).
A constantly shifting category. Friends want you to be happy and well liked, right? Well then, those who constantly criticize your flirtations with the captain of the baseball team are most likely just jealous of your obvious superior physical attractiveness and want to crush any chance for the true happiness that you, of course, richly deserve. This, then, only applies to those friends who recognize the importance of being asked to prom.
“…my future mate,”
Should said “future mate” be the type who will call the next day and not go around blabbing to all his friends, then everything’s kosher.
“…and my future children”
Trust us on this one. By the time your kids are old enough to understand any of this stuff, they’ll have zero interest in your former love life and, like all children, will remain convinced you were born 40 years old and lacking genitalia.
“…to a lifetime”
This can mean a lot of things to different people. For example: “Man, third period is taking a lifetime today.” Or, alternatively, say you and Johnny have been dating for three weeks. In high school time, this is, in fact, a lifetime. Settle on a definition that works best for your purity needs.
This rules out things that are cheap or tawdry, like a backseat or a basement sofa. It’s OK if it’s classy. Consider thread-count. And romantic gestures such as rose petals strewn about.
“…including sexual abstinence”
See purity, above.
“…from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.”
Lots of wiggle room here. The Bible clearly implies the only marriages that count are those with ceremonies that feature no fewer than five bridesmaids and catering costs in the high five digits. Not some tacky Vegas wedding at the end of a wild weekend with the girls. (See: Spears, Britney). That’s more like a prank and will not detract from your purity standing.