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This article is about a Christian group. For other uses, see True Love Waits (disambiguation).

True Love Waits (TLW) is an international Christian group that promotes sexual abstinence outside of marriage for teenagers and college students. TLW was created in April, 1993 by the Southern Baptists,[1] and is sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources. It is based on conservative Christian views of human sexuality that require one to be faithful to one's husband or wife, even before marriage.


The True Love Waits pledge states: "Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate and my future children to be sexually abstinent from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship." In addition, they promote sexual purity, which encompasses not only abstaining from intercourse before marriage, but also abstaining from sexual thoughts, sexual touching, pornography, and actions that are known to lead to sexual arousal.

By the late 1990s, Christian music groups were promoting the program, and events similar to youth rallies were held at Christian music concerts,[2]providing an opportunity for adolescents to sign pledge cards.


In the first year of the campaign, over 102,000 young people signed the pledge, which was also taken up by other church groups including the Roman Catholic Church and Assemblies of God. The campaign has continued to spread across the US, making use of occasions such as Valentine's Day to gain attention.[3]

As of 2004, groups supporting abstinence numbered in the hundreds. During the previous decade, approximately 2.5 million American youth took the pledge of abstinence.[4]


The efficacy of the program has been questioned based on a 2003 study showing that 6 out of 10 college students who had taken the pledge had broken it, and of the 40% who identified themselves as abstaining from intercourse, 55% acknowledged having participated in oral sex.[5] In the 2011 book Making Chastity Sexy: The Rhetoric of Evangelical Abstinence Campaigns, Christine Gardner criticizes True Love Waits[6] for "using sex to sell abstinence" by promising more satisfying sexual activity within marriage for those who abstain from premarital sex; she argues that this rhetoric reinforces selfish desires for gratification, sets people up for divorce and dissatisfaction with marriage, and simply adapts "secular forms for religious ends".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Guilty Pleasures: Religion and Sex Among American University Students, Huffington Post, July 20, 2010
  2. ^ Price, Deborah Evans (5 July 1997). "Crosse walks many miles to support new reunion set". Billboard 109 (27): 9–12. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  3. ^ True Love Waits achieves Valentine's Day presence, The Washington Times, February 15, 1997
  4. ^ "How effective are abstinence pledges?". BBC News. 29 June 2004. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Boles, Janet K. and Diane Long Hoeveler (2004). Historical Dictionary of Feminism. Scarecrow Press. p. 362. ISBN 9780810849464. 
  6. ^ Hennie Weiss (March 27, 2012). "Review - Making Chastity Sexy". Metapsychology Online Reviews 16 (13). Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  7. ^ Sarah Pulliam Bailey (November 18, 2011). "The Rhetoric of Chastity: Making Abstinence Sexy". Christianity Today. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 

External links[edit]

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16 news items

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 13:26:15 -0700

The section on religion name-checks Veggie Tales, high school prayer circles, the Jewish group Kadima, True Love Waits and WWJD bracelets, all in about two sentences. And the authors argue that the growing power of religious pop culture from ...
Baptist Standard
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 09:30:00 -0700

When we think of purity, we often associate it with what we do not do in order to achieve and remain in that state. LifeWay recently updated and revised its True Love Waits abstinence curriculum geared towards teenagers. I remember going through the ...


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700

This is, after all, the same band that took a wrenching guitar ballad called 'True Love Waits'—a rare and revered live staple that the band denied Cameron Crowe permission to use in Vanilla Sky—and used it as a trojan horse to express the horrors of ...


Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:39:00 -0700

So much for true love waits." Major outlets such as CNN, Forbes, and Huffington Post ran the story, generously quoting those calling for an end to the chastity campaigns as major failures. John Blake, with CNN, began his story this way: "True love ...

OSU - The Lantern

OSU - The Lantern
Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:28:27 -0700

It was a purity ring, and I bought it for myself when I was 14 as a reminder that true love waits. Sure, that sounds like the title of Corny McSappy's newest album, but it kept me grounded and held me accountable throughout my four years at Lakota West ...
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:00:38 -0700

My heart knew if I made the choice to save something as innocent as my first kiss, that God would honor me. But as I write this out, for the very first time…. He was there. He was always there. This isn't about true love waits. It's far more about ...
New York Magazine
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:28:12 -0700

A gift has arrived for you. It's a small gift, but it's a kind and thoughtful gift, handpicked just for you: A company called Metail has finally created the outfit-selecting computer program from Clueless that Cher uses to select her clothes.
Radio Eska
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:07:30 -0700

Selena Gomez, gdy zaczęła spotykać się z Justinem Bieberem, przestała nosić swój pierścień czystości z napisem "True Love Waits" czyli "Prawdziwa Miłość Czeka". 3. Po sukcesie High School Musical Zac Efron musiał się wręcz opędzać od wytwórni ...

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