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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.


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]

The Jonas Brothers wore purity rings, but band member Joe Jonas later stated that he regretted the decision: "People were [chaste because of] us […] And we just thought, No! That's not what we're about". Jonas lost his virginity at age 20, despite being unmarried.[8]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Virgin Nation: Sexual Purity and American Adolescence by Sara Moslener, Oxford University Press, 2015.


  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. 
  8. ^ Lee, Morgan (December 2, 2013). "Joe Jonas Talks About Relationship With God, Frustration With Purity Rings in Raw, Revealing Interview". Retrieved January 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Love_Waits — Please support Wikipedia.
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1189 news items

Christian Broadcasting Network
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:55:01 -0800

Cheri Martin waited a long time to find "true love." So long in fact, that with her 50th birthday in sight, she began to doubt it would ever happen. Cheri grew up playing on the white, sandy beaches near Pensacola, Florida. The daughter of a pastor ...

Patheos (blog)

Patheos (blog)
Mon, 25 Apr 2016 17:22:30 -0700

I was a youth group kid when the True Love Waits movement was gaining popularity. From this curriculum I learned to see my sexuality as a liability and my female body as a source of temptation. At age 13 I took a purity pledge to remain abstinent until ...

Clarksville Leaf Chronicle

Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 08:09:29 -0800

Living Word International Ministries Home of R.E.O.C. is getting ready to host its annual True Love Waits Seminar for youth in grades 6th through 12th. The seminar is Saturday, February 13th, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. True Love Waits challenges ...
New York Times
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:58:21 -0700

There was abject longing in her rendition of the Radiohead ballad “True Love Waits,” and cosmic despair on the Nine Inch Nails anguished “Hurt,” a self-lacerating rock ballad whose narrator declares to any prospective lover, “I will let you down/I will ...

The San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Union-Tribune
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 09:59:42 -0700

Just look at his schedule with ArtPower in San Diego this week: Wednesday, he is on the calendar for a solo show, “True Love Waits: the Music of Radiohead,” and Thursday, he will be back with the New York Chamber Soloists for a program that includes ...

The Age

The Age
Sat, 23 Apr 2016 07:20:39 -0700

For all Bush's commitment to the "true love waits" mantra, not to mention the millions of dollars squandered to convey a message of moral panic, the rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among young Americans actually increased ...


Fri, 22 Apr 2016 04:37:30 -0700

The Disney actress turned popstar is only 23 (and a half) years old, yet, credit where credit is due, her life has been more interesting than that of the usual twenty something (she's dated Justin Bieber and has been bessie mates with Taylor Swift for ...


Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:01:21 -0700

Though some references to health issues such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are in evidence, True Love Waits initially sought to position sexuality (and sexual transgression) within the trajectory of adolescent spiritual development ...

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