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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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56 news items

Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:13:43 -0700

Despite the culture's perverted perspective about sex, the Kings are praying to present a Christian perspective as the True Love Waits program is updated and re-launched in honor of its 20th anniversary. The familiar movement has been renamed "True ...

Standard Newswire (press release)

Standard Newswire (press release)
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:11:15 -0700

NASHVILLE, Aug. 12, 2014 /Standard Newswire/ -- Two decades ago, a nationwide phenomenon swept the country. Hundreds of thousands of young people took a stand for abstinence due to their Christian faith during the familiar True Love Waits movement.

Christian Post

Christian Post
Wed, 17 Sep 2014 11:22:30 -0700

The Jonas brothers were raised in the church, and older brother Joe spoke last year about his own commitment to True Love Waits and the purity ring he used to wear, which he said led to plenty of attention that he and his brothers did not expect or want.


Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:56:15 -0700

Nick's older brother Joe Jonas, 25, who also previously wore a purity ring, revealed last year that he lost his virginity when he was 20. He said: ''There's a program people do in some churches called True Love Waits, where you wait for marriage to ...
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 06:56:21 -0700

The band, which the singer formed in 2005 with brothers Kevin and Joe Jonas, were famed for their promotion of abstinence and purity rings through Christian campaign True Love Waits. Nick Jonas – who at 22 is the youngest of the brothers – has this ...
Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:03:45 -0700

We've heard that true love waits. But, c'mon now, seven decades? Well, I guess it makes sense if that's how long it takes your state to come around and pass same-sex marriage legislation. Rolling up to the altar in their wheelchairs, 90-year-old Alice ...


Fri, 29 Aug 2014 04:53:14 -0700

True love waits: And finally there's the message that a person who truly loves will wait for the object of their affections. They will wait until the other person is ready for the next level of the relationship. Sometimes they will wait for years for ...
Hindustan Times
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 02:22:30 -0700

True love waits. She knew he had to marry him, so she waited for her parents to agree. “I could have married without their consent, as I was independent financially, but I wanted my parents to be happy. Gradually, they understood and we got married in ...

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