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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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663 news items


Mon, 15 Dec 2014 06:26:15 -0800

True love waits, right? Then Max recommends that Noah sticks with Helen, because she's like a high-class, high-earning stock that's marvelous in its consistency, whereas Alison is just some sexy start-up and she's liable to crash and burn once she's an ...

Medical Daily

Medical Daily
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:49:05 -0700

What 'True Love Waits' And Other Virginity Pledge Programs Are Really Like, From The Man's Perspective. Aug 21, 2014 02:48 PM By Susan Scutti@susanscutti. praying man. Support groups and open discussions about sex were key to helping men ...
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 ...


Mon, 08 Dec 2014 07:00:00 -0800

DeRogatis moves quickly through a variety of familiar themes: the fairy-tale narrative and gender roles, True Love Waits purity events, courtship, modesty as a power source for young women, dads as guardians of sexuality, and Jesus as boyfriend. The ...
Thu, 01 May 2014 12:43:37 -0700

The film critically examines the success and controversy surrounding the True Love Waits movement. The documentary traces the story from a concept sketched on a napkin to the present-day relaunch through the True Love Project. Clayton King and his wife ...

Christian Post

Thu, 13 Feb 2014 07:33:45 -0800

A new documentary by LifeWay Films examines the history and future of True Love Waits. The international purity movement captured the national conversation in 1994 by covering the National Mall with cards from teenagers promising to remain sexually ...

Religion News Service

Religion News Service
Tue, 29 Apr 2014 04:21:43 -0700

LifeWay Films has released its third new documentary of movements of God. True Love Waits: The Complicated Struggle for Sexual Purity critically examines the success and controversy surrounding the True Love Waits movement. The documentary traces ...

Gospel Herald

Gospel Herald
Wed, 07 May 2014 08:48:32 -0700

LifeWay Films has just released "True Love Waits: The complicated struggle for sexual purity", A new documentary that explores the abstinence-until-marriage movement that took the nation by storm 20 years ago, and may have contributed to historically ...

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