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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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3897 news items

Clarksville Leaf Chronicle

Clarksville Leaf Chronicle
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 08:07:30 -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 ...
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 ...

MercatorNet (blog)

MercatorNet (blog)
Tue, 19 Jan 2016 21:15:00 -0800

When a princess is born to a king and queen, they decide to give their daughter a precious gift from God: her first kiss. While she is just a child, they keep it for her in a special room under a brilliant glass dome, for this is a very valuable ...
Ghafla!Kenya (blog)
Tue, 26 Jan 2016 02:50:47 -0800

A wedding in Bahati Nakuru has demonstrated what to many is love found only in the movies. The wedding was between a woman and a man who had just been released from prison after serving 27 years. Charles Kinyua was arrested in 1988 when the wife ...

GetReligion (blog)

GetReligion (blog)
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 12:05:41 -0800

Anyway, I realize that for many people the whole "True Love Waits" thing was either a joke or an idealistic attempt to ask young people to do the impossible in modern American culture. But put that issue aside for a moment, because that isn't the angle ...

BP News

BP News
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 10:22:30 -0800

Ross, professor of youth ministry and co-founder of the True Love Waits movement for sexual purity, including abstinence until marriage, said the new curriculum grew out of a time when for one year, he asked a number of the top youth pastors one ...


Sat, 13 Feb 2016 13:00:00 -0800

“My boyfriend in high school gave me a True Love Waits virginity key ring in a fancy jewellery box. Then said I had to give the box back. He borrowed it from his mum. And I suspect the key ring was second-hand from church camp.” - @egbertincognito. 8.


Sun, 28 Jun 2015 15:52:30 -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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