New True Love Waits pledge broadens scope to families

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--"True Love Waits Goes Home" is the newest theme for the sexual purity emphasis for students sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The True Love Waits commitment has been reworded to broaden the scope of the commitment. The pledge now 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 a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship."

Jimmy Hester, senior director in LifeWay's student ministry publishing, said the reworded pledge emphasizes "the work of God through his people as families are challenged to be pure and to model what it means to live godly lives."

"Students and families go hand in hand," Hester said, noting the importance for "families to commit to living a life of purity together."

February is designated as True Love Waits Month on the Southern Baptist Convention calendar. In February 2003 churches will be encouraged to provide opportunities for parents and students to study, pray and make commitments to purity.

"For the first time since the beginning of the campaign, parents will be invited to make a promise to sexual fidelity and purity," Hester said. "We know that in many families, the issue of purity is not just a teen issue. With the proliferation of pornography and divorce, purity has become an issue for a lot of parents."

Having a True Love Waits pledge for parents can help families see that purity in lifestyle goes beyond teens avoiding sex; it applies to the whole family, he said.

The parent's commitment states:

"Believing that true love is pure, I join (insert student's name) in committing to a lifestyle of purity. I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, and my community of faith to abstain from pornography, impure touching and conversations, and sex outside a biblical marriage relationship from this day forward."

In connection with the emphasis, LifeWay will release a new "True Love Waits Goes Home Manual" in October for use by youth ministers, volunteer leaders, families and other student leaders.

"The manual will direct churches and student organizations to help families connect or reconnect with God and to understand and live his principles in their lives," Hester said.

Tools in the manual include:

-- Directions for meetings with parents to help prepare them to lead their families in living a life of purity.

-- Instructions that will help parents conduct a study in their homes on living a life of purity.

-- Information and tools for working with students who have no support from their families.

-- Ideas on how to involve other significant adults in the lives of students for encouragement and accountability.

-- Tools to help student leaders conduct a strong emphasis in the local church (small-group ideas, weekday Bible studies, Wednesday night services, assemblies, etc.).

-- Plans for worship experiences (sermon ideas, music/choruses, drama sketches, readings, etc.).

Also in October, LifeWay will publish "Living Pure Inside Out," a study for students that can also be used by families.

In the second year of True Love Waits Goes Home, an international display will be developed for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Hester said. More information about the display will be released as it becomes available.

"This [international display] will amplify the voices of the Christian students who are standing for purity -- either by being physically present in Athens or by being represented there by their pledge card," Hester said. "It's our prayer that as the world's attention is focused on Athens for the Olympic Games people will become aware of the hundreds of thousands of youth who have made decisions to protect themselves physically and spiritually by living a life of purity."


(BP) logo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Logo title: TRUE LOVE WAITS GOES HOME.

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