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Monday, January 13, 2014

The Promise of a Promise Ring

It's a tradition in our family to give a promise ring on a 16th birthday.  So far, we've only had two girls reach that age, one just today, but we'll do it for our sons, as well, when the time comes.  It's a pretty special milestone for our kids, and a lovely way of acknowledging their entry into young adulthood and our own changing roles as parents of kids who are getting ready to transition into adulthood.

Tonight, after all the birthday festivities were drawing to a close, our newly-turned-seven-year-old asked us what a promise ring is.  A really interesting discussion ensued.

Whenever you have to explain a complex concept to a little guy, you find yourself clarifying your thoughts. . .distilling them down to the nugget that lies at the heart of what you believe.

And so it was tonight.

There are many reasons we give, and hope will be received, a ring of this nature.  Many, many reasons.  But the heart of it is really simple.

A promise ring is given as a commitment to love and protect and cover our daughters until the role will pass from us to their husbands.  A promise ring is received as a commitment to respect their own bodies and hearts until that husband appears.

We give the ring as a symbol of how valuable we think our children are.

We hope they will wear it as an acknowledgement of that worth.

We really, really do.


  1. I've never heard of parents giving their children a promise ring. What a wonderful tradition!

    1. Thanks, Heather. . .it is very special to us. A lot of families have something similar, though for many it's just a way to elicit a 'purity promise' from their kids. :) It's more than that to us, though. . .just like a wedding ring symbolizes a two-way commitment, a promise ring does that for us, too. So we are promising our kids that we will continue to love and protect and look out for them. . .until that job is handed over to someone else. :)


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