I Don't Wait Anymore.

When I was 16, I got a purity ring.

And when I was 25, I took it off.

I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it — it wasn’t a statement or an emotional thing. I just slipped it off my finger that day and, before tucking it away in a box, ran my finger around the words on the familiar gold band.

“True Love Waits.” Waits.

What’s it “waiting” for, anyway?


I had my reasons for deciding not to wear it anymore. Other people might have other reasons. It’s a graveyard of hearts, this place where single church girls crash into their late 20s and early 30s. Churches see the symptoms. They scramble to reach out to the ever-growing young adult singles crowd who feels alienated by family-oriented services.

But there’s something bigger behind it than that.

Much bigger.

There are a lot of girls out there who don’t know who God is anymore – the God of their youth group years just isn’t working out. Back then, that God said to wait for sex until they are married, until He brings the right man along for a husband. They signed a card and put it on the altar and pledged to wait.

And wait they did.


And waited and waited and waited.

Some of them have prayed their whole lives for a husband, and he hasn’t shown up. They’ve heard the advice to “be the woman God made you to be, focus on that, and then the husband will come.” They’ve read “Lady in Waiting,” gotten super involved in church and honed their domestic skills.

And still they wait.

More than a decade ago, a youth leader handed them a photocopied poem in Sunday School written to them from “God” that said, “The reason you don’t have anyone yet is because you’re not fully satisfied in Me. You have to be satisfied with Me and then when you least expect it, I’ll bring you the person I meant for you.”

And the girls see it posted on their bulletin boards from time to time.

“You’re right, God,” they say. “We’re not satisfied in you yet. We will put you first and then you can bring us a husband in your timing.”

But many of them – if they’re honest – will tell you that time has passed, and it’s wrecking their view of God.

If this is who God’s supposed to be, then He’s tragically late.

So some decide to chuck “Lady in Waiting” out the window … and possibly their virginity with it. Church goes next. God might go next, too. If He doesn’t answer these prayers after they’ve held up their end of the bargain, why would He answer any others?

Whether it was the fault of the leaders, the fault of us girls, or both, a tragedy happened back then.

A lot of girls were sold on a deal and not on a Savior.


I had that poem on my bulletin board all through high school – the one where “God” was telling me to fall in love with Him first and then I would be able to fall in love with a husband later.

Who wrote that poem anyway?

Pretty sure it wasn’t God.

When Jesus was here on the earth, the crowds would follow Him because they saw He gave good things. But that’s not what He wanted. He wanted their hearts for Himself. So He would turn to them and say things like, “If you don’t love Me so much that every other relationship in your life looks like hate by comparison, you can’t follow Me.” (Matthew 10:34-39, paraphrase)

That sounds a lot different from the poem.

Christ is the source of everything we need and the giver of all good gifts … but in telling people about Him, it’s possible we’ve sold them on a solution for life’s problems and not life itself.

What if we as girls had learned early on that having Him was everything, not a means to the life we think He would want us to have.

If we had learned we don’t abstain from sex because we’re “waiting.” We abstain because we love Him.

If I’d had on my bulletin board, “Fall in love with Jesus.” That’s it. Bottom line. That’s everything you need to know, to work toward, to put your hope in.

If I’d learned who He is, what He wants, how to give Him everything, not “wait” so that one day I could give my everything to someone else.

If I’d learned that it’s not bad to pray for a husband, but that my greater prayer should be for Him to spend my life as He chooses for His glory.

If we as believers make that our message, things could be drastically different for a lot of girls wondering why the God they think they learned to follow doesn’t compute. It doesn’t necessarily stop the desire for a husband or end all feelings of loneliness, but it does show a God who provides, loves and gives infinite purpose even to our singleness rather than a God who categorically denies some who pray for husbands while seemingly giving freely to others.

It shows that while marriage is good, He is the greater goal.


Don’t think I’ve done this perfectly.

I’d be deceiving you if you thought that. I’ve had relationships where I made major mistakes. I’ve gone through angst-ridden phases where I met with friends to plead together with God to bring us husbands. I’ve planned major life decisions around possibilities.

I lived like I was waiting for something.

And that’s why I slipped off my ring that day. It wasn’t that I wanted to sleep with people – I haven’t. It wasn’t a slap to True Love Waits, or to anyone who wears a purity ring – saving sex for marriage is good and is His design.

I just didn’t want to wait anymore – didn’t want to live like I was waiting on anyone to get here.

I already have Him … and He is everything.

“Follow Christ for His own sake, if you follow Him at all.” – J.C. Ryle

(I Don’t Wait Anymore (the book), now available.)

1,769 Responses

  1. Precisely! At 20 I became disabled and disfigured through a freak accident. I realized then I would almost certainly die single. 25 years and I’m still alone.

    Had plenty of hook up invitations. (Funny how lecherous creepers have no standards.) I said no to all of them.

    Older women try to cheer me up with “Don’t give up hope.”
    I respond, “I have not given up hope. My hope is in Jesus. Not a husband or earthly progeny.”

    Don’t be sexually immoral. But don’t wait to live either!

  2. Wow.. LOVE this!! I couldn’t agree more. Where was this message 15 years ago?! My experience was the same in my youth group growing up in Madison, Mississippi. At 14 years old we heard the True Love Waits speech at church and I signed a pledge and got a purity ring. At 19 while a college student at Ole Miss I read Lady in Waiting and half a dozen other Christian books for young women waiting for The One and what to do in the mean time and how to wait for him in the right way. I struggled and stumbled imperfectly as well and felt like something was always missing.. I kept reading more books and autobiographies (Passion & Purity, Set Apart Girl, etc) trying to be encouraged by other women’s experiences and inspired by their spiritual maturity, and find the answer to my dissatisfaction. I focused on working on improving myself and “becoming the woman of God for my future husband.” As each year passed and the waiting continued I found myself becoming frustrated with God not answering my prayers and blessing my obedience while others around me fell in love and got married. I thought I must be doing something wrong – I must not love Him enough. So there lies the great dilemma of how do I love Someone more that I feel is punishing or withholding from me? I wish I’d been told and taught differently.. That God is enough and He is the goal/ the prize. I don’t have to wait for my life to start when I get married. I don’t have to (and can’t) love Him perfectly but that’s not why he’s not sending me a husband. I don’t wait just to be rewarded but because it’s right in His sight and I love Him and want to glorify Him with my body. That I should “fall in love” with God not in order to get a husband at some point but to get Him himself! Amen to everything you said. I’m so glad someone is talking about this now and I hope that young woman today and following generations hear a different and more accurate message than we did growing up. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. With so many women these days that have their very big list of demands for us single men makes it very difficult to find love now for many of us. Their list of demands are very outrageous since they want men to have a full head of hair, be in very excellent shape, has to be very good looking, a great career making a lot of money, have his very own house, and drive a very expensive fancy car as well. That is quite a list that these women want today which makes these type of women are real joke altogether. I would say that these women are real golddiggers to begin with.

  4. I really can’t like this. This rallying cry for women to stop waiting for a man to live for Christ is overdramatically stated.
    Yes, more women need to pull up their big girl panties and realize that sex doesn’t make you an adult. Maybe we should teach that. And yes, feel free to blame whatever church taught you that you needed a physical object to live a good spiritual life.
    However, when you point one finder, three point back. Really women are the ones to blame. Older women should be teaching younger women contenrment but they just encourage them to get married.
    Maybe women are upset at not realizing sooner that they can live single happy lives before marriage. Or even for their whole lives If they’re called to singleness. It’s kind of cool really. But no.
    Like Jonah refusing to go to Nineveh women scoff and throw fits at the possibility of being called to singleness. They find the ‘right man and make him ‘good enough ‘ because the stigma of singleness is too terrible. Maybe the ring isn’t the problem. Maybe we’re the problem. Lancelot will not necessarily knock on your front door just as you don’t have to go find him. Live your life, leave the rest to God and be thankful to God for every breath. Let’s stop being selfish.

    1. It is not selfish to desire companionship and children. It’s part of our design. What do you think our wombs are for?!

  5. Hi, Grace Thorton! One of my old Christian mentors from high school shared your website with me. I just wanted to say thank you SO MUCH for writing it, and I am about to share it with a bunch of people that I know and I think these words are really going to change my life. I am so grateful to be reading these as a sophomore in college instead of in several years. Thanks so much for letting God use you to help change the world. Maybe check out my blog if you like it? Seriously, thanks so much!

  6. And to think that all i ever wanted was a Good Wife And Family that God Never Provided for me since he Gave Millions and Millions of other people out there to be Very Blessed with that Gift Of Life. God what about many of us Good men out there that Would’ve wanted that Gift too?

  7. Choosing the right words to describe my experience is hard…at 41 years I have gone through feelings of great anticipation, lost hope…renewed faith, questions of why me, and so much more.

    I can now confidently say to you all that I am at where God wanted me to be at, at 41 years. Yes, single and childless. I may not know what tomorrow brings, I chose to trust the Holy spirit to guide me along. I am happy, contented, I know whom I have believed. God is able to give me a spouse and children but even if He chooses not to, He is God. It will not make Him any less or little in my eyes. I love Him, oh how I love Him.. He is a BIG God with a BIG heart..He loved me first…to Him be the glory and honour forever and ever. Amen!

  8. “The reason you don’t have anyone yet is because you’re not fully satisfied in Me.”

    It’s hard to believe that Evangelicals are still using this, and bearing false witness against God by doing so. As Grace mentioned, it doesn’t say that anywhere in the Bible. Just like it doesn’t say that a woman will have a perfect, trouble-free life as long as she’s a virgin on her wedding night.

    The Purity Pharisees seem to forget that Adam was still in perfect harmony with God when God noticed he was alone and brought him a woman. God exists on a theological and intellectual level that is so infinitely beyond ours that there are certain kinds of relationship needs that other people can meet that He cannot, and vice-versa. Mention that the next time one of them asks if God is enough.

    1. Boy am I tired of false prophets-whats the real reason why I’ve been waiting 32 years for a wife?

  9. I could be mistaken but aren’t purity rings a very “American thing”? I went to a Catholic school (in Canada) and don’t recall ever hearing or seeing anything to do with them.
    I also believe they are suppose to be worn on the wedding ring finger, right? I’d never approach a woman to ‘get to know her’ if I saw her with a ring on that finger. I’d assume she is already taken (married).

    As for waiting…It’s a choice I made between God and myself. It’s not something I need to broadcast to the world by wearing a piece of jewelery.

    1. With all due respect, sir, you aren’t broadcasting your choices by wearing a piece of jewelry. If you wear a ring, no one will know what it means unless you tell them. The ring is meant to just be a reminder to YOU personally of your commitment to Christ.

      And as for getting to know a woman that wears a ring on her finger, if you are that interested in her, you can discreetly find out if she is married or not. You can get to know her without appearing creepy and will soon find out if she is married or not.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this, Grace. I read it 3 years ago when I first moved out of state and lived by myself with my marked up little Bible and a copy of “The Knowledge of the Holy”. At Bible college the Fall before I fell truly in love with Jesus – the real Jesus: grown up, compassionate, thoughtful, firm; the one who walked around dusty streets in Palestine/Israel and was as intimately concerned with my troubles as He was with Mary Magdalene’s and so many others’ back then. That should be a T-shirt, instead of a ring: “True Love Came ~ Do you know HIS name?” :D

  11. Quote: But many of them – if they’re honest – will tell you that time has passed, and it’s wrecking their view of God.

    If this is who God’s supposed to be, then He’s tragically late.

    Got Faith??
    God is always on time. And never a second too late…

    1. We waited twenty years for our first child, dealing with the grief of miscarriage after miscarriage. And there were times when we raised our eyes to heaven and shouted, “Did you forget us?” Read psalms. David had faith…and yet he cried out in despair, waiting on God and wondering if he had been forgotten. Christ screamed out as His life was being drained, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Lord, we believe. Help us with our unbelief. And please, let me know where they put the statue of you. I’d like to see the image of this paragon of faith that has never felt the human emotion of doubt. I bet you look nothing like Thomas. Wow.

    2. To “Me”–not the writer of the article

      Millions of never married people die every year–many of them Christians.

      God always makes good on His promises. Nowhere does the Bible promise all Christian women husbands.

      God will meet the needs of singles whether you lapprove His methods or not. We’re not the one’s lacking faith.

  12. Was just reading ‘Pulling Back the Shades’ and it had an excerpt of this blog post in it. I totally remembered reading those words before and when I looked in the back of the book for author credits, lo and behold, your blog link was there!:)

  13. Thank you for this. Seriously, thank you. I’m 35 and autistic, therefore the odds are inevitably stacked against me, and all my attempts at relationships have failed painfully and miserably because of that, so I stopped waiting a long time ago. However, because I stopped, I’m constantly made to feel like less of a person, like my value as a human being is drastically diminished because I gave up finding a relationship as my goal in life. And the older I get, the more people get on my case about how I need to “get moving” or I’m gonna “miss out.” It only ever infuriates me, and the older I get, it does so more and more to the point that I’m afraid I may say some things that I shouldn’t. So what you wrote here is exactly something I needed to hear about now.

  14. And if you are wearing a ring on your left hand, a christian man will most likely not approach you because he assumes you are married and He is not the kind of person who approaches married women, this happened to someone I know and after she took her ring off, and nice young man asked her if everything was alright, later she found out, he had been in love with her for two years, but did not approach her much because he thought she was married, He had talked to her several times casually at school and had a few classes with her, but did not ask her about her ring or if she was married, just assumed… She was 24 when she took off her ring

  15. you have NO. IDEA. how, by God’s grace, you accurately and BEAUTIFULLY captured the absolute ANGER and ANGUISH I have been feeling and dealing with for the last six months. wow. My soul resonated with this post SO. MUCH. I wish I could go back and redo this all. It was as if, by telling us to “fall in love with God first, focus on Him and He’ll send the husband along” the adults in my life were inadvertently telling me “just DO this and this and this and God will make everything work out perfectly”. Well life isn’t like that. It’s just not. and when you suddenly realize this? It HURTS. SO. BADLY. But at that point, you don’t even know who God is anymore because He didn’t “keep His end of the bargain”.
    Praise God, this was so right on :(

  16. I think about this post a lot. I don’t remember when I stopped wearing my True Love Waits ring. I got it when I was 13 and 6-ish years later, it was time to put it back in it’s draw string bag. “If we had learned we don’t abstain from sex because we’re “waiting.” We abstain because we love Him.” I’m 20, I’m still single, and I don’t really mind. I’m not waiting for someone to come around.

  17. Ooops, I must apologize, dear. I read the end just now and realize you were saying what it took me a long lifetime to realize: He is everything! I just ordered a ring to wear on my left hand to show that I AM married, to Christ. I am tired of people assuming that if I’m single, I MUST want a flesh and blood man, and marriage. God bless!!!

Leave a Reply