Our beautiful daughter Isabelle Josephine turned 13 last month. As is our family tradition, at the age of 13, our children receive a promise ring as they make a covenant before the Lord to remain pure before the Lord in relationships. Isabelle is an amazing young lady, and it was a precious blessing to celebrate this day with her, surrounded by amazing family and sweet friends. I was blessed that not only did Isabelle invite a few of her closest friends, she also invited some very special young women who have become as mentors to her. I am so grateful that she has young women in her life that are such amazing role models for her and live lives of purity before the Lord.
My daughter. Incredibly kind, loving, and compassionate. Deeply devoted. Committed to justice. Walking out her life with a fierce devotion to the things that burn upon the Father’s heart.
Her father after seeing her just before the big event. Those were not dry eyes.
Isabelle reading her vows.
We are blessed as parents. Very, very blessed. Our children have amazed us over and over again, and Isabelle is no exception.
This ring will one day be a celebration of promises given and promises kept.
The sweet girl insisted on making her own birthday cake. Amazing.
But not nearly as amazing as the girl herself.
This girl blows my mind. I can only sit back and marvel at what the Lord has already done in her life, and what I am convinced is ahead. The magnificent plans of the Lord, the pages of her live being written before my very eyes.
For those of you wondering about a Promise Ring Ceremony, here are a few excerpts from our ceremony:
“Lord, more than anything in this world we want an intimate, pure relationship with You. We want to glorify You in every aspect of our lives. As we celebrate this day with Isabelle, allow this time to be a reflection of our relationship with You, and a reminder to each of us to walk holy before You. Before we can seek to be pure before each other, we must be pure before You.
Thank You, Father that purity is attainable through the gift of Jesus on the cross. Teach us what it means to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Teach us to walk worthy of all that You have called us to do. This is something we cannot do without Your strength. We thank You that You are our friend and our teacher.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.”
John: There was a time when many walked habitually in the pathway of the world. We lived according to the flesh, but God made us alive through Christ.
Isabelle: I commit to a life of purity.
John: God is rich in His mercy toward us, that while we were dead in our sins, through the grace of Jesus, we have been made alive forevermore.
Isabelle: Forgive me for the days and years I have spent watching, reading, listening, and experiencing vile and impure things.
John: Because of God’s great love and forgiveness, you are a new creation today.
Isabelle: Create in me a clean heart, oh God and restore my joy.
John: Make the crooked passages of Isabelle’s life straight today.
Isabelle: I am your child. I will put no corrupt thing before my eyes.
John: Lord, be glorified as Isabelle makes this commitment.
Isabelle: 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.
John: Would you all please join us in making a commitment to purity along with Isabelle.
Family and Friends: (together) Believing that true love is pure, we join Isabelle 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 relationships and conversations, and sex outside a biblical marriage relationship from this day forward.
John: As Isabelle’s family and closest friends, would you now join me in making a personal commitment to love, encourage, and when needed give Godly correction to Isabelle as she walks out this commitment.
Family and Friends: Isabelle, we stand here together to show our love and support. We pledge to remain committed to help you walk out a life of purity before the Father. We promise to be a godly reflection of purity and true love before you. We promise to pray for you, encourage you, and when needed speak loving correction into your life.
John: Isabelle, may this ring be a reminder of your commitment to purity. Your mother and I both love you very much. We are standing here today giving you our love and support, as you make this commitment before the Lord.
Isabelle, wear this ring with the knowledge that your purity is for God’s glory. On your wedding night you are to give this ring to your spouse as a celebration of promises given and promises kept.
Isabelle: Before my family and friends, but most importantly before the Lord, I promise with His help to keep my commitment of purity.