Teens and youth will stand up for sexual purity today on Valentines Day by taking part in the third annual Day of Purity, organizing events to encourage their churches, organizations or community to take part.
The national event, which will involve hundreds, was organized by the Liberty Counsel, a conservative Christian legal firm based in Orlando, Fla. Youths will participate in various outreach activities to spread the message of abstinence before marriage
"It's really hard to live up to the expectations that God has for you," said Ally Hall, a 15-year-old high school sophomore in Lebanon, Ohio, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I want to have the same popularity that other girls have, but it's not worth the cost. Knowing that people in other states are also doing this encourages me.
Last year, thanks to Halls efforts, Ohio governor Bob Taft signed a proclamation declaring February 14, 2005, the Day of Purity in the state. This year she plans to promote the Day of Purity through her schools PA system, sending a message to resist peer pressure and hold off on sex until marriage.
According to Liberty Counsel, another way that youth are planning to promote the abstinence message is through wearing a Day of Purity T-shirt that other students can sign to show their affirmation of the message. Others, such as Hall, will wear white on Tuesday.
It is expected that teens from over 200 schools and 800 youth groups will participate, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Day of Purity is one of several national Christian-based efforts to support a message about abstinence before marriage. Ministries such as Silver Ring Thing and True Love Waits have made an impact by bringing the message to millions of teens through seminars and programs around country encouraging them to maintain sexual purity.
Day of Purity organizers ask that those youths who are willing sign a pledge that reads in part that Knowing this is the best choice for my health, emotions, and spirituality, I voluntarily choose to abstain from sexual activity until my wedding night.
Hall knows that theres plenty of peer pressure to counter her message but has hope that she can help influence others through her actions.
"People say, 'Don't you get made fun of? Don't your friends think you're weird?'" stated Hall. "But if I can stand up for saving sex for marriage, it gives them a choice. They think, 'If she can do it, I can do it too.'"