Girls make faithful promise at local church's Purity Ball


Posted on March 16, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 3:41 PM

(WHAS11) -It's an intimate commitment, a promise to stay true and virtuous.

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It's a formal occasion, and it happens at church, but it's not a wedding.

WHAS11's Adrianna Hopkins takes you inside this one of a kind ball that some call controversial.

With classic ballroom dance elegance, this is a night to remember.

And for the 200 girls in 6th to 12th grade who attend, this is the most meaningful dance they'll attend with the most important man in their lives-their fathers.

They're not dolled up for prom or homecoming, but for the Northside Christian Church's 6th Annual Purity Ball.

And during this enchanting evening, each girl will take a flower, lay it at the foot of the Cross, and enter into a covenant between God, their fathers, and themselves.

Darian Eswine, a 9th grader at Floyd Central, explains, "It means that you plan to stay pure until you're married, so you don't plan to sleep with anybody just... I don't know, remain true and that you don't need that until you're married."

But that's only part of the covenant.

Jenna Bramer says, "It's obvious the impact of the relationship that a father and daughter have. It's huge in a girl's life. And it's the first relationship that a girl ever has with another guy."

The other part of the covenant deals with these fathers obligation to their daughters.

"The way they trust a man begins with the relationship they have with their dad," explains George Ross, the Pastor at Northside Christian Church, "And if they can trust him and know him and there's encouragement and that type of thing - an honest relationship - they're going to be able to look for that in a good way in whoever they choose to marry or whoever they choose to date."

Vern Eswine, Darian's father, says, "For me, as the father, the leader in her home, the example, to try and get her to understand thatwhat God has planned for her and what He's put her here for. And sometimes the best thing to do is just wait."

Darian Eswine and her father Vern made the promise to each other.

She says a lot of her classmates talk about having sex, and she says they think it makes them cool. But not her-she's waiting for her ideal husband, "Who's really sweet and committed and works hard to provide for his family and stuff. And loves me for who I am and doesn't want me to change," explains Darian.

With the covenant signed, the promise between father and daughter is sealed.

Vern Eswine says of his daughter's commitment, "I don't expect it to be easy. But her faith in high school and throughout elementary has not been easy for her. She's been challenged everyday and she's still being challenged."

Darian, on the other hand says, "I don't think it's going to be that difficult. Maybe later, but right now it's not. And I think as always I remember what it means, I won't have trouble with it."

But until their fathers walk them down the aisle, these girls are still teenagers, who just want to have fun.

Pastor Ross says this is just a measure of accountability. There's no punishment should a girl go back on the promise.

Also, he says, the church is working on a mother/son dance with the same idea as the Purity Ball for girls.