News Articles

Sexual purity called ‘most beautiful jewel’

TAMPA, Fla. (BP)–“Purity is the most beautiful jewel in any crown,” Nicole Johnson told students attending YouthLink 2000 Dec. 31 in Tampa, Fla.

Holding her Miss America 1999 crown aloft, Johnson urged the more than 4,000 students attending a True Love Waits rally to commit themselves to remaining sexually pure until marriage. True Love Waits is the international campaign promoting sexual abstinence until marriage launched by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“Winning Miss America was one of the most exciting nights of my life, but it wasn’t the top night,” said Johnson, who lives in Tampa. “At the age of 6, I asked Jesus to become Lord of my life. That was the top night. Being a Christian is the most wonderful experience in the world.”

Johnson described situations when she was offered drugs and alcohol at 13 and offered sex repeatedly at 17 while working as a model. She was later fired by a national agency for refusing to pose nude for photographs.

“Every decision you make actively impacts someone else or some other opportunity,” Johnson said. “If I hadn’t done that (refused to pose nude), I would never have been eligible to be Miss America.”

Johnson praised a Sunday school teacher who told her as a young person, when faced with a difficult challenge, to think what she would do if Jesus were standing next to her.

“What are you going to do when you are presented with a tough decision?” Johnson asked. “God will hold your hand through the whole process. Keep your eyes on the prize. You can do it.”

Former MTV star Jon Brennan hosted the rally, telling teenagers he made a commitment to sexual abstinence as a high school student attending First Baptist Church, Owensboro, Ky.

“I’m 25 now and I’m still sexually pure,” said Brennan, a country music singer and frequent speaker at youth events. “I am not a great Christian,” he said. “We all have our faults. That’s why we need Christ.”

Chad and Heather Crawford, a young married couple from Nashville, Tenn., described the challenges they faced in remaining sexually pure during their dating relationship, which began during their sophomore year in high school.

“God did not design our bodies to stop at the foreplay stage of sex. God designed our bodies to go all the way within the context of marriage,” said Chad Crawford, minister of youth at Immanuel Baptist Church, Nashville. He urged students not to think about how far they can go and still be sexually pure but challenged them to consider how far away from the limits they can stay.

“When you say ‘I want to remain a virgin until the day I marry,’ you are setting an example,” he said.

Addressing students who have engaged in sexual activity, Heather Crawford said, “Some of you here today may feel like damaged goods. But God is the God of second chances. You can’t get back what you’ve already given away, but you can make a commitment today to remain sexually pure from this day forward.”

“True love does wait,” Chad Crawford said. “And, guys, it’s worth the wait.”

    About the Author

  • Linda Lawson