A few months ago my wife -- a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother -- saw an article in the Phoenix newspaper. It was in one of Dear Abby's columns. It concerned the request of a "promise ring" by a 14-year-old girl from her father. In the article she explained to her visibly shaken father that promise rings are given to daughters by their fathers, and a promise is made that the daughter will refrain from sex until she is married.
This article so impressed my wife that she called her son in the state of Washington because he has a daughter just entering her teen years. My wife offered to send him the article and also a special ring for him to present to his daughter. Additionally she discussed the concept with one of her adult granddaughters. This granddaughter was so enthused with the idea that she sat down and prepared the following, which was presented to the teen-age granddaughter along with the ring.
A Promise Made
Between a father and daughter there is a special bond,
One which lasts your whole life long.
So, with this ring I promise you
a father's love so purely true.
And in return you'll promise me
to respect yourself entirely.
There is not greater gift to share
than that special love that is so rare.
So, with each day's trials of heart and mind
and desires that seem quite sublime,
And when your willpower starts to fade
Remind yourself of a promise made
Of a ring that stands not for what I could
but as a reminder of what I should.
(Lisa Bly Young)
When the ring and poem were presented to her, the teen-age granddaughter in Washington, with tears in her eyes, threw her arms around her father and hugged him.
I have been urged to write to you about this because this idea is not as widespread as it possibly could be.