Virgin bride presents 'certificate of purity' to dad at wedding

A newlywed bride is defending her choice to present her dad with a "certificate of purity" that allegedly proves she remained a virgin until her wedding day.

Bride's older sister also gave dad similar certificate on her wedding day

Mike Freeman posted this photo of him and his daughter holding her certificate of purity to his Instagram page. "Who knew that a pic like this would get so much negativity, but a natural man will not understand things of the spirit for they are foolishness to them!!!" he wrote in the caption. (drmikefreeman/Instagram)

A newlywed bride is defending her choice to present her dad with a "certificate of purity" that allegedly proves she remained a virgin until her wedding day.

Brelyn Bowman married Timothy Bowman on Saturday, Oct. 10.

At the wedding, Brelyn presented her father, pastor Mike Freeman, with the certificate. The "certificate of purity" was signed by a doctor as proof for her father that Brelyn's hymen remained intact ahead of her wedding day.

Brelyn's mother posted a photo of her daughter's "certificate of purity" to her Facebook page. (Dee Dee Freeman/Facebook)

Brelyn had made the promise to God and her father to remain celibate until marriage when she was younger.

She announced presenting her dad with the certificate when she shared a photo of her father-daughter dance.

"Another one of my favs! Dancing with my first love! ❤️," she wrote in the caption. "I was able to present a certificate of purity to him signed by my doctor that my hymen was still intact."

Her dad later shared an image of him and his daughter holding the certificate.

Brelyn's husband was reportedly a virgin on their wedding day as well, though he does not seem to have provided a similar certificate.

Some people who came across the posts congratulated Brelyn on her fulfilling her promise and her father for raising a pure woman.

"What you chose to do was amazing. Most people will not understand that your choice was to honour God, your father, your husband and yourself," wrote ms.victoria__tori_smith in the comments of her Instagram photo. "Thank you for doing this and being an example for other Christian woman."

"Congrats! You've done great and you're a great role model!" wrote sonia_g_xd.

"[Mike Freeman] is an awesome man of God who raised a daughter with her own biblical, ethical and moral commitments," wrote leslienqieon. "It's called honouring her father."

Others felt that the document represented archaic views.

"A grown woman's sexuality and her virginity belong to her and not her father," wrote kabeenie. "Her father has NO place in that aspect of her life."

"Women who are not virgins on their wedding night are not impure, tainted, or any other word you care to use for 'flawed,'" wrote robtish. "This is just wrong."

Some were simply offended by the misunderstanding of science behind it, arguing that a hymen can be broken for reasons other than sexual activity.

"What if it had not been intact as in the cases of it breaking [during] a young girl's menstrual cycle?" asks miss_forbesaz.

Brelyn, who is on her honeymoon in the Maldives, is aware of some of the criticism she's been receiving, but seems to be focusing on the positive reception and her resolve in her decision.

"Apparently some people on social media are trying to decide if they like or don't like my commitment of waiting/presenting a certificate to my dad," she posted to Instagram addressing people's critiques.

"I started to want to explain/go in depth then I looked to my right my husband is swimming in the pool. I looked ahead & saw the Indian Ocean. So while they're deciding I'll enjoy the promises of God for my life! 💋"

'Valuing Virginity' shirts

The purity tradition runs in the family. Brelyn's older sister presented her father with a similar certificate on her wedding day.

Mike Freeman posted this photo on his Facebook page of his eldest daughter presenting him with a similar certificate on her wedding day. (Mike Freeman Ministries/Facebook)

Now, the family seems to be hoping to raise the profile of celibacy before marriage and inspire others to make the same promise as the two daughters did.

On the couple's website, interested parties can download a commitment contract.

In it, girls and women promise to "abstain from fornication (rubbing and petting)," and avoid "illegal substance (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or any such like) in my body." There is a place for the daughter and her mom and dad to sign.

There does not appear to be a similar contract for boys and men.

The family has also opened an online purity shop. They sell shirts with slogans like "#MakeJesusFamous," "Valuing Virginity" and "Purity Is The New Norm."

Purity balls in America

Even if certificates of purity are not the norm in the States, young girls and women promising to remain celibate until marriage is a tradition that has seen some revitalization with the phenomenon of purity balls.

The ball is a formal event attended by fathers and their daughters. At the dance, fathers pledge to protect the purity of their daughters, while their daughters pledge to remain virgins until marriage. The young women wear gowns and some don tiaras, while the fathers dress in suits.

A father watches his daughter sign a purity covenant at the annual father-daughter purity ball in Colorado Springs, Colo., in Sept. 2007. At the ball, which started in 1998 and now takes place across the nation, fathers recite a covenant committing themselves to the protection of their daughter's purity. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Randy Wilson, the patriarch of a conservative Christian family, started hosting an annual purity ball in the late 1990s.

The Wilson family has been called the "first family of purity," according to Virgin Tales, a 2012 documentary following some of the Wilson children's preparations for their purity balls.

At the time, Wilson's two eldest daughters were married. They had pledged not to even kiss their prospective future husbands until they were standing at the altar.

A father and daughter approach a cross, where the girls laid a rose to symbolize their commitment to purity, at the annual ball. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)


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