Nick Jonas grew up in two worlds with two extremely different sets of rules and standards. In one situation, he was the son of an Assembly of God pastor. The Jonas Brothers were always in church, setting the standard for perfect Christian children. There were a lot of rules. In another world, though, Nick was a Broadway performer, a gospel singer, and a pop star.
The Jonas Brothers’ father, Kevin Jonas, was also a musician, writing and performing Christian music and pastoring a church during Nick’s formative years. The Jonas Brothers grew up in a Christian family in Texas and later moved to New York, where his father became pastor of Wyckoff Assembly of God. He and his brothers were homeschooled by their mom, Denise Miller Jonas. They were sheltered and highly supervised in their home and church.
Nick Jonas found another world, though, when his incredible singing voice was discovered at the age of 6. Nick started singing and acting professionally. He starred on Broadway and recorded albums as a small child. In 2005, Columbia Records signed his three brothers as well, and the Jonas Brothers group was created.
Nick Jonas was always expected to be an example, though, always in the spotlight, even at home, as he recounted his early experiences to Christian News.
“I came from an incredibly religious home. Growing up my dad was a pastor, and much like the First Family or people in front of the public eye, we were highly scrutinized as a family within the church and looked at as, well, I guess you would call an example of what that family image should be. So long before our career started in music, that was what we were dealing with.”
Nick Jonas, with such a diverse start in life, has a unique perspective. In his recent interview with Christian News, Nick was pointedly asked about laying aside his purity ring. He was specifically asked if taking on that ring was a publicity stunt, or if he sincerely made a purity pledge and broke it.
“There was a person in the church who at one point demanded that all the kids in the youth group put these purity rings on and make this commitment, so without a full understanding of what we were stepping into, we all made this commitment.”
Nick Jonas explained he really didn’t have much of a choice about taking the ring. At the time they took their purity rings, the Jonas Brothers were allegedly coerced by a misguided church member to take this vow of chastity until marriage in the form of a purity ring.
Nick Jonas alleges that he and his brothers did not even comprehend what the rings were about. The Assemblies of God does not even baptize infants because they believe it should be a choice, and the denomination would not condone forcing purity rings on little kids. Individuals within a church, though, don’t always understand or properly represent church policy. That is just what happened according to the Jonas Brothers, who alleged they had very little understanding of what they were agreeing to. Still, Nick neither regrets having the ring or taking it off.
“It was such a strange thing to a lot of people to wear these purity rings especially as young men in a pop boy band. Although it was challenging to live with that, to be seen and have that attached to our name was very tough, I think it was a good thing. It gave me a really good perspective to whereas now my main thing is about being okay with who I am as a man and the choices I’ve made, and I think everyone should have a good and solid conversation with either their parents or loved ones about sex and about what they want to do with their life…”
Eventually, though, nature took its course, far away from that little Assemblies of God Church of his childhood. Nick refuses to feel bad about it. He defends his right to make grown-up choices and live his life in the way he chooses while holding on to his faith.
“So I started making my own choices, fell in love with somebody, made the choice to have sex with them, and from that point on it was about me being a man and being okay with my choices.”
Nick Jonas is hardly overwhelmed by feelings of guilt about breaking a purity vow made before he had any understanding of what purity implied. Although occasionally criticized by some within his largely Christian fan base, Nick stands by his decision to drop the ring and move on with his life.
“I’ve had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my growth. My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person, and I think that’s all that should matter. The other things around it are not as important to me as my relationship with God. There are a lot of things that I feel I agree with and things I don’t. I grew up in a church environment, and still have love for the Church, but what’s important to me now in my life is my relationship with God and that I not be judged and that I not judge.”
Nick Jonas is a grown man now, making his own choices, and he has no regrets. He still loves God, and his faith is not in trouble. It just seemed wrong to continue to wear that ring after his alleged fall from grace. Those who noticed the absence of the ring guessed as much no doubt, but some were shocked when the ring disappeared in 2014, and now they know the full story.
Nick Jonas is continually building his faith, even as he builds his career, making life choices on his own.
[Photo by Clemens Bilan/Getty Images]