When my husband proposed, he gave me a ring he picked out all by himself. I didn’t give him any hints; I trusted his judgment and I knew he could make a good choice. I was pleasantly and appropriately surprised when he opened the ring box and revealed a beautiful ring with a blue diamond as the center stone. He loves my eyes, and he said this ring reminded him of my eyes. He put a lot of thought and love into this ring, and two years later, I still love it.
While the ring is not the most important element of our marriage, the wedding ring is a visual reminder of the covenant we made together at the altar. When my husband and I exchanged vows, our pastor explained that the ring is a symbol of our love. We recited the traditional vows, that we would love each other and be committed to each other through every season of life, no matter what happened.
I still remember the exact vow I made to my husband as I put the ring on his finger: “With this ring, I thee wed, and with all my wordly possessions I thee endow.” Isn’t that such an interesting vow? Of all the things I could have promised my husband, I promised to give him all my stuff!
After doing some research, I found out that the full traditional vow is: “With this ring, I thee wed; with this body, I thee worship; and with all my worldly possessions I thee endow.” Obviously, we only worship God, so I’m glad that our pastor took that part out of the vow. But the sentiment behind the whole vow is that we are to put each other before ourselves. I don’t own anything; we share everything. I don’t get to choose when I’m my own person and when I’m my husband’s wife; I’m always his wife, and he’s always my husband.
Every time I look at my ring, I remember that day I made that first commitment to my husband. I’ll admit that it is easy to forget my commitments when conflicts arise and when difficulties meet us in our marriage. I forget that I sacrificed my life to love and to serve my husband and to surrender my own will to the well-being of our marriage. But the ring is meant to remind me that through every season of life that I promised to love my husband with everything I have, and that includes when I didn’t feel like it. That includes when he makes me mad. That includes when we don’t see eye-to-eye. Even when we go through rough patches, we still love each other and are still called to treat each other with respect. Our rings serve as reminders of that.
Whether you’re in a dry season or a difficult season in your marriage, look down at your left hand and see the symbol of your spouse’s love for you. Your ring is a symbol of how much your spouse loves you. If the storms of life caused you to lose your ring, I encourage you to find a visual reminder that you can put somewhere you will always see it. As another visual reminder, we have our wedding photos all over our apartment. Sometimes when we’re fighting, I’ll look at our photos, see our smiling innocent faces, and instantly melt. How could we be so mad at each other when we were once so enchanted by each other? Those visual reminders encourage me to pray for my marriage and to put my husband before myself.
Rings are beautiful. Sometimes they are expensive, and sometimes you get them for a nice bargain. Sometimes they are homemade, and sometimes they are from a catalog. Sometimes they are passed down from a deceased relative, and sometimes they are crafted specifically for the one you love. Regardless of how you chose your ring, or how your spouse chose your ring, wear it with the reminder that you are dearly loved by your spouse.