I have always been sad when I hear people say the wedding ring is the worlds most smallest handcuff ever made. Little reason why our homes and marriages are in shambles. We are growing up in the mentality that marriages are not working as a result of our bad and myopic vision of about marriage and the significance of the wedding ring.
The ring that is given is a sign of the love and fidelity of the one who gives it. Wearing a wedding ring is not a childs play. Its not a jewellery. I’ve always thought that wearing a wedding ring was a sign of the commitment you are making to your spouse and to your marriage.
Not to pretend that it all depends on you – because it’s about a relationship and a vocation, and about God’s blessing on that relationship. But to see the wearing of the ring as a constant sign of your own re-dedication and re-commitment to this relationship, and to make this continuing acknowledgement of
your marital commitment public by wearing a ring. The ring becomes, as it were, a public profession of your marriage and what it continues to mean to you. This is why in those
films (cf. Bruce Willis in the first scene of Unbreakable), when a husband meets a stranger on a train and starts plotting how he might hook up with her, he quietly slips his wedding ring off and puts it in his pocket.
But I heard the words of the wedding rite as if for the first time, and this is absolutely not what the wearing of the ring signifies. Here they are:
Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
So the ring that is given is a sign of the love and fidelity of the one who gives it. The ring that you wear, that was placed on your finger by your spouse on your wedding day, does not
represent your commitment to your marriage, your love for your spouse, your faithfulness to this relationship and to the vocation God has called you into, etc. It represents the commitment, love and faithfulness of your spouse to you.
The ring is not there, first of all, as a sign of your continuing commitment to this person (although of course it can come to mean that as well). It’s an ongoing reminder of the promise that the other person has made to you. It’s a sign of the covenant that your
spouse has made with you, and that God has sealed, and that you have freely embraced and entered into. The same covenant that you have also made with your spouse.
I know this is obvious – I’m ashamed to say that I’d just never thought of it before. It changes things.
Many people have given wedding sermons about looking down at the
ring on your finger and choosing to live your marriage and love your spouse. It’s all true, in one sense. But the symbolism of the ring is not, ultimately, about your own efforts or
decisions or commitments, it’s a reminder of the promise that another has made to you, and of the promise that God has made to you both.
I know that life, and marriage, are not always tidy or easy, but I think there is a truth worth pondering here.
Do contradict me, and write in the comments what your wedding ring has meant to you over the years!
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.