As I lay here, struck by insomnia yet again, I started thinking about my wedding ring. Now, I no longer engagement ring, for two reasons. The first is pretty practical: it doesn’t fit well anymore and it’ is far too financially valuable to risk slipping off. The second is more psychological/emotional: it represents a broken promise. I feel this way because it was a symbol of my husband asking me to share my life with him forever. It was him saying, “I want to be yours forever”. Since that promise has been broken, I struggle to wear it. It feels more like a heavy rock dragging me down than it does a beautiful diamond to show off.
My wedding ring is different though. I wear it. Always. To sleep, to eat, to shower, to work outside or in the office, and every where in between. I know many of you struggle with this. How long to keep it on? Should I? Sometimes we don’t feel married, especially if we’ve been served divorce papers. It’s especially hard when attention is drawn to it and if raises questions. I was just speaking to a group of high school girls yesterday and one blindsided me bluntly in the middle of my talk, “are you married?” I could feel the embarrassment rush to my face. I’m a horrible liar, I just don’t do it, and I’m not good with quick wit. So I answered, “yes, but it’s complicated”. Worst possible thing to say. Of course THAT peaked their interest even more. So I quickly explained that I am, but he left…yet I still consider myself married and act accordingly.
As awkward as that was, it’s actually exactly why I wear my wedding ring. It tells others I am married. It is my public statement that I intend to be faithful. It opens up opportunities for evangelization. Most especially, it is a visible witness to what marriage really requires, what it demands, and what is possible even in the face of difficulties and pain.
It is also a reminder to me of what my promises and duties are. It is a deterrent of putting myself near temptation.
This was all a precursor to what I was thinking about laying here though: My ring is horribly dented and dinged. It is white gold, but after four years it is less ‘white’ than it is gold. I was thinking about getting it recoated so it looked silver and shiny again. My marriage isn’t shiny though. There’s something about those dings that makes it feel more authentic. They resemble the realness that comes with the promises made “with this ring”.
God willing, if we are restored, I don’t know if then I will get the ring restored too. Maybe it can act as a symbol of newness and how our souls look after reconciliation. Maybe keeping it rough will be a reminder that while we’re worn and dinged too, we could never be completely broken. Like wrinkles on a face, it gives character and tells a story.
Hopefully, we shall see.