Why Wedding Rings Aren’t Necessary

Wedding Day Hands Clasped

Once upon a time, when I was a newly married woman…

My husband and I each had beautiful new rings on the fourth finger of each of our left hands. Oh how I loved those rings!

At the start of our marriage, other than the fine craftsmanship of the design, a main reason why I loved the rings so much was that they showed other people that my husband was taken.

You see, my trust is very compartmentalized. While I trust some things, people, or situations, I definitely do not trust most things, people, or situations. When I do trust, it is surface-level and I am usually already thinking about what I will need to do if that trust is broken.

When we were first married, I had a very hard time trusting pretty much any woman my husband encountered, and to a degree, even my husband himself. I wanted to trust people. I really had no reason to not put my faith in others, but an irrational but very real part of me refused to let go of that paranoia.

Because of this fear, the ring to me became a symbol. Not of our love, but of his unavailability.

Bouquet and wedding rings picture.

Within about a year and a half of being married, my husband lost his ring at work. Not only was I frustrated at the situation of an expensive piece of jewelry going missing, but I was also frustrated that he now did not have an obvious symbol to show all the ‘predatory women’ that he was married. I immediately began searching for a new ring for him- for my sake, not his. By the end of the night, I had many options for him to choose from so we could immediately get a new wedding ring on his finger. But he didn’t want to look at the options that night. Nor the next night, nor the night after that.

So I got angry. Clearly, he wanted to sleep around with other women and it was obvious because he wasn’t in a hurry to find a new wedding ring. Clearly.

After a few weeks of me being upset because of his slowness to shy off the throngs of women who were falling madly in love with him during his ring-less reign, he finally realized that he wasn’t going to find his ring and so he ordered a new one. Problem solved. His women-repellent was activated and my fretting was dulled…

…because of a ring.

Because a ring is the one who decides the goodness and the faithfulness of the man. Because a ring is what determines the attitudes and actions of others around him. Because a ring holds that much power in its simple, lifeless form….

As I have grown personally, I have realized something about this situation. A ring on a finger is not what cultivates or even saves a marriage. Two individuals must make the commitment daily to love and cherish each other. A marriage should not be controlled by other people or things. Instead, it is nurtured through decisions, actions, and reactions of the married individuals. The work that a person puts into lifting his/her partner is what will build a relationship.

Happy couple.

Wedding rings are not about personal pride or claiming ownership. To me, they are a reminder of the work and love that we have willingly poured into helping each other. While a wedding ring may mean something different to others, it should be remembered that the object in and of itself does not hold the commitment of a marriage.

I have since realized just how irrational my thinking was. There is no reason to get worked up over the loss of something that is merely a symbol of love and companionship. Instead, we should strive to build our relationship up in a way that no worldly symbol could possibly begin to explain. This is what should matter the most: the bond between the two individuals, and not the appearance of the bond itself.

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Small Moments of Kindness

For the Fourth of July, my family enjoys going to the park where the city fireworks are shot from. Nearby, the Loveland Concert Band plays patriotic music in an amphitheater for an hour before the fireworks show begins. To get into the spirit of the festivities, we swiftly walked down the grassy hill towards the band to find an open sitting area.

My mother in law, who had taken the lead, found a decent spot for the four of us to sit in comfort and quickly ushered us to all sit down beside her. In the hustle and bustle of trying desperately to ensure that we were not stepping on other’s hands and belongings, nor taking another’s claimed territory, I had not taken the time to look around to see who we might be sitting next to.

I sat hurriedly, anticipating the sounds of the ensemble. As I motioned for my husband to take his place next to me, I quickly looked around to ensure that no one around us was being inconvenienced by our appearance.

Loveland Concert Band

My head turned quickly to the left where my eyes met the eyes of a young girl which had not previously been the few inches from me as they were now. She was maybe nine years old and had a look of pure innocence about her.

(As a side note, I always try to maintain a safe distance from children for their protection and mine. Having begun my college education in elementary education, the one thing that was stressed unceasingly was the importance of keeping some distance between the child and yourself. Including hugs, where I was taught to always hug on the side of the body and never facing each other.)

In the moment that our eyes met, she gently raised her hand to me. She was holding a flower. A single, tiny flower which she must have picked elsewhere because there were no plants aside from grass nearby. This young girl had been holding on to this flower and in this moment, decided to share her treasure with me.

I raised my hand and took the flower from her fingers. “Oh thank you! That is beautiful!” Is all that I was able to say before her smiling, generous face turned around and bounded back to her family a few feet away.

This flower, this one particular child, and this one specific moment were all very simple. In a big-picture, grand-scheme-of-things, someone-else-looking-in kind of way, this event was absolutely insignificant. And yet, this was a moment of pure beauty filled with innocence, trust, connection, kindness, and love.

The greatest moments are not always grandiose. More often than not, they are small and deliberate. Her willingness to reach out to me showed a level of humanity which I have believed to be rapidly fading.

The innocence is still here. We just have to be a part of it. We must accept it and we must give it. Offer someone a flower of yours. Spread humanity with your small moments.

 

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