The other day, I made meatloaf which naturally requires me to take off all my jewelry, including my wedding rings. I always set them on a tray near the kitchen sink until I’m all washed up after making dinner. This time, I forgot to put them back on. I had to be up, ready and out the door early the next morning to attend a mom’s ministry group. I was so excited to go and love on these ladies; my rings just didn’t occur to me. When I arrived, I helped set up and then began to mingle with the young moms flooding the foyer. It was then I noticed I forgot to put my rings back on. Men...maybe this doesn’t mean a thing to you. But, for most of us women, it almost feels like we’re naked without our rings on. It feels that way for me, at least. I began to wring my hands, not appreciating the smoothness of my left ring finger. I mean, for the past 22 years, I’ve worn the exact same rings, hardly ever taking them off. Not this day. My mind then began to wander to thoughts like, “What if the women who don’t know me think I’m not married?” “Maybe they’ll think to themselves, `How can she offer marital advice when she herself isn’t married?”” I made just a brief pit stop there, but still...I did have those fleeting thoughts. This got me thinking. Why is it so uncomfortable to go about my day without my rings on? Aside from the physical comfort zone, there’s another reassuring aspect I enjoy when they’re on my finger. There’s 26 years of commitment represented in those rings. There’s high highs and low lows now a blended part of the gold itself. There’s a promise. When I spin them on my finger, I reminisce about our lives together, and it feels like home. I feel unconditionally loved. I feel safe. Safe inside the promise of forever.
There’s only one other relationship in my life in which I feel that same commitment... more so, even. That’s with Jesus. The truth is, with or without those rings on, my life clearly and immutably communicates to the world that I belong to Ron. The rings don’t dictate that truth. They just confirm it in a material way. Ultimately, it’s the way I choose to live that signals to those around me that my heart forever belongs to Ron, rings or no rings. Over the next day or so, I continued to consider the sequence of thoughts that started with a meatloaf. I know I do not like to carry out my days with my rings on the kitchen tray partly because of what others might think if they see me without them. Is the same thing true about my Christianity, though? I wondered if I’d be as upset if people questioned whether I’m committed to Jesus. There’s no “ring” we wear as a follower of Jesus. Sure, we may adorn our cars with magnets or wear a cross on our necklaces, but there’s not one particular material thing people look for to assess in a moment that we’re followers. That means our lives ought to reflect that much more our commitment to Him. How do we do this? Ask the Holy Spirit to continue to grow His Spirit fruit in you. By His might, be more patient, loving, caring, joyful, content, kind, faithful, gentle and disciplined. When we live this way, it draws attention because it’s just so rare. I believe we can all agree, these beautiful attributes are dwindling by the minute in our society. We ought to look different, live in a way that opposes culture. This is our “ring” for all to see. When we live this way with His name on our lips as the Source of it all, we proclaim to the world that we are committed for a lifetime to Jesus and that all that was curiously magnetic about us is available to them just the same. “For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His one and only Son.”
I concluded that, yes, I’d be terribly distraught if someone were to question my commitment to my Savior, most especially because it would have to be my behavior that instilled doubt as opposed to a forgotten piece of jewelry.
My earnest prayer is that the way I live today and each day would be confirmation of a committed relationship, and certainly not cause for speculation.
Prayer: LORD, help me live well for You. Animate me Jesus so that all those around me delight in my choices and desire to live in a similar way. I am wholeheartedly devoted to You and desire what you desire, and that is to see every one of your children in right relationship with You. May it be so, LORD, by Your power and love being expressed through those who choose to be called by Your holy name. Amen.