Tuesday, January 25, 2011
A Little Gold Ring
On a beautiful day, wearing beautiful clothing, a bride and groom exchange a little gold ring, a few promises, and their lives are forever changed. At that moment, the gravity and weight of the moment generally isn't fully realized. If it was, it might be a day wrought with anxiety rather than a day filled with celebration.
In the years to come, the promises that accompanied by that ring are put to the test. Spouses feel unappreciated. Knit-picking turns to resentment. The days of newness give way to a moldy staleness that causes a couple to second-guess their promises. Others have the challenges of the bodies of their youth deteriorating, causing stress on the caregiver. Mental illness, financial difficulties and defiant children add fuel to the fire. One day, the couple so determined to giddily abide by "Until death do we part" wake up and find they have no other options but the most extreme. That little gold ring isn't enough for them anymore.
I am, in no way, declaring my expertise in the matter of marital bliss. In the time I've been married we've been through more struggles than I care to admit. However, that little gold ring, and the promises therein, have always been reminders of the bigger picture. I've been reminded that not only did I promise my husband that I would support him, encourage him, and love him, but I promised GOD. Perhaps I did not fully grasp the weight of such an idea on January 8, 2005, but with each struggle, I understand it all the more.
Such an understanding leads me to a greater appreciation of the dynamic of marriage. No matter how much I screw up, my husband will stay by my side. No matter how sick I become, he will love me. No matter how many times I fail, he will love me. It is the ultimate picture of God's love for us. This was God's intention. We have a tangible example of His love in marriage.
My heart breaks for those who are so distracted by their "issues" that they look at the little gold ring on their left hand as nothing more than a piece of jewelry. In reality it is so much more - it is the ultimate reminder of the ultimate promise.
I am praying for you, dear wives (and future wives). Contemplate the beautiful dynamic of marriage the next time you look down at your little gold ring, and rather than grumble, be thankful.