“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3 NIV
Dirty dishes, soapy residue, cleaning chemicals, lotion, Playdoh, and sand…. My wedding band (the most precious piece of jewelry I own) has been through it all.
I remember the night I received the first half of it… It was our private engagement at a very special restaurant called Berns’ Steakhouse, in our own privately enclosed booth of the Harry Waugh Dessert Room.
It was Valentines Day 2010.. And I had a feeling this would be the night my amazing boyfriend would propose to me… (But, of course, I didn’t let on that I knew. )
Yes, I was aware from my own inquisitive probes that he had already requested permission from my dad to marry me… And with him having previously asked me to look at rings for ideas as to my preference, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be engaged.
Jim was not content, though, with my preference in a ring. To him, the one I chose was just “plain vanilla” and he wanted it to be way better and have “sprinkles” as well.
That evening as we sat across the table (with me awaiting my Macadamia nut ice cream and Jim his creme brulee dessert), Jim got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
He pulled out the most beautiful ring, which he had personally chosen for me- the one with the sprinkles- and, of course, I gladly accepted.
It is a request, I will cherish forever.
That evening at my sister’s home, after Jim had dropped me off…and after all of the excitement of knowing I would soon be Mrs. Adams’… I sat on my bed admiring my ring.
It was beautiful.
When the light hit the diamonds, they sparkled so beautifully every which way.
It was absolutely gorgeous.
And more importantly, it was symbolically the promise that I was now in the process of fully belonging to someone forever.
It’s so amazing how every once in a while the memory and feelings I had from that special evening of admiring my ring alone in my room tend to return to me…
No, it’s not an everyday occurence… But do you want to know when those memories do reappear?
It typically happens after I’ve cleaned my ring.
Yes, just as smells and songs take people back to certain times or events in their lives, seeing the sparkle in my ring literally brings me back as well.
But you know what…..
The messes of everyday life often get in the way of the sparkle of my engagment ring/wedding band… The dirty dishes, the soapy residue, the sand, the playdoh… All of those things.
It isn’t always easy to see the rainbow of colors that love to glimmer when I turn my ring this way and that on just any given day.
No…It takes a toothbrush and a cleaning agent to get my ring to sparkle again as it once did the day I first received it.
And you know what…. Life in marriage can be that way too.
Work, chores, routines, financial hardships, children, reponsibilites, school, health issues, activities, etc… All of those things are a part of life on this earth, and they can often “fog up” the “sparkle” couples once knew when their life together first began.
Sadly in our day and age, though, rather than taking the time to “polish”, give better attention to the marriage and find the sparkle once again, couples these days sometimes choose to sling their own “mud” on the “ring”. They begin taking each other for granted and begin showing signs of disrepect toward each other both in private as well as in public. They unfortunately have lost the value they once placed on each other and may even venture as far as to toss away “the ring” in search of the “sparkle” in a new relationship.
You don’t have to look very far to see this.
In fact, the cashier’s aisle at the grocery store is just one proof of this. It’s a relationship graveyard.
No, it’s not enough anymore these days to just have magazines dedicated to fictional Soap Opera dramas. Rather… Beside these you will find very REAL ones that expose the lives and broken relationships of the most beautiful people in entertainment.
The tragedy and ugliness of broken relationships is shared all over magazine racks and online.
I don’t which behind-the-scene “exclusive” interviews are true or not. And it doesn’t matter. The sad reality is….Another beautiful relationship that should have lasted “bites the dust”….
Whatever happened to “In sickness and in health? Till death do us part? Before God and this company of witnesses?”
Were these vows meant to be merely poetic lines shared with the “hopes” that they would be kept?
These vows were meant to be upheld.
And yet couples need to be reminded at the very start of their marriage that throughout their life together…
Through the mundane…
Through the hardships of life…
Through thick and thin…
It is each spouse’s job to be a “ring polisher”…
Yes, there will be days when the excitement of being newlyweds subsides and everyday life kicks in…
When there’s laundry to be done…
When the bills pile high…
When the car breaks down…
When there’s an unexpected job loss…
When you have a noisy house filled with little people…
And a floor littered with toys …
When the date nights grow fewer because things have become tighter financially…
In all of the clutter and fog of life…
Remember to clean your ring.
The sparkle is still there…
But throughout the marriage it takes faithfulness, love, and a strong commitment to God and each other to continually keep that sparkle shining at its brightest.
No diamond ring ever gets tossed when it loses its sparkle… Rather, one who values his/her ring will take the time to get it polished and cleaned in the most gentle and effective ways.
And You, Dear Newlyweds… Must always remember that.
Here’s a small slideshow that I made back in 2010 of our engagement. If you click the link, it will take you back to that special day with us! http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4455774e6a41334d6a6b3d0d0a&blogview=true