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We did not exchange rings at our wedding.
Most people do not dare to ask why, but we get some funny looks from time to time. I do not doubt the absence of such a “fundamental aspect of marriage” is very perplexing to a great number of people. No wedding bands on the fingers of a happily married Christian couple? I’m sure more than one has thought “You people are not normal.”
So what were we thinking?
Some may assume it is because of possible ties to pagan rituals and roots in magic. To be truthful, I have never looked this up so I know very little about it. If I did, I may find another valid reason for abandoning the age old tradition, but…. This isn’t one of our reasons.
Others may assume it is because we do not wear jewelry. It is true that we have some opinions on this, but “jewelry” never entered my mind when I developed a view on this topic.
If you are familiar with your Bible, you might think it is because of a scripture that says we should not wear costly apparel. Well… I laugh when people use this argument. I have seen some women carrying purses that cost a whole lot more than a wedding band, and I haven’t heard anyone preach against expensive purses. This can be a legitimate argument but… you’ll have to be incredibly consistent if it is your only one.
The reason why people are so aghast to find you aren’t wearing one is because they believe it is the ultimate and indisputable mark of faithfulness to your spouse. It is the token upon which your every vow rests and declares boldly your loyalty and devotion to one for the rest of your life.
It is a symbol.
My question is why do we need a symbol when we’ve got the real thing?
A ring does not hold my fidelity. A ring does not govern my faithfulness. My consecration to my husband till death do us part does not lie in a wedding band. All those things lie in a vow made before God.
“How will people know you are married?” You say?
By our conduct. This is a far more reliable source than a strap of gold.
“When a husband wears his ring, he’s telling girls he is off limits.”
“If a girl takes her ring off, she’s advertising.”
“A ring will tell them you are married and unavailable.”
Do you know what I say?
Everyone attributes these things to a ring, but it’s the heart that governs the actions.
It’s our conduct that insinuates one thing or the other.
Wedding band or not, unfaithfulness will show up in a flirty inviting grin, or in a conversation of a confiding nature where you ought not to be confiding. A seed of lust germinating in the heart will not be stopped by the presence of a ring.
So what am I trying to say?
Your fidelity and the evidence of your fidelity does not lie in the existence of a little gold band around your finger. The evidence of your fidelity is in your conduct.
If your conduct communicates to the opposite gender that you are uninterested, you do not need a ring to do it for you.
And if your conduct indicates to the opposite gender that you are toying with unwholesome ideas then a ring will not stop a fish from biting the lure.
So how will people know we love each other without rings?
Pure and simple. Matthew 7:16-20 (“Ye shall know them by their fruits…”)
It will be the presence of his indisputable sold-out love for one and only one individual that will state loud and clear:
“Girl! I am taken!”
and it will be the passionate zeal I have for one man that unflinchingly proclaims:
“Step aside boys- there is only one for me!”
Conduct completely negates rings.
So why do we need a ring to tell people we are faithful to each other? Why do we need to blindly follow in the traditions of our society without thinking critically about why we are doing it in the first place? Why do we have to do something just because it is the “norm” and everyone else is doing it? (2 Cor. 6:17)
Why would we need to depend upon a symbol, especially since culture has made the symbol so grossly undependable, to express the most pure love and devotion between a man and a woman?
The answer is… we don’t.
We have something far more dependable than a ring whose image has been defiled by infidelity and divorce. We have the real deal. A love centered upon Christ that manifests itself in our actions.
And… that is why we don’t wear wedding bands.
P.S. – Thanks for reading my article! I would like to suggest the follow-up article that explains a little a further in detail what we DID choose to do instead of wedding bands, and why. 🙂