Life as a Wife,  Wedding

Why We Don’t Wear Wedding Bands

wed-ringsWe broke a cardinal rule of society.

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.

exchanging_biblesActually, what it really boils down to for Mark and I is why society has placed such a holy veneration upon the wedding band and why generations have turned it into the god of fidelity.

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.

 

cheating_husbandI have heard people make statements like:

“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?

Hogwash.

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?

Conduct.

Pure and simple.  Matthew 7:16-20 (“Ye shall know them by their fruits…”)

simple-loveConduct, or the Biblical term “fruits” will boldly declare our affection and devotion for each other. It will tell any on-lookers without a shadow of a doubt that we are off-limits to anybody else.

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.  🙂

14 Comments

  • Candice Matthews

    My husband has had THREE wedding rings in the 4 years we have been married and he hasn’t had one for the last 2 years. He would take them off for work and then lose them. I used to want him to wear one to stop other girls hitting on him but now I really couldn’t care less if he has one or not. Like he said to me, ring or not we’re still married. I love wearing my ring though, each time I see it it just brings back wonderful memories.

    • Candice Matthews

      Now that I think about it a little more… We are LDS (Mormon) we were married in an LDS temple and rings weren’t a part of the marriage ceremony. We just exchanged them ourselves later on when we were by ourselves.

      • Mrs. Pruett

        Thank you for your comment Candace. My husband and I are not LDS, but I am interested to know what their reason for not exchanging them is. In reference to your other comment, my husband and I exchanged Bibles at our wedding that have our names imprinted on them. I get all those happy wonderful memories every time I pick it up to read it! We wanted to exchange them because that is the “instruction manual” by which we base our lives and the Word from the Lord Who is at the center of our marriage. I like that so much better than the alternative!

      • M kaye Riley

        My roommate was\is also Mormon, she loves the church and her husband, they both wear the rings, without fail. It was a part of their first ceremony and the second one, the sealing ceramony. To each his own. Mk, Il.

  • Amy

    I wear my wedding and engagement rings with pride. They are a symbol to others that I belong to someone. I think they are especially valuable in our culture because they are recognized as an indication of marriage. It would be so easy for others to think, due to the lack of them, that we are just living together. I want to be identified with not just my man, but marriage. As a follower of Jesus Christ my conduct should reflect my commitment to Him, but He calls me to be baptized, which is an outward sign of an inward commitment. I think wedding rings serve the same purpose. They are not the reason I am committed to my husband, but they serve as a sign of that commitment.

    • Mrs. Pruett

      Hi Amy! Thanks for your comment! As I mentioned in another comment, Mark and I did exchange Bibles. They were the “token” we selected to reflect our commitment to each other and as you mentioned about your rings, I am very fond of the Bible Mark gave me at our wedding. We are not without an “identifier.” Exchanging Bibles instead of rings, for us, was including Christ in our commitment and demonstrating that He was to be the very center and core of our relationship. We committed to conduct our marriage by the guidelines and principles in His Word. Instead of taking our vows with a symbol, we took our vows with something that we would have a very literal dependence upon throughout the entirety of our marriage. It is true that wedding bands are the mark of marriage in this culture, but our commitment is not to our culture. It is to Christ. The cross is a symbol of Christianity, but I do not have to wear a cross every day to show others that I am a Christian. They know by our fruits and our conduct.

  • Glenys Robyn Hicks

    Chris and I both wear our wedding bands with pride…when we were single and praying for a spouse, we looked at peoples’ hands. We both felt a pang of envy when we saw a wedding band… signifying that these people had someone special in their lives. To us, our wedding bands are a sign of a godly commitment to each other and mean a lot to us…..

    Having said that, the heart of the matter is fidelity and commitment to God and each other in holy matrimony. A ring on the finger speaks nothing of that. We all know many marriages fail and those rings are discarded afterwards… they of themselves mean nothing if the heart isn’t right. Blessings!

  • John Cassidy

    My wife wears her nuptial rings very infrequently because (engagement ring) she has skin issues on her finers and (wedding ring) her finger girth has increased and it does not fit her anymore. I’m not at all happy about this and hope someday that these conditions will be rectified because my wedding ring that I wear every day says ‘I’m a part of something that is very special and wonderful that is shared with a very special and wonderful woman’. I want people to know that-it’s a part of my identify and I would like people to know that about my wife when they see her. I know my wife is decent and is very loyal. Her lack of wedding bling says nothing about who she is in her heart. Nevertheless, i hope some day she’ll put those rings back on. However…

    I was 44 before I met my wife and did not have many relationships before hand. Like all single men, I was always on the lookout for a potential partner. The first thing I look for when spotting an attractive woman is her ring finger. If it’s bare, I consider her a prospect. I think that’s something all men do as part of our evolutionary process. I don’t want men thinking that of my wife. A woman’s conduct is far less apparent and requires too much time and observation to determine marital status in the absence of a wedding ring.

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