Little hands inspect my left ring finger, which holds a silver band. Bright eyes full of curiosity look up at me, while a puzzled little voice questions, “It’s supposed to be white. Why isn’t it white?”
I smile, knowing what will be asked next. “Are you married?”
When I say, no, the question immediately after that is, “Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Kinda,” I say mysteriously, then smile. “I do have a boyfriend, I just haven’t met him yet.”
From three year old girls to sixty year old ones, they have wondered about my promise ring.
“Why do you have a ring when you aren’t promised to anyone yet?”
I know in my heart that I am promised to someone, that’s why I wear my ring. It’s a promise to trust and love God above all else, and to remain faithful in my love for my future husband.
To wait and not give up hope…
When I was fifteen years old, my parents gave me a ring. My mother had hinted that it’d be really nice to get one for me. I had never heard of a promise ring before, let alone knew what it represented. Right before my birthday my family and I watched Sherwood Pictures’ film, “Courageous.” One of the main characters commits to being the godly leader of his household.
He took his fifteen year old daughter out to a nice restaurant and gave her a diamond ring in the shape of a heart. He explains that he loves her and wants what’s best for her. He makes a promise with her that they will trust in God and wait on His timing for the perfect man to come into her life.
He slipped the ring onto her left ring finger and said, “Wear this as a symbol of our commitment to wait. It’s meant to stay there until it is replaced by a wedding band. One day I’ll give you away, but until it’s the right man, God has entrusted me with taking care of you.”
Since the day my Father gave me my promise ring he has prayed every morning that God would guide me and my future spouse. That God would keep us safe, pure, strong, and willing to seek Him in everything we do.
When I wore my ring I thought about what my Father had said. Over time, however, things got more complicated and intricate. For a while I used my ring as a way to “keep boys away.” I wasn’t interested in finding a boyfriend; in fact, the idea terrified me! All I could think was, “I’m not ready for that yet, but until then I’ll keep dreaming about when I am married.”
The problem with this was, my heart was not in the safe place I wanted it to be in. I would daily look out my window to watch the clouds move in their slow tramp across the sky, while my heart would be breaking inside me. I cried out in my spirit, “Oh Lord, how long until that day!? When will I be ready to receive the blessing of becoming a wife? Will I ever be ready?”
It was something I craved, yet now that I look back on it, I can see what my heart was really looking for. I didn’t find this out, though, until I was seventeen. It was then that I read a book called “Get Lost,” by Dannah Gresh.
In it she explained how we women have a longing, a deep desire, within us to be cherished and loved. Ever since the curse, from man’s fall in the Garden of Eden, God has said that “Our desire will be towards our husbands.” So, there is no mistaking that all of us feel this! Dannah showed, though, that we have directed our cravings the wrong way. We have become guy crazy instead of God crazy. We have a longing for love because our souls were made for the one that is perfect and holy. The kind of love that is faithful, even when we are not, and everlasting. A love that is so selfless that our lover would willingly sacrifice himself in death so that we wouldn’t have to suffer from our own wrongs. Jesus is the bridegroom we were made for. Only He can satisfy our love hungry hearts that we have tried to fill with empty love.
I was already a Christian when I discovered this. I loved God, followed His word, and sought His will. I was missing something big, though, and my soul knew it. I was missing out on the loving, fulfilling, relationship I was made to have with my Savior. I still have so much to learn in that respect, but looking back on how far I’ve come in this love walk is encouraging.
Moving closer to my Redeemer, Lover, and Creator Jesus, means that I must become more like Him.
With that, there is another meaning wrapped around my finger. In Haggai 2:23 God tells Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah. He says, “I will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.” The word signet is used to describe a ring that was used by the owner to sign letters and official documents. It was a mark of honor and authority.
If a governor or a king allowed someone to carry their ring somewhere to sign over an agreement or law, that person was highly regarded as a faithful servant. Zerubbabel was being told that he would be given charge to carry with him the authority of the Lord and would represent Him.
As Christians, we are also instructed to represent Christ wherever we go. This is why my promise ring is also a reminder to me that I am representing Christ. In my words, how I act, the love I show others, the way I am emotionally, staying pure, and if I choose to trust God in both good and bad times are all things that I am called to be an example in (1 Timothy 4:12). I will not lie, however, I do fail in many of these areas. I feel that I do not represent Him the way that I want to and should. Praise be to God, though, He has gotten me through a lot and I know He is not finished with me yet.
Some days I feel so complete in His presence that I don’t want anyone else and I need not to worry about anything.
“I am my beloved’s and His desire is towards me… His left hand is under my head, and His right hand embraces me.” –Song of Solomon 7:10, 8:3
Holding me close I can feel His heart beat, strong and sure. My constant in this ever changing world where emotions and feelings rearrange. His strong arms gently caress me and I can feel Him breathe life into me.
I am not ashamed of His love, for my whole being was made for this. Everything feels right in His arms because it is; I’m home. I have a sure hope in His promise that He will always love, provide, protect, and satisfy me from now, on this earth, and into eternity. This time is so short. I don’t have time to waste my life away on the vapors of this world. I was made for the ultimate love story and it begins here; right now. Once I realized that the God of the universe was proposing to me; little imperfect, sinful, unfaithful me, I was struck with the reality of how truly awesome He is. He loves unconditionally because He is love.
This life is such an amazing romance! The hardships and trials we go through are here to bring us closer to Him. He smiles on us and loves to see us full of His joy, so He blesses us.
Every time we talk with Him, we draw closer to an incomprehensible love.
The extreme times of good and bad speak louder to me that God has an amazing love for me.
It’s in the in-between times when I falter. I feel like the Israelites, how they would go in a cycle with their relationship with God. They would glorify Him for a time then get bored, complain, turn away from God to idols (like that would help!), get punished for their wrong, repent, and glorify God all over again.
The sad thing about it, too, is the Israelites kept making the same mistake over and over again. They would fall away from their first love. I do the same thing. I go into “crave spells” in which I look elsewhere for fulfillment. This is when I go back to my fifteen year old thoughts of, “When will he come? How much longer do I have to wait?”
However, these cravings aren’t as intense now. They have become more of a patient hope instead of a necessity. I know that anything worthwhile takes time, and I certainly don’t want to spoil this gift of love. It is too precious. I can hardly wait to experience a relationship here on earth that will embody my relationship with Christ; it’s going to be amazing!
There is so much I don’t understand yet, but I know God has a perfect plan for me. I feel inadequate right now for the blessing of marriage. I still feel that I am too self-centered and not as Christ-centered as I want to be.
“Oh Lord, continue your perfect work in me!” I do not know how much longer I’ll need to wait before the time is right, but I will continue to wait patiently until then because I know it’ll be worth it.
Dear, I’ll wait for you. Every day, when I look at my ring, I’ll remember my promise to you. Be patient, I’ll see you soon. Remain strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, not your own. Keep on keeping on, don’t give up this fight. I’m praying for you, my Dear, that you will let God lead you. That you will be so lost in Him that you won’t need fulfillment in me. That together we will trust wholly in Christ and be complete in our selfless love for each other. I will wait for you, Dear, because I love you. And now these three will remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.