Whenever I perform a wedding, I wear two rings. It’s a form of professional courtesy. If the best man or maid of honor loses the rings, I can quickly insert my rings and keep the wedding going.
On my left hand is the ring my wife gave me when were married. As she made promises to me and I to her, we exchanged rings to symbolize our vows. As we did so, I had the thought that every time I touched my ring I would think about her. And so I have. No matter what is going on in my day–whether I’m on the phone with an irate church member or stressed over a decision–I touch the ring and am reminded that I’m not alone. I think of Jenny and it makes life better.
On my right hand is a ring I received from my grandfather. On their first anniversary, my grandfather bought my grandmother a bracelet and a pair earrings. When she died after many years of marriage, he had that bracelet and those earrings made into a ring which he wore every day after her death. (See: How I Predict Divorce Based on the Wedding Cake)
My grandfather died when I was a senior in High School. That morning my picture was in the paper and as he was reading the paper his hands began to swell as he was having a stroke. The story was told to me that he took the ring off, placed it on my picture, and eventually died.
Whenever I look at that ring, I’m reminded that I come from a legacy of love. What my wife and I are doing is not unique to us. We aren’t the first ones trying to live a lifetime of devotion to one another. Many have gone before us and have been successful. I imagine my grandparents had good days and bad days just like anyone else, yet they found a way to make their marriage work. We want to do the same. (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)
I’m not sure how much my wedding ring costs. If someone wanted to pawn it they could probably get $100. Yet every year that passes, the ring becomes more valuable to me because of the memories and experiences I’ve shared with Jenny.
I’m not sure how much my grandfather’s ring would cost, but someone would have to kill me to find out. The ring has no monetary value to me because it is my only physical reminder of my grandparents and their love. In my mind it is priceless.
As I think about my marriage, I realize that we are living between two rings. The one on my left hand was given to me years ago and every day it becomes more important. The one on my right hand is yet to be. A day will come in which either Jenny or I will die and our marriage will end. (See: The Number One Cause of Divorce)
But when that day comes, my prayer is that we will have left such a legacy of love that there will be some physical token which each loved one will desire to have in order to remember us.
We come from a legacy of love and we want to leave a legacy of love. In order to achieve that goal we must live every day between two rings. We remember the vows we made years ago and we abide by them. We also look forward to the legacy we want to leave and we make decisions which will enable that vision to become reality. (See: The Easiest Way to Rejuvenate Your Marriage)
Marriages end when we forget the rings. They thrive when every day is spent in light of those two reminders.