Our 1st-world culture is image obsessed. We see evidence in kids going back to school, in advertisements in magazines and on television. I’m sure you’re not shocked – it’s not like adorning our bodies is something new…
How about you? Are you a stylish person? Do you subscribe to a certain outlook on appearance?
No matter if you’re fashion forward – or backward – or have your own way of expressing your identity through fashion:
What you wear will either encourage or discourage
And influence those around you.
I’m suggesting we all need to be deliberate in some areas of our appearance.
When this post began it had 3 points – and ended up at over 1000 words. Much too long. So I divided it up into three parts – one post for today, one post for tomorrow and the last on Monday.
- Do you look like you’re married?
- Are you highlighting what he/she enjoys?
- What are your cues?
This is the first.
When your spouse looks at you – sees you and how you’ve chosen to adorn yourself :
Do you look like you’re married?
A few years ago I accompanied Robert on a business trip to Munich, Germany. While he worked, I toured the city using the Bahnhof (train). Entering the underground station, there are unmanned kiosks to view the stops and purchase tickets. At one of these kiosks an English speaking man struck up a conversation about how to make a ticket choice (I can read and understand some German and he couldn’t). I was friendly. Then he asked me to meet him at the end of the day for a drink.
I was shocked, and stammered a bit before I said I couldn’t because I was married. He pointedly looked at my left hand.
It was bare.
I’d deliberately left my rings at home, because the prongs holding the stones had 25+ years of wear and I was concerned I’d loose them. But that didn’t matter. I did not appear married. Even to a stranger…
Yes, there’re lots of passably reasonable reasons not to wear your wedding rings. You might have yours – but I’m not here to argue about it.
Wedding rings are an outward signal – a tangible sign to you, your spouse, and all you come into contact with that you have made a vow to be faithful to your spouse. A ring on your finger signifies this choice. Like the idea, or don’t like the idea – have cultural, theological or ideological issues, it still doesn’t matter. To our 1st-world culture, a ring on the 4th finger of the left hand signifies marriage.
Do your hands say you’re married?
Your spouse will notice and so will others.
Want an opportunity to encourage your spouse?
Use your smart phone – take a picture of your rings on your hand
– and text it to your spouse.
Say, “I’m so happy to be married to you!”
Tomorrow we’ll move on to #2 – “Are you highlighting what he/she enjoys?” Stay tuned…
My wife had an affair a couple of years ago, but we are recovering. Immediately after the affair I acknowledged my part in the problems with our marriage, and conveyed the idea that I would like to buy her a new wedding ring, and agreed with her that she needn’t wear the old one. I had expected, however, that she would wear SOME kind of ring, but as of late she does not. I brought it up to her the other day as we were walking, and she quickly turned from the subject with an attack on me. I want her wearing a ring, even if it is not her rightful wedding ring. We have purchased a number of different “costume” rings that she occasionally wears in place of her wedding ring, but only when we are going to places where it may be offensive to those around us that she is not wearing her ring (ie: friends/families homes, church, etc.), but under normal circumstances she does not wear one, and seemed irritated that I would bring it up. To me it is very disrespectful, hurtful and distasteful for her to not wear something on her hand. To me it gives the impression that 1) she is not married, 2)she doesn’t care to look married and 3) that I, a married man who IS wearing his ring, am hanging out with and showing affection to someone who is not my wife (if we go out in public). I have brought it up several times and she knows it is a hurtful practice, but doesn’t seem to care. I am tempted to flat out tell her that I wont go out with her in public unless she is wearing a ring to indicate we are married. Please pray that the Lord will help her understand what this does to me, and the danger it puts our relationship in.
Hello – first I want to say that my heart goes out to you. From your words I can feel your pain. When I read your comment, I shared it with Robert (my husband) and we prayed for you both. We’ll continue to pray.
In marriage, as in life, we’re only able to control our own behavior. YOU are wearing your wedding ring and in this you’re leading the way. There are times when words – or insisting – is not the best choice, but our quiet actions can make a difference. You’re in it for the long haul, right?
Wearing a ring is an outward behavior. And though you began by saying you’re recovering from an affair, it seems like there’s some rebuilding inside your relationship that’s necessary before the outward stuff can show up.
Rebuilding after a storm is hard to tackle alone – that’s true in the natural as well as the emotional and spiritual. A wife or husband re-constructing alone is daunting… have you reached out for ongoing mentoring?
I encourage you to reach out to a long-time married, neutral couple – and ask if they’d mentor you and your wife. (and if your wife isn’t open to this -yet- then just ask for yourself) Even if “all” you do is pray with another couple, never underestimate what God can do through prayer.
We have fellow bloggers who are focused on rebuilding after an affair – Cindy & David. Take a look at some of their articles: http://affaircare.com/articles to see if they might be a good fit. And of course, counselling is another route to take. Robert and I will continue to pray for you.
I was driving home from the gym the other day and this car kept going back and forth beside me. I finally realized it was a guy looking at me. With not knowing anything else to do I flashed my ring at him and smiled a big smile. He sped off and he left me alone. It is nice to know a ring on your finger is the universal sign for I am taken. That alone will get some to leave you alone. However, to some people a ring on your finger means nothing! My husband was out running the other day and some ladies started yelling remarks at him. They let him know they were all single. He replied with, “I’m married!” They then responded with, “That never stopped anyone.” So although a ring means a lot we have to mean it in our hearts as well. Making choices to stay out of situations that could get sticky.
Thank you for the reminder!