The Wedding Ring: Just Another Piece of Jewelry?

wedding ring symbolism

Have you ever lost your wedding ring? Or at least temporarily misplaced it?

I'm a careful guy, but it's happened to me twice in the past 5.5 years.

The first time was a few months after we were married. I got to work before I realized that I didn't have my ring on, and I was nearly sick to my stomach. Enough to force me to drive back home over lunch (not something I ever did) to make sure that I didn't lose it, and also for the comfort it brings me to have it on.

The second time was last year on our vacation in Okoboji. I had put on my ring before heading out on the boat. Once we were on the water for about an hour, I realized that it was gone.

Again, I thought I was going to be sick. I told Kelsey that I might have lost my ring at the bottom of the lake. She offered forgiveness and grace immediately. She saw the aching in my heart about the possibility of losing it and comforted me.

When we got back to the lake house, I looked for it on our nightstand, which is where I normally keep my things, but I couldn't find it. I gave up. I felt terrible.

But then, about an hour later, probably because I stopped looking, I found it in an odd place and realized that I had taken it off to put on sunscreen and had forgotten to put it back on.

I was thinking about this after a friend showed me that he has a ring tattooed on his finger so that if he wasn't wearing it, there is still something there. For me, the only times I don't wear my ring are when it might fall off (i.e., playing sports or swimming) and when I'm sleeping.

Which led me to think about what it means to wear a wedding ring...

What's the point? I know I'm still married even if I don't have it on. 

I think it's more about what it tells others.

Not to be arrogant, but I would hate to not have my wedding ring on and have someone get the wrong idea that I am available. That's a temptation that nobody needs to have in their life. Why not close the door on that conversation before it gets awkward?

It says a lot about your commitment and whether you entertain the thought of being available. We should feel honored to put on the ring, and it's a simple reminder of the vows you spoke to each other.

Sadly, I think some guys don't wear their rings for the opposite reason. To entice flirting, to entertain the thought of being available. I don't like it.

I love being married, I love my wife, I love my family, I love my ring and I love what it stands for. Commitment.

What are your thoughts about the wedding ring?

UPDATE (7/25/12): Carlos Whittaker wrote an awesome post about his thoughts on the wedding ring. It's edgy. Read it!