Don’t Lose Your Wedding Ring

There is one story in my family that is famous. It’s a story that my grandfather loves to tell. The story is about my great-grandpa, Ed Ver Meer and his wife, Jennie. They farmed on a small acreage along what is now the “Orange City blacktop.” They were a happy couple and proud of their marriage together. Ed was so proud that at times, he wore his wedding ring while he worked around the farm. One spring day, Ed got his horse and plow ready and headed for the field. At noon, he came in to wash his hands before dinner. As usual, he looked down at his hands as he dipped them into the cool water, but he noticed that something was missing. His wedding ring was gone. He traced his steps back to the barn to see if it had fallen in the grass, but the bright sun did not reflect on any gold that day.

Jennie scolded Ed quite severely, I’m told. They spent many days searching the barn and the field that he plowed that day, but they never found the ring. The lost wedding ring was always a sore spot in their marriage. I know that my great-grandparents saw not only material value in that ring, but also symbolic and sentimental worth. The importance that my great-grandparents placed on their wedding rings taught their children the seriousness of marriage. That is why my grandfather has also passed down this story to me. The story has a moral that runs much deeper than just a material loss. It shows how important wedding vows are and that marriage is something that is not to be taken lightly.

I believe that the reason my family has seen the bond of marriage as holy is because they have studied what God says in the Bible. God talks very specifically about marriage. It is a beautiful blessing that God created just for us. He said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24). Marriage is such a special bond because it is a picture of God’s church and Jesus. Ephesians 5:22-33 talks about this symbol and mentions the oneness of marriage. Because we, God’s church, are part of Christ’s body, we must also carry on this symbol in our bonds of marriage. When I look at other marriages and the love that is found there, it is amazing to think of the love that will be found in our marriage to Jesus in heaven.

Since our promise to love and cherish our spouses holds such a special symbol in our lives as Christians, it is inevitable that God will have more to say about breaking the bond of marriage. He says, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” (Matthew 19:6). “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away,” (Malachi 2:16). That is pretty straightforward. He is not happy with divorce. God is so faithful to His promises to His church. Shouldn’t He expect us to be faithful to our spouses as well? It is very logical that He expects this of us. But no person who has ever lived is perfect, and Jesus knew this. He gave us some guidelines when divorce comes into our lives. “But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery,” (Matthew 5:32). In I Corinthians 7:27, 39 it says, “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife…The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.” The only justifiable reason for divorce, according to God, is sexual immorality. That is also a very clear-cut statement by God. Denying this fact would be a very blind act. God also tells us that the bond of marriage lasts until we die. That is why we say the words, “So long as we both shall live…” and “’til death do us part,” when we take our vows. It would seem harsh in our eyes to say to someone else that they can’t ever marry again until their “ex” dies. However, God doesn’t have a problem with saying this. He commands us to respect the bond of marriage until death.

All sins carry consequences, no matter how severe they are. For example, young women who get pregnant out of wedlock live with the results of their sins for the rest of their lives. They can repent, move on, and make the most of their lives, serving God in the place that He has given them. That’s the way that it must be with divorce. We can’t justify remarriage by saying that to not marry again is unreasonable and harsh. We must all live with the choices that we have made and the consequences of our sins. However, when we look at divorce and remarriage in the Bible, we must remember that there is still a silver lining to every cloud. God’s commands are never too harsh. He will always make a way for us to bear our hardships, including divorce. He will stay by our side and keep us from being lonely. God never changes. He is a faithful, strong, and loving God. He gives us commandments that are for our good. It is when we start to change His commands to what we want them to be that we run into serious trouble. I believe that when we look at marriage in the light of what God really says to us, then we are set free by the truth. He will bless us when we love and obey Him.

Eighty years later, a farmer found my great- grandparent’s ring on his cultivator. After cleaning it and examining the initials engraved on the inside, he was able to find the family that it belonged to. My grandfather and great uncles were given their parent’s wedding band. I’m sure that they could not help but think of what their parents would have thought of this miraculous finding. The wedding ring had outlived my great-grandparents, just like the bond of marriage outlives our own lives and becomes the bond between us and Christ. Every time I think of this special story, I am reminded of how careful I have to be when I choose a husband. When I walk into marriage, holding my husband’s hand, I don’t want divorce to be an option in our minds. When I get married, it is my prayer that I will always have, hold, and cherish my husband. There is also another thing that I am reminded of, that is to keep your wedding ring on your hand for as long as you live…but be careful that you don’t lose it.


Michele is a member of Hull Protestant Reformed Church in Hull, Iowa.