I was thinking today, about my ring; actually, to tell the truth, I was grumbling because of it. I was at work, and my ring finger was aching, right at the knuckle, from the weight and thickness of the ring. This is a fairly regular occurrance, especially when I’m working, so normally it doesn’t bother me. But today, it made me angry. This stupid ring is more trouble than it’s worth! I told myself. And I took it off.
I could see the mark where my finger had been squeezed as it swelled under pressure and heat. I grumbled, popped my finger, massaged out the kinks. Then I picked up the offending metal band and turned it over in my hand.
“Love ♥ Waits”
I’d wanted a purity ring for a long time. Finally I caved and bought myself one (since I can be picky about my jewelry), and proudly wore it wherever I went. It took some getting used to— I’ve never worn a ring on my left hand, much less on that particular finger— and it was thicker than I’d expected. Still, I wore it. I was enamored with it, and I believed strongly in that simple message: love waits.
There are a lot of things that that means to me, besides the obvious message regarding abstinence and purity (both body and soul), but that’s for another post. My point is, I was struglgling with this ring, this physical representation of my commitment to myself, my future husband, and to God. It was a tangible burden to me. But I realized, then, the similarity: that the choice itself is a burden. Remaining pure is a real struggle, especially in my mind and heart. Those are the secret places where no one else can see, and it is easy to give in to lustful temptations. I have failed many times, and my heart is always chasing after temporary satisfaction. Only through repentance and God’s constant renewal am I able to maintain even a measure of purity.
Thinking about it in that way only strengthened my resolve to keep wearing my ring. If I think of it as I should, like a real symbol of my commitment and not just a conversation piece or a pretty accessory, then it becomes much more meaningful, and a burden I will gladly bear. I take so many things for granted and often just go through the motions, but I want God to change my heart and desires until I long to be with Him alone. I am willing to wait, not because I have to, not because I feel like I have no choice, not because I feel inadequate and unworthy of someone’s human love, but because I love myself and I love my God. The love I want to share with my husband is the love that my Heavenly Father shares with me. God is love; I want to love as He loves.
And love waits.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8b