The Wedding Ring
Marybeth Whalen

"An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband." I Corinthians 7:34 (NIV)

While shopping for some nail polish remover, I stumbled upon a bottle of jewelry cleaner. As I picked it up and tossed it into my cart, I reflected on the days when I always kept jewelry cleaner so that I could keep my wedding ring sparkling and shiny. Somewhere in the rush of life, I stopped doing that, and it had been years since I polished up my very dirty, dingy diamond.

When I got home, I cracked open the new bottle and put my rings in to soak overnight. The next morning, I fished them out and used the little brush to scrub away any remaining dirt. As I slipped the rings on, I couldn't believe the difference! I knew my rings were dirty but I had no idea how sparkling the cleaner would make them. All day I kept looking down at my hand to admire the way the diamond reflected the light, brilliant and shiny instead of dirty and dingy.

God reminded me that my experience was a great illustration for how I have treated my marriage at times. Where once I worked hard to look nice for my husband, I often meet him after a long day in my pajamas—unshowered and unprepared to welcome him. Where once I took time to really listen to him, I let my thoughts wander when he talks, figuring I had heard it all before. Where once I looked forward to our time alone, I get in the car with a bored sigh, and a, "Where do you want to eat?" My shiny, sparkly, exciting marriage that I couldn't wait for had turned into a dirty, dingy drudgery that I forgot to take care of.

As I admired my diamond that day, I thought of ways I could "clean" my marriage, restoring it to the brilliance that God desired for us:
• Taking time to at least brush my hair and put some gloss on my lips
before I saw my husband at the end of the day.
• Committing to regular exercise and taking care of myself, so I would feel
better and look better.
• Treating him respectfully and watching both my words and my tone to him.
• Apologizing when I blow it and humbly seeking his forgiveness.
• Investing regular, consistent time into us by making the effort to plan
date nights and secure a sitter.
• Really listening to him when he confides in me, not letting my thoughts
wander to my to-do list.
• Spending time with him without feeling like we have to talk all the time.
• Respecting the differences in each of us, instead of fighting against
them.
Of course I don't do these things perfectly every day, but I do have a renewed vision for what my marriage needs. Just like my diamond needed to be restored after neglect, so did my marriage. I can't become complacent or despondent about this most important relationship. I have to strip off the buildup of stress and busyness, scrub away any resentment or distance. When I do that, God has shown me that He will restore my marriage to its original brilliance and sparkle, reminding us both why we said "I do" all those years ago.

Dear Lord, it's so easy to let life and busyness keep me from giving my marriage the attention it needs. Help me to love my husband the way You do and to seek You for inspiration and insight. Help me to be intentional about working on my marriage instead of just drifting through it. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

Love Notes on His Pillow: And Other Everyday Ways to Keep Your Love Alive by Linda Gilden

Learning To Live Financially Free by Marybeth and Curt Whalen

Visit Marybeth’s blog and resource page

Application Steps:
If you are married, clean your diamond today. If you don't have any cleaner, go and get some! (It's near the fingernail polish remover.) If you are not married but hope to be, spend time praying to have God's heart for your husband and for a marriage that will stay sparkling and shiny long after you say "I do."

Reflections:
What is one thing that you can do today for your marriage? Don't do it because your husband "deserves" it. Do it because it honors God.

Power Verses:
Proverbs 21:9, "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." (NIV)

I Peter 3:6, "Like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." (NIV)

© 2009 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Danielle said...

Oh, how God has been speaking these same words to my husband and I! Thanks for this post today. It's real and fresh and something we all need to think about.

Blogger Marilyn said...

It is so easy to become complacent after many years of marriage. I praise for His help to refresh my marriage and enable me have the proper, attitude that pleases Him.

Blogger Lorrie said...

I know the Lord has been "reminding me" lately about honoring my husband and loving him the way He has called me to. Life can get so hectic, raising children, working, etc. It's wonderful that the Lord speaks into our day to gently direct us on our spiritual journey. :)

Blogger Shannon said...

Great post. I felt this way this weekend. The distance was gone and we were back to our sparkly selves. :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Powerful devotion. Speaks to my situation today. My marriage needs that sparkle. I feel my marriage is 'negelected','dirty' and 'dingy'. But then how do I get the sparkle in when we seem to be cruise controled on being 'neutral to each other' and seem so distant to each other. I also want to enjoy my marriage and not endure it. Thank you for reminding me that the Lord God has the power to refresh my marriage and that only Him has the power to change us and cleans us and give us that sparkle. I can only surrender my marriage to God.

Blogger Betty said...

Wow! Were you in my living room yesterday? The proverbs verse was the exact one my hubby said to me...hmmm. What a beautiful reminder of my honor and privelege as a wife! Thank you!

Anonymous Lisa V. said...

I had to read the part about scrubbing off the resentment and distance a few times. That speaks right to me. In fact I had to read this devotional a couple of times because the first time was a bit difficult to go down. But I know it's all truth. I started reading "Kiss Me Like You Mean Its" which talks about getting the passion back, so this devo is very timely for me. Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, there are times when you just can't explain God's perfect timing by using people to display his message to us. This is one of those devotionals for me today. Thank you! Oh, how I love Jesus!

Anonymous Jessica said...

Thank you for this. I needed it. Pray for my marriage please.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The words were said enjoy marriage not only endure it. Awesome insight need to hear it again and again. We all need to Give It To God. Blessings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My God my God! This just made me tear up. So many woman want husbands and we were chosen. No matter how the situation is now we were chosen to be a "WIFE". Is it always going to be easy of course not! But we should first remember that "WE" accepted. Lets get our sparkle back ladies.

Blogger Naomi said...

Though I value the words you have written, I am frustrated with the verse you put with them. That entire chapter is Paul explaining why it is better to *not* marry, and therefore allow ourselves to concentrate 100% on the Lord. The verse itself, I Cor 7:34, is saying that an married woman is *distracted* by worldly things, instead of focusing 100% on the Lord as she should be, (such as lipgloss and clothes). Not only do I feel that the verse is pulled out of context, but is completely opposite to what your point is below it.
I am not saying you did not connect with God before writting this piece, and I do not disagree with you. But I am constantly frustrated when speakers take verses out of context, and wanted to point out that I do not feel you really meditated over this verse and Pauls words.

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