what are those rings for?

“Are you denaried?”

The question comes from a four-year-old student.  I set down my crayon and smile.  “Hm?”

“Are you denaried?”

I glance around for context clues.  “I’m…not sure.”

“I mean are you denaried to a dad?”

Understanding floods in.  For the second time in a day, a child under the age of six is questioning my marital status.  “No, I’m not married,” I said simply, and I return to coloring in my Bible story worksheet.

“Then what are those rings for?”

I’m almost surprised that the symbolism of a ring means so much in a society that has pushed so many traditional symbols into ambiguity.  Yet time and again, new acquaintances, colleagues, and especially kids ask me, “Are you married?” after they see that I wear a ring on my left ring finger.

Snapshot_20150504

In a public school situation, I keep my answer vague: “No, my ring means that I’m not married yet.”  With peers, I refer to it as a purity ring and usually receive a silent nod or “Oh”.

But with my young students in a Wednesday night Bible study, I decided to give a better answer.

“It means I’m not married yet.  I’m waiting to get married.  When I do get married, my husband will give me a new ring.  We’ll trade.  I’ll give him this one –” I removed it to pantomime the theoretical swap, “– and he will give me a wedding ring.”

What I didn’t tell my inquisitive four-year-old friend was that wearing my purity ring actually has very little to do with marriage.  My purity ring is more than a promise to my dad, or to my future husband.  It’s a a demonstration of my faith in God’s perfect ways.  My purity ring indicates, of course, that I will save myself for my husband and refrain from pre-marital sex. But it also means that I will dress modestly, treat men with respect and restraint, and never love anyone more than I love God.

My purity ring isn’t a placeholder, preparing for the day when a wedding ring might grace my finger.  It’s a symbol of the way I live my life, single or married, to the end of my days.

Do you wear a purity ring?

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5 thoughts on “what are those rings for?

  1. I love this. I have had students ask me about mine too. Its interesting to see their reaction. I even had one ask if he could be the one to trade with me…

    -Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

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