Thursday, March 10, 2016

In Which He Refused to Wear His Wedding Ring ~ and the $40 Giveaway!

He didn't wear his wedding ring for maybe three decades.

He repaired computers for a living.  Was frequently tinkering with something or other under the car, hoping to get a few thousand more miles out of it.  Or creating a random widget or gift or project with one kind of power tool or another down in the workshop.

He didn't want to lose a finger.  And ... maybe even more than that, it just was plain uncomfortable for him to wear.

At first I subtly hinted.  And then not so subtly pouted.  And obnoxiously wheeled and dealed, trying without even a hint of success to get that band of gold back on his finger where it belonged.  I even offered {more than once} to buy my non-jewelry wearing man a chain so he could tote my precious wedding gift around his neck.  What was I thinking?

That was so not going to happen.

Over time, I grew up.  We had bigger fish to fry and I gradually became ok with his adamant choice. There was not a shred of doubt in my mind that he was anything but faithful and committed to our vows.  And his steady servant heart demonstrated his deep love to me and the girls in ways that were practical and substantial.

I let it go.

For life was presenting much more pressing scenarios than a missing symbol on his left hand.  And like most nonessentials, it slowly but surely became a non-issue and faded from view.

*

Fast forward to three Christmases ago.  Cuddled close to my man and surrounded by the enthusiastically noisy gang, their parents, and mounds of gifts interspersed with discarded wrapping paper, I pulled a small black box from the worn toe of my old red felt stocking.  As soon as my fingers wrapped around its four rounded corners, I just knew.

It was his ring.

Just waiting to be placed by this aging bride's still eager hands on her groom's bare awaiting finger.  The fourth one. On his left hand.




*

Along the way you've gotta figure out what's non-negotiable for you.  What's absolutely worth going to the mat for.  Consider the cost of yet another unsettlingly vulnerable discussion, maybe some bruised feelings or shed tears.

If I've learned one truth, it's this right here.

Speak what's most true about where you are.  Do it with love and respect, clarity and grace.  Without any kind of spoken / unspoken manipulation or pressure or threats.

Maybe do it twice, or even three times if you're particularly passionate about whatever it is.  And then quietly step off your soapbox.  Let it go.  Just let it go.

For good.

I still haven't arrived.  After 40 years, I'm still a student learning how to do this 'speaking the truth in love' thing without repetitively going on and on and on.

Honestly, no desire is worth the ceaseless grumbling, the incessant nagging, the endless hassle, the valuable energy invested as we keep proclaiming our rights and beating the drum of our inflexible, unyielding opinions.  The monotonous litany does nothing but send our spouse fleeing in the exact opposite direction, loosening the sacred ties that bind, unraveling two hearts once strongly knit together.

*

And then the hard part comes.  




This, the releasing of your spouse and the contentious subject matter to the Holy One who brought you two together in the first place.  The One who has the power and the wisdom to take care of whatever it is that threatens to put a disturbing wedge between you and the one you've committed to share life with.

And wonder of wonders, as we get out of our own way, we begin to lean into the delightful discovery that the same powerful God who spun the universe into existence is more than capable to carry through His wise and wonderful plans with little, if any, help from us.

*

What have you finally let go of?  Or what still remains, just waiting to be released?





Each comment left on one of these Marriage Mini-Series posts 
put you in the running for a $40 Amazon gift card!  More info to come.

Meanwhile, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a single post ...  
and it'd be so cool if you'd share this mini-series with your social media tribe!

*


*

Sharing stories with
Anita  .  Kelly  .  Beth  .  Holley

*

64 comments:

  1. Hi Linda! Oh my gosh, we are like twins in this. We bought each other wedding rings, and my husband told me he wouldn't wear his. What??? He worked in a warehouse and was afraid of hooking it on something.
    Fast forward 35 years, and he's retired from that life. Still not wearing the ring. You know, this is something I have just given up on. He told me from the beginning he wouldn't wear it, and he was true to that! As you say, bigger fish to fry. MUCH bigger!
    What a thoughtful gift though. I think I would have cried a little...
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Twins? Yep, why not! I bet alot of men who work with their hands feel the same way. If we had known before we got married, maybe they could have put the money toward bigger rings for us instead!

      hahaha

      ;-}

      Delete
    2. Hi Linda,
      For some reason, I couldn't leave a comment the regular way so I apologize for tagging onto your reply, which is funny, by the way :-) I love that you said this: "fter 40 years, I'm still a student learning how to do this 'speaking the truth in love' thing without repetitively going on and on and on." You've encouraged me, thanks! At 24 years, I still have LOTS to learn...Thanks for sharing your wisdom :-)

      Delete
    3. Well, a great big THANKS for going to Plan B and finding a lovely little niche to leave a comment! And isn't it so very good to acknowledge and embrace the fact that yes, we are ALL still learning how to be the kind of spouse that our man would marry all over again ...

      Blessings on your week, Dolly!

      ;-}

      Delete
  2. Hi Linda! I am still wearing the same band for almost 43 years. The only time it has been off is when i am working out (it pinches) so I tie it to my shoe with the lace. Jo, on the other hand, is the one who wears no jewelry. She went without after a hysterectomy required cutting it off until our 25th when I bought her a new, simple band. As for your post: I go by a very simple proverb in my life and ministry: "Choose your battles wisely." Another related is "That is not a hill I'm willing to die on." Wearing a ring is not worth dying on. They now make a silicone ring many of the couples here are wearing. Made by Qalo. I'm thinking of getting me one. Can be worn at all times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And this you said -->'That is not a hill I'm willing to die on.'

      Bill, ain't that the truth. Let's hear it for silicone adorned fingers. Or how 'bout a tattooed ring or 2 instead?

      ;-}

      Delete
  3. The thing is, it is very uncomfortable to wear a ring when you are doing jobs like working on a computer or in a car engine. The ring can catch something electric and gold being very conductable will send an electric shock right through your body. VERY uncomfortable I tell you.

    As for secrets to happy marriage. One advantage is that one of the couple should be slightly deaf. Preferably the husband.

    Also, choose your battles carefully. Don't fight on principle. Be generous. Have many principles. If one doesn't work for you have another principle that will.

    Finally, choose your partner carefully. Archaeologists make the best marriage partners. The older you get the more interested they are in you.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My husband loved your archaeologist idea, Victor! Maybe for his second career after he retires?

      No thanks to electric shocks. And yes please to having many principles!

      Love when you drop in with laughter, friend ...

      Delete
  4. Great post, My Friend. A ring does not make a marriage---right! Much more important stuff makes a marriage---as you well described!
    Blessings, Friend!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a sweet story and the picture of your two hands brought tears to my eyes. I am still learning to speak truth with love with some family members. Difficult situations seem to bring out the worst in me at times. Learning to release the mess to God and just show love is an area that I will continue to work on and pray that God continues to teach me how to do this. Thank you for teaching us through your own love story.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, Mary. You're so right, this whole truth-in-love thing is applicable to all our relationships - family members, friends, co-workers, etc. And for some reason, this challenge so easily brings out the worst in us ...

      Maybe because the enemy of our souls hates love, hates respect, hates grace?

      Delete
  6. Lump-in-the-throat stuff, dear Linda! Certainly a lot to ponder... Have a beautiful weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You sweetie, you! Enjoy those zebras, girl!

      Delete
  7. I had to stop wearing a wedding ring after I broke a few fingers, and they healed crookedly, causing the ring to raise blisters on adjacent digits. Having the ring resized to fit on a 'good' finger is an option, but will have to await spare cash. (Yes, both ring fingers are broken...different events.)

    There have been places I've had to let go - several years ago my wife decided she needed a bedroom of her own, and on reaching menopause physical intimacy of any kind became emotionally hard for her, and physically meaningless.

    It did force some growth, and I realized that I slept better on a floor or a settee, as was my previous custom, than in a bed. And as for sex...it interfered with clarity of thought and intention. I was once told I was born to be a monk (like Benko, the Japanese warrior Zen monk, NOT a contemplative!), and perhaps God let asceticism become part of our marriage to help us become who we needed to be to face that which we are facing now, in my final illness.

    This was kind of tough to share, but I suspect it will reach some people facing similar issues, and wondering if there's a way forward.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/03/hairball-story-of-viet-nam-blogbattle.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew, thanks for being courageous enough to go there. I hope the writing of your words helped you in some way. And yes, your situation will resonate for more than a few readers, most of whom we'll never know.

      I guess my hope for you and your wife would be that in these days of your final illness, an emotional intimacy would develop that would be a strong force in giving you both the comfort and companionship that will see you through.

      And that together you'd be vulnerable enough to share at some level a soul connection that would far surpass any physical intimacy that you might have once enjoyed ...

      Thanks for adding depth to the conversation. For that's what you do ... always.

      Delete
  8. Good for you, Linda, and what a GIFT from your dear hubby. Thanks for sharing this tender moment with all of us who are cheering you on in this wonderful series. We all need to pay more attention to the miracle of our marriages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like how you put that, Michele ... 'the miracle of our marriages.' What a truth, what a reminder not to sit back and ride forward simply on the wings of memories.

      Most of us have an area or two that needs some attention. I'm glad you've reminded us. A bit of a wake up call, for sure!

      Have a love-ly weekend ...

      Delete
  9. My friend, I smiled from ear to ear when the title of this post popped up in my feedly. My dad never wore his ring, and it irked me so much. When we got married, I was determined to get a ring for Bruce that he would be comfortable wearing. I had him pick one out, and we agreed that it was perfect... the problem is that he works with his hands out in the community at differnt places, and he would take the ring off to wash his hands, and then leave it there. He almost lost that ring so many times that he stopped wearing it... but he wears it on the weekends for me when we go out (if he remembers!). A little compromise, I guess.

    One of the best pieces of marital advice I ever received was from my friend, Chrissy. She said, "I say it once. And if he is not open to the idea, then I just pray about it and let it lie." This has served me well, and I've seen God move in mysterious ways to change my husband's heart on certain things (sometimes long after I stopped praying about it.)

    Love you and this series! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you're loving the series, Lyli! I know my man's not the only one who's had to figure out what to do with that band of gold. I guess I'd rather he not wear it than lose it. And I think it's cool that your husband will don his once again for your weekend dates!

      I hope he's recovering well and that soon you'll be able to celebrate renewed health and strength.

      Delete
  10. Linda, this made me smile on so many levels. I love how your husband turned the wearing-of-the-ring into a gift for you ... so thoughtful and romantic! The only thing I really remember from our pre-marriage counseling sessions was something the pastor said his wife has always practiced when she wanted him to do something: "Tell him once and then leave it up to the Holy Spirit." Twenty-two years later, I'm still working on this. :-) Already looking forward to the next post, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and amen, Lois! No one, but no one convicts like the Holy Spirit! If we'd get out of the way and clam up, we might be absolutely amazed at what He's been longing to do in our relationships ...

      Yielding control, yielding control ...

      Delete
    2. Lois! I like that. Tell him once and leave it to the Holy Spirit.

      Delete
  11. Hi Linda! What a great post and so full of the evidence of mature wisdom none of us have on the front end of marriage. This is a great story and point. My letting go was related to a couple of non-tangible things, but so much freedom came when I did. Blessings on your weekend, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about the complete lack of mature wisdom at the front end of marriage, Pam. I was 20 and he was 21 when we married. What an amazing grace that we stumbled and bumbled along yet we're still here to talk about it!

      Miracles happen ...

      Delete
  12. My guy's a sport guy. Couldn't wear his ring for tennis, running, and everything else. I, at first, was hurt. He tried so hard, but lost the ring. After the fifth loss and fifth ring, I gave up. He is faithful. After 40 years I too am blessed. The state of his heart is of greater value than the ring on his finger. He belongs to the Lord. I must admit I do remind Him - He who finds a wife, finds a good thing. Ha! My reminder that she who finds a husband: a good, faithful and godly husband - finds more than a good thing - she finds a treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Lois, you hit the nail right on the head -->'The state of his heart is of greater value than the ring on his finger.'

      Absolutely amen!

      Delete
  13. Such a wise insight and a sweet story, Linda. Thank you for sharing it. I love this truth - "the same powerful God who spun the universe into existence is more than capable to carry through His wise and wonderful plans with little, if any, help from us." Blessings and hugs to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for joining the conversation today, Trudy!

      Delete
  14. Thanks for this Linda. I have a husband who rebuilds engines and thus does not wear his and then it would not fit for special days, but he's lost so much weight I'm wondering. Beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we're in good company on this ring-thing, Deborah. Maybe another kind of symbol?

      Meanwhile, I'm just plain happy you've joined us this weekend! Welcome!

      ;-}

      Delete
  15. What a fitting place to start your mini-series, Linda, with the symbol of commitment on Tim's finger. But you showed not only your commitment to him by gently requesting he wear it, and then also your commitment to the Lord by letting it go at His feet! We all need to learn that hard task of trusting our spouses as we trust the Lord. What a welcome sign of Tim's love and appreciation to you for your patience in this matter on that lovely Christmas three years ago! Yes, I can totally relate to the desire to hound my husband about things that "I think" are important. But God keeps teaching me, as He certainly has for you as well, that God's got this and every other detail of our lives firmly in His hands! You hit it out of the park on this one, girlfriend! Can't wait to hear more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to your wise words here, my friend -->'God's got this and every other detail of our lives firmly in His hands!'

      Oh to give up control far more quickly and to trust Him far more eagerly!

      Sabbath blessings to you and Gary, Beth ...

      Delete
  16. Beautiful! With all our relationships, so important to have wisdom of what to let go of so we have the big picture always in the forefront.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wisdom, yes, yes. God's knowledge made known and lived out. That's where I want to be, who I want to be. Thanks, Lynn for that gentle reminder ...

      Delete
  17. What a lovely thought you've shared! My husband doesn't wear a band either because he is in the transportation industry, which involves a lot of heavy duty work, and wearing a band around his finger is dangerous. How sweet that your husband, after all those years is now able to wear his band, and what a precious way to surprise you and do it for you! I am loving your mini-marriage series, and want to read them all :) Have a blessed day my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks like alot of guys are in this position. Any women out there who've had to remove their bands because they don't want to lose a finger?

      Just curious!

      Delete
  18. Isn't it amazing how that concept often works...let go of something, and then you get it? My daughter's husband doesn't wear his ring regularly because of work he does; I understand it totally. But yes, it is nice though to see the ring on his finger. I'm glad you're getting to see that more often!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very good observation, for sure, Lisa, the whole releasing and returning piece ...

      Delete
  19. I don't like facial hair. Every winter, my sweetheart grows some form of it. This winter, I refused to comment. He knows I don't like it. I can't wait for the weather to warm so he'll shave it off ;).

    ReplyDelete
  20. This post is about so much more than a ring! Great installment, Linda. I love the gift your husband gave you after all those years. The blessing cometh. Sometimes we have to wait for it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And when all is said and done, I'd love him just the same, wedding ring or not. Maybe it took getting it back to help me realize that it never was about the jewelry at all ...

      Delete
  21. Beautiful. What we all learn along the way, don't we? I'm still learning day by day. I love learning side by side with my love. Thanks for your beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Day by day, side by side.

      Well said, friend. So very well said ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  22. great post:) definitely points out that there are some things to make a big issue over and there are others that need to be left alone despite our personal preferences. the advantage of a long marriage is that sometimes the happy endings come like your did...at others, the happy ending is that we realize we have a good man who loves us...he just can't wear his ring for whatever reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When all is said and done, we realize how few things there are that require us launching into a great big deal.

      Thanks, Martha, for being here.

      ;-}

      Delete
  23. Linda, love this post...my husband and I have been married 43 years...I, too, like Michele, thank God for the miracle of my marriage...I believe in many ways expectations kill relationships...keeping my eyes on Jesus, letting Him fill my cup, helps me experience His peace...many blessings to you and your husband ❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 43! Yay!

      Miracle. Yes, in so many ways, on so many days.

      Thanks for jumping into the conversation, Beth. So good to see you again ...

      Delete
  24. Reading this post and the comments here makes me wonder even more about my future. I hope he wears his wedding band all the time. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe there'll be some hope, some assurance in these little visits, Lux? I hope so.

      You are a delight. And I'm grateful you're in my world ...

      Delete
  25. My first thought went to Jimmy Fallon who nearly lost his finger when he reached to catch himself from a slip and his wedding ring caught on an edge and nearly ripped off his finger. Your husband was smart. You knew he was smart but our emotions aren't usually as smart. As someone longer in marriage like you, I can relate to so much and still have a long way to go. Thanks for this beautiful story of what love really is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's almost happened to me a few times. What an ugly scene that would be ...

      And I loved this you said, Debby -->'You knew he was smart but our emotions aren't usually as smart.' Our emotions can be a lousy platform for decision making, yes?

      ;-}

      Delete
  26. Oh Linda... so many precious thoughts on this... I'm learning I have to let go of my pride and take every single thing and thought to God in prayer to even begin to speak truth in love. It's haaaard....! I'm trying to listen more-- you know the whole 2 ears, 1 mouth trick. And I can remember growing up my dad only wore his wedding ring on Sundays- always infinitely busy with his hands during the week as an electrician... but like your sweet husband, we never doubted his commitments to us either. ♥ Thanks for the memories and the challenge today ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right. This is hard. It's also glorious and messy and comforting and and and ...

      ;-}

      Delete
  27. "I'm still a student learning how to do this 'speaking the truth in love' thing without repetitively going on and on and on."

    God uses marriage in such a profound way to refine us, doesn't He? But I guess we have to be willing to let Him. When we do though, oh how He changes us and our relationships with our spouse.

    My husband has had seasons of wearing his ring but primarily he has gone without it because of his job. Funny... I noticed he didn't have it on when we were together this past weekend. I don't know when it was taken off again and at first (very briefly) it irked me but then I quickly came to the place of knowing how deeply this man loves me and the ring simply didn't matter.

    Always blessed by the wisdom you share with us.

    Love you, friend.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing this weekend's discovery, Beth {one of many, I'm guessing, as you are reunited!!} I really liked how you noticed your feelings and then made a decision on what to do with them.

      Thanks for showing us how to do this well. Stuffing the emotions is unhealthy, letting our first gut level reaction be known is often an invitation for disaster.

      Once again, you've impacted me. And why am I not surprised!

      Give your man our best, please?! I honor him for serving our country so faithfully. And honor you and your boys, as well ...

      Delete
  28. I've had to learn to let things go, too. Thank you for the encouragement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still letting go around here, too. In the light of eternity, most of it is of little significance ...

      Delete
  29. I smiled reading this. Earlier on I was the one uncomfortable with wearing one bcos for the most part the ring wasn't my size. It was big and would dancing around and some times slip off. I didn't resize bcos I was hoping to gain someweight. Now it's perfect🐶😀

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing's worse than a ring that spins 'round and threatens to fly off! Here's to gaining just a bit of weight so it fits just right!

      Thanks, Ifeoma ...

      Delete
  30. Oh yes, there are so many things that have to be let go. Laid aside. Early on, I knew my husband's language had to be cleaned up. I fought for that and mostly succeeded. ;) Many other things were dropped.
    Recently I have been praying that he and I will move closer to Jesus, which will keep us moving in the same direction. And I stopped praying before church that he will hear what he is supposed to. I have to hear what I have to hear. I can only control myself!:)
    OK that was enough info. Have a wonderful spring weekend, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you said it all right here, Sarah -->' I have to hear what I have to hear. I can only control myself!:)'

      Sometimes it's easier to look at what others need to work on than what lies before us in our own lives. You are so wise ... and I'm grateful you're doing community with us here.

      Weekend blessings, friend ...

      Delete

'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda