With This Ring

by Steven J Callis

It was long thought that there is a vein in the human body running from the ring finger of the left hand to the heart. The advancement of science eventually proved that to be a false notion, but the sentiment is beautiful as to the reason for wearing the wedding band on the fourth finger of the left hand.

Another explanation of the tradition is that long ago in a religious wedding ceremony, the priest would bless the marriage by touching the ring to the thumb and saying, “In the name of the Father.” He would then touch the ring to the forefinger and say, “and of the Son,” followed by touching the ring to the middle finger and saying, “and of the Holy Ghost.” Finally, the ring would be placed on the fourth finger as the priest declared, “Amen.”

Yet another explanation is that the fourth finger is the most protected of all the fingers, and the majority of people tend to use their right hand more than the left hand. Hence, the fourth finger on the left hand would be the most protected of all. This idea is not nearly as romantic or symbolic as the others, but many people believe it to be the most plausible theory.

If choosing to accept the latter of these derivations, we could actually find a bit of symbolism in it, too. Marriage is a bond and foundation of a home and family. The home being one’s refuge from the wiles and crises and stresses of the everyday world, marriage should, indeed, be protected. While there are many external causes for failing marriages and divorce, the problems nearly always begin within the marriage itself.

After you have overdone it at the local food buffet, the last thing on your mind is stopping at DQ for a Blizzard or sundae; food is not appetizing when your tummy is completely satisfied. Similarly, when a relationship is solid, satisfying, and need-meeting, the external distractions and temptations lose their appeal and power. For this reason, husbands and wives must guard their treasure called marriage.

As the relationship matures, changes are inevitable. We change as individuals, we change as events and circumstances impact our lives, we change as our physical health diminishes, and as we face the challenges of parenthood, career, faith, aging, and the empty nest. Refusing to acknowledge and deal with those changes can derail a relationship. The marriage must allow room for the relationship to grow as it matures.

So take a moment and consider that band on your left hand ring finger. Let it remind you of the necessity to deliberately protect what you have vowed to keep forever. Your marriage can be the very foundation of your home as a refuge.

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