In a traditional western wedding, rings are exchanged between the groom and his bride. Most people these days consider the wedding ring to be a necessary accessory, to the tune of 11 billion dollars per year in the US alone (here).
Wedding rings actually have a purpose greater than looking nice on a finger and creating a couple’s first mutual debt. Over the months and years of a marriage, each time the couple sees their rings, it’s a reminder of the vows they’ve made to each other. Like writing on a contract, the ring is a visible, tangible symbol of a promise and commitment.
In the Old Testament, the people of Israel were told to mark special occasions and events by constructing a pile of rocks as an altar (Joshua 4:1-7). God told the people to do this as a lasting reminder of God’s promises and power. It was a symbol of God’s vow.
These symbols of promise are very valuable and precious, both to the one making the vow and to the one who is receiving it.
God the Father has made to His people many great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). These promises are bound up in the character and work of Jesus, the Bridegroom of the Church (Revelation 21:2, 9). He has also given us a wedding ring, a symbol of His vows to us.
Ephesians 1:13-14 reads … you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance … to the praise of His glory. The apostle Paul originally wrote this in the language of the Greeks. In modern Greek the word “guarantee” is arrabona, the word for an engagement or wedding ring.
Jesus filling you with the Holy Spirit of promise is the symbol of His marriage vows to you. He has promised to save you and give you an eternal home in His glory. The abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within you is the symbol of His everlasting commitment to love, honor, and cherish you.