Monday, July 12, 2021

With This Symbol, I Thee Wed

 By Kathy Kovach

Let's go way back into history. The date was July 12, 1975. An epic day, at least in my life, when I wed the cute boy from church. Okay, 46 years may not be way back there, but it does give me the opportunity to highlight the time honored tradition of marriage.

Specifically, the ring.

This tiny piece of metal, (or leather, or twine, or thimble...more on that later,) really packs a punch in the symbolism trade. Let's take a strollto the tune of the Wedding Marchthrough the years to explore this trinket of love.

We'd have to travel back some 3000 years to Egypt to find the first wedding ring. Several symbols were attributed to it because, well, ancient Egyptians loved to attach meaning to inanimate objects. The design of the ring meant no beginning and no end. A pledged love throughout eternity. The circle reminded them of the sun and moon, which they worshipped. Today, we could say the sun and moon represent our heavenly Father and His Son. The empty space within the circle was said to be a pathway to the unknown as the happy couple stepped into the future together, naïve and probably a little frightened. They wore this symbol on the fourth finger of the left hand, just as we do today, with the belief that the vein in that finger is directly connected to the heart. We know now this isn't correct, but the sentiment is lovely and worthy of continuing today.

The tradition continued into Greece and later into Rome. The material varied, with copper and iron most prevalent. In some cases, a key motif was worked into the metal to symbolize that the wife was now in control of the household goods. By the 2nd century CE, gold had become the preferred metal.

On into Medieval times, the gems themselves carried significance. Sapphires symbolized the heavens, rubies were for passion, and diamonds reminded one of steadfast strength. Of course, diamonds did hold steadfast, especially thanks to marketing in the 1950's where we were told diamonds are a girl's best friend.

Amongst all this talk about gold and shiny gems, the Puritans went the practical route. A thimble was given as a pledge of love. The new bride accepted it in the sweet way that Wendy presented the kissor thimble to Peter PanThe puritan bride then went on to sew items for the couple's new home. Once that was done, her groom would often cut off the top of the thimble for her ring. Now, I'm as pragmatic as the next gal, but give me a sparkling bauble and I'm good.


The Hebrew nation eventually adopted the ring from the countries in which they lived. However, they kept them free of jewels or intricate embellishment. Rather, the idea of a simple gold band held monetary value, as could a coin, property deed, or any other token of worth. The groom was not buying his bride as his property, but more precisely buying her intimacy, sealing the contract that she agrees to be with him and him alone. Traditionally, the ring had no gems, as the ring itself was to be presented as the true worth. Once precious stones were finally allowed, they needed to be of the finest quality, and not imitation. For the union itself should be pure as the purest gold, free of distractions, and simple in its faith between two people and their God.


Symbolism is an excellent way to ground one's belief. Yes, we've exchanged rings, but what does that mean? They are a reminder that our marriage is to be steadfast and true, free from distractions, and intimate in its very nature.

James and Kathleen, July 12, 1975

Happy 46th anniversary, my love! 



MissAdventure Brides Collection
Seven daring damsels don’t let the norms of their eras hold them back. Along the way these women attract the attention of men who admire their bravery and determination, but will they let love grow out of the adventures? Includes:
"Riders of the Painted Star" by Kathleen E. Kovach

1936 Arizona
Zadie Fitzpatrick, an artist from New York, is commissioned to go on location in Arizona to paint illustrations for an author of western novels and falls for the male model.

Kathleen E. Kovach is a Christian romance author published traditionally through Barbour Publishing, Inc. as well as indie. Kathleen and her husband, Jim, raised two sons while living the nomadic lifestyle for over twenty years in the Air Force. Now planted in northeast Colorado, she's a grandmother, though much too young for that. Kathleen is a longstanding member of American Christian Fiction Writers. An award-winning author, she presents spiritual truths with a giggle, proving herself as one of God's peculiar people.





8 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I have one year on you, married in '74. Thanks for diving into the history of the wedding rings!

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  2. Happy Anniversary. Thanks for sharing this post. I remember my mom had a plain gold band until I hit high school, and dad got her a lovely diamond ring. Of course having five kids and being sort of poor may have had something to do with it. This last 4th of July my nephew (my sisters son) got engaged. He gave his lady a diamond/sapphire ring. Gorgeous. Perfect for Caitlynn.

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    1. Thank you! I love sapphire and amethyst. Those would have been made a beautiful ring, but we were just starting out (aka poor, lol.) He's given me those since in other jewelry. I love my solitary diamond, though. And more so, the man who gave it to me. :)

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  3. Happy anniversary! Interesting post! I loved the MissAdventure collection.

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  4. Happy Anniversary! We celebrate our 46th in October.

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  5. Thank you! Happy anniversary coming up to you, too! I'm sure you weren't married on the hottest day of the year as we were. lol

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