Clean Your Rings!

A few weeks ago Matt and I started a marriage training course with friends from church who are getting married at the end of the month. The course is put out by the same people who do Alpha, and so far I’ve found it to be a highlight of our week. Much of the material so far has touched on similar themes as our own pre-marital counselling sessions: take time to connect with each other, but don’t smother each other either; communicate your feelings and listen without judging; love must be nurtured if it’s going to last; and good marriages don’t happen by accident.

But here’s the thing! I have gotten so much out of these sessions compared to the counselling we went through five years ago, and I couldn’t figure out why. But I think it’s because…. we’re married now! Dating and being engaged are simply not the same as being married, and although I believe Matt and I entered into marriage as well prepared as we could have been, it’s simply a different matter when you put things into practice compared to talking through the theory.

Matt and I are having our wedding bands cleaned this month, for the first time since we bought them. I have felt a bit whimsical wearing just my engagement ring for the last week or so, wondering if strangers notice and think I’m engaged instead of (an old) married (lady). I held onto it because I don’t have the same warranty for it as our wedding bands, so I’d have to pay for the deep cleaning, although the lady at the store pointed out when our bands come back, my engagement ring might look a bit dingy compared to the wedding band. We will see. But the whole experience really tied in for me with what I was thinking about marriage and counselling and communicating and doing life together. An expert looks at a diamond ring differently than a passerby on the street. The grocery store clerk might see it and think I’m engaged, while Christina from People’s looks at it and sees the posts are in good shape but the mounting needs a deep clean. I look at it sparkle in the lamplight as I type on the living room floor, and it looks clean to me, but when it’s nestled with my every-speck-of-dirt-expunged wedding band, will that sparkle seem grimy after all?

In the same way, marriages look different to people passing by than to the experts who know what to look for. Things often look fine on the surface, but we know all too well when there is hurt or regret or frustration simmering under the surface. We may think our marriage is in fine working order until something puts in under stress and a whole bunch of cracks appear.

Marriage is meant to be the kind of relationship that lasts for a lifetime, and that makes it precious, but it also makes it easy to take for granted. Like beautiful jewellery that you wear every day, sometimes you can forget its value. And like beautiful jewellery that you wear every day, as the shine of the stones dims so gradually you can’t notice it until they have a proper cleaning, our most intimate relationships accumulate wear and tear and need repair before snapping and snarking and sulking become the norm.

Christina from People’s told me every time I’m in a mall where there’s a People’s, to just stop in and ask to have my rings cleaned. They do it in a little machine at the store that jiggles the rings in cleaning solution, but they always give the ring a once-over before they clean it in case any stones are loose, so they don’t get jiggled right out of the ring. If I get my rings checked semi-regularly (lol, little does she realize how INfrequently I go to malls) then I’m way less likely to lose a stone if the setting does get loose, and the deep-clean they sent the rings away for will last longer.

I’m taking the same lesson to heart in my marriage: take the time often to make sure everything’s okay, and if something is wobbly then fix it before you lose a stone.

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Ericka 07-06-2014, 17:21

I’m glad that as a Christian, I found out that wedding rings are not of God, but are of evil pagan belief systems. Though I can’t remember why, but I should look into it. Not only do I insist on NOT ever having an engagement or wedding rings if I ever get married, I just don’t see the point of my potential husband spending a fortune on some metal and rock. I don’t like jewellery and don’t like to wear it.

Why should I be flaunting some expensive looking ring only to be a victim of someone possibly cutting off my finger to steal it from me, or break into my home to steal it? I found some kind of a gold and diamond ring half buried in a snow bank by Agnes and Sargent (no, Sargent is not a typo) in Winnipeg back around March and didn’t think it could have been real diamonds or gold. But a couple months later, when I remembered that I found it, because I forgot about finding it, I took it to a jewellery store in the Winnipeg Square shopping mall and was told that it was real gold and diamonds. Well, I immediately took the ring to the nearest police station. I was looked at funny by a couple of officers, then they looked at each other. I hope they found whoever it belonged to, but I don’t like the value people place on jewellery or such things.

This ring sure needed cleaning and I’m glad I didn’t use the powdered bleach to clean it. I just rinsed it off as it was VERY dirty, but couldn’t get the dirt off too well. Whoever it belongs to can clean it properly.

alyssa 11-06-2014, 13:41

I hope the ring got back to its owners as well! My wedding rings have a lot of sentimental value, and I would be so sad to lose them in the snow.

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