Contentment in Consumerism World

Engagement Ring: Pursuing Contentment and Perspective

Why I Only Wear an Engagement Ring:

Blog-engagement ringMany people think I’m still engaged since I don’t wear (or own) a wedding band. This wasn’t planned, but something I intentionally chose after we got engaged.

Don’t get scared off…keep reading… I promise it’s a balanced perspective. 🙂

History of the Wedding Band and Perspective:

Before Drew proposed, I was learning a lot about margin (time, finances, possessions, etc.) and recently watched Blood Diamond. This is a movie based on true events of laborers in Africa being forced to find diamonds, a tragedy still going on today. I started thinking through the original meaning of a wedding band versus the focus and pressure our culture puts on finding the “perfect” (and often very expensive) ring.

I can picture the first wedding band now. I envision someone tying a piece of thread together or having the goldsmith create a beautiful wedding band out of metal.

Photo Cred: Met Museum of Art for far right image. This is from the 6th and 7th century…glad this didn’t stick!

While I love the meaning of showing the world you’re married, I don’t like how our society has taken the idea and run with it. Making a soon to be groom feel like the weight of his bride’s answer depends on the size of the diamond.

To support my point, check out these interesting facts about wedding bands:

  • The history of a wedding band dates back about 5,000 years ago and were often made from reeds or leather.
  • The tradition of a diamond engagement ring began in the 1400s.
  • Diamond engagement rings weren’t the norm in the US until ~1940 when De Beers created “Diamond is Forever” campaign to push the sale of diamond engagement rings.
  • De Beers is a leading company in the diamond industry (of course!).

I found these interesting facts from With These Rings and Today I Found Out.

Fight Comparison and Pressure:

I love beautiful engagement and wedding rings, I just think we have to mindful of the culture we’re in and to push back against the temptation to get caught up in comparison, spending more than we can afford, and often lusting after something because we feel like we’re “supposed” to have something.

I think it’s helpful to be aware of the original meaning of the wedding band, the purpose of marriage, and push back against the pressure placed on us. We should focus on who we’re marrying and the marriage we aim to build.

What’s Important to You (not other opinions):

I also think it’s good to consider who you are and what’s important to you. For me, my wedding ring is the only piece of real jewelry I wear or desire. My ring is simple, elegant, and I couldn’t imagine a better fit for my taste. I know many women who have a set and just wear their wedding band for the same reason. I don’t like expensive accessories (sunglasses, earrings, etc.) because fear of losing them adds stress. This also matches my general taste and personality. If I’m not working, I’m typically in Toms, jeans, and a v-neck.

On the other hand, I know women who really appreciate diamond earrings and other special pieces. Maybe their ring looks different than mine because it’s something they really appreciate. Some of my favorite women love dressing up and have a greater appreciation for jewelry (and you won’t catch them in Toms 😉 ).

So I’m not saying one size fits all here (no pun intended!), just giving another angle to view this topic through.

Can You Afford It?

And remember, apart from all the preferences, the question of CAN YOU AFFORD IT is key. Maybe you would appreciate something outside of your budget but need to wait until you and your husband can save for it. The wait is worth it! You’ll never hear that at the jewelry counter!

Does the Decision Honor God:

I’m still working through how we make expensive purchases in light of so many needs around us but, as a quick point here, I think we should always pray and ask God for perspective and wisdom in how we spend His resources. What’s the motives in our heart?

That’s a Wrap:

So, why do I only wear the engagement ring as my wedding band? For me, personally, I love the ring Drew gave me and don’t want to change it. He had it made using the diamond from his mom’s engagement ring and had a setting designed especially for me. I truly like it better without the wedding band that would go with it. I know if I got the band it’d only be out of pressure from what you’re “supposed to do” and not something I desire. So, unless it becomes something important to me and/or Drew (and assuming we could afford it), I love the ring pictured above.
I hope my story provides a different angle than what we’re constantly hearing around us. The point isn’t to avoid having a nice ring set, but to just ask important questions that bring perspective. What’s the meaning of a wedding band? Are you being a good steward of the resources God’s given you? Are we caught up in comparison and pressure of others and/or our culture? Who are you and what’s important to you?

I hope this post encourages you wherever you are in your “ring journey,” today! This concept can be applied to so many other things, as well.

…and I didn’t even get going on the wedding industry…I’ll save that for another post 😉

xoxoxo

.Em

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