‘Show your everlasting love and commitment to your spouse through a wedding ring’. This is perhaps one of the most common phrases that you may have come across in any jewelry store trying to advertise some of their fancy jewelry pieces.
The act of exchanging wedding bands during the wedding ceremony is a common practice that originated from the pagan religion but has been normalized in other religions, including Christianity.
Even so, you will realize that the wearing of wedding rings is not explicitly mentioned in the bible.
This makes us question whether Christians should indeed wear wedding rings or any other ornamental rings and what these rings symbolize in the bible.
What does the Bible say about rings?
In general, rings represent the notion of wholeness, the self, totality, and eternity. It also represents original perfection, all cyclic movement, and timelessness.
The cyclic effect of rings represents God, a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. This is more or less an indicator that God is everlasting.
Several verses in the Holy Bible discuss rings. If you look closely at each one of them and compare them to each other, you will realize that almost all rings were indicators of favor, wealth status, authority, and honor.
Most rings were decorated with distinct shapes and carvings that were the official signatures for kings and other authoritative figures.
Signet rings were particularly used to make a royal sign in ancient times, before and after Christ.
Spiritual meaning of Rings in the Bible?
In general, throughout the Bible, rings depicted authority and honor anytime they were given to an individual. They were popular jewelry pieces in ancient times, before and after Christ, and when you sift through the various books in the Bible, you will realize that it speaks of a ring in several symbolic ways, such as;
- A symbol of favor, where in Luke 15.22, when the prodigal son got back home, and his father opted for a ring to be placed on his finger, and when Abraham’s servant gave a nose ring to Rebekah in Genesis 24.22 that showed she was the chosen wife for Isaac.
- A symbol of authority, in Genesis 41.42, when Pharaoh gave his signet ring to Joseph after appointing him to watch over Egypt, or when King Xerxes vested Haman and Mordecai with his authority in Esther 3.10 and 8.2. Also, we can find this in Daniel 6.17 when King Darius shut Daniel in the lion’s den with his signet ring.
- A symbol of beauty, as most women and Pharaoh’s wives would wear multiple jewelry pieces. Even so, in Proverbs, a ring is seen to override a woman’s beauty as there are times when it represents her lack of discretion in her words and actions.
- A symbol of the withdrawal of favor, seen in Jeremiah 22.24, when God spoke of removing a ring from His hand to express displeasure with King Jeconiah.
- A visual reminder of God’s power and the value He placed on his people, seen when God describes his chosen people as signet rings, in the books of Jeremiah and Haggai. Based on this, rings were an indicator that God would not forget them.
These are just but a few instances of what the Bible says about different rings. There are so many others that bring out different meanings of different rings.
The symbolism of wedding rings in the Bible?
If you sift through the various books in the scriptures, you will realize that there is no explicit mention of wedding bands in any of the verses. However, this does not rule out the fact that the exchanges of rings between individuals at a wedding are an essential part of the celebration.
Christian wedding rings emphasize the spiritual nature of the vows that any couple would ideally make. They represent the love between the united couple and the love of God in their marriage. It shows that they are making a full-time commitment to honor God through the sanctity of their marriage.
The wedding ring simply serves as an emblem of love throughout eternity, and it is an agreement between two mature individuals to love and Christ each other for as long as they are married. The circular shape of wedding rings symbolizes forever.
For this reason, they have been normalized in Christian weddings to signify and emphasize the eternal nature of marriage bonds.
In general, the Bible does not give any indication that finger rings were used as betrothal rings.
Also, wedding rings are seen to have a romantic origin than a Biblical one. However, this does not mean that Christians should not wear rings.
Ever since the custom of wedding bands was popularized, it matches the Biblical notion that marriage is to be a lifetime commitment and a great reminder of love in the long run.