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By Arthur Vess

      Those who desire and defend the wearing of matrimonial jewelry, offer the following arguments in defense of their untenable position. Let us examine them in the open. But before the diagnosis, let us state that they never use the holy Bible nor quote the most outstanding preachers and laymen in defense of their position, because they cannot.

      First, they claim that the wedding ring shows a mark of respect and loyalty of the wife for the husband. When the Law was written on stones and in all kinds of ceremonial exercises and symbols, the hearts were cold and barren; but when the law was written in the hearts, these forms and symbols passed because they had no place or meaning. When our wives and husbands have to label themselves with all kinds of signs and symbols to remind themselves and others of their love and loyalty, something has gone wrong with the matrimonial, love principle of the heart.

      Any woman who really loves her husband, needs no cheap, material tag of her love and loyalty to him. In fact, such a symbol is a reflection on her inner motive and should be resented. Heart love makes finger loyalty unnecessary. Does a mother have to wear a ring to keep alive her love for her children? Why does she not wear a ring for each child? She does not need such.

      The ring neither sweetens her temper nor purifies her affections. If the wife must have a constant and outer reminder of her love to her husband, it cannot be said, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her so that he shall have no need of spoil."

      Is the ring one of those "externals" which the compromisers object to?? They do not believe in "externals."

      Second, it is argued that the wedding ring protects the wife against the approach, reproach and insults from other men. If she has no other way of conveying her marital relations to others, then she had better tag herself at once. Four young men were once being entertained in a home where there were several young ladies. Two of the young men were married. The young ladies were much interested to find out which two of the young men were not married. One of them guessed the first time which two of the young men were married. When asked how she knew, she replied, "They act like they were married men." Confidentially, the writer was one of the two young men who unconsciously "acted like it," and he still insists that if all married men and women will act like they are married, they will need no tags.

      A woman once refused to take off her ring for the sake of the standards of the Church which she wished to join. But she had previously taken it off in order to secure work in a restaurant where married women were not employed. Wicked men, knowing the rule, often asked her for dates, tried to flirt with her, etc. Did she date or flirt? I do not know, but she did something for the dollar that she would not do for Paul, Peter, Christ and the Church. If not wearing the wedding ring would give people money, prestige, etc., those who make wedding bands would have to go out of business.

      A pure, neatly and modestly dressed woman will encounter less embarrassment from men than ringed wives with questionable manners. Men even respect single women whose deportment demands it.

      If one covenant relation demands a ring, why not all? Why not wear a ring for the lodge, the Church, the class, etc.? Have one ring marked, "Jesus only" and the other, "Husband only." How on earth did the poor husbands know their wives before the wedding band came into fashion, Why were women more virtuous then than now? Answer, please!

      Of course the most devout women and men rarely, if ever, wear rings of any sort for any reason. How can they, when the Bible nowhere commands it, but everywhere condemns it?

      Third, some even argue that the wedding ring is so sacred that all should wear it. Chapter and verse, please. The Bible only enjoins two sacred ordinances in the New Testament. But you say, "My husband is so sacred." Then why not worship him instead of his symbol? Is he so unreal that he must be symbolized to be realized? So is the ox sacred in one country, the cat in another, and the ring in another. Which do you worship? Amusing?

      Fourth, some will even dare to reply, "Yes, but the wedding band is worn by all who live in English Territory, -- in Canada, etc." Too bad, so many English women in America who never saw English soil. A pure, Christian lady who traveled around the world without the protection of a brass band, says that the English people showed her the highest of respect as a noble, married lady. Well, here is the explanation: people usually respect those who have convictions and dare to live up to them, regardless of their own customs or notions. It is wonderful to have some individuality of your own. I also understand that there are many devout married women in England who do not wear wedding rings, and that there are many who do, who are not true to their husbands. They are like many Americans.

      A fine lady Missionary told the writer that she refused to wear the wedding ring while working in English territory, and that the wives of other American missionaries followed her example and left them off. Another missionary told us that even the heathen take their rings off when they get saved. More than all else, we need a few more brave souls who dare to live up to their convictions and tell others so. A few more outstanding leaders of this type would mightily bolster our battling evangelists, pastors and churches in this day of vacillation and compromise. No one would compromise if the battle never got hot. Too many have "optional convictions." They do not want to impose their convictions on others who are free to think for themselves. If you do not have any convictions to impose on others, what do you preach, teach and testify to? No wonder we drift. Why not make all laws and rules "optional?"

      The Methodist Church, born in England, did not permit the wearing of rings of any kind until she drifted away from God, and back to the world.

      Finally, other women reply, "I have convictions against the wedding band, but it would offend my husband if I should remove it." Where did you get your convictions? from God or from your husband? Tenderly -- now, it is true that some Christian women do have a problem here, but should they stifle their own God given convictions for any man? Can they do it and survive spiritually? Should we not be willing to suffer for Jesus' sake? Blessed are ye when (married) men shall revile and persecute you.

      "Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven." The old-time saints got their greatest joy in suffering for Jesus. Why not? He died for us! An unwillingness to suffer for our convictions is the cause of most of this compromise among us along this line. "He that saveth his life shall lose it; but he that loseth his life for my sake and the gospel's shall find it," here and now, enriched, deepened and preserved. If I were Jesus, I would bless those who dared to suffer for me more than others. Would you not? You may have to choose between the blessings of God and your husband. If you smother your convictions, God will leave you, and how can you lead your husband to the God which you have forsaken? The unwillingness to suffer, brings so much silence and evasion along the lines which bring the reproach and frown of the world and the blessing of God. Put God first; all others in their order. Wife can you leave off Church, prayer, and all else just because your husband does not endorse, or objects to such? In the most kindly way possible, let him know that he is second, only to God.

      Some good women have an abnormal fear of their husbands relative to the wedding ring, but they fear not to contradict him in other things. Rev. Wireman tells of a woman who had a great struggle over her wedding ring for some time. When she finally gave it up and told her husband, he only laughed and said, "I had often wondered why you had not taken it off long ago." The trouble might not have been with her husband! Most men have some sense, with or without religion. If they do not, they surely are not worthy of worship.

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See Also:
   Preface To The Third Edition


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