I always remove my wedding rings before I bathe or shower. They are still just a tad too big, and it bothers me how they spin around when they get soapy with shampoo and scratch my noggin when I’m scrubbing. When I was 18, my dad brought me back a Bohemian crystal ring holder from Czech on one of his visits (oh yes, we’re fancy like that)(actually, my dad was just involved in a Czech music ministry for about 7 years of my young adulthood), so I always put my rings in that. It sits on the bathroom sink, and the master bathroom in our new house doesn’t have much counter space. It kind of freaks me out. So every day, I gingerly remove my wedding rings, terribly fearful that they’ll fall out of my hands (I still haven’t gotten them soldered together) and into the dreaded sink drain, ne’er to be found again, and so I tenderly place them on the ring holder. Then, when I get out of the shower, I carefully pick them back up again to wear.
Yesterday, as I was doing this for like the 1000th time (what’s up, 6 years of marriage!??!), I asked myself why it would be such a terrible disaster if I dropped them into the sink. Well duh, I thought to myself, because they are irreplaceable – the permanent, unending symbol of the love between us, and because they were the most expensive thing we’ve ever bought for one another besides our education and home (and children – hospital bills, y’all). They are treasures. They represent the absolute best part of my life. And also they are pretty.
Of course, the next thing that popped into my head was “do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal, for where your treasure is, there your heart will also be” and I started to feel that guilt that constantly haunts me because I am a broken sinner and I can’t seem to get much right.
I treat those rings like they are so precious, taking extra good care of them. I’m tender and gentle and careful and kind. I’m treating them like they are my treasures. But really, they are a treasure that represents my actual treasures, and the only kind of treasures that are worth storing up on earth because they can transfer over to heaven: people. Those rings are precious on earth in and of themselves, but they are only real treasures because of what they represent. The actual treasure is my husband.
I don’t treat him so tenderly anymore. 6 years of marriage and 2 years of dating before that lends itself to that, doesn’t it? I snap at him, am sarcastic and a little mean sometimes (and a lot mean sometimes), I openly show how frustrated I am when he doesn’t inherently understand my deepest needs and desires. I’m still kind to him, laugh with him, and love him dearly, but I’m just not quite so careful anymore.
Literally every time I handle those rings, I am so, so careful. Many times I handle the actual treasure, though, I am so, so careless. My carelessness results in hurt and brokenness instead of encouragement and support. How can I think of Hubs as the actual treasure? What would it mean for my marriage if I was gentle, tender, and careful with each interaction with him? I think it would certainly mean growth of my character, and I bet it would result in growth of his, too. And it would be storing up a treasure for heaven – a pale shadow of the truly perfect relationship we’ll share someday, restored by an absence of sin and the presence of God’s face.