The Lord of the Ring
by Kent Heaton
"Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge" (Hebrews 13:4). During the wedding ceremony, the giving of rings symbolizes the token of pledges made to one another for purity, fidelity and honor. The circular nature of the ring symbolizes the eternal covenant and everlasting quality of the devotion and love each have for the other. The placing of the ring upon the finger seals the vows made before witnesses and before God as a pledge. A ring upon the hand declares to all who see it the covenant sealed with another and that no other may enter into that bond.
The ring must be viewed as the vow made before God. Jesus said in Matthew 19:6, "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." The sealing of the marriage covenant is accomplished at the throne of God. The Lord God is the author of the marriage covenant as He created man and brought the woman to the man as his help-meet (Genesis 2). The Lord becomes the authority of the ring; He is Lord of the marriage ring.
The wise man wrote, "When you make a vow to God, do not be late in paying it; for He takes no delight in fools. Pay what you vow! It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay" (Ecclesiastes 5:4,5). The sealing of the covenant with a ring symbolizes a vow made to God. Marriage vows should not be taken lightly nor forgotten. They represent a covenant with God that we ask Him to take rule of our lives.
To disregard the vow of marriage makes us a fool before God and the Lord has no delight in those who do not take seriously the commitment they have agreed to before the Creator and Judge of this world. He is Lord of the ring. There would be much fewer divorces if we would take serious the meaning of the ring. We have no right to disregard the covenant made before God. He is the one who has power and authority over the marriage relationship. Every part of our marriage should be tempered by the Lord of the ring. He must be our guide, our help, and our devotion to keep the bed undefiled.
When marriages have trouble, sight is lost to who is Lord of the covenant. As couples lose focus of God in their lives, the ring has little significance. They are willing to throw away a vow made to God for selfish and stubborn reasons. The ring should be a constant reminder of the covenant made with God. When troubles come, look at the ring and rekindle the vow. Whether temptation, trials, anger, disappointment or whatever it may be, the ring should symbolize the hope of resolving those issues in accordance with the will of the Lord of the ring.
As an unmarried man, Joseph understood the sanctity of the marriage bond. When Potiphar's wife sought to seduce him, he replied, "How then could I do this great evil and sin against God" (Genesis 39:9)? His actions reflected upon the Lord of the ring. Fornication is a violation of the marriage bond. How well it would be if married couples realized the marriage covenant is with Jehovah God! May we all possess the spirit of Joseph to know who is Lord of the covenant we have made.