2020-2021 has been a time when it’s been difficult to connect with friends and family. So, when we happen to run into someone that we haven’t seen in a long time, we often start with the same three questions, or some variations:
- How have you been? What have you been up to?
- Where do you work? What do you do?
- Are you married/dating/seeing anyone?
It never fails. These are the common “catching up” questions, and once answered, we feel like we have re-established a relationship, or at the very least, satisfied the courtesy quota so that we can walk away with a “ok, yes, we will meet up soon. Call/text/DM me,” even if we both know that we won’t. All of these questions aren’t weighed equally. That 3rd question, at least for me -held a very different value – let me tell you why.
As a Single (again), this question is asked more than I want to answer. Even if it’s not asked, I always feel the subtle glance at my bare haunting left ring finger, and then the look in their eyes. Ok, maybe the look is perceived, but the judgement is more times than not, real. (if that word offends you – please follow me to Webster). Judgement is defined as the act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought or consideration. This sometimes split-second judgement is the same one that many of us bestow on ourselves: ‘Why am I still Single?’. This doesn’t have to be a negative judgement, but it is a judgement that we make nevertheless.
As I write this, I am sitting at Starbucks, and I find myself glancing at the left hands of those people sitting around me. Unbeknownst to them, I’ve made a rash judgement on their lives, character and/or personality based on whether someone else wants, or at the least wanted them enough to marry them. While validating them, I subconsciously devalued myself.
As Singles, we think a ring will justify, validate us in some way. For those of us that have gone through divorce, the lack of a ring can cause an even greater identity crisis – it almost feels like they can smell the ‘divorced’ on us, that our happily ever after was a lot shorter than we imagined.
Some of us might not be healed enough to admit, so I’ll take one for the team. When we meet someone new, we will look at the ring finger, and don’t even realize that we have done it. I do believe that there is justification in the ring. There is a certain comfort and validation in knowing that you don’t have to face this world alone, that there is someone with whom you get the opportunity to do life with. In this case, the ring does justify that someone, somewhere in the world has made a public declaration that you belong to them. And we as Singles, sometimes automatically disqualify ourselves because we have yet to find that justification.
I’ve been sent to challenge that view.
A while back, Christ offered us all a ring. It wasn’t 3 carats, princess cut, high clarity, rose gold with a crown of baguettes surrounding it. It was brown, bloody, mangled and resting on the head of a Sinless Man crucified on a hill called Golgotha. It was a ring of thorns to symbolize that the King of Kings would not offer us things on this earth that can tatter and rust, but treasures laid up in heaven where neither moth nor vermin can touch. This justification is available to all, Jew and Gentile, Married, Divorced and Single.
You are justified in Christ. You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. Because God chose you and continues to choose you daily, you now choose yourself daily. You do belong to someone, to The Someone. And from a place of healing and wholeness, you belong to yourself.
So I want to challenge the view that a ring will justify you to man. You have been made just in Him, everything else is just the icing on the wedding cake… 🙂