17. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF AN ENGAGEMENT RING
(The Single Woman Series)
I’ve a confession to make. I saw a particular ring (not the one featured above) some weeks ago, while surfing the net for possible rings for a guy that was about to propose to his girlfriend… and I saw, what is in my view, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL RING EVER!
I’m a little gobsmacked at myself because although I’ve always been a lover of beautiful and classy pieces of jewelry, I’ve always said that my fiancé-to-be could propose to me with a key ring and I would be fine with it, once I was convinced that I had a ring around his heart.
I think I still feel that way because at the end of the day, I am about sincerity of love and commitment in a relationship. I am not content in being loved passively. I want to be loved plenty! How a man feels about me is therefore more important to me than a ring.
That being said though, the ring I happened across was so beautiful, that I found myself sort of wishing, hoping (although remaining faithful to the idea of a key ring), that I could be presented with such a ring by the man I would get married to one day. And why not? It was certainly befitting of a royal daughter of the King and it was affordably priced as well. I checked.
After drooling over the sheer beauty of the ring, about ten minutes later, an idea for an Article emerged and I have decided to address the issue of whether an engagement ring is necessary or optional for a proposal.
Each couple is different. For some, it is an absolute must while others opt to do without it. But what really is its purpose, if any and is it mandated by God?
I can’t recall anywhere in the Bible where God required rings to be given for an engagement. However, I do recall that when Abraham’s servant was prayerfully trusting God to point out the woman God wanted as a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac, when he (the servant) finally met her, the Bible states that “…the man took a GOLDEN EARRING of half a shekel weight and two BRACELETS for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold…”
Later, when Rebekah (the girl God chose for Isaac), took the servant to meet her family, she was given the choice of deciding whether she wanted to go with the servant and be married to his master’s son or not. She decided to go and the Bible states that Laban her brother stated “……take her and go and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken” and then “…the servant brought forth JEWELS OF SILVER and JEWELS OF GOLD and raiment and gave them to Rebekah…” (Genesis 24: 22, 51-53)
There is also the account of Esther, previously named Hadassah and an orphan girl who was reared and nurtured by her uncle Mordecai. Although he had many choices, she was chosen by King Ahasuerus, over and above all other women, to be Queen. The Bible states:
- “…the king loved Esther above all the women and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the ROYAL CROWN upon her head and made her queen…” (Esther 2:17)
Apart from these accounts, I cannot recall any other situations in the Bible (although there could be more) where something precious like jewellery was given to a woman, as she was about to be brought to a new level of relationship with a man, as wife or Queen.
However, these two stories speak volumes. Firstly, they seem to suggest that something precious being given to a woman before her status changes is a sign of endearment, a sign that she has been chosen from the masses, a sign of now being on the verge of belonging to a particular man for life and a sign that she is valued by him.
Whereas a ring or whatever precious thing she is given, does not equate to her value (her price is worth much more than rubies if she is virtuous (Proverbs 31:10)), the giving of a ring or some other precious item to signal the beginning of a woman’s journey with a man as her husband and hopefully one day, the father of her children is in my humble view, significant, although not required by God.
Given that we are in the era where a ring is the precious jewelry item that is socially accepted and usually given to mark an engagement, it is my view, that while giving a ring to a woman is definitely optional because there is no clear command from God in the Bible that says it must be done, the benefits in doing same are so wonderful, that a couple may be deprived if they opt not to mark their engagement with a ring.
In my view, these are the TEN (10) benefits of marking an engagement with a ring:
- ONE – It is identified by culture as a guy’s way of demonstrating that he has selected one woman above every other woman on earth and is signing up for a lifetime of commitment as husband to her;
- TWO – It is viewed by society as a sacrificial act where the man demonstrates that he is prepared to lose something valuable (some of his money) to gain the acceptance of a woman he considers even more valuable;
- THREE – It serves as a sort of gracious, gratitude-filled, thank you gift to the woman, for choosing to spend her life with him forever and in so doing, saying goodbye to all other prospects;
- FOUR – It makes a woman feel special, loved, valuable, secure and cherished;
- FIVE – It convinces the woman (in most cases) that the man has given the thought of marriage careful consideration and is sincere in his desire to want to spend the rest of his life with her, given that rings are usually not cheap;
- SIX – It is a beautiful preliminary symbol and seal of the couple’s love and promise of fidelity;
- SEVEN – It adds to the hype and excitement of everything and because it is so beautiful and the woman knows it cost the man something, it makes the woman very, very happy. Happiness is a good foundation for moving forward and a good place to start planning a Wedding;
- EIGHT – It signals to the world that the couple is serious about taking things to the next level as husband and wife and puts the world on notice, that they intend to love each other for life, to the exclusion of every single third party;
- NINE – It signals to the world when they see it on her finger, that the woman is already engaged to a gentleman and therefore serves as a deterrent (in most cases), to those men who may still be looking for a wife or play thing;
- TEN – It serves as a constant reminder to the woman of what she is about to become and serves as inspiration, as she prepares to become a wife and hopefully, a mother.
John Piper summed it up perfectly when he said:
- “…when a man sees an engagement ring on a woman’s finger he knows, this woman is betrothed. It is a level of commitment, short of marriage, but deeply significant. And, of course, it always signifies from the man: I love you, and I want you to be my wife. And that is the direction we are moving unless something really surprising happens.”
(Written on 15th August, 2016)
Dear Reader, if you found this Article useful or interesting, then you will surely also be interested in reading the following Articles for more tips, information and details:
- Note 6 – ‘When He Proposes’
- Note 69 – ‘Taking On His Last Name – Is It Significant?’
- Note 130 – ‘Ladies, How Long Are You Prepared To Wait?’
Additionally, under the ‘COURTING OR ENGAGED’ Daughters of God’ Page:
- Note 17 – ‘What Makes A Good Proposal’
- Note 54 – ‘Before You Say ‘I Do’