At some point during our dating days, Ryan casually asked me what style I liked for an engagement ring. I just happened to have a picture....
Ryan proposed during a long weekend trip to Sedona, Arizona entirely planned by him. He gave me the ring I had shown him a picture of months ago.
My ring, and my man, were a dream come true.
I went on a business trip during our engagement. I must have been staring at my shiny new ring. I kept it sparkling clean during those months leading up to our wedding. A sweet, elderly gentleman approached me and offered these words,
“He must love you very much to give you such a beautiful ring.”
I still wear that ring. I plan to always wear that ring. Along with my wedding band. But here’s the thing. I don’t visit our jeweler and have it shined up on a regular basis any more. This summer, when I was canning, it had cucumber and tomato peels in it for days at a time. I just didn’t take the time to dig all the scraps out.
And my husband. He doesn’t plan elaborate, once-in-a-lifetime trips these days. I’m more the planner. In the day in and day out life of getting our daughter to school, grocery shopping, going to work, he doesn’t wow me or woo me with his love. Not every day.
Sometimes that reality can get to us. We can get caught up in the everyday and start to wonder how loved we really are.
Further, there are singles out there who don’t have an engagement story of their own. They don’t wear a ring from a fiance turned husband.
Widows who tucked their rings away in a drawer somewhere. Along with the pieces of their broken heart.
Divorcees who don’t exactly know what to do with that ring. Depending on the day, they have a few ideas....
For all of us, in the varied stages of feeling loved by a man on this earth, I have good news. We have One who pursues us always. One who loves us and romances us. Every. Single. Day.
As we do laundry. At the office. In the classroom. Sitting at home. Driving here and there and back again.
Check this out:
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!" I John 3:1a (NIV)
This is the NIV translation. But I’ll go ahead and give it to you in a few other translations and a paraphrase. I am partial to that word “lavish.” But I want you to see in every version of the Bible, in every language (if we could read them) we find a God who wants us. Who loves us.
“Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children.” I John 3:1a (HCSB)
“See what sort of love the Father has given to us that we should be called God’s children...” I John 3:1a (NET)
“What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it - we’re called children of God.” I John 3:1a (Message)
I visited with a lady at church on Sunday. She’s going through it. You know, one of those families who have so much struggle you don’t even know how to encourage them.
You pray. You give them food. You offer childcare. You do what you can. But their situation remains the same.
We should do these tangible things. We should tell them we’ll pray and do it. We should give them food. We should find practical ways to help.
I think though, what we should do even more than all of this, is tell them God loves them. Still. Don’t try to explain things. Don’t try to solve their problems.
Just tell them and show them. God. Loves. You.
Kelly Mintner has a new Bible study coming out next month. What Love Is studies the Scriptural truths found in 1, 2 and 3 John. Kelly Mintner is single. She doesn’t have a ring from a fiance. She doesn’t have an engagement story. Yet. Even if she never has those things, she knows a God who loves her. Our God.
Embrace the truth today. Read I John 3:1 aloud if you need to. Write the verse out for yourself as a love note. Insert your name where it says “us” and “we.” No matter how tired your heart is right now. God loves you with an everlasting love.