So…I have this thing for rings. I love them, and I probably own more than I could ever wear at one time, and yet I keep buying them. Ever single time I go to Kohls or any Christian/Catholic store, I look at their rings and the different meanings they have and I have to refrain from buying yet another ring for my never ending collection. And yet…I only normally wear one or two. The first is a purity ring I got at Pure by Choice when I was in high school, its on my pinky finger and it has been for many years now. It is simple with a cross and the “Jesus” fish on it. The other ring I’ve also had for a number of years, though not as long, and I wear it off and on. I’ve had it resized a few times and yet it doesn’t always fit, so I don’t always wear it. Even though its a little big on me right now (thank you, cold weather!), I can’t stop wearing it. After not wearing it for a few months I pulled it out the other day and fell in love with it all over again. I’ve always loved the symbolism behind it, but this week I found even more beauty in it.
It is called “Covenant Heart”, which I love. It is supposed to represent your heart, your husband’s heart and God’s heart, all joined together by the cross. I literally stared at this for months before putting it on my Christmas list a few years ago, and it was (and is) by far my favorite present from that year. However, recently I was gazing at it and I realized that the heart that is mine (I think its the one on the left…I’m a lefty, so I always favor the left) and the heart that is my huband’s (on the right) don’t actually touch. The only thing that unites our hearts is God’s heart…and the cross. We are only (I can’t emphasize that enough) united by God. We, outside of the covenent of marriage, don’t fully unite our hearts. (Though its not for lack of trying…) Yes, sure, we grow together, we unite ourselves in prayer, but our hearts aren’t fully united unless God is in the middle of them, in a deep, abiding, covenantal love, not somewhere around our hearts, not in some vague, obscure way, but in the very middle of our heart and our relationship.
But it’s not just about God’s heart..its about the cross. If we forget that then we forget the reason we are here, the reason we are freed from sin, the reason we can even stand before God at all. God’s heart hung on the cross, it bled on the cross for love of us – the same kind of agape, unconditional love we are called to show one another. The cross reminds us of the suffering God endured for us, it invites us to unite our sufferings to His. Sometimes in our singleness we suffer (or at least we feel like we do) because we don’t know where Mr. Wonderful or Mr. Soulmate is (or Mrs. Soulmate for that matter). Sometimes in relationships we suffer because we fight or we don’t communicate perfectly (who does, except the Trinity?) or we can’t be together as much as we like. No matter what state we are in, we suffer and the cross reminds us to offer up our sufferings, to unite them with the sufferings of Christ – I have no doubt it is something that will continue even in marriage.
It certainly isn’t always easy, but let your heart be united to God’s. Only if you unite your heart to God’s will it ever be allowed to be united with another. Like the saying goes, “your heart should be so buried in God that any potential mate has to go through His heart to see yours.” But be careful, don’t simply approach God’s heart in hopes of finding your soulmate, He is a jealous God after all and He wants your heart for His own. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, “if you’re approaching Him not as the goal but as a road, not as the end but as a mean, you’re not really approaching Him at all.” Let your love for Him be sincere and I can promise you (as can Scripture over and over and over…) that He will shower you with His abundant love. Let your heart be a covenant heart – one intimately united to His always.