Have you ever lost something SUPER important to you? When my husband and I first got married, we didn’t have much. We didn’t really put our ducks in a row before we got married. Neither of us had graduated from college, we didn’t have major career plans, and we didn’t have much in savings. We did know we were committed to figuring it all out together.

 With our very limited income, we purchased simple rings for each other to signify the eternity of our bond to each other. Around 14 days into being married, while walking around in the grocery store together, which was way more exciting at that stage than it is now, my husband grabbed his head with his hand and exclaimed “Oh no, my ring is gone!” It was loose on his finger and we were not able to get it refitted. We re-traced his steps but never tracked it down. It was a bummer for sure and we knew we couldn’t afford another for a while. It took a few months, but we saved and bought another simple band.

During those few months when my new husband walked around town, without the obvious distinction of being a married man, nothing about the quality of our marriage actually changed. He was still devoted to me and I to him. We served one another in love and focused on preferring each other over everyone else. He didn’t walk out during my first time being sick and I didn’t leave when our finances remained tight. The ring did not make the marriage. That was way deeper.

This is not revolutionary or groundbreaking information. It would obviously be backwards to assume that losing a ring is akin to losing value in a marriage. I also recognize that sometimes I live with backwards thinking in my relationship with Jesus. I sometimes put a premium on aspects of my faith that are actually mere reflections of my love of Jesus and not a true source. I love and serve the church. I do so with much of my time and resources. It is one of my greatest honors. But that does not replace loving Jesus. I love and study God’s word. But I know that reading the Bible is not the same as getting to know Jesus. I am a slave to serving the people in my life and even people I’ve never meet through acts of service and financial generosity. But serving and giving is not synonymous with surrendering to Jesus’ leadership.

 In our culture, a wedding ring reflects a relational position. In Christian culture, practices like attending worship services and volunteering to help people are reflections of a relationship with Jesus. The analogy also works the other way. An unmarried person cannot wear my wedding ring and assume a relationship as my husband’s wife. I cannot simply attend church or serve people and assume a relationship with Jesus.

 So, how’s your commitment? Do people know that you follow Jesus? Are you reflecting that relationship well? Maybe you’re not a follower and you stumbled upon this religious section for a different reason. Are you curious about what a transformed life would look like on you? I pray today that you truly know and follow Jesus.

Let’s not be convinced that doing Jesus-y things is the same as being a follower of Jesus. While I wear the “ring” of my relationship with honor, I don’t let it take the main place of importance in my heart.



Candace Cortez is Executive Pastor at Koinonia Church in Hanford, CA. She can be reached at candace@kchanford.com or 559-582-1528.