An Engagement Ring and the Gift of Christ


Nearly five years have past since I proposed to Kaci and gave her a ring. Occasionally I will still catch her staring at it and smiling. I love those brief moments. She’ll stare at it for a few brief seconds in the car or as we take a walk. Out of the corner of my eye, I’ll notice a quick glance and grin. Lost in her own thoughts and happiness, she’ll assume I haven’t noticed.

She is fascinated by that ring and years later still staring. I hope she never stops. Her staring and smiling makes me smile, her telling others the story of the ring even more so.

The Story of the Ring

Being a pastor of somewhat modest means, my mom had promised me her original wedding ring if I were to eventually get married. It was a relatively safe risk, as I remained single into my mid-thirties.

But then I met Kaci. It wasn’t love at first sight; in fact neither of us originally thought there would be a second date. But that’s an entirely separate story. Suffice it to say that there was a second and a third as love slowly but surely awakened. Nearly six months later I found myself having “the talk” with her dad.

When I asked for Kaci’s hand, her mother asked me about engagement rings, and I mentioned my mom’s promise. As it turns out, Kaci’s mother had a ring to contribute as well, as did her grandmother and then her aunt. For good measure my dad decided to give me an extra wedding band having temporarily misplaced his original.

By the time I was actually ready to visit the jeweler, I had four diamonds rings, a gold band and a pair of earrings in my possession. I felt like Aaron holding all the jewelry of Israel (except for the golden calf part), or at least like the true love on the fifth day of Christmas.

I desired to design something original, personal, symbolic and sentimental. Thankfully, I had lots of help. The final product was a beautiful antiqued engagement ring with three stones to represent the godhead. Those three stones were taken from her mother and grandmother’s rings.

I decided to save the stones from my mom’s ring for the actual wedding band. That way Kaci would have her family represented in the engagement ring while the wedding ring would signify union with my family.

It is an interesting story with a few more curious details that perhaps only Kaci and I find all that interesting. But she likes to tell it. Even more, I love to hear it (and write about it apparently).

A Better Story

The first time I saw Kaci staring at that ring was on the long ride back from West Texas where we had been camping with my family. I had proposed on that trip, and it was all so fresh and new. We were on a lingering, straight and flat highway, and Kaci was absorbed in awe. As I stared at her staring, I felt this profound sense of pleasure.

The more I thought about this deep delight I was experiencing, the more natural and profound it seemed. All givers of gifts are delighted when that gift is treasured. My mind drifted to the gospel.

What I was feeling was only a small fraction of the abundant joy and glory that the Father receives when we think upon, delight in and speak about His Son. Nothing honors the Father more than our being enraptured with pleasure in the gifts that He has given, and no gift is greater than Jesus.

The rings that I gave to Kaci in 2013 will someday lose their luster. They will be lost or outgrown, or a stone will fall from its mount. And this little story will eventually fade as memories fail. But the gift of Christ will only and eternally increase in glory, and that story will never grow old.

The gospel is a gift, the best gift you can ever receive. The love of God has come to mankind and made sinners into saints, orphans into sons and daughters, enemies into friends. Christ has given Himself for us to make us His own beloved bride, pure and spotless and radiant.

That’s a gift infinitely worth marveling at. That’s a story worth smiling about and sharing.

Geoff Ashley