Different traditions do different things to symbolize the covenant of marriage. Most Christian traditions use wedding rings to do this. When attending a Christian wedding, one normally hears the pastor talk about “rings” in a few ways. First, he talks of the circular nature of the wedding ring, showing that although the love between the man and woman will only last until death, the love between Christ and the Church will last forever, as the circle does. Second, some pastors refer to the material which the rings are made of showing the strong nature of a marriage built on Christ and His gospel. Third, most pastors make some kind of comment indicating the purpose of the rings, to let everyone else know you’re off the market, that you belong to someone else.
These are great, and I think they all are great pictures of what rings stand for. But I would add one more purpose to the wedding ring. It is not only for other people to know you’re off the market and taken, it is a reminder for yourself that you’re off the market and already taken! You may say, “What! Why would someone who’s married need a reminder of their marriage?” Good question. Here’s my answer: Every human being is sinful, and probably will, at one point or another, be tempted to go outside of his or her marriage bond for whatever reason. The wedding ring reminds us not to do so. We’re already taken.