This headline caught my attention: “NH Man Searches Through 20 Tons of Trash to Find Wife’s Wedding Ring: ‘I Would Do it a Thousand Times.'” Here is what happened: Kevin Butler lost the rings after his wife cleansed and then wrapped her wedding rings in a napkin to dry. He tossed the napkin in the trash and took the bag to the trash transfer station. When he realized what had happened, he rushed back to the transfer station, where the employees agreed to help him hunt for the rings among 20 tons of trash.

Using an excavator they soon found a clue. Knowing that the ring was in a bag with celery stalks, they found a stalk sticking out the side of a bag. At first, they did not see the rings. But by chance, they found the napkin with the rings inside at the bottom of the bag. Butler remarked, “Wouldn’t recommend anyone else do it. But you know, to get the rings back, I would do it a thousand times over.” Butler bought the staff pizza for their help. The foreman at the transfer station shared that the exact same situation had happened before, and that they were able to find the ring wrapped in a napkin in the midst of the trash.

I have made it a habit to look for the wedding ring on a man’s left hand, especially if we are just being introduced to one another. It tells me a lot. Of course, it lets me know that a man is married. If he does not have his ring on his finger and he says he is married, I begin to wonder about his commitment to his wife.

As a Pastor I have had the joy of officiating in almost 300 weddings. Many of those I united as husband and wife have had long and blessed marriages. Sadly, others have not endured the trials of their relationship together. Every one of the couples I have married exchanged rings. The ring is symbolic of the covenant made before God and others. It should not be taken lightly. I declared to each of those I married, “Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.”

After a couple declared their intention to be faithful to each other as long as they live, I then had them exchange rings. The ring was put on the finger of each one as a sign of their commitment to the other. They said publicly before God and all gathered, “I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness.”

Men, that wedding ring is important. It tells the world that you are committed to your wife for a lifetime. You are declaring that you are truly “a one-woman man.” Unless it is for health reasons, you need to display your wedding ring on your left hand. Mine has been on my hand for 57 years. I have never removed it, except during one marriage ceremony, when I had to loan my ring to the groom in order to complete the ceremony.

That ring is also a reminder of your commitment to God. You are committed to be faithful to your wedding vows in all the circumstances of your life. For a man to take off his wedding ring can be seen as a lack of fidelity. Remember the words of Proverbs 5:15 and 18: “Drink water from your own well – share your love only with your wife.” “Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.”