Rickey Hargrave - RINGS
Chaplain Rickey Hargrave 






Some years ago one Terrell Owens played professional football with the San Francisco 49ers.  On one occasion he caught a touchdown pass in Texas Stadium against the Dallas Cowboys and quickly sprinted to the middle of the Cowboy's field and stood on the huge blue Star, the symbol of the Cowboys.  Many said he "tarnished the star".

I agree he was grandstanding a bit but he did not tarnish that star.  Only those who wear the star can tarnish it.  Those Cowboys who "tarnished" the star were those Cowboys who were arrested for unspeakable moral failures.  They Tarnished the VERY Star they wore!

When we exchange rings in a wedding ceremony I encourage the couple by saying "look at these rings.  See how brilliantly they shine?  They say to the world that someone has chosen to give this very special gift to you to wear in trust, pride and honor." 

Then I turn to the one receiving the ring and say "[Bride], this ring is given to you untarnished!  Never do anything that will tarnish this ring!" 

As I look into their eyes they get the message and invariably I see a tear appear.  They recognize the significance of that moment.  Not only have we discussed it in Pre-Marital counseling, I remind them there in front of the witnesses of the importance of remaining pure to the vows they are taking under God.

I then turn to the Groom and say the same thing to him.  I never rush in saying it, always taking time to let the words sink in as I slowly charge him "[Groom] your sweet bride is giving you this lovely ring.  It shines with purity as she places it on your finger....NEVER DO ANYTHING....TO TARNISH...THIS RING!" 
--Chaplain Rickey Hargrave--
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