Proverbs 31 Woman Series — Why Rubies?

As I sat down to gather my post, it hit me: why rubies?  What is so special about rubies that God would place them above diamonds?  My husband surprised me and came home at 10 o’clock Thursday night, so I ran back to the boys’ room to ask him.  (He is a wealth of information!  I love to hear him teach/preach.)  What he said to me was

“Don’t you like your ruby better than your diamonds?”

And so here is another snippet from our life and how thoughtful my husband is, how he bides his time so that he can best please me.  And, yes, everything that I’m about to say has a point!

My husband’s dad abandoned their family when he was 10.  He literally just left one day and never came back.  (Well, he did show back up after 20 years, but that doesn’t have anything to do with rubies.)  His mom had never worked, but that was about to change.  She took the only job she could find, which was working in a pawn shop.  Here was a petite, 35-year-old Pentecostal woman working the counter at a pawn shop in Marshall, TX.  She still had her two youngest children to care for, and she did not believe in taking government assistance.  So they had to move into a 1-bedroom garage apartment behind the pawn shop.  Jimmy spent his afternoons and his summers helping his mom.  It was only natural for him to find himself working in a pawn shop himself when he grew up.  He made quite a career out of this and was very successful.  You can imagine the things he learned about.  One of those things was jewelry.

Fast forward to the beginning of our relationship.  We had only been together for a couple of months when we got pregnant.  (I was surprised, because my first husband and I had been together for 5 years and, thankfully, did not have any children.  I thought something was wrong.  Guess not.)  Jimmy and I were so “in love”.  It’s makes me feel so silly now to look back on what I thought love was.  Anyway, we went looking for wedding rings.  We loved each other.  We were having a baby.  Obviously the next step was to get married.  Off to the pawn shop we went.  Where else would we go to shop for wedding rings?  Hey, I’ve always been frugal.  We go to a pawn shop that Jimmy used to manage, and he straight away asks to see the rings in the back, which is where the really good stuff is kept.

And there was the most perfect ring.  One of a kind, platinum, with a large diamond in the middle and a drizzle of diamonds around it.  It made me think of a galaxy of stars.  We looked at it, and then we left.

We had our first miscarriage a couple of weeks later.  The relationship began to falter.  About a year after that, we had a second miscarriage.

Our relationship was dying a slow, painful death. 

About a year after that, I got pregnant again.  And to answer your question, no, the first time I wasn’t using birth control.  The second time I wasn’t using birth control, either.  The third time we were using birth control, but let me give a shout out here that birth control doesn’t always work.

This time the pregnancy got past the first 6 weeks.  We were going to get married.  I was so disenchanted with our relationship at this point that the proposal was really just part of the routine.  Just another thing we thought we were supposed to do.

It seemed like ages ago when I had described my perfect wedding ring to him.  You know, it was supposed to go along with that perfect marriage.  My idea of a perfect wedding ring was for it to have a ruby in the center, not a diamond.  Rubies are my birthstone, and I do not like to be like all of the other girls.  Just having a plain old diamond wedding ring would never do.

Even though our relationship was bad, I was humbled by my wedding ring.  Even though we hadn’t been happy for the last two years of our relationship (Drunk and high? Yes.  Happy?  No.), he had been holding onto that ring we saw in the pawn shop almost two years ago.  I never even knew he had it.  And somewhere along the way, he had a pigeon’s blood ruby installed where the center diamond was.

See? I told you everything had a point.

So when he asked me, “Don’t you like your ruby better than your diamonds?” my immediate answer was, “ Yes.”  Without a doubt, without hesitation.

When I look back now on all of the waiting, hoping, disappointment, loving, hating, and finally the restoration that our relationship has been through, I can make a direct parallel between the pressing that went into our ruby and the pressing that went into God’s rubies.

Are you ready to be pressed into a ruby for God, for your husband, for your children?   Only with God’s grace.

Click here to read this excellent post from a geologist about the formation of rubies.

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10


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