The Ring Story

We recently did an event for married couples and included our “ring story” along with the song “Not the Ring.” Someone requested that we feature this post again…thanks for asking!!!

From Green to Gold

       It is amazing to us how much emphasis is put these days on wedding rings. If we had a dollar for every commercial about them that we hear everyday on our favorite radio station, we’d have enough money to buy a flashy set… plus a new house, a boat, and a BMW. But, the truth is, we don’t need new rings for two good reasons.

One, our premarital poverty in 1975 helped us figure out that true love is not measured by the size and cost of an engagement or wedding ring. Its measured by something far more important… commitment. The fact is, we got married with neither band. Though there was no precious metal to exchange during our springtime wedding ceremony, we did exchange some extremely valuable vows. It wouldn’t be until later in the summer of that year that we would be able to get wedding rings.

While we were at the Tennessee State Fair, we came across a glass encased display of “golden” wedding bands. The set put us back…$4.
That’s right…our wedding rings cost $2 a piece. We proudly put on our rings and went home.

A few days later we discovered something that was both humorous and sad. The skin around our newly acquired symbols of love had turned our fingers a dull green. We considered throwing them away but couldn’t afford an upgraded set. So, we kept cleaning our ring fingers and continued wearing the cheap bands. Little did we know we would be rewarded for our frugal decision.

One day Steve had a dental emergency that couldn’t be ignored. While we were at Dr. Underwood’s office he noticed the discoloration of the skin around our rings. Evidently, feeling pity for us he asked if he could borrow our bands for a few days so he could “clean” them. We had no idea what he meant by “clean” them but we removed our rings and left them in his care.

True to his word, a few days later at church he gave our rings back to us. We smiled as we saw how completely different they looked. Polished dental gold covered the cheap metal that had left the greenish stains. Dr. Underwood had transformed our $2 bands into priceless treasures that we wear to this day.

Our “green to gold” memory remains one of our favorites in our nearly 40 years. If you had a similar start in your marriage, its likely that you too can testify that a big pricey ring is not a prequisite for an enduring love. Maybe like us, you waited until the purchase of a nice set of bands didn’t bust your bank. We waited 25 years for that moment. But we still wear our “dental gold rings” pictured below.

If you’re heading toward an engagement, maybe our story will help you focus on what’s really valuable. Or, perhaps the story in the song featured with this post will help you remember where the real treasure is in your relationship.


Not the Ring

The Dollar Store took over, the Murphy’s five and dime

But Bobby’s wage was not affected by the changing of the times

So he gave up his old Malibu, he got three fifty dollar bills

Then he walked downtown to buy the ring that would show the love he feels


The change was seven dollars and he headed to the door

And he rehearsed the words he’d say to her when his knee was on the floor

But some girls have expectations they have diamonds in their eyes

Sometimes they measure love by the rule of cost and size


They can’t see that…

Diamonds can be stolen, silver can be broken

The treasure that’s worth more than anything is in the promise

Not the ring


When she looked into the little white box that was shaking in his hand

She laughed as if she’d heard a joke she didn’t understand

Well, Bobby drives that old Malibu again, took four fifty dollar bills

And there’s a girl who’ll never know the wealth in the love that Bobby feels


Diamonds can be stolen, silver can be broken

The treasure that’s worth more than anything is in the promise

Not the ring


(Words and Music; Steve Chapman/Times & Seasons Music/BMI

From the CD by S&A Chapman, “The Miles“)



  1. Very good.Thank you very much

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