All That Glitters

All That Glitters

June 19, 2014

“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Proverbs 31:11 (NIV)

Liz Curtis Higgs

The jeweler smiled as my fiancé and I touched the loose diamonds she’d strewn across a square of blue velvet. “So, what’s your budget?” she asked, her tone hopeful.

Bill gulped and answered, “$400.” On a college teacher’s salary, it was all he could afford, but I still winced when he said it. Even all those years ago, $400 meant a very small diamond. Teensy weensy.

Except for the flaws. Those would be huge.

The jeweler guided us to the other end of the counter. “I think we can find something here that will suit you.” Out came another velvet square, but the diamond chips she placed on it nearly disappeared in the nap of the fabric.

Bill listened as she explained clarity and carat weight, while my gaze drifted back to the larger stones still on display. Their many facets caught the bright store lights, winking at me, beckoning me.

Diamonds are forever, I told myself. Surely there must be a way we could swing something larger.

When no solution came to mind, I chose a pretty but petite gemstone and tried my best to be excited.

Bill touched my elbow. “Make sure you’re happy with it, Liz, while I look around.”

I was happy with Bill, no question. The dearest of men, godly and kind. But was I happy with a diminutive diamond? Hmmm.

Here’s the ugly truth: As a single woman, I’d grown accustomed to buying whatever I wanted, even if that meant pulling out my credit card. My frugal fiancé, though, was a cash-and-carry kind of guy.

Still, he did say he wanted me to be happy …

I waited until Bill was out of earshot before I leaned over the counter, waving the jeweler closer. “Could I look at the bigger stones again?”

She placed them in front of me without a word. “I really like this one,” I whispered, eyeing a square-cut beauty. “Suppose Bill gave you a check for $400 and I slipped you a check for the difference?”

She looked at me evenly. “Are you sure that’s how you want to begin this marriage?”

Heat flew to my cheeks. “No, I … uh … guess not.” I quickly turned away, ashamed to have my sins spread out like so many finely cut stones. Greed, deceit, covetousness, pride — oh, it was not a pretty sight.

Then I recalled today’s key verse from Proverbs 31, long committed to memory: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.”

From across the room, I studied Bill — a man who deserved a woman he could trust with his heart and with his wallet — and silently begged his forgiveness for even considering such a thing.

The jeweler was right. That was not how I wanted to begin my married life. Thank goodness I’d just been handed something even more valuable than diamonds: a second chance.

When I turned back to the jeweler, we were both smiling. “You are absolutely right,” I assured her. “The smaller stone will be perfect.” And it was.

Year in and year out, I flashed my ring like it was the Hope Diamond, because for me, that’s what it represented: hope for a marriage built on honesty, not deception, and a forever kind of love that would outshine any sparkling gem.

Now that our silver anniversary has come and gone, Bill — bless his generous heart —recently bought me a new diamond. Square-cut, of course.

If there are flaws, I haven’t noticed them. I’m too busy offering a prayer of thanks for a grace-giving God who overlooks my flaws and polishes me clean every morning.

Lord, thank You for Your gentle, but firm, correction in my life and my marriage. I’m beyond grateful that You enable me to love and respect my husband. Be honored and glorified in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (NIV)

James 3:13, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Embrace Grace by Liz Curtis Higgs can help you overcome regret from past choices.

Capture His Heart: Becoming the Godly Wife Your Husband Desires by Lysa TerKeurst

The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages by Shaunti Feldhahn

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Think of a similar situation when you might have veered in the wrong direction. How did the Lord keep you from stumbling?

As you thought about a similar situation, what did that experience teach you about God’s constant guidance and tender care?

Liz Curtis HiggsClick here to pin the imageClick here to download this free printable PDF

© 2014 by Liz Curtis Higgs. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Seeking to join you Liz, in living life in a posture of humble gratitude because of all He’s done for me. Loved your words and you heart, so much! Blessings..xo

  2. Joni Byrd says:

    Liz, you were very blessed by the Lord that He allowed such a wise salesperson to speak truth to you in a vulnerable moment. Her response was amazing! Iron sharpening iron! Love your insight and this precious glimpse into your life!

  3. I guess the situation of almost getting in a relationship with the wrong person would be the one thing that the Lord got me out of. He showed me that I wasn’t being treated lik…e the little princess that I really am. God showed me who was really the Prince Charming for me. I began to realize that Ron Smith was the guy God had in mind for me. Just like how much my husband cares so very much for me, I know that God always keeps a watchful eye to make sure that I don’t end up accidentally tripping in muddy waters. God wants me to follow Him, no matter how difficult it is. “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” Proverbs 31:11 (NIV)
    Wow! How so very true! My hubby has complete confidence in me, and he values me just as God as create me to e Naturallly, my husand loves me just as I am. He doesn’t want me to change my ways for anythig.
    “FATHER, THANK YOU FOR BEING A GRACE-LOVING GOD WHO OVERLOOKS MY FLAWS AND polishes ME CLEAN EVERY MORNING.”
    Wow! I ♥ this incredible reminder for tonight! Isn’t it amazing just how God overlooks the things we may do wrong each day. He allows us to begin each brand new day flawless because He polishes us clean to begin a new day.
    i remember when my husband surprised me for my birthdy nearly two years ago with the engagement ring he had been saving up for. Boy, was that a bi surprise! Iremember asking him on my birthday “Where are you going?” “To Wal-Mart” was his reply. He then asked a friend to keep me busy for the duration of his absenc. Whenhe returned, he asked her to hve me go down to his room when I’d gotten dressd from taking my sower that day. “I heard that,” I laughed from my bathroom He’d gotten such akick out of that, h ran down the hall, laughing and bumping his head inothe wall as he made his way back to his own room to wait for me. I eventually mademy way to his end of the hal. “Can this wait”? I asked. “It’s nearly dinnrtime, and I’m getting hungry. (By thistime, it had been pushing 4:30 in theafternoon. “NO!” he exclaimed. “This won’t take long.” He turned the light off in hi room and closed the door. Then he sat me on his bed, making sure I didn’t end up accidentally falling straight onto the hard tile floor. “We’v known one another a long time,” he began. “Will you marry me?” he asked. I nearly started crying, as he placed the ring on my hand. “Yes”, I said. Boy, was that ever a magical moment! “Lord, thank You for Your gentle, but firm, correction in my life and my marriage. I’m beyond grateful that You enable me to love and respect my husband. Be honored and glorified in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”Liz Curtis Higgs
    Wow! How s ver true and powerful this prayer is! I defnitely do honor and respect myhusband. I am glad hat God has gve us almost wo wonderfulyears of excellent times together. May there efinitely be many more wonderful adventures to come our way!
    Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (NIV)
    Ww! Incredible! This is defiiely true! My husband and I don’t focus on our own needs andintersts; rather, we arealways lookingout for one anotr. God definiely wants us tobe selfless insead of slfish. My hubby doesn’t even have elfish bone i his entire body.
    James 3:13, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (NIV)
    Wow! My husband is definitey th person I’d say is the wiser of th to of us. He stood up for me, showing me that no other guy was as caings he is. Other guys ho tried to get in a reationhip with me only seemed to be in it for all the wrong reasons, no even accepting me for who I am.

  4. We serve such a wonderful God, please pray for me. I need lots of prayers. Thank you for such a website where I know I can find spiritual support. Today I just need prayer.

  5. Nico and Ron Smith have the most romantic proposal memories. My heart is touched and I am encouraged by how their marriage mirrors how dearly Christ loves the Church. God Bless their marriage!!!

  6. Thank you Liz! This was truly a moment when someone older & wiser stepped up to share wisdom, us like you did have to take time to Hear & listen. God speaks so clearly through Proverb 31 ministers thank you ALL.

  7. Praying for you Wilma…
    And Nico & Ron Smith touch my heart as well!
    I love P31 ministries & the wise women of God who share devotions that start the day off right.

  8. Thank you Liz, for reminding me to be the woman my husband deserves. We will be married 25 years this August, and he has stood by me though cancer and other serious illness that would cause other men to run.
    God chose the right man for me, and I want to honor them both.
    God bless you and Bill, and thank you for showing me to let my “gem” shine!
    Kindly,
    Kathy

  9. Wonderful devotion… I married my husband right out of high school and my engagement ring was small but a family treasure he got from a dear friend . For our 20th Christmas together he gave me a today ,tomorrow ,forever ring that was much larger and though I love them both because they came from him the first is and has always been my favorite . After 26 years together and four beautiful children he was called home just this past year . I am thankful forevery year we had together and that God brought us together and has walked with me through this journey every step . It was never about the size of the ring but the size of his heart . Thank you for this word today.

  10. Peggy Hall says:

    Praying for you Wilma. I, too, love this website. I pray that God will give you peace.

  11. I think this is a good lesson for us all, if you have to hide something you are doing it, it is probably wrong,
    isn’t wonderful that God gives us little hints to keep us on the right path. If you had went ahead and done what you wanted to do, it would have been a lot of trouble down the road. Secrets in marriage is not good.

  12. Susan Pitts says:

    Thanks for the gentle reminder. I had outpatient surgery and was out of it yesterday. Hubby took off and helped a lot still this morning I woke to a less than tidy kitchen, dishes to do, list in my head and sight of my kitchen brought out my grumpiness. I read this and immediately sent hubby an email thanking him for taking care of me and the kids so well. Told him he was the best hubby ever. He is. This stuff is just stuff like your itty diamond was but like your diamond love it’s big in small ways too!!

  13. This article resonates a little for me…MI was married for 24 years to a good man…good provider and wonderful father to our children. After about 15 years he fell out of love with me…he continued to provide for us but no intimacy at all. We lived a good life but after the children left home….I couldn’t take it anymore and left. I am now in a relationship with a gentleman whom I love and enjoy sharing my life with…..we travel together….do fun things together….he makes me laugh….but there are also times when he really hurts my feelings by his actions or in thoughtful or insensitive things he says. We have been together 7 years and sometimes he makes me feel as if he could live without me. Sometimes he does the most thoughtful things for me and sometimes he acts like he could live without me. I know I love him and he loves me and it’s like I just have to go through his little “episodes” and wait until he comes back around….I wonder sometimes does God have someone else out there for me perhaps when I’m feeling like he is not treating me the way I feel he should….a lot of times he will say disrespectful or hurtful things to me and never apologize. I think to myself …. my husband would have never said that or hurt me that way. Sometimes I think he may be bipolar with his highs and lows … I can’t imagine living my life without him but I want someone that values me and respects me all the time….not this roller coaster ride that I feel like I am on. Thanks for letting me share….I’m a Christian woman but know I need to turn to God more and trust him …. this is the first time I have read your devotional in awhile but felt led to it this morning as I sat on my back porch with my coffee….have a great day!

    • Renee, I am SO glad the Lord pointed you in my direction this morning! Roller coaster rides are fine in an amusement park, but no fun at all in a relationship. Trust what the Lord is revealing to you about this man. Disrespectful or hurtful comments are never okay. The man God has for you is His Son. Developing and deepening your relationship with Him will help you move forward with more clarity and confidence in your earthly relationships. His calling to us is simple but profoundly life changing: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV) Praying for you, Renee!

  14. Gillie Ruth says:

    Oh so thought provoking. It is my birthday soon, and on that evening, my husband and son have arranged to look at a car to buy for my son, and my husband will watch Rugby Union. I rang him, a bit, no, a lot miffed, then realized he had forgotten the date, not my birthday.
    My son had his car written off in an accident that thankfully didn’t cause any injury to him or his friend who was driving. My son was the epitome of grace and kindness to his friend, concerned for his dignity, as the friend is unemployed, and wanted to help financially, but has no real money.
    They only have this time available to see the car and make decisions. Oh how close I came to being selfish and sulky out loud to my husband! He sounded so stricken to have forgotten the day 🙁 Thankfully I was able to sound gracious enough and reassure both of them it was fine. They were going to cancel the viewing the car for me, and both expressed bad feelings about leaving me at home…sweet, and undeserved by me.
    So, another day we celebrate, and I feel privileged to have such lovely men in my life, including my other son, and SO ashamed that I thought poorly for a few mean minutes of my wonderful family…so close….rescued by God’s grace from my big mouth and nitwit reaction!

  15. I’ve never thought of things quite like that. Thank you for the perspective. My diamond is tiny compared to so many others, but it’s a statement of our love for each other and our dedication to our marriage and to Jesus at the center of it all. Loved your thoughts this morning!

  16. Liz–

    I have loved the same man for 27 years (dated for 6 years, married for 13, seperated for 2, and divorced for 6). I have prayed, begged and waited for him to pick me. I have finally realized that it ALL meant more to me than to him. He has chosen friends, other women, alcohol, drugs, and anything but me.

    Thru the grace, love and mercy of our Lord, he has shown me that I am loved by him Him. Great is God’s Faithfullness. I still pray (wish and hope deep in my heart) for God to sent me my “Bill”. I hope you realize how blessed you are to have Bill…

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    • My heart aches at your description of loving this man who does not return your love. Yet I’m praising God for how clearly He has showered you with His faithful loving-kindness. I am completely blessed to have Bill in my life, and thank God daily for the gift of a good and godly man, and a son who followed in his father’s footsteps.

  17. Tanesha Williams says:

    This was such an amazing blessing!! That is sooo my new husband and that would so be me…..I needed this…rings true to keep this heart of mine humbled and to always remember the blessing God gave me in my husband. Us single girls do need to not forget….remember….you prayed for this.

  18. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Liz. I always enjoy the insights God shares through you. 44 years later and I’m still wearing my original smaller diamond. God blessed me with a great Christian man and trust is a very important factor. God bless you.

  19. Awesome, God made his point with me as I read this devotion. Praise Him.

  20. Awesome moment that the jeweler would be so forward. Thankful for her boldness…love the admonition not to make comparisons with anything, anyone, at any time! Love the good word, Liz!

  21. I absolutely loved this. My $400 ring looks small compared to my friends – but it was what my husband chose when he had recently gotten out of the Navy and only picked what he could afford. When I recently needed some work done on my ring, we discussed adding diamonds, but then I said no – it wouldn’t be my engagement ring anymore. It’s been over 45 years now and is a constant reminder of my hubby’s character!

  22. What a lovely story. thanks for sharing

  23. Hi Liz I bless God for enabling me to meet you today. I prayed for a helper of my destiny and God brought you my way today. I say thank you. I really want to be a blessing to my husband. Things are not the same anymore because he longs for this baby boy whom I have not gotten yet. Our only daughter is 12yrs now. Please pray for my marriage because he is trying to look for the baby boy outside our marriage. I believe God is blessing me with a baby boy soon. Pray also that my husband relationship with God to be restored. He is is very Good person but now tormented. I pray God to grant him peace so that he can remain good to us as he has always been.

  24. Amen…. This was a great devotion. When it came time for a wedding ring i wasnt much on. Diamonds but i like Montana jewelry. Mine was eighty dollars. To me a ring is a symbol but the heart is the truth. Heart and the love you have for one another. Marriage is not easy and I have had to fix my heart with many open heart surgeries. I have a husband who is unbelievably patient and compassionate through all my emotional times. Im so proud of him.

  25. Thanks for sharing! I just recently found this website and have been reading the daily devotions. They are all wonderful and I look forward to reading them daily! This devotion spoke to me and reminded me how blessed I am to have such a Godly husband who loves me and our children. The wedding ring my husband chose for me is not the one I would have chosen for myself, and maybe I was a little disappointed, but I never told him. I realize now it’s not about the size or color of the ring. The wedding ring represents the love we have for each other and that we are committed to a life long marriage. I now love the ring he chose for me and would never want another.

  26. Thanks so much for this insightful write up please I need you to join me in prayer of agreement for my husband that he serve the Lord,and be faithful to Him,that his understanding be enlighten that he may know Jesus and the power of His resurrection.and that he be baptised in the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Name,

  27. I loved your story I can so relate ! I have been married for 8 months now I dated my husband when I was 17 and he came to work in the oil fields of Pa I “dumped” him as the teenage term says and married someone else I had three children then ended up divorced. 34 years later we were reckoned through Facebook He flew up to meet me, flew back a month later to propose The ring was beautiful but as you stated the diamonds were small, however the diamonds sparkle brightly just as his love for me does . We got married 3 months later and I moved to his home a 1100 square foot home Mind you I was like you and made a great salary and rented out a big Victorian home. I did street ministry besides working fulltime and gave away most of my money and took in single girls with addictions needing a place to stay. I declared sexual purity back to The Lord in 2008 and prayed for my Godly husband never thinking it would be my first love of 34 years ago! He became born again saved when we were reconnected and is the most gentle loving husband He would do anything for me . It is not about the size of a diamond or the size of a home , it is thefact that our marriage and relationship is a three stranded cord and Christ is at the center! Thank you Liz I needed your story and the scriptures you have shared . I now do ministry here in Winchester Va with the homeless and praise The Lord I have a home to come to and besides my mansion is waiting in heaven! God bless you and your ministry!

  28. Angela Woody says:

    just wanted to comment on “all that glitters” at the age of 17 my sweet husband ask me to marry him and presented me with an engagement ring. the diamond was so small you just about needed a magnifying glass to see it. none the less I went to school (my senior yr.) showing off this treasure. there were 4 of us girls with diamonds and when the others saw mine they laughed to no end. even though it hurt, my thoughts were “the size of the rock does not matter, the size of this mans heart will last forever, and his love for me is what does matter.” we have now been together 37 yrs. and our love has grown larger than any rock could produce. many of those girls that laughed that day have divorced, remarried and some divorced again. I know it is only by the grace of God we are still together, but I know we built on God and not on the size of a rock. yes we have had many, and I say many reasons to give up and dissolve the marriage but we keep on keeping on. let us remember to fix our eyes on HIM , and HIS will and not on those earthy treasures. on our 25th he bought me a new diamond. yes it is a little bigger than the first, but still not what those girls would call a rock worth having, but his heart for me is bigger than any “rock” this earth could produce.

  29. Rachel M. says:

    I read this back on June 19 and I was simply too moved, too shaken to comment. I had looked down at my engagement ring 4 days earlier and the diamond from my ring was gone, one of the prongs bent terribly out of shape. I still can’t tell you exactly when or how it happened, which I feel like I should remember. I cried, I was distraught that something so precious had gone hopelessly missing but at the same time a small part of me was hoping for a larger replacement as the initial stone I had received was smaller than what I had wanted; even though the stone was much larger than I had anticipated he could afford at the time. Then I read your post. What a wake up call and the slap in the face I needed. How selfish I’d been. I read your post over and over and over – each time feeling the Lord pull at my heart to forgo my own desires and remember what I had told myself back when I was engaged – that my fiance, now husband, was my diamond and the ring was merely a symbol, a token of his love for me. I prayed for forgiveness of this egregious desire for something that could never possibly replace what had originally been given to me. And as impossible as it seemed to me (but knowing nothing is impossible for Him), I prayed that we would find the diamond my husband gave me.
    A week to the day, while looking for something else, I felt the Lord’s prodding to switch my search in the car and look for the diamond. There it was on the floor between the driver’s seat and and the door. Amazing. The stone has been set again where it belongs and my heart has been refocused on my husbands love and affection toward me and mine for him. I pray that I remember and heed this lesson for many more years to come. Thank you for your devotion and for the words He spoke to me through it – it couldn’t have been more timely for me.

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