With This Ring – Promises to Keep: Backstory

With This Ring by Joanna WeaverFor better, for worse…for richer, for poorer

The inspiration behind With This Ring: Promises to Keep came from an unusual place.

As a friend and I browsed through a local interior-design shop one day, we entered a room that featured a lovely bedroom ensemble. Dancing along the upper wall, an artist had hand-lettered the words of the traditional wedding vows in a lively mix of painted calligraphy and golden confetti:

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony…”

I told my friend how much I would love to have the same thing in my bedroom when a man exiting the store interrupted me with a loud snort of disgust. “No one means those words anymore,” he said.

“Well, I do,” I told him when I recovered from my shock.

“Take it from me, sweetheart,” he said dismissively. “The men never do.”

I assured him my husband proved he’d meant those words every day. But I went home shaken by how easily the world seems to dismiss what God so highly values. Out of that encounter came a determination to look deeper into the words we say so sincerely, yet perhaps a bit naively, on our wedding day.

My very first book, With This Ring: Promises to Keep was published many years ago. Although the original design was beautiful, I’m happy that WaterBrook chose to redesign it in a more contemporary format. While it includes the same essays, quotes and history behind the wedding vows, the new edition also provides opportunity for interaction as readers are given room to weave their own love story into its pages.

With This Ring makes a lovely gift for weddings and anniversaries. But I also like to think of it as a mini-marriage manual for all married couples. A reminder of joyful yet sacred promises we made when we said, “I do!”

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