16 Years and the Cross.

On May 17th, we will celebrate 16 years of marriage! Every year we add to our marriage is celebrated as if we climbed Mount Everest! Cause…we did, didn’t we?

We were able to sustain a godly, thriving marriage for 365 days, even as the flaming arrows of life’s obstacles and distractions were hurled at us. That is worthy of SUPER MOUNTAIN CLIMBER celebration, in my humble opinion.

Why were we able to make it another year?

Because of one thing: THE CROSS.

We didn’t get a divorce when our marriage completely fell apart because of one thing: THE CROSS.

We are able to love, forgive, accept, and grow as a couple because of one thing: THE CROSS.

When Jesus and his grace, love and mercy became the cornerstone for our marriage, everything changed. We began a new marriage, centered on God, just before our 7th anniversary.

“When Jesus and his grace, love and mercy became the cornerstone for our marriage, everything changed.”

And the cross was beautifully represented that year. You see, only weeks before our 7th anniversary, we were both fighting to restore a completely broken marriage. Our marriage had fallen apart and we were only just starting to pick up the pieces.

My husband had only recently been introduced to the grace that comes with following Jesus. I had just returned to God’s path.  We were in the beginning stages of healing.

We spent most of our free time in marriage counseling, marriage strengthening activities, or intentionally learning how to love each other well. We were also spending a great deal of time studying God’s word, as we had learned that the Bible is the ultimate source on how to thrive in marriage…and in life.

This season of life was exhausting AND exhilarating.

Leading up to our anniversary date, I think we both were shocked– or at least pleasantly surprised– at the fact we were going to make it another year! We had been through so much, and we were actually feeling the joy–deep joy–of a godly marriage.

So, when it came to an anniversary gift for my husband, what could I possibly get him that would properly reflect how I was feeling? What could we do for each other to adequately celebrate a nearly impossible feat of seven years of marriage?

God proved his love on the cross.   -Billy Graham

On May 17th, 2009–our 7th anniversary—we handed each other a small wrapped gift. We slowly opened our gifts….and can you believe it…we both gave each other a cross necklace. A cross. THE cross.

We were able to make it another year because of one thing: THE CROSS.

And we both chose to boldly proclaim that truth with our gifts to each other.  And seriously, what are the odds?!


Our choice of gifts only further proves that, in the season, it was very clear to each of us, WHO was carrying us and our marriage.  Jesus.

Do we all need to give each other cross necklaces in order to show Jesus is the center of our marriage? NO.  That is not my point.

What I want you to see is that Jesus and his sacrifice for us is what saved our marriage.

Allowing God to reign over our lives and our marriage was the game-changer for us.

Is Jesus the center of your marriage?  Do you and your spouse recognize His sacrifice for you was enough?  Do you know, without a doubt, that He loves you and will lead you?

John 3:16  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.



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