I want to share two of my marriage heroes with you. Nathan and Evelyn Graham are celebrating 70 years of marriage today, January 1, 2016. Nathan is a World War II veteran, and he and Evelyn married just a few months after the war ended. When they said their “I do’s,” he was 24 years old and she was just a few weeks shy of turning 19.
Over the last 70 years, the Grahams have lived a lifetime together, experiencing both joys and heartaches, but no matter what life hands them, they have always leaned on each other and on their faith in God.
Between divorce, death, and the trend toward couples marrying later in life, the likelihood of seeing many couples reach a 70th anniversary is indeed a rare occurrence. The Grahams’ anniversary is an incredible time to recognize the power of marriage, commitment, covenant, and Christ-centered love and living. Parents can point their children toward couples like the Grahams as a model of what Christian marriage is supposed to look like. They are the living embodiment of “forsaking all others, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do we part.”
While most of us will not see many (if any) 70th marriage anniversaries, take the time to talk with those couples you do know within your family, or church, or social circles who have healthy, long-term, Christ-centered marriages. Find a couple who lives in love, kindness, forgiveness, patience, grace, and goodness. Find a couple who uses their marriage for the Kingdom of God. Find a couple who understands that at its heart, marriage is a spiritual covenant relationship, not just a social contract. Find someone like the Grahams who with grace and humility can show you what it means to know God personally because it is evidenced by the way they interact with each other.
I pray for many more years of celebrating with the Grahams, and I hope that you can celebrate and perpetuate Christ-centered marriage with whoever your marriage heroes are.