Hi, Ho, Silver!

by Steve Gruenwald

I used to think that any husband buying something made out of silver to give to his wife after 25 years of marriage was being predictable and unoriginal. I changed my mind, however, after becoming a bit more educated about silver. What I learned about this soft, white, lus­trous metal is that it is both ductile and malleable. Yup, I had the same cataclysmal thought that perhaps you’re having right now: “What does this mean?”

Those highfalutin words simply mean that silver can deform under tensile stress (it can be stretched into a wire) and it can also deform under compressive stress (it can be massed together in a bar or column). Either way, the important understanding is that silver has tremendous forgiving qualities that allow it never to snap or break, whether it is lengthened or squeezed together.

Those qualities are quite symbolic and fitting of any marriage that has reached the 25-year mile­stone! For a marriage between two imperfect, sinful human beings to endure and grow through a quarter of a century— perhaps with kids added along the way—it’s an understatement to say that the marriage has endured its share of stress.

Yet despite getting pulled and compressed every which way for a quarter century, the union has endured: to God be the Glory! Oh, I’m sure there may have been moments along the way that have tarnished the sheen. No marriage is perfect and no couples are perfect; but thanks to God’s grace and forgiveness, couples can also forgive one another.

So regardless of the obvious blemishes (perhaps only noticeable to the couple), the core of the union is still strong and still shining brightly. Ultimately, however, it’s not simply the quantity of 25 years that is a testament to the marriage. Instead it is the essence of the relation­ship after that length of time that is a more reliable showing of the true mettle of the marriage. If the mar­riage is solid—bonded with Christ to make a three-stranded alloy, as it were—the core is better equipped to withstand the corrosive elements that have the potential to deteriorate a marriage over time.

While reaching the silver plateau of 25 years is just one of many markers along the marriage journey, it is cer­tainly not the end. In fact, were we to apply another metal analogy, we know that for many couples, silver is not enough: the higher goal is to shoot for the gold!

May God continue to guide and strengthen all marriages—whether paper, bronze, silver or gold—so they may continue to be a witness to His love, grace, forgiveness, and peace.

Steve Gruenwald lives in Missouri.

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