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Young and Married

Photo of Savannah CunninghamSavannah Cunningham | Bio

Savannah Cunningham

Savannah Cunningham is a student pharmacist at Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. She is originally from Murfreesboro, TN. She and her husband, Brandon, got married young and have both dedicated their lives to serving God through their unique positions in the health care profession. Holding several regional and national leadership positions, she is passionate about serving her patients and encouraging others to live out their faith in their daily lives, whether that be in a traditional ministry role or in another field. She is a lover of travel, has been to all 50 states, and once lived abroad in Florence, Italy, for a semester!

During a recent Uber ride from my hotel to the Tampa airport while at a pharmacy conference, I got into a conversation with my driver about marriage. He asked how old I was, and when I answered “Twenty-three,” he continued on to say, “When you start dating seriously in a few years–” but I cut him off. “Actually, I’ve been married for almost two years.”

He gasped and nearly swerved off the road. He shared with me that he had recently gotten married at 40 years old and thought that he wouldn’t have been even close to ready at my age.

My mom was sitting next to me laughing. She got married at 22 and is going to celebrate her 30th anniversary next year. She told our driver as much and he gasped again, “Thirty years!? What’s your secret?!” She smiled (in that wise way all Moms do) and replied, “You have to choose your spouse everyday. Even if you sometimes don’t like them.”

Our driver looked back at us in the rear view mirror, confused. “You don’t always like your husband? Why would you stay with him? If I wasn’t happy and in love with my wife anymore, I wouldn’t stay married.”

That statement struck me. How sad, I thought.

Do people really get married thinking that you would be thrilled and lovey-dovey with your spouse every day for the rest of your life?

I’ve only been married for a little less than two years (still a newly-wed by most people’s standards), and I can already attest that every single moment hasn’t been filled with joy. There have been hard moments; there have been tears and frustration. There have even been–gasp–arguments and slammed doors from time to time.

But when I made that commitment and said “I do” in front of God and over 300 of my closest friends and family, I knew I was in for the long haul no matter what that brought, and that was my clear and easy choice.

Luckily for us, we have so many examples of godly, beautiful relationships in our lives.

Both Brandon’s and my parents have been married nearly 30 years, and two sets of our grandparents have both been married for over 50 years. The other two sets would have the same track record if they hadn’t, sadly, lost their spouses too early.

As my mom explained to our Uber driver, marriage is about more than the happy moments of blind love. It’s hard work and it most certainly requires commitment not only to your partner, but to God and the sanctity of marriage.

I looked at her in awe. There she was sharing her faith to a perfect stranger who seemed like he had never considered the concept of faith holding a marriage together. He kept asking questions, amazed at her successful marriage, and she chatted with him, making him reconsider what marriage meant. As we got out of the car at the end of the ride, he promised to go home and renew his commitment to his wife.

As I continue expanding my circle beyond the people with strong Christian marriages that I grew up surrounded by, I continue to be shocked that people fathom entering into a lifelong commitment to another person without the cornerstone of faith at the centermost point of the relationship.

For us, God comes first, and that makes a lot of choices, though sometimes very hard, really simple.

God mentions again and again to us that love between a husband and wife should be modeled after the love He first showed to us.

Ephesians 5:25 says,

“For husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.”

God also makes it very clear that marriage is not just until you get bored, just until you discover that really annoying habit, or just until you start having financial troubles and get stressed out. Mark 10:9 says,

“What God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Marriage is a one time only, no matter what, till-death-do-us-part agreement, and I believe you should enter into that covenant only if you are truly ready for forever.

Marriage is not easy, but it is absolutely the best choice I have ever made.

Sharing my life with my favorite person is such a privilege, and I am so proud to wear these rings on my finger everyday, even if they sometimes earn me some comments and questions, “But you’re so YOUNG,” or “Don’t you want to go have some fun for a few years first?”

I am honored to answer those questions without hesitation, and explain the importance of my commitment to my (super awesome, by the way) husband.

So thank you to our Uber driver this morning for his willingness to listen as my mom and I explained what marriage means for us and our faith. Thank you to the many couples who have served as such beautiful role models of marriage for us throughout the good, bad, and ugly. And most of all, thank you to my husband, Brandon, for choosing me every day, even when you sometimes don’t like me.

Marriage is a one time only, no matter what, till-death-do-us-part agreement, and I believe you should enter into that covenant only if you are truly ready for forever.

(For more from Savannah, visit Used with permission.)