An XO Marriage Story: How We Make it Work

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I was sitting there, thinking about our kids, and all I could think was, “I don’t want that for our kids. I don’t want them to go through what we went through in our childhood. Or what we went through before we met… what we were about to go through again.” I wanted them to see us work it out, do it God’s way, and show them that you can succeed in marriage. 

Carlos and I got married in 2010 after a whirlwind romance. He had three sons, and I had two. Soon after we blended our families, we had another son together. Six boys make for a chaotic house full of activity and love, but only because we learned to make it work after facing some really tough challenges and trusting God with our marriage.

Marcie

When Carlos and I got married, we were both Christians, but I think we had both kind of fallen away from God at the time. We were going to church and raising our kids in church, but there was something missing. We weren’t really doing our marriage God’s way.

We’d been married for not too long when we both lost our jobs. We both went back to school, and I became a nurse while Carlos finished his degree in architecture and city planning. As our kids got older, we started getting more involved in their activities and more separated in our marriage and just…stopped meeting in the middle. We stopped keeping God first and each other second. Our marriage started spiraling out of control. 

By 2016, we were really ready to divorce.

But we saw something on TV one day—Marriage on the Rock. And we ended up watching a few of Jimmy Evans’ sermons. We watched the whole series and felt God speaking to us. All we could say was, “Wow, this really applies to our marriage. This is us. This is what we needed.” 

Carlos

I remember hearing Jimmy preaching and thinking, “This brother knows what he’s talking about when it comes to marriage!” You could just tell God was using Jimmy to educate the world because everything he said was spot on. It was a catalyst for us. 

It was a catalyst for us.

We had just gone through some serious, “about to end this marriage” adversity, but after hearing Jimmy talk, instead of just giving up, we decided to give us a chance. So we went through the Marriage on the Rock series, and, in 2017, we went to XO Conference. That weekend, we rededicated our marriage to God, and it turned our lives around. 

We loved it so much, and we were so on fire for our own marriage and for helping other marriages, we decided to start a small group. We started with two or three couples, and now, we have upwards of 20 to 25 couples. That fall, we got Marriage on the Rock certified, and now we counsel marriages and couples before they get married.

XO’s Impact

Marcie

The one thing that stood out the most to me at that first XO Conference was when Jimmy said that we have the power to break generational curses for our families. Carlos and I both came from divorced families, and we’d both been divorced before as well. I was sitting there, thinking about our kids, and all I could think was, “I don’t want that for our kids. I don’t want them to go through what we went through in our childhood. Or what we went through before we met… what we were about to go through again.” I wanted them to see us work it out, do it God’s way, and show them that you can succeed in marriage. 

Carlos and I made a vow to one another that we were going to break the generational curse that was on both of our families. 

Carlos and I made a vow to one another that we were going to break the generational curse that was on both of our families. 

Carlos

Then, in 2019, not only did we get to go back to XO, we got to take four couples from our group with us.

It was the best thing. The husbands pulled me over at some point and said, “We thought we were just going to come down here and listen to Jimmy talk and just be bored out of our minds. But this was the best thing for our marriages ever.” To this day, they still talk about it—talk about coming full circle. There we were, bringing couples with us, and they enjoyed it just as much as we did. 

Wise Words from Marcie & Carlos: Make your differences work for you.

Marcie

Carlos and I are a mixed-race couple, and we love the fun our different cultures bring to our marriage and our home. Carlos has a city planning degree and an architecture degree, and he was telling me that the reason why different cultures self-segregate—when black people live on this side of town, and Indian people live on that side—is just because it’s easier. People go toward what they know. Whenever different cultures blend together, it is more difficult because we are so different, but when we make it work, it’s also more fun. 

Carlos is Filipino and Black, and when we go for holidays with our Filipino family, we just have a blast! They’re loud and shout over each other, and there’s so much good food. When we have holidays with my family, it’s a few people quietly sitting, talking, playing games, or watching movies, and that’s different, but it’s still fun. We’ve learned to make our differences work for us.

Carlos

No matter what kind of marriage you have—blended, mixed-race, whatever—you still have to do marriage God’s way: servant love. Take your eyes off of you and put your eyes on what God tells you to do for your marriage. You can make it work, but you’re not going to be able to make it work your way

If we can make so many challenges and layers work, doing our marriage the way we’ve learned through XO Marriage, then anybody can. It’s just an excuse if you can’t. We’ve been through some really tough, challenging times on our own, but it wasn’t until we surrendered our marriage to God that we could make this bad boy really work and last.

No matter what kind of marriage you have—blended, mixed-race, whatever—you still have to do marriage God’s way: servant love.

Do you have a story of how XO has impacted your marriage? We would love to hear it! Submit your story here.

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