I was barely 19 when he asked me to marry him. He was shy of being 19 years old himself by 3 months, something of which he enjoys teasing me about. We had only been dating about 3 months before he asked me and 6 months later we were married. Kids started coming a year later and married life just happened. I was thinking yesterday (it was our 36th anniversary) of what Jane Bennett said in "Pride & Prejudice" about Mr. Bingley: "He's everything a young man ought to be". This is my husband, Dan. He's everything a man ought to be and more.
Sometimes I feel guiltily happy because Dan is mine. But I don't ever want to change my life with him for anything. As long as he is near the world seems better than what it really is. Even the hard things in life are better shared with him. He is the knight in shining armor that slays the dragons and he brings home the bacon so that our lives are better. We have lovingly called him the "Camp Director" at times because he does take care of everything (there was a time that he really was a camp director for our church and this is where that title came from).
All three of our married daughters have chosen men that are similar in some ways to their dad. I love my son-in-laws and see in them the character worthy of leading my daughters and grandchildren well. We might not always agree in certain things but this one thing is true: godly men make manly men. I and the women in my family are surrounded by them. This causes us to feel safe knowing that our men stand between the onslaught of the world and us. They try to shield us women from the worst of it. And when they can't shield us from everything they make sure they get the worst of it so that we are better off than they are. Ours are everything that men ought to be.
Our men aren't perfect and Dan would be the first to tell you of his imperfections. But honesty and integrity are trademarks and this can be counted on. I would be a fool to tell you that Dan or my son-in-laws were born this way. The truth being that God has placed His hand on them and called them into the service of the King. This is their heritage and they bear it knowing that their future has meaning and substance. For God, family and the Kingdom of Christ call to them and they stand ready to serve, sacrifice and be slandered if need be. This is not an easy place to be and is fraught with many hardships and heartaches. In fact, to trust in what scripture says and to act on it can cause and has caused trouble for my man (I'm sure it is the same with the son-in-laws). My dad was also one who acted on what he believed. I'll say it again ~ godly men make manly men.
This is a tribute to my husband. It is also an overwhelming praise to the Lord for His mercies to me as a benefactor of His grace shown to me in being married to Dan. I certainly don't deserve him but, then again, none of us deserve any mercies from the loving hand of God. Happily ever after stories, and good stories for that matter, are filled with the highs and lows of life. And in the end they are not tragic but glorious. This is our future and I am ever so happy to walk through it with the man the Lord has given to me. He is a godly man and my manly man.
Happy Anniversary, my love.