Justin has been in Italy, at this post, for three years, about as long as anyone in the Army stays in any one place. Many of his closest friends have moved on already, but slowly, I am meeting the ones who are still here.
So many times over the last ten or so years, I’ve heard new wives get asked the same question: “how did that rascal convince a gem like you to marry him?” – obviously, they’re joking….Old wedding etiquette says you should congratulate the groom on his choice of a wife, but you should never congratulate the bride and always assume she could have done better.
But, in meeting Justin’s friends, without fail, they have said to me: “you chose a good man. You hold on to him.” They say a man is known by the company he keeps. The community here is small, so we see his friends and his co-workers in the grocery store, laundromat, and cafeteria, and time after time, I’ve seen men, regardless of rank or age, treat Justin with an incredible level of respect, that can only be earned over time.
I knew I had a man of integrity, before we even started dating, from the content of his emails, and from the manner with which he treated me. I told a friend, in the weeks before the wedding, that until I met Justin, I didn’t think there was anyone like him in the world. I never thought I’d meet such a godly man who was under fifty years old. I’m even more certain now that there are very few almost-thirty-somethings who are so well respected.
The Lord’s blessings to me are immeasurable, and once again He has overwhelmed me with His abundant provision. There is no one I’d rather be helpmate to than this man who so earnestly seeks the Lord. In Justin’s treatment and care for me, I have gotten a vivid, real-life picture of Christ’s care for His church.
Sounds cliche, but I’m praying for men who have as much integrity as Justin, for my sisters and my friends.
(Photo credit: Mandie Joy and Courtney Jordan)