While digging through Phil's wallet to get a copy of his license, I stumbled across this beautiful sight:
Phil made a promise back when he was just a young teenage boy to wait for true love and live a chaste life, and he is a faithful man of his word. Finding this card and picturing my husband signing it filled my heart with love and my eyes with tears. He is SUCH a good guy, not just a nice guy, not just a kind guy, not just a holy guy, but a very very GOOD guy. Although I had my own Dad as a great example of an all-around good guy, for some reason when I started dating I didn't think that I would ever find a man like that for myself. But God is good and led us to each other, and I am so lucky and grateful for my husband.
I think if guys knew how attractive it is to lead a wholesome and self-sacrificing life, they might feel called to rise to the occasion. It is soooo attractive, right ladies? Last week, I was talking to one of our boys about the dangers of pornography and I mentioned how his dad has never looked at porn. The temptation is always there (even more so in this digital age) but good guys try and fight it. Preserve their eyes and hearts for their future wives. I told my son that a girl wants to marry someone who does the hard and noble thing, not someone who has seen hundreds of images of other women before their wedding night. Like so many other vices and addictions, it's easier to just never start than try and quit. God's forgiveness is always waiting but, even better, His graces flow with every good decision. I was hoping my words were enough in that moment, and then, a few days later, I found Phil's True Love Waits card and realized our son is just about the same age and should have the opportunity to sign his own.
In light of all the disgusting news of powerful men disrespecting and abusing women, it makes me sick with worry about raising our six boys to become good, upstanding, respectful, kind men. Luckily, they have great examples in making good decisions and I know that speaks louder than any words I struggle to speak. We are just trying our best to raise them right, as Phil was. He had his own Dad as a wonderful role model, and was able to make good decisions, and lived a life where he always chose God first. I remember when we were dating and he told me he always felt his life story was boring. No big conversion story, no huge struggles, no interesting past. Being involved with youth ministry and on plenty of retreats, he always heard guys' testimonies, sharing how they reverted back to our faith and how powerful those talks were for the teens to hear. He was discouraged that he didn't have a cool story to share.
But you know what? We need more stories like his. His story is my favorite. It may not be exciting or shocking or dangerous, but it's a story of constant perseverance, determination and faithfulness. It's a little less St. Augustine and a little more St. Louis Martin. Sometimes holiness is just doing the right thing and that may be boring but that's okay! It's about being a good and faithful servant who knows the pleasures that await us in heaven are so much better than anything the world can provide. His is the type of story I hope my sons can tell as their own one day, or at least their wives can write about :)