“He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22). Forty-three years ago, on this day, I “found” a wife. My bride, Anita Ruth Siml, became Mrs. John Armstrong, my beloved companion and best friend. She always told me that the name Mrs. Armstrong sounded like my mom so I never actually called her that, in public or in private. Yet that is what the minister said to us once he pronounced us husband and wife: “I present to you Mr. and Mrs. John Armstrong!” Never have I heard words that thrilled me more.
It did not take long for Anita and me to realize that we were truly in love but just as truly that we were so opposite of each other in a number of ways. As we discovered just how different we really were we began to realize, slowly at first, just how much we had to change in order to grow in true love. Change we did, by God’s grace and Anita’s patience with me. I learned to give up my way and she did the same. We blended our lives and shared both our joys and sorrows. We prayed and worshipped, laughed and argued. But in it all we kept on loving one another.
Now forty-three years later we do not have the same reaction to each other that we did on December 26, 1970. But if we did then we would be immature young adults who missed the life that God had for us as husband and wife. We would have missed what he had to teach us about how to truly love one another and, even more deeply, how to love him together.
My wife is my joy. She is my bride. She is my dearest friend. Today I thank God that she has supported me, loved me and cherished me for all these years. Truly, I can say with deep joy, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.”