Monday, November 7, 2011

The Person I Marry - A Bright Future Book by Gary and Jan Bower

The Person I Marry - A Bright Future Book by Gary and Jan Bower

The Person I Marry - A "Bright Future" Book By Gary and Jan Bower
  • Hardcover Volume
  • 31 pages
  • Ages 4 and up
  • Storybook Meadow Publishing
  • Average Retail Price $11.99
  • Part of the "Bright Future" Series
  • Beautifully Illustrated
  • Christian Message
  • 2010 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year
  • Available through Bower Books
My boys often discuss their future, and it can be amusing to listen.  They have it all planned out.  They will get married at approximately the same time, live nearby one another, visit often, and their wives will be great friends.  They also plan to have their children at the same time.  I think I recall having these same conversations with my best friend when I was about their age.  We were even sure that we would have a double wedding.

Not wanting my children to grow up with the same misconceptions about marriage and weddings that I had, I have spoken to them quite a few times about marriage as a sacrament, and the serious commitment that follows the wedding day.  As the saying goes, a wedding is for a day, but a marriage is for a lifetime.  They are kind enough not to roll their eyes at me, but I do occasionally sense a glazing over.

As usual, when the same message is delivered from a book, it suddenly holds more weight.  I was given the opportunity to view the book, The Person I Marry -Things I'll Think About Before (and After) I Say "I Do" written by Gary Bower, and illustrated by his wife Jan.  I was reading it on my computer screen and was grabbing for tissues before I was even halfway though.

It looks like a children's book.  It is written in rhyme and cadence to appeal to a small child.  Don't be fooled.  This is a book for everyone.  On page one, it stresses it is not the adornments, gowns or other beautiful aspects of a wedding that matter, it is the "who".  From there, the pages sweetly take the reader through the qualities that should be considered when choosing a spouse.  How nobody is perfect, but there are qualities that must be present for love to grow and last through the triumphs, the trials, and the aging process.

I knew I wanted to read this to my boys, and as lovely as the book is, the computer screen didn't do it justice.  This is a book to be read in a close, cozy situation, one that welcomes questions, comments and discussion.  I suppose this is a ringing endorsement... I immediately purchased the book.  I'm glad I did.  We have read it together, twice.  I have also left it out, and noticed they have picked it up a few times.  They have asked some thoughtful questions, too.

Even though they are pre-teen, very cool, boyish boys, some of the words made it through to them.  I'm glad.  they should know that a thoughtful tone goes a long way, and that every day isn't going to be sunshine and happiness.  I want them to be honest, thoughtful, respectful, patient spouses who will be faithful and supportive, but I want them to look for those qualities in their wives, too.  The standard message they receive from movies, television or advertising is that a wife should be drop dead gorgeous, and that she will belittle them.  They should just be glad to find a woman that will tolerate such a doofus.  Maybe, if they are lucky, they will get some time with their male friends to watch sports or talk about man things.  These kids have barely ever gotten through a program without me chiming in.. "THAT'S NOT WHAT REAL LIFE IS LIKE!" or hitting the pause button to interject my opinions about the false stereotyping.

This book will help children to think about the importance of choosing a spouse wisely.  There are two other things that I liked.  Each page has character traits or phrases that are either in the margins, or lightly woven amid the text.  Worshipful, Self Disciplined, Truthful. Prayerful, Hungry for God's Word.   There is also this caveat.  That no matter how perfect a person must seem, a relationship with God must come first for them, even before the relationship with each other.

Did I like this book?  I loved this book.  I wish I had it sooner.  It is a wonderful way to teach young ones, but it would also make a great gift for an engaged couple, or even a teen who is about to begin dating.  Take a look at this video with excerpts and some words from the authors.

The Person I Marry from Bower Books on Vimeo.

Gary and Jan Bower have been married for over 30 years and have raised 12 children.  The Person I Marry is part of the Bright Futures series.  The other titles include There's a Party in Heaven, The Jingle in My Pocket, and What Do Heroes Wear?

I did view an electronic version of this book in order to write this informed, blogged review.  I was not paid to write this post and my opinions are genuine.