My daughter is boy crazy. Each week she chooses a new boy to dream of one day marrying. She draws pictures of her future wedding gown. She sighs with dreamy eyes and worries her mother. You see, my daughter is six--far too young to be thinking of such things. I've tried convincing her that she should enjoy her childhood and let God choose her mate, but all she learned from these discussions was that it was better not to share secrets with mom unless she was in the mood for a lecture. Needing a new tactic, I was thrilled to find the book The
Person I Marry by Gary Bower. This adorable book conveys everything I was trying to share with my daughter and then some. Some children are more predisposed to thinking of relationships than others. To try changing this entails changing part of who they are. I'm learning that it is more effective to guide the growing personality that is already there rather than trying to force it into a certain mold. This book helps guide children toward good choices by establishing standards for relationships early on that they will not want to compromise later.
The Person I Marry is written to girls and boys in a sweet, simple
way. It is not even remotely fluffy or silly. Rather, its lyrical, rhyming
verse guides children through the whats and whys of recognizing good character,
good communication, and a healthy marriage. The poetic pages have excellent
rhythm and are a delight to read. They are also accompanied by incredible oil
paintings by the author's wife, Jan Bower. More than just a description of
what to look for in a spouse, the book encourages a Biblical marriage of love
and respect with verses such as:
Hair may thin or change in shade.
Faces may wrinkle, memories fade.
The person I'll trust to carry my heart
Must truly believe "till death do us part."
The Person I Marry carries no pressure with it, as it
is written from the perspective of a child just wondering and daydreaming
about the future. I appreciate that the book even mentions
the idea of staying single with a casual line that reads:
I'll probably marry, but maybe I won't.
(Some people do; some people don't.)
But if I marry, this I'll know -
I set my standards long ago
My daughter fell in love with this
book and enjoyed sitting through pages of wisdom that would
have sounded like lectures if they had come from me. Instead, she
nodded along in agreement, and she delighted in the pictures
as I read. At the end of the book, there is a list for children
to write their own standards. This page is entitled "Things I'll
Look for in the Person I Marry" with
a subtitle stating "I'll work on these things in my own life,
too." My daughter was happy to add to her new book, saying, "I
don't care if he's handsome, dresses nice, or looks good; I just
want to marry someone very kind." No