ÂŠCopyright 2008 Storybook Meadow Publishing Co.
r r a y M
Things I’ll Think About Long Before Saying “I Do”
by Gary Bower illustrated by Jan Bower Storybook Meadow Publishing Company Traverse City, Michigan
For our twelve children, the married ones who took a good “look” before the “leap” and the unmarried ones who are learning from their example. Thanks for letting us refer to your lists as we worked on this book. We love and respect you.
~ Mom & Dad ~
The Person I Marry Text Copyright © 2008 by Gary D. Bower • Illustrations Copyright © 2008 by Jan Bower Published by Storybook Meadow Publishing Company 7700 Timbers Tr., Traverse City, Michigan 49684 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Scripture marked “NIV” is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society. ISBN-13: 978-0-9704621-7-6 ISBN-10: 0-9704621-7-4 Cover art by Jan Bower Cover and interior design by Gary Bower Printed and bound in Canada
went to a wedding. I saw pretty things. I noticed the dresses, the tuxes and rings, the candles, the curls and the floral bouquets. I stood with the crowd as we turned our gaze to a bride who beamed as she came down the aisle, sending love to her groom in the form of a smile.
Then as we sat down, my mom pulled me near and whispered some wisdom right into my ear, wisdom I know that I won’t be forgetting: “It’s ‘who’, not ‘what’, that makes a great wedding. The clothing you wear and the flowers you carry don’t matter as much as the person you marry.” 3
Questions have swirled in my mind ever since. What makes a princess? What makes a prince? It cannot be riches, hair color, and height, or any externals I think are just right.
Something thatâ€™s in side, something much deeper, will help me determine which one is a â€œkeeper.â€? And so, long before any diamonds or glitter, these are some things that I need to consider:
The person I marry will be quite a find. Perfect? Of course not, but certainly kind; one whoâ€™s sincere, non-threatening, real, with genuine interest in how others feel. Wisely, this person will understand the good that can come from a gentle hand.
A quality person my heart can embrace has courteous speech that is seasoned with grace. Some people talk tough (or wish that they were), but hereâ€™s something better I tend to prefer. True sensitivity. This can be shown by words that are tactful and tender in tone.
Unpretentious A True Friend
The person I marry won’t have to pretend just to impress me. I want a friend, one who can share, but can also receive. That is the marrying type, I believe.
Thoughtful And as we share, my partner and I will learn which things can satisfy; not shallow things some call success, but little deeds of thoughtfulness. And though we may not live like kings, we’ll both enjoy life’s little things.
All days won’t be sunny; and during the rain, my partner and I will be slow to complain. We’ll stick close together the way that we vowed no matter how dark or looming the cloud.
ersevering Not a Complainer
We’ll look on the bright side. All hope isn’t gone. The Lord just decided to water our lawn. With all kinds of blessings He’s filling our cup, so sooner or later, it’s bound to let up.
Able to See the
Glass Half Full
Able to Laugh
This person, perhaps, might make hardly a sound, or maybe spread humor and cheer all around. Flamboyant or quiet, we will have a supply of laughs we can share and tears we can cry.
Willing to Open Up Whether theatrically singing on stage, or sitting and turning the other oneâ€™s page, weâ€™ll share each emotion as husband and wife, enjoying our mutual passion for life.
Not Easily Annoyed
Whenever we happen to face, by chance, a less-than-perfect circumstance, the person I marry won’t act like a grump at every little snag or bump. My friend might have to count to ten, but then we’ll cast our lines again. Oh, it might take us both a minute, but soon we’ll see the humor in it.
The one with whom I want to live is patient, eager to forgive; and also very quick to say “I’m sorry” in a heartfelt way.
Not Cruel or Abusive The person I marry will never forget to dignify life, each person and pet. Since God is Creator and He is supreme, weâ€™ll treat His creation with proper esteem.
Appreciative of the Value of Life One who acknowledges people have worth is precious and rare; a gem on this earth. And I want a gem, so the one I select must honor our families and show them respect.
Tuned In & Engaging
Willing to Listen
This person will be someone who will listen to my point of view and hear the things my heart is saying even when our hair is graying.
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 one for me will be eager to learn, and willing to teach me things in return. From time to time we’ll disagree on issues; that’s a guarantee. Certain ones are rather small and they don’t matter much at all. But some have moral consequence. On these we cannot ride the fence. We’ll use the Bible as our guide to keep our spirits unified.
With Deep Convictions
And I expect my lifelong mate to know some things are worth the wait. So, by the grace of God, I’m sure we’ll both succeed in staying pure.
Mature Enough To Wait 21
Totally Honest Trustworthy Full of
Integrity Truthful 22
Though some may do the things they ought out of fear of being caught, thatâ€™s not good enough for me. Iâ€™ll want real integrity.
Honesty will be a must. Iâ€™ll need someone I can trust, true in heart, strong as stone whether watched or all alone.
Ethically Solid Self-Disciplined
Conscience Not Sneaky 23
Who needs a person that’s charming and flirty? I prefer someone whose hands can get dirty – a person who works with purpose and goals, helping our world and enriching our souls.
And every-so-often, while working so hard, the person I marry will catch me off guard as work becomes fun. We won’t be afraid to keep life in balance and see that we’ve played.
Caring Encouraging Helpful
The person I marry will be the sort thatâ€™s by my side to lend support, share the burden, help me stand by offering a caring hand.
Sympathizing, heaven-sent, my friend will give encouragement. And though it seems we face defeat, weâ€™ll soon be back up on our feet.
Share the Load
A True Believer
A Lover of
God & Others Hungry For
Godâ€™s Word Prayerful 28
Though it may sound a little strange, through every season, every change, this person must be someone who will cherish me as Number Two.
Oh, I’ll be deeply loved, of course. But I can’t be my partner’s source. When everything is said and done, God must be our Number One.
Growing In Faith
Serve The Lord
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 when I was just a little kid. I set them high; I’m glad I did. The vows I’ll say I mean to keep, so I’ll look hard before I leap.
ware that we need
That special one of mystery has weaknesses, of course, like me. And that’s the reason I’ll prepare by lifting both of us in prayer.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “...plans to give you hope and a future.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) ~ 31
Things I’ll look for in
“The Person I Marry”
(I’ll work on these areas in my own life, too.)
_____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ ______________________________ _______________________________ Gary & Jan Bower enjoy creating wholesome books for families in their studios in Traverse City, Michigan. They have twelve children and four grandchildren. Visit their online gallery & bookstore at www.bowerbooks.com.
_____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ ______________________________ _______________________________ Other Books by Gary & Jan Bower: There’s A Party In Heaven! (CSPA 2008 Book of the Year) Tessa’s Treasures • Wyatt’s Wagon Ivy’s Icicle • Cody’s Castle I’m A Michigan Kid! • Michigan Kid Passport The Michigan Kid Coloring & Activity Book
Everyone knows what makes up a person’s outside outside, things like hair color, clothing or height. But the inside is what really matters when it comes to friends...and an eventual marriage partner. In these pages you’ll explore character traits such as integrity kindness, respect, faithfulness, purpose, diligence and many others.
Adorable oil paintings and cheery poetic wisdom by award-winning husband and wife team Gary and Jan Bower will inspire readers of all ages to place a high va lue o n character and far less importance on shallower things. Young children, teens, and grown-ups alike will benefit from this delightful book’s advice to take a good “look before the leap.”
All Ages Inspirational
BRIGHT FUTURE BOOKS Storybook Meadow Publishing
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