Topic: Homeschool Product Review
The father wasn't expecting this question. The boy and his father had been finishing up the dishes. Father was putting the dishes away as his son dried them.
It was a beautiful fall evening. The colors of the autumn leaves were at there peak but the air was warm and the roses were showing their last blooms. All seventeen rose bushes had bloomed beautifully that year. There were nine that Father had bought for Mother every Mother's day. She would painstakingly search - sometimes for days - for just the right place to plant it. The other eight bushes were bought and planted every Mother's Day by Father after her death.
Perhaps it was the sweet smell of the roses that made the boy ask the question. Perhaps it was the beauty of the autumn leaves. Perhaps it was the chore of washing the dishes that was often shared by a husband and wife. Perhaps it was all of those things. Whatever it was, the always thinking, wondering and exploring boy asked it.
"Father, why did you and Mother marry?"
"Marry?" exclaimed the suddenly bewildered man. "Well, because we loved each other."
"Father," the exasperated boy blurted out. "I knew that. I mean... I figured that you and mother loved each other."
"But," the suddenly pink cheeked boy said as he shyly looked at his father, "Why did you marry Mother? Why her? Why not any other lady?"
"You know," said the boy in usual twelve year old fashion, "I'm getting older now, and I need to know what to look for in a girl."
"Well, this is a new one. Why do boys have to grow up...especially inquisitive ones?" thought the father as he loosened the collar around his neck with his finger. "Oh, Lord, please give me wisdom."
Finally the father hesitantly answered, "Well," he said while clearing his throat, "You need to make sure that she is a Christian. That's first and foremost. And, you don't always marry for beauty. I mean, you will always think that your wife is beautiful, but good looks aren't really why you should marry. Neither is money. You should never marry for money. Love should always be the main thing..."
The boy looked at him intently, sometimes with a furrowed brow. He seemed to be soaking everything in, but the more his father said, the more bewildered he became.
"Why is nothing coming out right?" thought the man. "Why didÂ my son have to ask such a question without givingÂ me some warning."
Finally the father stopped, looked at his son, and suddenly said. "Did you finish the science project I assigned to you today?"
"No sir," replied the boy. "But, I'm almost done."
"Well, go finish it." the relieved man answered. "We'll talk about this more tomorrow."
As the boy left to finish his school work, the father said a silent prayer. "Lord, please give me something. Send me something that will help me explain what to look for in that special one he will marry. And, Lord, if it's your will, send it to me quickly! Amen."
All that evening that thought filled the fathers mind. What am I going to say? How do I describe what to look for in a wife? He searched for lessons from the Bible. He tried to think of historical examples. Nothing seemed to fit.
"This is a job for a mother." mused the man. "Why did mother have to die so suddenly? Why must I be the one left to explain such things to my dear boy?"
Finally, just before turning in for the night, the father checked his email one last time. Glancing through the messages he noticed one that he had missed earlier. It was a message from Brenda. Brenda is the dear lady that is the vendor liaison for the TOS Homeschool Crew. It is her job to match the vendors with just the right homeschool families for them to try out and blog about the vendor's products. There was a new product listed. It was a book called "The Person I Marry", by Gary Bower, illustrated by Jan Bower and it was scheduled to arrive at their home the very next day.
"Thank you, Lord." exclaimed the boy's father as he went to bed that night. "Thank you for sending just what we needed at just the right time."
All morning and early into the afternoon.the father could hardly contain his excitement. Finally the mail man showed up and left the much awaited for package. The father sat it aside until he and his son could sit down to read it together when there were no distractions.
Later that evening after all of the school books were put away and the chores had been done, the father carefully unwrapped the gift from God. In it the beautifully illustrated book, "The Person I Marry" was contained.
"Son, " the father called, "We got something in the mail today that I think will help answer your questions from last night."
"What is it Father," exclaimed the boy as he entered the room.
"It's a book. Come and let's read it together."
The boy sat beside him on the couch and they began to read. The book was written in a poetic fashion that, at first, irritated the young man. He was almost 13 years old he thought to himself. Nevertheless, he persevered, and as his father read, he would stop and they would discuss things that were written in the book.
They discussed how you should choose someone for what they are like inside and not because of what they look like on the outside. They talked about how a mate should be gentle, kind and gracious. They read how your future spouse should be generous, thoughtful and appreciative. With the help of the book, the father explained how life wouldn't always be easy, but a couple should persevere and be courageous. They should look at the bright side of things. The book talked about how a couple should be joyful and enthusiastic when things are going well, but be patient and forgiving when things are not.
As Father read he began thinking of his dear wife. His face softened as he read the part where a future mate should be humane and respectful to humans and all of God's creatures. That fit his wife perfectly. She was always taking a meal to the sick or elderly, or taking in a stray that someone had cruelly abandoned.
Suddenly tears began to fall down the father's cheeks. The book had unexpectedly become harder to read. For they had come to the part where a couple should honor marriage "'til death do us part". As he was reading the words on those pages, his voice began to falter. Soon he was no longer able to finish the sentences. His son gently took the book and began reading for him.
The boy finished reading the book. He read through the pages that said that some disagreements would be small, but some they should measure against what the Bible said. He read about keeping himself pure for his wife, and how he should always be honest and trustworthy. He was glad that his father had taught him to be hardworking but fun loving, because that is what the book said was important as well.
The boy noticed fresh tears upon his father's face as he read that a husband and wife should be encouraging and sympathetic toward one another. The boy knew that those were some of the qualities that his father appreciated so much in his mother.
Finally, the boy read something that he didn't need to be told. He read how a person's future mate would always be number two in their lives. Why? Because Jesus should always be number one. All of his life the boy had been taught that God should always be first in his life. Those words were not unfamiliar to him.
As the book came to a close, the father silently got up to allow the boy some time to reflect on what had been read. He would discuss the book more with his son in the days to come.
That night, as the father tucked his son in and turned off the light. He heard his son call his name.
"Father. Thank you for reading that book to me today." the boy quietly said. "I've been thinking, and I think I know who I want my future wife to be like."
"Who is that, Son?"
"I want her to be just like my mother. I don't remember her much, but I know she had all of the good qualities that we read about. Thank you for marrying her."
Father turned quickly away. He was glad the light had been turned off for tears were once again forming in his eyes.
"Thank you, Lord, for my son. And thank you for this special book that you sent us. Amen."
The story you have just heard is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Oh, Ok, you caught me again. The story is really about Joshua and I and not all of it is true.Â Thankfully myÂ wonderful wife is still with us.Â The part about the tears and precious boy's responses were true, however. Happy Homeschooling.
The Person I Marry from Bower Books on Vimeo.
If you are interested in purchasing The Person I Marry just click here or on any one of the links above. This 36 page hardcover book is available for $11.99 on the website of the author and illustrator, husband and wife team, Gary and Jan Bower. To find out what the other TOS Homeschool Crew members thought of this book, just click here.
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a download copy of "The Person I Marry" in order to try out with my family and give my honest review on this blog.
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Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2011 1:20 AM CST
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