Monday, March 3, 2014

The Princess And The Kiss

For Christmas, my dear friend Gretchen (also my pastor's wife), suggested this wonderful book that she, too, was going to be purchasing for her own/only daughter, Cami.  Even though Lilah is much younger than Cami, I thought I could NEVER start the purity conversation too early.  Obviously, my conversations with Lilah will be much less detailed and much more fairytale-like, but as she continues to grow and mature, that will change.  I thought this book was an incredible way to slowly begin the discussion of purity and the importance of saving NOT ONLY her body, but even her FIRST kiss for her wedding day! Sadly, even though Lilah received this book for Christmas, I read it to her for the first time last night.  It was just her and I and I have to say it magically captured my heart as well.  
I am so excited to discuss this book with you that I cannot even contain myself.  I pray that after you read this post, you will, with urgency, buy this book for your special "princess", even if she isn't your daughter. Be it your niece, granddaughter, neighbor, co-worker's child, student, or whatever, this book beautifully portrays the ageless message that "love... comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." ~1 Timothy 1:5
Here's the premise of the book, incase you are one to loose interest FAST and just likes to look at pictures: 

A loving king and queen
Present their daughter with a gift
From God-her first kiss-to keep or to give away.
The wise girl waits for the man who is worthy of her
Precious gift.  Where is he and how will she ever find him?
The surprising answer in this marvelous parable will touch the heart 
Of parent and child alike.  

Long ago, in a wonderful castle
on a mountain of splendor,
a beautiful princess was born.  
Her parents were the king and queen
of the mountain and 
all the green valley below.
The king and queen loved the little princess even before she
was born.  On the day she came into the world,
the royal couple gave their daughter a very special gift
from God-her first kiss.  While the princess was growing up, 
the king and the queen kept this precious gift safe in their care.  
When the princess was finally grown, the king and queen
called her to their side

"We have something very special to give you," said the queen.

Up, up, up the royal family went to a secret room in a tower of the castle.  On an elegant table in the center of the room was the same gift given to the princess long ago...the kiss.
"God gave this gift to you on the day you were born," said the queen,
"because he loves you so dearly."

"And now," continued the king, "this kiss is yours to keep...
or to give away, as you see fit."

The princess stared in amazement. She had never before received such a wonderful present.

"But use wisdom, my daughter," warned the king," and save your kiss for the man you will marry.  Never part with it for the sake of a stranger."

The wise little princess took her father's words to heart and kept 
the kiss safe in the castle tower.  But there were many days when 
she went to gaze at her precious possession.  She wondered how
she could ever give it up.  
Finally there came day when suitors began to appear, 
asking for the princess' hand in marriage.

The first man who came to court her was Prince Peacock.
"See the great muscles I have, Princess!" he said.  "I will
always be able to save your from danger.  I can run faster
and jump higher than any other prince in the world.
I am mighty! Marry me, for I am a man among men."

The princess watched Prince Peacock lift heavy boulders
and run the length of the castle wall.  His strength
was impressive, but the wise princess saw that his heart 
was full of himself. She knew there would be no room
for her kiss there.  

So the princess sent Prince Peacock away.
The next day, Prince Romance came to visit the princess.
He brought dozens of roses and boxes of chocolates.
"I can take you to many far off places, Princess," he said.
"We will eat the choicest foods.  We will see marvelous 
sights.  Marry me, Princess.  Every day will seem like a 
honeymoon if you are with me."

The princess' thoughts about what Prince Romance
had said.  It sounded very interesting and exciting,
but the wise princess knew that honeymoons and wonderful
feelings could not last forever.  This prince would soon lose
interest in her kiss.

The princess turned Prince Romance politely away.
On the following morning, Prince Treasurechest came to call.
He brought gifts of gold, jewels, and costly silken robes.  
"See the presents I have brought you, Princess," said Prince
Treasurechest.  "You will never lack for fine clothes. Marry me,
Princess, for I can give you the best of everything."

Indeed, when the princess saw the beautiful things the prince
had brought for her, she did not doubt that he would buy her
anything her heart desired. "But with all these riches," she thought,
"he does not need my kiss. My kiss will not be specials to him."

So the princess sent Prince Treasurechest away, too.
Many men came, one by one, to ask for the princess'
hand in marriage. One by one she turned them all
away. None seemed worthy of her kiss.  She began
to doubt that she would ever find a husband.

One night, she spoke with her mother,
the queen, about her fears.
"Mama," the princess asked,
"will I ever find a man
so special that I will be able 
to give him my kiss?"

The queen smiled, gazing at
the many stars twinkling
above in the velvet night.
"Oh, yes, my dear. I think 
God will bring a husband
to you. But, if he does not 
the kiss will be your to 
treasure forever."

The princess took comfort
in that thought, for she knew
that God could be trusted,
and she cherished the kiss
with all that she was.
The next day, a common man came to the castle, he asked to
see the princess. The man was dressed in farmers'
clothes and did not look like the suitors who had lately
come to call.  Strong and handsome, his hands were 
rough from working in the king's fields, and his face 
was tanned from the sun.

"Who is he?" the servants wondered as he was led
through the castle.

The man was taken to the royal garden where 
the princess and her parents were walking among 
the rosebushes.
The farmer bowed humbly, and addressed the king and queen,
"May I speak with your daughter?" he asked.

The princess' mother and father were surprised. Who was this man?
He seemed common, yet kindness was in his manner.
Nodding slowly, the king and queen moved aside and stood close by.

The man looked into the princess' eyes.

"I have worked in your father's fields for many years. I prayed and 
watched and waited for one who could be my wife, yet found no one.
Then one day I saw you walking on the palace lawn.  Your beauty was 
marvelous, and your purity sparkled like diamonds."

The princess blushed, and her heart began to beat wildly.  

"I have little to offer you, Princess," the man said softly. "I have no gold.
I have no means to travel the earth.  I am not as strong as many..."

The farmer stopped, and the princess was afraid he would not continue.
Then he whispered,"... but I do have one very special gift I can give to you."
"This is my first kiss, Princess,"  said the man.  "God gave this
gift to me on the day I was born. My parents kept it
for me until I became a man. I have saved it all my life
for you. Would you be my wife?"

The king, the queen, and the princess rejoiced and
embraced the humble farmer.  Was there any doubt that
he was the one the princess had been waiting for?
The princess thought her heart would burst with joy!

"Yes!" she cried. "Oh, yes, with all my heart!"
On the day of their wedding, the princess and her husband were dressed
in magnificent clothes and stood before the altar in the royal church,
where all the lords and ladies of the kingdom had gathered for the 
celebration. There, with the sun streaming through the windows, 
they exchange their kisses, and God and all the kingdom sang
for happiness.

The prince and princess lived happily ever after.  Soon God gave
them a child of their very own.  And on the day of the precious
baby's birth, the wise prince and princess received for their child
a very special gift from God... [a kiss].
"Love... comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." 
~1 Timothy 1:5

Before I end this post, here is a excerpt, from an interview that I read, between a blogger and the author, Jennie Bishop, regarding someone who may have already given away their first kiss.
What words of encouragement would you give young people who have already ‘given their kisses’ away? 
I would remind them of the amazing grace we sing about. ANYONE can start again, ANYTIME. I’m fully aware that The Princess and the Kiss is an ideal, and that life does not often work out ideally. It is the nature of a human to make mistakes, learn from them, and start over. It’s so awesome that no one is without hope—no one.