What would a beautiful princess do with a gift she could only give once—her first kiss? Author Jennie Bishop reads from her book, The Princess and the Kiss.
What would a beautiful princess do with a gift she could only give once—her first kiss? Author Jennie Bishop reads from her book, The Princess and the Kiss.
Jennie: There is something about this story, in particular, that just touches my heart every time I read it, and I said earlier that I feel like God just dropped a story into my lap and said, "Write it down."
Reader: "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, for 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."
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Tuesday, March 10th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. Today we'll hear what the princess decided to do with her kiss as we hear the complete story of "The Princess and the Kiss" -- stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. From time to time on our program, we have to come to parents and say, "Listen, today's program may be a program where you might not want your younger listeners to be tuned in, because we're going to talk about some mature subjects, right? We've had to do that on occasion.
Dennis: Yes, we've had to do that, you're correct.
Bob: Now, today …
Dennis: But today isn't.
Bob: No, today is the exact opposite. We encourage parents today to go get your younger listeners …
Dennis: … out of school …
Bob: That's right, call the school and have them released, whatever it takes. If they're asleep wake them up, if they're taking a nap …
Dennis: Bring them home tonight after school, turn on the computer, and listen to FamilyLife Today on your computer.
Bob: That's right, because we're going to hear a great story today.
Dennis: We are. We're going to hear a story about a princess who saved her kiss, her first kiss, for the prince. In fact, it comes from a great story called "The Princess and the Kiss," by Jennie Bishop. Jennie is on our broadcast today, and, in fact, I want to welcome you back.
Jennie: Thank you for having me.
Dennis: Thanks for being here – and we are also joined by Susan Henson. Susan has co-authored, along with Jennie – called "Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss," and I want to welcome you back as well, Susan.
Susan: It's good to be here.
Dennis: I'm thrilled, Bob, about this story, because I love fairy tales, and I also love fairy tales that are told by people who have great accents. Now, I'm not saying, Bob, you don't have a great accent. I enjoy listening to your voice, but there is something about an English or a Scottish – you know what I mean. It's compelling.
Bob: Do you want me to do a little – [speaks with British accent] "Look at her, a prisoner of the gutters, condemned by every syllable she utters." Is that what you want?
Dennis: I was actually thinking of listening to "The Princess and the Kiss."
Bob: Oh, you want me to read it with a British accent, is that …
Dennis: I was actually thinking of a woman reading it.
Bob: You want me out of here, is that what you're saying?
Dennis: No, I'd like you to stay around. You're extremely important, but I just was thinking wouldn't it be fun to have that occur? Could you make that happen, Bob?
Bob: We have gone before you, anticipating even before you knew you had the desire, we have made it happen.
Dennis: In fact, I happen to know that it's already been done.
Bob: Our friend, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, had this done for her program, "Revive Our Hearts," and we're just borrowing what she did, because it was great.
Dennis: She is very gracious – very, very gracious. In fact, I watched Jennie, who wrote the story, as she heard, I guess for the first time, Jennie?
Jennie: Oh, my, yes.
Dennis: She began to cry. She began to weep as she heard this story being read – not by Bob but …
Bob: That would have made her weep, too, but for a different reason.
Jennie: I wasn't trying to be mean, Bob.
Bob: No, I can imagine that there are a number of our listeners who may find themselves shedding a tear or two, as we listen together to the story of "The Princess and the Kiss."
Reader: 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 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 into a secret room in the 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, for 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 a day when suitors began to appear, asking for the princess's 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 you 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 thought about what Prince Romance had said, and 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.
The following morning, Prince Treasure Chest came to call. He brought gifts of gold and jewels and costly silken robes. "See the presents I have brought you, Princess?" said Prince Treasure Chest. "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 special to him." So the princess sent Prince Treasure Chest away, too.
Men came one-by-one to ask for the princess's 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 yours 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 farmer's 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 rose bushes. The farmer bowed humbly and addressed the king and queen. "May I speak with your daughter?" he asked. The princess's 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's 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 sparkles 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 exchanged 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 a very special gift from God.
[end of story]
Bob: Jennie, I was watching you again as you listened to the story. You wrote that story, you know. Those are your words. You hear them read, and it stirs fresh emotion.
Jennie: There is something about this story, in particular, that just touches my heart every time I read it, and I said earlier that I feel like God just dropped a story into my lap and said, "Write it down." And every time I read it to moms and daughters, I have – I don't think I've ever made it through without getting teary, and it's just the impact, the incredible weight of the message that God has here for us and how much He cares about our purity in our children and them having the life that He has always dreamed of them having. It's just an amazing miracle.
Dennis: I like the way it ends, because God gave these new parents a very special gift that one day they would give.
Jennie: Right, a legacy that goes on.
Dennis: Yes, it really puts the responsibility where it belongs – upon the parents – to begin the process of instructing and guarding and guiding a daughter or a son as they go through the challenges of growing up. And that's really, Susan, why you came alongside and co-authored this interactive companion guide.
Susan: Yes. One of the reasons that this came about was that my grandson, who is the one who asked that pointed question to me on that day, he is the result of a wrong choice that his parents had made, and he is not a mistake, by any means, but yet God put upon my heart when I heard that, that I don't want my grandchildren to fall in those same traps as they get into their teen years. And it was such a burden upon my heart. I cannot tell you the overwhelming burden that came upon me at that time.
As I sat there with each of my grandchildren on both sides of me, and I just said, "I want something different for my grandchildren, and I can be a part of planting those seeds." But I just see God's redemptive hand. I think of it, like Joseph said, when he said to his brothers, "You meant it for evil but God meant it for good," and how, through God's redemptive hand, now He can turn this around and use it for His kingdom's sake and for His glory's sake.
Bob: Susan, the story ends with a ceremony, a wedding ceremony, but as you have put together this companion workbook, you are encouraging moms and daughters to have a ceremony of their own, a princess ceremony. Tell us about that.
Susan: Well, it's a memorable moment with mothers and daughters, and I have actually hosted one in my own home, and we just invite the mothers and daughters in, and the daughters come all dressed up in their little princess dresses, and we give them either a little princess tiara or either we make them a little headdress like the princess wore. And we have a special reception for them, and then we bring them into the living room area, you might say, and we have a special chair set up, and we call it "the queen's chair," and we usually have someone read the story once again to remind them of the special gift that God has given them.
And then we do something very, very special, and it's sort of like a rite of passage for the young girls as the mothers, one-by-one, come and sit in that queen's chair, and the young daughter sits at her feet, and the mother has the opportunity at that time to present her daughter with a very special blessing and just her prayers over her daughter. And then there is something very special that the mother presents from her heart to the daughter's heart, and it's called "The Princess Purity Necklace."
It's a little prayer box necklace, and it has a symbol on each side, and each of those symbols represent purity, represents – it has a cross on it, which represents the – truly the greatest gift that was ever given to us, and then there's a heart on it that when we keep our hearts pure, and Christ in the center of that heart, then God will help us to walk through our hooma [ph] years, that we might say, and then there is the word "kiss" written on it, and it opens up, and it's filled with the mother's prayers as they present that to their daughters, and it's just such a holy moment. You have to really experience that moment. It's a moment that the daughters and the mothers will never forget. It will be etched in their hearts forever.
Dennis: For a number of years there have been ceremonies for young men who have needed some rites of passage, and we've kind of come through the men's movement here, and I think it's fitting and appropriate that you all have designed a rite of passage, of sorts, for young ladies as we challenge them to protect their moral purity, their innocence, and their hearts. I'm just grateful to both of you ladies, Jennie, Susan, for giving all of us, as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, some practical tools and ways of building into a young girl's life or even perhaps a young man.
Bob: As a matter of fact, you guys have also created a storybook for young boys called "The Squire and the Scroll," and we're going to talk about that this week and also hear a dramatized version of that story. I should let our listeners know that we have "The Princess and the Kiss" storybook and the Life Lessons workbook that goes with it in the FamilyLife Resource Center.
We also have the drama that we've heard today available on CD, and you can go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about how to receive those resources. We also have "The Squire and the Scroll," and the companion workbook that goes with it, and a dramatized version of it.
So whether you've got boys or girls or grandsons, granddaughters, nieces, nephews, go to FamilyLifeToday.com, and the information is available there on how you can get these resource sent to you. Again, the website is FamilyLifeToday.com or call 1-800-358-6329, 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY. When you contact us, someone on our team can tell you more about the resources that are available or can make arrangements to have the ones you need sent to you.
Let me also mention that while you're on our website, there is information available there about the upcoming Bible Bee. In September of this year, in more than -- I think it's more than 250 locations around the country, there are going to be regional competitions for students to compete in what will culminate in a National Bible Bee competition taking place in Washington, D.C. in November of this year. Now is the time to sign up if you would like your student to compete.
There is an elementary division, middle school division and a senior high division, and there are cash prizes for the winners in each of these divisions -- more than $250,000 worth of cash prizes. Now, all the details are available from us on our website, FamilyLifeToday.com. We can tell you how to register, where you can get more information about where a regional Bible Bee is going to be hosted when it comes to a city near you this September.
Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com for information about the Bible Bee. We are excited to be a part of sponsoring this event and helping to make it happen and looking forward to tens of thousands of young people participating and competing in this year's Bible Bee.
Now, quickly, I want to say a word of thanks to those of you who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today by making donations. We are listener-supported, and your donations are what keep us on the air in this city and in other cities all across the country. We could not do it without you, and we do appreciate your generous financial support.
This month, if you are able to help with a donation of any amount for the ministry of FamilyLife Today, we would love to send you a DVD of "The Jesus Film." It also includes a special feature for children. It's called "The Story of Jesus for Children," and it presents the life of Jesus through the eyes of a child.
You can receive this DVD when you make a donation this month to the ministry of FamilyLife Today. If you donate online, make sure to type the word "JesusDVD" into the keycode box on the donation form or call 1-800-FLTODAY, make your donation over the phone and just ask for a copy of the Jesus film -- 1-800-358-6329, 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY. We so much appreciate your support of this ministry, and we hope that the DVD will be an encouragement and a blessing for you and your family.
Now, tomorrow we're going to talk about how we press the idea of spiritual and emotional and physical purity into the hearts of young men when we hear about "The Squire and the Scroll." I hope you can be back with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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