Joseph and Kowonia Bowen have know each other since they were 10, and will have been married for 26 years in March.
Who talked to who first?
Kowonia: We were introduced to each other as kids. I lived in Michigan and my family took a trip to California where Joseph lived. My family then moved to California 4 years later for my dad to pastor a church in Fresno. Joseph: I’m not sure, but we first met when we were 10 (we’re the same age) when she and her family came to California on vacation. A few years later they moved there and we became the best of friends.
Who said “I love you” first?
Kowonia: I think it was Joseph.
Joseph: I can’t remember who actually said the words first, but I definitely made the first move to let her know I was interested in being more than her friend.
Did you go to the same school? Kowonia: No, I lived in Fresno, CA. and Joseph lived in Hanford, CA. Joseph: We lived in different towns, about 45 minutes away, but we’d talk on the phone pretty often.
Where do you go the most as a couple?
Kowonia: To California.
Joseph: We have a lot of family in California and we like to visit them as often as we can.
Who is more social?
Kowonia: My job has me out in the community and going to different places where I meet many people. Joseph: I tend to be a little on the reserved side.
Who is the neat-freak?
Kowonia: That would be Joseph. He takes pictures of his shoes and puts them on the outside of his shoe boxes, so all he has to do is look at the picture and pull out the shoes he wants. Joseph: I plead the Fifth.
Who is the most stubborn?
Kowonia: Joseph is. When he has his mind made up on things, it’s pretty hard to get him to change his mind. Joseph: There could be times when I might be a little obstinate!
Who wakes up earlier?
Joseph: I’m definitely a morning person but I never actually get up when I wake up because I’m always afraid of waking up Kowonia. She’s a very light sleeper.
Where was your first date?
Joseph: We went out to dinner and then the movies.
Who has the craziest exes?
Kowonia: We both had crazy exes. My ex-husband, & his ex-girlfriend. Joseph: I plead the Fifth!
How did you figure out the household chores?
Joseph: We work together. For instance, our washer and dryer are in the basement, so I take the clothes down to wash and dry, and then when I bring them upstairs, she folds and puts them away.
What have you learned to appreciate about your spouse that you did not know when first married?
Kowonia: He loves to surprise me with gifts, trips, and anything that he thinks I would like. He also loves for me to look good, so he shops a lot for me. My husband is going to make sure when I step out, I will look good! Joseph: I didn’t realize how big her heart actually is until after we were married. She loves absolutely everybody, and would literally help anyone that she possibly could.
What aspect of marriage were you most pleasantly surprised by? Kowonia: That he is a man with many, many, many, gifts. Joseph: I enjoy the companionship aspect of marriage. It’s nice to do things together that we both like to do.
What do you think is the most challenging part of being married? Kowonia: Trying to keep my husband out of Dillards and Hatman Jack’s. Joseph: Thinking of a new design for her birthday cake each year.
What has been the greatest obstacle you have faced over the years? Joseph: Kowonia’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis was quite a blow to us, but God has been good to us and He has blessed Kowonia in spite of it all. We would not have been able to make it without the help of the Lord.
What’s one thing that your spouse does that makes you feel glad you married years ago? Kowonia: His thoughtfulness, and he still flirts with me as if we were never married, and we can advance the flirt, and be in the BOOK!!!
Joseph: She is my biggest supporter, and I can always count on her.
If you could have been given a key piece of advice before marrying, what would it have been?
Joseph and Kowonia: I don’t know that we could have been given any better advice than what we were given, which was to keep Christ foremost in our marriage, because “a threefold cord is not easily broken,” that cord consisting of the two of us and God. Also to treat each other as the most important person in the world. And by doing so, that keeps every other person and every other thing in the right order of priority.