In our latest post we aim to answer the critical question of can people from different cultures have a happy marriage?
I’m happy to introduce Karen and Divesh to you, God allowed me to play a small part in their wonderful story. They were born into different cultures and were raised differently but are united in Christ in the beautiful covenant relationship of marriage.
Here is the post:
We both come from different family backgrounds. Divesh comes from a Jain Marwadi family in Mumbai and is a first generation believer whereas I, (Karen)am from Delhi and have been a generational believer in Christ.
While being arranged in this marriage by our two common friends, we had our own doubts and fears about each other and about “arranged marriage”.
Coming from different cultures, we saw marriages and relationships work very differently in our families. Divesh saw marriage as a male dominated relationship and I was brought up by a single mother and had seen my father walk away from marriage.
The biggest fear in marriage for Divesh was- compatibility. He had seen a lot of marriages not work and people kept saying – ‘we are not compatible’. So one thing he desired the most was that he should be extremely comfortable with the person he was going to marry and should be best friends.
Coming from a broken family, I saw my mother’s struggle as a single woman and mother. Having been deprived of a father’s love, I had my own doubts about my husband being a good husband and father in future. But as we grew in marriage, time and again the Lord showed us how beautiful a marriage can be and how wonderful the man whom He created for me is.
All my fears were put to rest as we saw the Lord’s hand on our marriage continually blessing us!
The best wedding gift God gives you is a full length mirror called your spouse. Had there been a card attached, it would have said, “Here’s to helping you discover what you’re really like!” – Gary and Betsy Ricucci
Here are some of the things that have helped us grow more in love with each other-
We have been absolutely Transparent and Honest in our marriage (in fact, from the day we first spoke). Isaac Kubvoruno says – “If you don’t want your spouse to know what you are doing; you shouldn’t be doing it.”
The things we shared with each other when we first spoke were not the good things about us, but our negatives, weakness and fears. We’ve always heard from people, put your best foot forward when you meet someone, but we were led by the Lord to do just the opposite of what the world believed was a good start. It all went smoothly and beautifully, and we got married soon!
We try to be honest with each other about EVERYTHING, may it be a small thing like your food choice or each other’s habits or something intense like family related. We try to be Respectfully Honest. “If you display your differences Respectfully, your spouse will deal with it Honestly.”
Patience is the key to a Successful Everlasting Marriage. Marriage is a coming together of two very different individuals and minds and it takes a lot of patience to build a healthy marriage.
I am someone who loves to decorate and arrange things well at home, whereas Divesh would never care about these things until he saw how much I cared and it gave me joy.
Divesh likes to be on time for things and I always take time to get ready and usually am late, but I try and do my best to be on time for him.
People are astounded when we tell them we haven’t fought even once till date. Why? We never found any reason that big that we had to fight, and more than anything it’s ugly to imagine our spouse being upset. But yes, healthy arguments are healthy! We do discuss things and have our arguments but we keep them healthy.
With our own challenges, the Lord has taught us to pray for each other unceasingly and by His Strength and Grace, we have been patient enough with each other to build our relationship over the last year and a half and it has helped us a great deal.
We truly believe that Respect and Honour shouldn’t be ignored in a marriage. Whether it’s in public or private. The moment you disrespect your spouse in front of others, you give others a space to do the same. Your spouse is God’s own creation and is His son/daughter. He/she deserves and desires to be nurtured with honour and respect along with being loved.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
We also try our best to be respectful to each other’s family. Your spouse’s family is your family and the way you want your spouse to respect your family, you should do the same. Remember the Lord placed your spouse in that family for a purpose and so are you placed in his/her family for a purpose, and that’s to love, care and respect them. How you treat each other’s family will define how your children treat you in future.
Last but not least is appreciating each other. It’s the most joyful ingredient in marriage.
Your spouse puts in lot of heart and effort to do things for you and the family all day. A word or a small text/note to let them know you’ve noticed that little gesture of helping you in the kitchen or cooking, or maybe appreciating their hard work when they go to work every day and earn that penny for the family goes a long way to build a strong bond.
Appreciation is something that we should be conscious about. It always feels good to be noticed and be appreciated, and it feels even better to see that smile on your spouse’s face when they are appreciated.
We both read our own vows on our wedding. It’s one thing to write and another thing to live them. Our vows are a reminder to us every day. We have placed them in our bedroom, right in front of us. It helps us to remember the promises we made to each other and live them together with the help of Holy Spirit.
This journey has been a little of we have learnt about each other and a lot what the Lord has taught us. This is our heart on marriage so far.
Be Blessed! Marriages are Beautiful.