South Asian Connection

Relationship And Marriage


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    Many a young Christian has ruined his life because of unholy alliance in marriage. Marriage is a yoke. The Bible forbids unequal yoke (2 Cor 6:14). "You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together" (Dt 22:10). Both the Old and the New Testaments strongly condemn intermarriage with unbelievers. Intermingling the "holy seed" with the unconverted is called as "trespass, transgression, iniquity and guilt" (Ezra 9:1-6). Even a widow who is a believer is not permitted to marry an unbeliever. "She is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord" (1 Cor 7:39).

    Like every girl, I enjoy a good love story. However, this one was different. As children growing up in Kerala, Marcus and Annamma Chacko lived just five kilometers apart. Their communities never intermingled. Marcus explains, "Though we hail from the same place, her people and my people had nothing much to do with each other because we belonged to two different castes." They finally met in Uttar Pradesh. Marcus was a guest singer at a music hall where
    Annamma was in the audience. She instantly felt an affinity to Marcus when he sang in their mother tongue, Malayalam. After a three-minute conversation, they parted ways. Two years later they ran into each other again while working for the same nonprofit organization. Though in separate departments, they couldn't help but admire each other's warmth, energy, and passion for social justice.

    Marriage is a covenant relationship between three parties – husband, wife and God. A contract made between two parties can be broken by mutual agreement, but the marriage covenant cannot be broken. If the husband or wife chooses to break the covenant, then in addition to breaking their covenant with the spouse, he/she also breaks the covenant made with God. The marriage covenant is important because it is through the marriage that the home is set. The church first begins at home and the five-fold ministry - pastoring, teaching, prophesying, evangelizing and the apostolic – begins at home.

    MY Suitable Boy was seven years older than I with a gentle Superman wave of hair at his forehead and broad shoulders that defied the reedy build of our South Indian heritage. The son of a family friend, he often visited us in our northeast Indiana town, a few miles east of the Dan Quayle museum. Affable with dinner guests and handy with sports scores, he was adored by my parents. And I realized quickly, despite my parents' denials, that they wanted me to marry him. . . . . "Suitable boy" is a term used by Indian families to describe a strong marriage candidate — someone who comes from the right religion, region, community and family background. Within my circle of American-born cousins, however, we used the term only to tease each other about our parents' marriage schemes.

    Arranged marriages, until recently, have been normative in Indian culture. But now the number of love marriages is on the increase. Arranged marriages are an inconceivable idea for the westerners. Eventhough the eastern culture is considered to be too conservative, divorce rate is much less and family ties much stronger here. . . . . Eventhough love marriages are becoming more and more common in India, a recent poll in some of the major cities reveals that nearly 80% of the young people prefer arranged marriages. This is encouraging. However no two young people are alike. Even within a family one child differs so much from the other. 

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