Love and marriage, God's way

05 Jan, 2018 | South Asia
OM International
A remote village surrounded by mountains in South Asia.
When David and Samuel first entered the remote village, it was very difficult for them to live there and share the gospel. “It took many hours of trekking to get to the village, the food was very different from what we usually ate, and the language was sometimes hard to understand,” said David, a local OM worker, who has been living in a remote village high in the Himalayan mountains since early 2017. Despite these challenges, David and Samuel knew God wanted them there.

One day, five men entered the village and asked to stay with the OM workers for the night. While in South Asian culture it is common to welcome strangers into one’s home, David and Samuel felt uncomfortable by the men’s restless behaviour. “We started questioning them about their purpose for coming to the village,” said Samuel. Four of the men kept saying they just came to visit. However, the other man started to explain that they actually came to kidnap Kavita*, a teenager in the village. They wanted to take her to their village to marry one of them. The practice of forced marriage is very common and accepted in the villages, as young girls are physically taken against their will by any man interested in marrying them. Although the parents of the girl would feel uncomfortable at first, they will never seek to take her back because it was against their culture to do such a thing. If the family tried to bring her back home, they would lose their reputation, respect from neighbours and the chance of their daughter ever being able to marry anyone. 

Nevertheless, the OM workers, through biblical teachings, knew this was not God’s way for love and marriage. David explained to the men that, “Females are not like animals, who you can force to do what you want. They are humans and should not be taken against their will.”  Samuel then showed them from the Bible, the right way to get married and the purpose of marriage. “The girl should love the boy, and the boy should love the girl. Marriage should not be forced, because love is a choice,” said Samuel.  After sharing this aspect of marriage and how the Bible defines love, the men immediately said they would not kidnap Kavita. David and Samuel were extremely surprised by their instant understanding and change of heart, but they still did not fully believe the men. “We woke up early the next morning and saw that the men had left. When we went to see if Kavita was home, we were once again surprised, but very happy, to see that she was indeed still at home,” David said.

Without delay, David and Samuel explained everything to Kavita and how God had saved her. Kavita was also extremely surprised and felt blessed that God protected her from a marriage she would not have wanted. She finally started to believe that God is real and is everything He said He is in the Bible. Kavita took some time to think about the truth that God is real and then decided to follow Jesus and be baptised. Some days later David and Samuel met the same man who had wanted to kidnap Kavita. He was happy to see the OM workers and began telling them how much his heart had been changed. He admitted to them that after their encounter, he realised he was heading down a bad road and his understanding of love and marriage was wrong. “I really believe in what you said, and I want to know more about Jesus,” said the man.

Many people in remote villages like these have a very unhealthy view of marriage, love and relationships. Through the word of God, OM continues to equip workers to enlighten societies on God’s love and its power to develop healthy marriages, and transform lives and communities. Pray for Godly change in countries where girls are forced into marriage from a young age, and people who believe that forced marriages are good. Also, pray the word of God would reach these people, and their hearts would be open to accept truth. 

*Names changed

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