India: A Unique Marriage Proposal
When Ruchika was in the 12th grade, her parents began to search for someone to marry her. Like many parents in India, they planned to choose their daughter’s husband. They were looking for a man who worked hard, had a good job, and made lots of money. However, Ruchika told them, “I will not get married unless I marry a pastor.” She wanted to help a pastor in his work for the Lord.
Ruchika’s parents were Christians, but they did not agree with her plan. After many arguments and counseling from Christian aunts and uncles, her parents gave in to her wishes.
When Aditya was a boy in India, he grew very ill. “He will not live,” the doctors told Aditya’s parents. An evangelist visited Aditya’s house, talked to his family about Christ, and prayed for Aditya. “If he lives, let him live for Christ,” said Aditya’s mother.
Aditya recovered from his illness! He gave his life to Christ and became a pastor. In the area where he lived, pastors were often threatened and attacked, so he knew the risks of sharing the good news of Jesus. Soon he, too, was attacked and warned not to continue his preaching.
Aditya knew about Ruchika’s desire to help share the love of Jesus with those who don’t know Him. So he asked her to marry him.
[Talk to three couples who have been married a long time. Ask them what they talked about during their marriage proposal. Was their conversation anything like Aditya’s proposal below?]
“This is my life,” Aditya began his proposal to Ruchika. “I am a minister and have been attacked so many times. In the future, you may be attacked. I might go to jail. Sometimes we will have food, sometimes we will not. This will be the life. If you would like to marry me, you can. Otherwise, say no.”
Ruchika answered, “Live or die, I will live for Christ.”
Serving the Lord Together
Aditya was not exaggerating in his proposal. The couple has endured hardship, attacks, arrests, and threats. They now have a baby who may also endure hardship someday.
“The problems, trials, tribulations, and whatever comes is nothing with God,” Aditya told a VOM worker. “God has made a new heaven house for us, so we have to wait and strive for that. That is what we are waiting for.”
(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity, length, and age appropriateness. In the photo above, Aditya and Ruchika’s faces are covered to protect their identity from those who might want to harm them.)