“I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” – J.K.K. Tolken
We started a new series called “Love Is.” I have always been fascinated by relationships: how connections form, love blossoms, bonds break, and trust is rebuilt. Through our travels, Rocket and I have heard amazing stories about the strength of love that we find inspirational not only for our relationship, but also for others.
I started collecting these stories and aim to share them with you in an effort to show that, even though love isn’t perfect and marriage isn’t the fairytale we see on TV, the reality is worthwhile, awe-inspiring, and down-right remarkable.
Take the journey with us to discover what love is….
When I first moved to Dubai, I met Nikhil and Rebekah at a Wednesday night bible study. As I got to know them, I was inspired by their love story and how they were able to overcome so many challenges during their courtship. Nikhil was raised Hindu, while Rebekah grew up Christian. Despite the issues surrounding their faith and backgrounds, God brought the two of them together in an amazing way! Check out their love story below.
1. Tell us about your love story:
Our love story would really be described as the coming together of two individuals in an inevitable collision of cultures. Nikhil was raised in a conservative Indian Hindu home whilst I was raised in a typically open Scottish Christian household. Ours wasn’t love at first sight because Nikhil was sporting an ‘Indian Harry Potter’ look whilst I was going through a troubled period of copper hair highlights! However, as we grew as individuals we met again, almost like the first time, at a school trip away. Nikhil was besotted and found the courage to come and tell me that I looked stunning at the school dance. That’s where our rollercoaster began. We spent around a year getting to know one another and became best friends. Then the ever romantic Nikhil gave me a red rose and asked me out officially. Suddenly the cultural divide which simmered under the surface of our relationship boiled over and we fought for the next three years to stay together against the social norms which had been laid out before us. University was the freedom that we needed. In this time, we were able to reaffirm the undeniable affection that we had for one another. The bigger reason I was with Nikhil became evident in our first year of university as he committed his life to Christ and has never looked back since. After completing our studies and thankfully both being believers, we got married and our story continues today all by God’s grace and to His glory alone.
2. How has your married changed?
In one sense, our marriage hasn’t changed much. That’s because our relationship hasn’t changed much. We were best friends and we were ready to take on the world together. Today, we are still best friends and we are now taking on the world together with Christ as our motivation. However, the battles we face as we move in life are different every day and we learn a different lesson each time. We fight to overcome different obstacles, but our approach never changes – first God, then each other.
3. What steps do you take to make the marriage feel “alive” or “new”?
Treat every day as your first date! Appreciate the little things, compliment one another every chance you get and be spontaneous in the mundane! As a spouse remind your partner you are there for their success every day either vocally or in other ways. Most of all laugh together because joy never gets old!
4. Any challenges that you faced that you feel comfortable sharing and how did you overcome them?
There are always challenges throughout marriage, but one of the biggest challenge we have faced throughout the years is that of culture. Learning to bring two different cultures together and being able to understand each other’s backgrounds and upbringings are really important.
5. Sharing a bathroom is…
Sharing a bathroom is… funny! The good thing is that Nikhil is away for work earlier than I am therefore he can shower etc before I’m even awake. I must say, my makeup tends to spread across the bathroom!
6. What helps you communicate effectively?
The best way we communicate is by going out somewhere or sitting down at home together, having some coffee and chatting through our days, weeks, friends, feelings etc. We believe as a couple it’s important to make time for each other and really listen to how each other are doing. For us as a couple, we communicate best when we spend quality time together. It allows us to step back from the busyness of life and really concentrate and focus on each other and how we are doing. We love to talk and laugh with one another. Therefore we communicate effectively when we have that quality time.
7. What’s the best advice you received before you got married, that has helped you through tough times or helped to prevent them?
The best marriage advice we were given before we got married was that we should never go to bed angry at each other. As a biblical concept, we have really tried to hold on to this and make sure we forgive quickly. This advice really helped us in our marriage, as we remembered the advice and as soon as it got to bedtime we tried our best to forgive each other, pray and go to bed free of anger.
8. What’s one thing you have learned in marriage that you wish you knew when you started?
We have learnt to always prioritize God and each other. Before we got married, we didn’t have as busy lives as we do now. Therefore as life gets busier we have learnt that it is so important to make dedicated time for God and our marriage.
9. Do you still have “me time” and hang out with your own friends while being married? If so explain how you balance the two.
Nikhil and I have couple friends, but also individual friends which we think is really nice. We definitely make sure we spend time with our friends and have hobbies and interests for ourselves as well as with each other. This allows us then to chat with each other about our experiences and interests and hear each other’s stories.
10. Love is…
Love is… unfailing. Love never fails. Even in difficult times, when trials surround you. Love is the one thing that conquers all. Holding onto that promise has been a source of light and hope in all seasons of our walk together as a married couple.
For Fun: Worst meal you have ever had together.
One time at university I decided to cook red Thai curry for Nikhil. I was trying to be romantic and develop my cooking skills. However, I didn’t quite understand how much chili should go into the curry. Let’s just say their were chunks of chili swimming in the curry. Nikhil, trying to be sweet, attempted to eat the curry. However, a couple of spoonfuls later I could tell he was dying from the spice. Now I use chili in moderation!
If you have any questions for Nikhil and Rebekah, please use the contact page.
We love to hear incredible love stories. We won’t be able to feature all of them, but if you want to share your story, please contact us!