Nov 8 2012, by Adeline Lum CM-
Don’t we all love fairy tales? How the prince would pursue and win the princess’s heart and it would end with a “happily ever after”? Of course, a few think that children should not watch fairy tales because fairy tales distort the reality of marriage today, which is not always a bed of roses. But must we be so skeptical and pessimistic of a happy marriage?
Take Huat and May now live a married life, as they described as “Heaven on Earth.” What is their secret?
Falling in Love
Take Huat fell in love at first sight with May at a farewell party in University of Louisiana in 1983. As a strong-willed oldest son among his seven siblings, he was particularly drawn to her independence and driven character who is the oldest child among her seven siblings too.
Both of them completed their Master’s in University of Toledo, United States. Their graduation launched him into a multinational company, while she worked in a reputable law firm in United States. What a picture of a successful and happy power couple! However, her mother was not too keen, commenting that he was an impatient man and their strong characters would lead to a difficult marriage. They were engaged in 1987 and married in 1989.
In year 1991, his father had multiple strokes, so the couple returned to Malaysia for good. Recalling this decision, he understood how God brought them back to Malaysia.
14 Years into Marriage- Not a Bed of Roses
As years go by, the ambitious couple did remarkably well in their careers. However, things at home were not the same; they squabbled so much that their helper would instinctively shut all the windows to soundproof their voices.
What attracted them to each other became an eye sore. Arguments would sparked from both sides. And their household hardly had any peace. So, the couple would seek peace in different ways such as Feng Shui, fortune telling and gods of other faiths-even chanting together for up to seven to eight hours in one day – but their efforts were futile.
In fact, it was during one of the chanting that she drew her last straw. One morning, he was chanting earnestly at the altar when she switched on the fan to cool her perspiring husband. But the fan blew the flames off the candles, which also flamed his anger towards her.
Her marriage was a mistake, she thought to herself. Confiding in her best friend who was also her boss of Christian faith, she wanted to file for a separation despite being married for fourteen years and carrying her fifth child. But her boss said that married Christian couples do not separate.
What God Binds, Men Cannot Break
After two months of not talking to each other, May received a phone call from her boss, saying that the cell group just prayed for her marriage. On that same day, Take Huat took courage to talk to her for the first time after a long silence. But her heart is still hardened towards him and God.
However, one faithful day after he tried many times talking to her, she agreed to have breakfast with him. After breakfast, he casually suggested visiting her boss’s house. Her boss had been inviting the couple to cell groups and church events for about a decade. There, the husband of her boss witnessed to him, leading him to the sinner’s prayer at 40 years old.
“I always knew that there must be something after death though I do not know where I am going,” said Take Huat who would occasionally have panic attacks in the middle of the night.
However, he was still not fully convinced. Kneeling in front of the altar, he prayed to Jesus: “If you are real, then come into my life, I need you and I will spread Your Name for you.”
Two weeks after he made the sinner’s prayer, they attended the Marriage Encounter Weekend which May’s boss had signed them up three months ago. During the Saturday of that weekend, God came and took his fear away, giving him a peaceful night rest for the first time.
The next day, the couple was told by their mentors that 50 couples were praying for them.
“When they told me that, tears just rolled down from my eyes and both of us sobbed uncontrollably,” recalled Take Huat.
Turned out, one of the facilitators prayed for one married couple to be saved that weekend, and they were the ones! At the end of the marriage session, his mentors asked if anyone encountered Jesus, he remembered his promise and shared his testimony with all the couples.
Your Marriage is Not a Mistake
Meanwhile, God had been working in May’s heart. Marrying her husband was not a mistake, but a relationship bind by God in Heaven.
She realized that the first time they met was one day after she touched down in United States, which was 19th of August 1983. She started working for her Christian boss in August 1991. And a decade after that, the couple encountered Jesus together at the Marriage Union weekend on 19th August, 2001. The precision of these dates were too much to write off as a coincidence!
She learned that “what God has joined together, let man not separate (Mark 10:9).” Since then, she was assured that God willed for them to be together.
Ripple-effect of God’s Grace
Their characters transformed so much, that even their helper could not help asking, “Who is this God who has changed you?”
And their helper also accepted Christ later! What a great ripple effect of God’s grace! Her mother who initially discouraged her marriage, also witnessed the couple’s transformation and accepted the Lord over a phone call. Now, May guides her mother overseas everyday in reading the Bible through teleconferencing.
Not only that, her neighbour also became interested in Christ when she saw May teaching her helper the Bible. And that opened the door to talking about Jesus. Now, May is heading a Bible class for four women.
Take Huat, on the other hand, is one of the leaders in the Business and Professional (B&P) Group for Christians and powerfully impacting ministry in business.
Retired, they are both marriage counselors in B&P to married couples who are having troubles in their relationship.
Happily Ever After Do Exist
“While we worry about our future, perhaps we should stop struggling and resisting. And allow God to mould and guide us,” said Take Huat.
He also thinks that if a man could not keep his family together, then success is meaningless. Now, every week, he would hold a family altar where all five of his children would gather to talk about their walk with God and problems in life. Even their oldest daughter who is in overseas will join this family tradition through teleconferencing.
Have a “God-first” Attitude
Both of them shed off their old selfish “me-first” attitude to “God-first” attitude. While we peruse self-help books that have step one to ten of how to have a happy marriage, this couple just offered one simple step.
“Just put God as the centre of your life, and you would know what to do (Matthew 6:33),” said Take Huat. “Conflict is not about who wins or loses but is about understanding.”
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
And May added, “The home should be a place of love, not a place of who is right or wrong.”
“Although some say that life is not a bed of roses, for me, it is,” said Take Huat.
“Happily ever after” do exist in a marriage after all.
Information about B&P ministries:
Started in 1994, Businessmen and Professionals (B&P) ministry was created to help businessmen and professionals walk the talk of faith in their workplace.
Please go to the website below for more information: