Majors Asit & Sunetra George
Asit: I was a single lieutenant serving in Kearny, N.J., and had some difficulties with dating based on fear since I had not dated anyone. I had friends in India who had dated and several of them experienced heartaches, which did not enamor me to the process. My father, like many parents, felt a burden that it was his role to get me married. My divisional commander in New Jersey, Lt. Colonel William Bamford II, suggested I try the Indian way of an arranged marriage. Lt. Colonel Pawar, my corps officer in India, recommended Sunetra, who was a cadet.
Sunetra: Colonel Vishwas Pawar was my training principal. I happened to be his only single cadet. According to Asit, God did not give him many choices knowing that he might mess up. God knew what He was doing.
Our families made plans that we would meet. Her father and sister–in–law arrived with Sunetra, who looked beautiful. After a brief conversation with the adults, we moved to an adjoining room and conversed for a few hours about our calling and families. We met again the next day and conversed more about ministry and life in the United States. I had applied to work for a branch of the government that my uncle also worked for. I was struggling with my calling and questioning if Army officership was the right fit for me. Every day, I prayed to God about my plans, at the same time asking His will to take place in my life. It was in this period of uncertainty that I heard about Asit’s proposal. I was quite an independent person and was not sure if Asit was the future spouse for my lifestyle.
Sunetra was a Salvationist living a holy life to which she had been called, and she obeyed her calling. I was doing the same: striving to live a holy life and obeying God in my call to be an officer. I was praying to God that if He thought Asit was the person for me then I would not get accepted for the job, but if I got accepted for the job, then that would mean Asit is not the person for me. For me to make a right decision and knowing God’s will for my life I had to know that clearly and surely. I received a letter from my uncle a month later saying that the job had not materialize. Immediately I knelt by my bed in my small room and resurrendered my life to God. I thanked Him for confirming His will for me—which was, Asit was the person for me.
I made a deliberate decision to enter into a covenant relationship and to love Sunetra. Was there love at first sight or after we met and before marriage? No, but we both arrived at a decision from different experiences and thought processes. Along with a new marriage I also had to learn about a new place (United States), a new people, and a new culture. Asit was quite patient and instrumental in helping me in my transition.
One allows grace to permeate the relationship. We adjusted to each other’s needs, and over the days, it dawned on us that we loved the other person. Marriage is a union of two different individuals/personalities whereby we learn to adapt, accommodate, love, and care for each other.
When I was eight years old my mother would make me stand on a stepstool so I could reach the counter. She taught me how to make rice as well as roast the Indian flat breads. In our marriage, I have always felt that it is my role to help out in the kitchen as much as possible. My father prayed and read his Bible every morning before he left for work, which influenced me and became a part of my life as well. I begin my day in prayer for 20–30 minutes, which is a non-negotiable.
During summers, my parents would take us for a visit to my hometown to meet the rest of the family. In the same way, Sunetra and I have taken our family for vacations as much as possible. We have visited a childhood friend of mine in Texas and preferred to drive there. The driving through the various states allowed us all to experience the length and breadth of the United States. My mother, being the housewife, took care of every detail of my father’s needs, and my father did everything that a man should be doing in the house. They always stuck together as a team.
I HAVE HAD TO LEARN how to communicate with Sunetra. It is out of our communication styles, among other matters, that we learn how to resolve problems, pursue ambition, know God, and relate with others. Each moment with my spouse is precious for me whether we are arguing, disagreeing (as long as at the end of the day we communicate with each other and address it), or just enjoying that moment.
My relationship with God is based on the idea that one day I will be married to Him as a part of the larger Church—the bride. The deeper that I understand my marriage the more I understand of my relationship with God who treats me and the church as his future bride. My covenant with God extends to my spouse, family, and ministry.
moments with the children always invoke joy and laughter. We were all together this past Christmas. Our daughter does a great imitation of Indian parents, our son comes up with his very unthinkable mannerisms or comments, and we all burst out laughing. Abigail and Caleb have two different personalities; they have enriched our lives immensely. We are constantly learning so much as parents and as a couple.
Emotionally, my family was not expressive. Sunetra’s family believes in hugs and kisses. When we were married and from then on, Sunetra’s father would kiss me on both cheeks. In the matter of expressions of love and care, our children have imitated Sunetra and her family. Sunetra has brought that important relational facet to our family and our marriage. Our children are funny in their own ways and bring joy and laughter in our family. This has encouraged me to have fun in my relationship with Asit as well as make our every conversation pleasant and meaningful.
In our day–to–day living we often hear stories regarding marriages or love relationships and then knowingly or unknowingly compare our marriage to them, and that can be frustrating. Comparing could lead to anger, which then gets vented out in the marriage. A perfect marriage does not exist. If two individuals who are married are living holy lives and making the best decisions they can, which are God–honoring and respectful of their spouse, then it is a good marriage. Apart from my commitment and faithfulness in my covenant relationship, I am also a firm believer of maintaining a positive attitude and seeing the good in everything that comes my way. So I try to have a positive attitude and good intentions in my daily endeavors. Charles Swindoll stressed the importance of your attitude, that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. A poor attitude will make or break a company, a church, or a home.
God orchestrated every detail, and yet He also respected us, allowing us to make our own decisions. God knew what He was doing.