The Story Of Rapunzel And The Thief That Stole Her Heart

Roshni Mathew   |   September 24, 2019 
I was at the Saturday evening service at my church in Delhi, when this guy walked up to me after church, extended his hand, and said to me - “Hi, I’m Ben”. Before I could respond it took me 2 seconds to digest the fact that a guy had walked up to me IN CHURCH and introduced himself! How bold.

This friendship fast evolved through mutual taste in music, opinions on theology, and love for food. We decided to meet for a burger at Hard Rock Cafe in Delhi and I still remember the host mistaking us for being a couple and we giggled and said no we’re not dating. He couldn’t finish his burger so after I finished mine, I offered to finish his. This wasn’t a date after all, and I wasn’t ashamed of my appetite (for burgers specially!).

Then things came to a standstill - we decided we needed to pray about this friendship especially since he was hoping for something else and I was not sure of moving forward. So over a Skype call we prayed, and that's it, we let it be. We stopped being in touch after that.

A few months later I got in touch with him about something and we started talking again. I had a chance to meet him in his true element and saw a side to him I hadn’t expected to see. Post this experience I was feeling very strange inside. My parents had found a "proposal" for me to explore and I had found myself feeling something else for Ben!

Not one to waste time, Ben asked me again in his witty but classy gentlemanly style if I would be his “Rapunzel” (a reference to a song we loved by Dave Matthews Band (and my longish hair)). Evading his question I asked him if he’d be the thief that would steal my heart (I’m the corny one) and just like that, over a conversation, things moved from friendship to courtship. Soon, I had told my parents and the proposal boy that marriage wasn’t going to happen. I had my heart set on Ben (hadn't told them this part yet).

Now, this was the romantic and fun side.

As soon as we decided this, all our spiritual mentors told us to pray, pray, pray. One of our mentors had a brilliant idea of taking a break from each other for 4-5 months and not talk to one another but use the time to pray for our marriage - not necessarily to one another but for marriage in general. This made sense to me because I had come out of a bad mess of past relationships and other baggage. I thought if this was “God’s will”, this break would honour God as well give us clarity regarding our future. Ben and I decided to go ahead with this, and for 4 months we cut off communication with one another. We did have 1 friend who was keeping an eye out on the other and ensuring things were alright. I believe my Facebook and Instagram profiles were constantly being stalked at Church services and choir practices (which Ben was caught doing). But apart from 2-3 conversations we had because Ben missed an international flight and was trying to communicate with his family and another conversation over an email I received from him about taking a step forward, we didn’t talk.

Then at the end of our 4 month break, within 24 hours of speaking to one another I told my parents about Ben. In all fairness, my parents were completely caught off guard and had no idea what to do with it, so they refused to acknowledge it and didn’t really approve of our relationship for a long time. A lot of drama ensued.

This caused a lot of strain on our relationship, but when I was ready to give up, Ben and our mentors gave us the strength to persevere in prayer. I have never cried out to God the way I did in that time. We had a huge support system in the form of our respective communities and when I moved to Mumbai from Delhi, Ben’s pastor and his wife adopted me as their own without batting an eyelid.

Eventually, my parents came around (maybe a month or so prior to our wedding they started to calm down), said they’d like to get us married and Ben and I decided to let it be as long as we were able to get married with our parents' blessings - in an honourable way.

The day of our wedding arrived. I was quite stressed about not getting my way in various areas (Bridezilla, ahoy!), forgetting that I was getting to marry my best friend and the man I had spent all this time fighting with my parents for. But a few moments before I walked into the Church, my dad and brother told me “from now on he is our family, forget about everything else.''

So, as I walked down the aisle, almost laughing because I couldn’t believe what had just happened and what was about to happen, I saw my soon-to-be husband, waiting for me to be his. We both held hands once my dad left me by his side and couldn’t believe what was happening.

It’s been 4.5 years or so since we got married. The day we got married my parents literally adopted him into our family and have spoiled him rotten with gifts (he gets better gifts from my dad than I do) and food (my mother who refuses to cook will make crab, prawns, biryani and what-not for her beloved son-in-law who loves her cooking more than mine).

While our journey wasn’t perfect, I feel compelled to tell anyone courting or about to start courting to not make the mistakes we made - honour God over everything, and honour your parents by informing them beforehand. Respect the counsel of your spiritual mentors and community around you! No talk, no book or counselling can prepare you adequately for the roller-coaster ride of marriage. But having someone counsel you together makes a huge difference. My husband keeps saying that our marriage has survived so far because of the inputs of our pastor and his wife-Anand and Aji - who are our family and know us both so well that they can speak the truth to us in love. We're also grateful for the community around us. I truly believe that as a couple having good trustworthy people around to be mentored by together as a couple works wonders. Books and talks on marriage help a lot, but like my pastor said recently “Knowledge is worse than ignorance” - be ready to die to yourself to apply what you learn - even if it takes time.

Who Ben and I are today is way different from who we were when we decided to get married, but in the words of one our favourite songs, Million Miles by Josh Garrells, we haven’t lost our flame and our heart’s desire is to burn untamed - for each other and for God (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXUfxda5pNU).

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Roshni Mathew

Roshni is a full time wife and mother who lives in Mumbai with her husband and daughter. They are a part of New City Church, Mumbai where they worship and serve. Roshni loves cooking, the colour purple and travelling.

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One comment on “The Story Of Rapunzel And The Thief That Stole Her Heart”

  1. Loved reading your story. I agree with what you said. I wish there were more Godly counsel like the one you and Ben recieved. God continue to bless your family.

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