In March 2010, my wife, Berinda, and I submitted our application to join the Style: Weddings Beautiful Couple contest. By August, we did not receive any news from the organisers and thought that the competition was over. In September, we were notified that we were shortlisted for the contest. We were excited because we knew that God had a hand in it. I was supposed to go overseas for a work trip in October but my boss pushed my departure date to November. If not, I would not have been able to take part in the contest.
During the semi-finals, we had to go through an interview. The interviewer revealed that the prize was $15,000 worth of jewellery and vouchers. When I heard that, my heart rejoiced. I was not able to afford jewellery for Berinda during our wedding but now, I know that our heavenly Father is personally giving Berinda her wedding gift.
On 31 October 2010, we went for the finals. We were couple number five — the number of grace! During the styling session, none of the hairstylists wanted to attend to Berinda as she had short hair. In the end, the owner of the salon personally styled Berinda’s hair! Before it was our turn to go on stage, Berinda suggested that we pray. We prayed that every word that came out of our mouths would be guided by the Holy Spirit, revealing the beauty of Jesus to the audience.
On stage, we were asked to choose a random question from a fishbowl. Our question was, "How do you intend to keep the relationship strong after you're married?" I answered, "We love because God first loved us. And God is love. So I told Berinda that I will never love her out of my own effort, but I will only love her with the love of God. And when I look to God, it is He who gives me the strength to love Berinda." The microphone was then passed to Berinda. She expressed that she will not look to me for happiness, but her eyes will always be fixed on God, and that putting God in the centre of our relationship will make us a stronger couple. When we went offstage, I kept thinking that perhaps we should have said something more practical. But God's peace assured me that it was okay.
When it was time to reveal the winning couple, the judges came up and commented that they were eloquent, had chemistry and were very comfortable with each other. To our delight, Berinda and I won the competition! After the competition, one of the organisers shared with us that they almost did not select us for the semi-finals because we were married a little longer than the rest, but they kept coming back to our pictures and had to meet us. That was another confirmation that it was God who orchestrated the whole event. This is truly a year of restful increase. All glory to Jesus!