“Parminder’s sister is a beautiful young woman,” his father said. “What’s her name?”
“Raminder.” His father knew her name but the best way to get through these mini-character analyses was to play along.
“You’re close friends?”
Matt shrugged. He needed to stay neutral but the mention of Raminder had put him on the defensive.
“We are all God’s children, all equal in the eyes of The Lord.”
Matt shrugged again. Where was this going?
“You’re almost a man now, son. Graduated from high school, could have done better, but just the same, an academic standing that will get you into university.”
Matt was on the honor roll, but near the bottom.
“A few years from now, once you’ve hopefully secured a career, you’ll be ready to get married. “A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” ” His father sipped his drink. “I am blessed with a wife of noble character.”
Mrs. Bennett’s identity beyond being a nurturing, supportive and loving mother to Matt was confined to being the wife of Reverend Bennett. If she had a character, it could best be described as obedient and long suffering.
“When the time comes, my son, consider that a shared faith can keep a marriage together in the most difficult times.”
Matt stood. “I have no plans to get married.” He was beginning to understand what was being insinuated and he didn’t want to hear it. He headed for the door.
“Matthew. Don’t turn your back on your father.”
Matt stopped and turned around.
His father smiled. “You don’t want to become “yoked together with unbelievers,” as the Bible says in Corinthians 2.” He tapped the book on his desk.
“I’m not going to be yoked with anyone.”
“A husband and wife that pray together, stay together.” The Reverend folded his hands in his lap. “And then there’s the matter of children.”
“Would they pray to Jesus or some guru, read the Bible or the Granth, go to a church or a temple, be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven or ...?”
That day Matt added bigot to the list of his father’s despicable qualities.
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