Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on why old-fashioned ways are still relevant in marriage

Nurul Azliah
Senior Lifestyle Reporter
A screengrab of a Facebook video showing Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs at his daughter’s wedding in 2014. Photo: Vivian Balakrishnan/Facebook

Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan warmed hearts online on Wednesday (30 November) after he shared a video of himself giving a speech on marriage and happiness.

The video was posted on Facebook and saw the 56-year-old giving insights into his married life in a speech delivered at his daughter’s wedding in 2014. Balakrishnan had been married to his wife, Joy, for 27 years when the video was shot. The couple celebrates their 30th wedding anniversary this year.

The most significant part of his marriage occurred when the couple began to have children, he said. When his wife gave birth to Natalie, the first of their four children, the importance of staying committed to his wife and family became more apparent to him.

“Children need a sense of absolute security from knowing their parents love each other… they need a role model from parents who love each other,” said Balakrishnan. He was clad in a tuxedo and was standing by his wife, who once told him that the best gift he could give his children was to love their mother. The crowd laughed while hearing this. But Balakrishnan clearly understood what she meant.

“In a day of instant gratification, almost throw-away culture, these old fashioned values of commitment, for the long term loving your partner and making it a life enterprise, I think this is even more essential in this day,” said Balakrishnan, who went on to give his blessings to his daughter and son-in-law Nathaniel on their new chapter of their life.

Sobbing after seeing his mother’s diamond crucifix on his daughter, he believed that his late mother would have given her blessings as well. He hoped that the newlywed would learn from him and wife on how to build a family, and realise how much the parents love her once she begins to have her own.

“Joy and I have been very happy and we’ve been very blessed. My dearest hope for Nathaniel and Natalie is that you will have our happiness and the joy of life we have enjoyed,” he said. Natalie gave birth to her first child in January 2016.

Watch the full speech here:

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