Jeff and Maria met while attending a conference in California. Jeff traveled down from Canada and Maria up from Colombia. It wasn’t love at first sight. They kept in touch, got to know each other, traveled to visit one another often and ultimately fell in love. This is not a puppy love type of story. Both Jeff and Maria are in their late thirties. Though both could have been married to any number of admirers, they did not want. They chose not to settle into marriage just for the sake of being married. They used their season of singleness to grow, pray earnestly, and wait patiently for God’s timing.
I met Maria back in 2012. She is a family-oriented woman who loves God. She completed a masters degree in a respected western university, is well established in her profession, owns her own place in Colombia, and is quite enterprising. By all accounts, Maria embodies a virtuous woman. The type of woman a mother would want for their son. The type of woman any family would love to welcome with open arms.
Yet, welcoming is hardly the word to use to describe what happened when Jeff informed his family that he had found Maria – the woman with whom he desired to spend his life. No sooner had he declared his intentions, some members of his family objected. The bold ones labelled Maria as a gold-digging woman who desired to escape the distress of her country in order to enjoy the comforts of Canada. Others took a more tactical approach to discourage him. They told Jeff that he was rushing into things…that he should give it more time. They asked him to consider the difficulties inherent in interracial relationships and to consider the difficulties they would face when they have children. Still others said, ‘I hear you when you say she is a wonderful woman, but there are wonderful women right here in Canada as well. Why not find a Canadian woman?’
If what you are reading shocks you, it shouldn’t. This problem has been in existence since the first man sinned. Now, if you find yourself in the situation that Jeff and Maria find themselves, I want to share with you what I shared with Jeff. I will share with you the story of a biblical man Moses.
Moses married interracially when he married an Ethiopian woman (see Numbers 12). His brother and sister-in-law were not fans of this decision. In fact, it bothered them so much that they started to question the legitimacy of Moses’ leadership.
But God defended Moses’ decision. He called Moses’ brother and sister-in-law and said to them: I speak with him (Moses) face to face, even plainly and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the LORD. Whey then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses (Numbers 12:8).
Do you realize what God did there? He rebuked Moses’ brother and sister-in-law. He shared with them that Moses speaks with him and that Moses hears what he says clearly. This means that God did not object when Moses spoke with Him about marrying the Ethiopian lady. And God did not like it when they tried to discredit him or put him down because of it. In fact, a few verses down, Moses’ sister-in-law became leprous because of her dissent.
This story tells us 5 important things:
(1) God does not see race or cultural as a showstopper in marriage – otherwise he would not have allowed the interracial marriage
(2) Just because we choose to please God in our decision does not mean we will please our family – though Moses’ choice pleased God, it did not please Moses’ family members
(3) It is more important to please God than it is to please our family – Moses did not reverse his decision due to his family’s dissent
(4) God will defend us when we make a decision that He is pleased with – God spoke to Moses family member about their behavior and warned them against discrediting him
(5) God does not like it when we put anyone down because of their race of culture – the bible says God was angry and Moses’ sister-in-law became leprous.
So, what if your family does not support your interracial relationship? Go ahead with it so long as it is right in the eyes of God. It is God that keeps your marriage together, not your family.