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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Answering Questions on Race & Marriage

Seeing as ours was an interracial family before we brought our son Jonas home from Ethiopia (my sister-in-law and brother-in-law are an interracial couple with bi-racial children) our extended family already had experience dealing with various curiosities and questions about interracial marriage.

I have often been asked how we plan to raise our sons to select a wife. It seems to be an intriguing idea to people (surprisingly, not trans racial families but others outside of the adoption sphere.) One questioner in particular was implying that they expected we would steer our boys toward black women exclusively.

I've heard some pretty wacky things come out of people's mouths (people who are even close to me. Christian people who wouldn't think of their ideas as being racist) regarding why they believe it's better for the resulting kids if people don't marry "outside their race". Another annoyingly ignorant position is this crazy idea that the races should remain "pure". Whatever the heck that means.

I'm appalled at people's notions to be blunt. I've struggled within myself to remain calm as I've felt the heat rising in me during these conversations, to temper my inward reactions with love, and to strive to come up with a way to clearly express what I believe is the truth about interracial marriages and families. I've been burdened to pray for friends who, I believe, are behaving in ignorance on the subject.

It's difficult for me because I'm a fight or flight kind of person. It's often the case that I either throw off my gloves and go at a conflict hard and heavy or shy away desiring peace. Truth cannot be sacrificed to avoid conflict and so it must be spoken. I realize that, on this subject, I cannot give peace where there is none and so I must learn to handle myself well. I need to figure out how to operate somewhere between fight and flight.

John Piper has written an excellent article which addresses the issue far better than I ever could. His words have helped me to frame my response to the totally wacked out stuff I hear. It's my prayer that every time I'm confronted with opposing ideas my response will be refined and my message will become clearer.

I encourage everyone, not just trans racial AP's, to follow this link :


Teachertraveler said...

Thanks Jen for the wonderful link. I struggle as you do, responding to people whose ignorance is astonishing.

Growing up in San Diego, diversity was a part of life. I didn't recognize it as such until I had a college interview where the interviewer actually asked me if I had "ethnic" friends. I was so stunned I blundered out an answer. The question today still appalls me(and this was from a "liberal" Christian university). I never saw my friends as of a certain race. They were my friends, period.

When it all comes down to it though, any argument against interracial marriage is utterly destroyed by the truth of Scripture. This is not a personal opinion gray area. As Piper pointed out, the one person in Scripture who did speak out against an interracial marriage, God struck them with leprosy!

soontobemomof9 said...

Thank you for the link. I love John Pipers stuff, I will def. check it out. I am a mother to 7 children. 5 bio kids and 2 AA boys that we adopted. We are currently adopting 2 special needs girls from Bulgaria who are "Roma", a race looked down upon over there. Attitudes of people continue to astound me! I am so thankful to God that I grew up in a culture/time of greater acceptance. Though we still have SO far to go!

Stacey said...

I tried to comment on this yesterday but for some reason it didn't go through. Anyway, it's interesting that you brought this up because we just had this conversation as a family a few weeks ago. I think the Bible clearly states you are not to be unequally yoked and I've heard that taken all kinds of ways out of context! My heart thinks what God was saying was not to marry an unbeliever and nothing about the color of your skin. I honestly believe that if God brings the love of your life along and he/she a different race, it's no big deal! It breaks my heart that people take God's word so out of context. Okay, enough of my rant!

Dana said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this sermon. I just read it and Piper's words make me want to stand up and cheer! Very helpful stuff. I may need to keep copies of this one in my purse to hand out as needed. :)