Recently my grandson has begun dating a young woman of another race. I've always believed that we're all God's creation; I have many friends of other races. But I find myself very anxious for my grandson. There's still so much prejudice in our world and even in the church. I want to be supportive, but I'm worried that pursuing this relationship could cause him a lot of grief in the future. How can I get over this?
—Chip Gerber, via e-mail
You're right, Chip, according to the Bible, there really is only one race: the human race. We're all physically and spiritually descended from the same two people, Adam and Eve. Different people groups have distinguishing characteristics and cultures, but deep down (genetically) we're the same. The Scriptures say absolutely nothing about choosing a spouse on the basis of skin color; the Bible only forbids being "unequally yoked," or "partnered," with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14). So, assuming the young woman is a Christian, apparently there's nothing inherently wrong—either morally or spiritually—with your grandson's choice of a potential mate. But I understand your concern. After all, making a relationship work is hard enough as it is, without adding the pressures of a sometimes hostile society.
Do keep in mind that the world has changed significantly in the last thirty years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 2.5 million interracial couples in America today. Unfortunately, there is still deeply rooted prejudice in some communities. But in others, it's not an issue at all. So how much adversity your grandson and his girlfriend face will have a lot to do with where they choose to live and work and worship. And should they decide to marry, there are hundreds of books, articles, websites, conferences, support groups, and online communities available to help them with the challenges they face and the decisions that may impact their future family. You can help them, too, by praying faithfully that they will find God's will for them, and that they'll have the courage and strength to walk in it.
Remember that hardship and adversity can help us grow stronger in our relationship with God and with others. Whatever trials your grandson and his future wife face, you know that God will use the heartache for their benefit and his glory (James 1:2-4, 2 Cor. 4:6-9, 16-18). If God has truly brought them together, then you can count on him to give them the strength they need.
Copyright © 2008 by the author or Christianity Today/Today's Christian magazine.
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