EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I'm really attracted to a girl in my young adult's group. I'm black and she is white, which is not a problem for me and I don't think it is for her. The issue is her family. During one of our meetings she mentioned in passing how her family would not be (let's just say) "pleased" if she brought a black guy home. I can see a possibility that it could get serious between us, but I don't want to cause a rift in her relationship with her family. I don't know how this could affect our relationship (if we ever have one) short and long term. Any advice would be great.
No matter how advanced of a society we are (or pretend to be), there always seems to be those age-old obstacles and impediments we seem to run into all too often.
The Bible frequently speaks of those who should not be “yoked” or joined together in marriage; however, each of these cases refer to those who are dissimilar, not because of a difference of skin color, but rather the result of not following and worshipping the same God.
You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly (Deuteronomy 7:3-4).
In fact, God does not see the “outward-ness” we are often influenced by, nor does he allow it to influence His love for us. He cares about our heart and soul.
So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality" (Acts 10:34).
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
God does not judge by outward appearance (Galatians 2:6).
If you are both attending the young adult’s group, it can be safe to assume you both are “of age” and can make decisions for yourself. However, if your “interest” is still living at home, under the shelter of her parents, there is definitely the concern to engage her parents in your dating process.
What I would suggest in your case, and any situation where there is a “difference” – be it culture, age, or denomination, is to sit down with her parents, share with them who you are and ask them for permission to date their daughter.
I understand this may seem “old-fashioned’ or “archaic,” but if you really desire the blessing of her parents and want to her to maintain a strong relationship with them, you must respect them and be concerned for her feelings towards her family.
If they don’t grant you “permission” to date her, and you are convinced she is the one God wants you to be with, continue to be a really good friend to her, but respect their wishes. Over time, if she is the one God wants you to spend the rest of your life with, He will clear your path.
Thanks for being so open and real about your desire and heart for this young lady. In today's society it has become much more open to date those of other races. God's word says we are to be equally yoked This is equally yoked not only in what we believe spiritually, but also in the goals and vision God has given us. So based on the grounds of God's word, it sounds like you are equally yoked.
So then how do you start to break down the wall, the "old mindset" of her parents? First, no matter what, there will be a struggle. People have a hard time changing. It's not that they won't like you as a person - but someone who might marry their daughter is another thing. Some of the apprehensions are real, in that you as a couple might face other obstacles that a same-race couple would not. But of course, all couples face struggles at some point in time no matter what race they are.
So what do you do? I think it is up to the young lady to talk to her parents first as you are an outsider at this point. I know for me personally I have told my mom over and over that God has never said I couldn't date or marry someone outside my race. She knows this and is in agreement but would still struggle with it. I love my mom and wouldn't want to her hurt but at the same time, I would need to follow what God is saying to me.
So if you have both prayed about it, I would move forward. I would go slow, realizing you are about to change everything her parents have ever known. They may or may not accept you. This is be the first of several obstacles you may face as a mixed couple. But, if you feel God has called you to be together, then God will prepare you for whatever comes your way. Just keep Christ as your focus and main person from whom you need approval.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name).
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately (we think they sound eerily similar sometimes, too!).
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.