A Biblical Look at Intercultural Marriages
- Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Naomi and Ruth's arrival created quite a stir in Bethlehem. The Moabite people were often in conflict with the Israelites, so no doubt people were surprised at Ruth's choice to enter the land of Judah with Naomi.
Ruth "happened" to glean in a field owned by a wealthy and benevolent man named Boaz. He immediately noticed that she was a foreigner and offered her protection in his fields. As Boaz watched Ruth glean day by day, he recognized her excellent and noble character.
Naomi advised Ruth to go down to the threshing floor at night and let Boaz know that he could serve as a kinsman-
redeemer for her. She did so and asked him to spread his garment over her as an indication that he would marry her and provide for her (Ruth 3:9).
Ruth and Boaz married and had a son named Obed, the father of Jesse, who became the father of King David in the line of Christ (Ruth 4:17)
Joseph and Asenath
We don't know much about this partnership, but Joseph, son of the patriarch Jacob, gained favor with the Pharaoh of Egypt. As a result, Joseph was given Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian priest, as a wife (Genesis 41:45). Asenath was a dark-skinned beauty from a culture that held views that contrasted with the traditions and religious heritage of the Jews. However, because Joseph was an honorable man who had gained great favor even from foreign kings, he most likely was able to strike a balance between his own faith and values and those of his wife. Joseph and Asenath bore two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 46:20).
A Summary of Biblical Teaching on Intercultural Marriage
Pastor and author John Piper lists the following biblical principles on race and racial harmony, which also apply directly to intercultural marriage:
• God designed all ethnic groups from one human ancestor. (Acts 17:26)
• All members of every ethnic group are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)
• In determining the significance of who you are, being a person in the image of God compares to ethnic distinctives the way the light of the noonday sun compares to the light from the candles on a birthday cake. Being a person is infinitely more significant than being a white person or a black person.
• The prediction of a curse that Noah spoke over some of the descendents of Ham is irrelevant in deciding how the black race is to be viewed and treated. Ham's descendents were Canaanites, not Africans. (Genesis 10:15-18)
• It is God's purpose and command that we make disciples for Jesus Christ from every ethnic group in the world, without distinction. (Matthew 28:18-20)
• All believers in Jesus Christ, of every ethnic group, are united to each other not only in common humanity in the image of God, but even more, as brothers and sisters in Christ and members of the same body. (Romans 12:4-5)
• The Bible forbids intermarriage between believer and unbeliever, but not between members of different ethnic groups. (1 Corinthians 7:39)
• Therefore, against the spirit of indifference, alienation, and hostility in our land, let us embrace the supremacy of God's love to take new steps personally and corporately toward racial harmony, expressed visibly in our communities and in our churches.4
Recently on Marriage
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content