What does the Bible say about interracial dating or marriage? That was the question I most recently dealt with during our Q&A time at Cross Culture Church.
We do seem to see many more couples these days of different skin colors. There was a time when the culture of America would have looked very critically on that, but times they are a changing.
The question is, does the Bible prohibit people of different color or ethnic backgrounds from marrying? The simple answer is, no. The Bible makes no distinction of “races” because as far as God is concerned there is only one race, the human race.
“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” (Gen 3:20) All of us are descended from the original couple. That makes all of us, in some way, related. The old saying, “You can’t pick your family” really is true.
If that were not clear enough try this verse, “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.” (Acts 17:26)
The Bible distinguishes between tribes or nations, but never by skin color or physical appearance. Technically, as I understand it, all skin is the same. What gives our skin different shades is determined by how much melanin your body produces. That’s genetically determined. After God confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel families went in different directions. The gene pool became more concentrated among those groups and certain genetic traits having to do with the production of melanin literally came to the surface. The result was different skin tones or “colors.”
In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was forbidden from marrying non-Jews, but that was for religious reasons not racial reasons. God knew that if the Jews began to intermarry with the nations around them they would begin to adopt their religious practices and would not stay true to the Lord God. It had nothing to do with the color of skin.
The bottom line is there is no prohibition against dating someone of a different ethnic background. Couples should be aware of societal challenges that can arise because of people’s preconceived notions or prejudices, but God puts no such restrictions on relationships.
The only restrictions God gives for marriage is that a believer not marry an unbeliever. “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Cor 6:14) The fact is when it comes to people God is color blind and we should be as well.
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