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The Benefits of Intercultural/Interracial Marriage

I was born and raised in Kenya and never imagined I would one day be married to a man born and raised in American. Not because I had anything against getting married to an American but because, well, I was living in Kenya and you hardly see an American crossing the street, especially if you grew up in my neighborhood! The closest I came to seeing a Westerner was on the TV while my Dad was listening to Kenny Rodgers’ music πŸ™‚

But you know what they say about God working in mysterious ways. Meeting my husband was the work of God that required obedience and trust on my part. It required God moving me to another country.

The long story started back in 2011 when my husband, in obedience to God, started aΒ safe homeΒ for young girls ages 5 to 15 years who had been sexually trafficked or gone through traumatic sexual ordeals in Malawi, Africa. It’s only God who knew that 4 years later, my husband would meet a gorgeously created small lady from Kenya πŸ™‚ Lucky guy he is!

Anyway, today I’ll be talking about the benefits of being in an intercultural/interracial marriage. I was going through previous articles written on this topic and most of them talked about how hard this type of marriage is, and I thought, Fake news Alert people!!!

Intercultural/interracial union is one of the most beautiful thing ever, more beautiful than a smiling Sloth.

 

 

Alright, let’s look at the benefits below:

You get to learn a new culture

This starts to happen while you’re dating. You get to learn the Do’s and Don’ts, you become self-aware and ready to learn. This in-turn strengthens your bond and makes one stop believing that one culture is superior over another. But that we’re all special in our own special way.

This goes from understanding why your Spouse celebrates certain holidays to what kinds of Sports they like. Even if they don’t necessarily make sense to you πŸ™‚ What matters is that we embrace each other’s cultural values.

Traveling a lot

I enjoy going back and forth from Kenya to the U.S., mainly because I like traveling. Someone once told me that this will all change once we have kids! Hopefully that won’t happen but until then, I’m going to have fun while it lasts.

When your Spouse is from another country, you get to experience and visit places that mean a lot to your spouse, you get see where they grew up, the little/big schools they went to, build friendships and have a 2nd family away from home.

This can however not be fun when/if you stay in one country for a long period of time and start missing your family πŸ™

Learn how to make new cuisines

My husband’s favorite food is Lasagna. Although this is not originally an American food. I’ve learnt how to make it the “American way”. I believe it’s close to the way the Italians do it, I hope… Learning how to make different kinds of food has broadened my cooking skills so much I surprised myself!

I’m excited about going home and teaching my family how to make Lasagna! That shows how intercultural marriage is one of the factors that will lead to food being universal! How cool will it be to have all countries in the whole world having every kind of cuisine! A girl can dream.

Reduces negative Stereotypes

By definition, a stereotype is a widely held oversimplified idea of a particular people group (or thing). There’s a lot of stereotypes out there about people from different races and cultures. Some are true but others are not. Interracial/intercultural marriages lead to the reduction of negative stereotypes. Your Spouse’s friends who are from the same race/culture as he is, come to learn a lot from you. They get to learn that sometimes stereotypes are not facts but just lies that people make up. And you in-turn get to learn a lot as well.

According to Deacon Harold Burke Sivers, an international speaker and author on family life and spirituality, the bottom line is not the color of skin in a marriage, but the fact that you were brought together for a reason.

Learning new Languages

My husband and I are currently learning Chichewa together. Chichewa is a language spoken in Malawi. It hasn’t been going that well but we’re not giving up!

I speak Swahili and I’m currently in the process of teaching my husband how to, it’s actually not going that bad πŸ™‚ We never make new years’ resolutions but this year we did, that by the end of the year, he will be able to fully understand Swahili.

Sometimes during family gatherings with my family we forget and get lost in Swahili which makes him feel a little left out. I try to translate but its not the same. So if anything, this will be what motivates us to fulfill this resolution! My brother always says, “There are some stories that are best told in Swahili, if you try English, they just don’t ‘come’ out well”.

Once interracial/intercultural couples have kids, their kids will be bilingual, which is a really awesome thing!

Some Downsides:

As much as I’ve talked about the beautiful things that come from interracial/intercultural marriages, there are also some not so beautiful things that require God and our dedication to walk through them. I wish it was as perfect as I described it but its not, nothing is perfect, everything is flawed in its own way. The one thing that we have to work through is the societal stereotypes, we still get stared at when we go to specific places. I always tell my husband that I’m going to interpret the stare positively. That the people staring are captivated by us! That always gives me confidence to hold my head high and even give them a smile πŸ™‚

Finding the balance between our cultural differences has also been something that most, if not all intercultural couples struggle with. Eventually after a few years of marriage you will finally crack it, it takes God’s help and guidance to accomplish all these, we can’t do it by our own strength.

Thank you for reading this article and kindly leave a comment and I will get right back to you!

I came across the video below and thought it’s worth sharing. I hope we all learn something from it.


Esther
I enjoy Travelling, Pet sitting, Cooking and Writing about marriage related topics. Bringing joy to peoples' lives gives me great pleasure. Above all, I would be lost if I didn't have Jesus in my life! I'm excited about this site and will be adding new content regularly! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below or send me an email at esther@marriagestore.org and I will get back to you :-)

12 thoughts on “The Benefits of Intercultural/Interracial Marriage”

  1. The funny thing for me here is that you started off talking about Kenny Rogers. Probably just a coincidence but growing up that was one of my favorite singers.

    Nothing to do with the benefits of interracial/intercultural marriages just something funny we have in common. I also enjoyed hearing about you and your family talking Swahili and using that as a motivator so that your husband will learn it as well.
    One thing I was curious about is what does your influence due to the foods your husband tries? Does he also go outta his way to cook your favorite meal?

    1. Thank you Eric, he does, he loves making me some Kenyan Porridge. It’s made from the millet flour, I love it so much! We also cook something called Chapati together, it looks like a Tortilla but soft, almost like pancakes but not that soft πŸ™‚ It’s amazing!

  2. Esther,

    First, your smile and your husband’s smile in the topmost image says so much about y’all (I’m from Texas, therefore the “y’all”).

    Great article. Your great personality comes through in your writing style.

    As my pastor says, if someone looks at your funny, they’re the ones with the problem (issue), not you. He also says to be gracious, and no doubt you are by smiling at them.

    My wife was born in the US, as was I, though she’s Mexican and I’m white. When our daughter and son were younger, I used to love walking in the mall with them. People seemed to look at me as though I kidnapped them. It didn’t matter to me because they were my daughter and son and I loved them.

    Our situation is a bit different than y’all’s, but I understand what you’re saying. And, yes, if God is in it, what better can you ask for?

    I’m so glad I came across your article. What a blessing it was to me to read it.

    Best Regards

    1. Thank you for this Rick! I’m glad you can relate to what I’m talking about based on your past. And you’re right about being gracious and understanding, it’s the most important thing we can do in such situations. Your comment has really made my heart warm πŸ™‚

  3. Hi Esther, What a lovely warm post to read. Marriage, in general, isn’t easy, but it is even more challenging when marrying out of ones culture. It make is more interesting and fun. Learning new ways of doing things and thinking about different issues. You seem to be coping wonderfully and look so happy. God know what he is doing and when he brings a couple together, he will surely give them the strength of character to overcome difficulties and give them the gifts they will need to grow in their love for one another. Hope this all makes sense. Don’t let the ” nay sayers ” spoil your time together. Wishing you every blessing on your marriage.

    1. Thank you for your comment Jill. It does make it interesting and fun and God has a reason as to why he brings couples together! He has a plan for everything, we just need to trust him! The best part about being married to my husband is when we learn new things together.

    2. Intercultural marriage is not difficult at all as long as your identity is in Lord Jesus Christ!!! Christ by His death and resurrection broke all barriers and any believer from any culture or language can get into union of marriage!! The issue is not with the intercultural bride and groom in Christ who is married but the folks outside who thinks it is difficult because of their lack of acceptance of the marriage!!! Followers of Lord Jesus Christ sometimes are the worst critiques!!!

      1. I love your comment Soman, you’re right that if our identity is in Jesus Christ, then he will make all things work out for good. He will make the impossible possible. As long as the groom and the bride have Jesus to look upon, then joy and happiness will fill their marriage, no matter what race they are!! Thank you!!

  4. Thanks for sharing this informative and lovely post! I must say I am overwhelmed with the lovely story I have just read from this page and I am strongly supporting the fact that intercultural/interracial union/marriage is one of the most beautiful things in life if not the most beautiful thing.

    Things happen like that naturally and fortune in life can come through mystery. In my own perspective, a worse lady from a worse part of the world could have had greater luck than that. Anything can just happen and that’s the mystery about life. It’s just full of ups and downs, fortune and misfortune, good and bad and the rest.

    I will be visiting your site from time to time to learn more from your future posts. Keep up the great work.
    Cheers,
    Israel Olatunji!

  5. Esther, first of all awesome article. The Loving’s paved the way for intercultural marriages in America. My wife and I are heading into our 14th year of marriage. For the most part the looks have faded as the American Bi-racial population has increased. I used to get comments like, “why didn’t you marry some one from your own race?” My response, “I did, the human race.” We are all created in the image of God, if you love God, how can you not love his creation? When I look at being in a intercultural relationshp, I look at the plus and minuses of the cultures and try to figure out to impart the best of both world to my children. My wife is of German decent and it awesome to hear about their families struggles as immigrants new to America and how God has blessed them and the children who came behind them. My family who left the south to escape the oppression of Jim Crow laws to relocate to the north for a better life for the children that would follow. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the common ground between our families and that eliminates the need to see color and culture. It is throiugh his second greatest commandement, love they neighbor as thyself, that we see our family.
    Keep posting!!!!

    1. Thank you for sharing your story with us Darrell! I love your response, ” I did, the human race”, I’ll have to use that sometime. I love the way you’ve laid it all out, that as long as Jesus is the common ground, then we won’t see color nor culture. And that we are all his creation. For that, we ought to follow his commandment of loving our neighbors, no matter who or what they are! Wuuuh, I love this!
      Thank you for bringing up your children wisely, showing them the best of both sides. They will be the leaders/generation of tomorrow. Proverbs 22:6 says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

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