Interracial marriage has been legal in the U.S. for 49 years, but a Christian mom offered some advice Aug. 8 for parents who may still be struggling with this issue.
Gaye Clark wrote a blog posting on The Gospel Coalition website entitled "When God Sends Your White Daughter a Black Husband."
Clark recalled how she prayed that God would send her daughter a husband who was "godly, kind, a great dad, and a good provider."
The self-identified "white, 53-year-old mother" also described her surprise when God sent an "African American with dreads named Glenn."
Clark added that it was only relatively recently that interracial marriage was legalized in the U.S.:
It wasn’t long ago that interracial marriage -- particularly a black man like Glenn marrying a white girl like Anna -- was considered the ultimate taboo in American white society. (In fact, it was illegal in 16 states until 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that race-based restrictions violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Hence the film releasing this fall, Loving.) Though I never shared this prejudice, I never expected the issue to enter my life.
To the parent like me who never envisioned her daughter in an interracial marriage, here are eight things to remember when your white daughter brings a black man home for dinner.
Clark's first piece of advice to Christians was to remember that: "All ethnicities are made in the image of God, have one ancestor, and can trace their roots to the same parents, Adam and Eve."
Clark also recalled how she started seeing her black son-in-law in his true identity: "As you pray for your daughter to choose well, pray for your eyes to see clearly, too. Glenn moved from being a black man to beloved son when I saw his true identity as an image bearer of God, a brother in Christ, and a fellow heir to God’s promises."
Farther down her list, Clark advised Christians to tread lightly with racists in the family:
Calling Uncle Fred a bigot because he doesn’t want your daughter in an interracial marriage dehumanizes him and doesn’t help your daughter either.
Lovingly bear with others’ fears, concerns, and objections while firmly supporting your daughter and son-in-law. Don’t cut naysayers off if they aren’t undermining the marriage. Pray for them.
Clark also assured her readers that interracial marriage is not about two races joining together: "Interracial marriage in Christ is not about the joining of two races and cultures into one. It’s not about a new ethnic heritage. It’s about unwavering allegiance to the one true God and all he may require of the couple as soldiers of Jesus."
At her daughter's wedding, Clark remembered how she realized that heaven will also include people of different races:
As Anna and Glenn stood before our pastor and joined their two lives into one, I realized their union was a foretaste of a glory yet to come: "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes (Rev. 7:9)."
As a side note, Bob Jones University dropped its longtime ban concerning interracial dating in 2000, noted the Evangelical Press.
The Christian-based college had forbidden the practice since the 1950s, and lost its tax-exempt status in 1983 because it refused to give up the ban, which it said was based on the notion that God had a reason for creating people differently.