Does Love Transcend Colour? – Inter-Racial Marriages in Focus

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In societies comprising peoples of different tribes, tongues, nations and continents, the probability of interracial marriages occurring is more likely. In the last three decades, surveys carried out in the US indicated an increase in the number of interracial marriages. You may be part of this statistics or know a family member, friend or relative who is.

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While interracial marriages may foster societal cohesion, racial tolerance and better understanding between cultures, it does require an enlightened individual to take this step into marital bliss. However, the question, “Does love transcend colour?” usually arises. Perhaps you may have asked yourself this question in an attempt to go down this marriage route.

I would like to establish the fact and make clear that the bible does not prohibit interracial marriages. It clearly endorses marriages between a man and a woman regardless of race or colour.

The scriptural references and the assurances of love that exist between both parties should be complemented by careful consideration and compromise to maximize the potentials of the marriage.

Although the challenges exist in every marriage, tribal, inter-tribal and interracial marriages alike, they are often expected to be more pronounced in interracial marriages due to the obvious differences in skin colour, tongue and culture. Whether the marriage stands the test of time largely depends on the motivating factors – the reasons behind the marriage. Though there must be clear reasons why any man or woman would decide to get married, the stakes are much higher in interracial marriages.

Some of the reasons that compel people into interracial marriages are highlighted below.

  • Love

    Love should be the primary reason and prime mover for the relationship. As long as the man and woman truly love each other and are willing to compromise, every other thing would fall into place. The love should be from the heart, of the heart and for the heart call it “heart-ocracy” if you wish. The marriage should not be based solely on looks, status or transient physical features that would eventually head south with age. The love should be able to keep you together when the storms of life come which will definitely come.

  • Immigration Status

    If you haven’t come across them, I have. There are individuals whose primary and only reason for interracial marriage is to obtain an immigration status that would guarantee residency in a foreign country. These status seeking individuals are usually from developing nations and are in search for better life in thriving economies. In such marriages, no love exists between both parties. The conceding bride or groom in this scenario is either:

    • misled to believe that true love exist in the relationship
    • an individual with low self-esteem in the society with an urgent urge to merge
    • aware of the intention and is in it for monetary gains or
    • not bothered about love but seeks to have a child / children from the marriage while it last
  • Personal Objectives

    Other reason which may be considered selfish include

    • Adventure – Driven by the mere fact and thought of mating with a spouse from a different race or skin colour, a few mortgage their lives in inter-racial marriages. To them the fact that ‘all flesh are the same’ whether black, white or Chinese seems too hard to comprehend.
    • Boost self confidence – Some feel that marrying someone from a different race would increase their social status, eliminate inferiority complex and perhaps put a PIMP in their steps.
    • Produce half caste kids – Offspring’s of interracial marriages are often said to have good skins colour and texture. Some people delve into this territory just because of this.
  • Perceived Traits & Characteristic

    People from certain races are tagged as sex maestros hence they are targeted. Have you heard the saying – “If you go black, you’ll never go back”? If you have this notion you may be in for a big surprise. The men are also considered to be well able to take care of women while others are targeted because they are thought to be more hardworking, zealous and intelligent. Character and ability should be judge on individual basis not collectively.

  • Societal Influence

    It is widely accepted than developing nations are more in tune with religion. Armed with this fact, religious individuals from societies where religion is belittled and trivialized seek spouses from these religious nations. Equipped with traditional values, developing nations have greater regards for family values, chastity and respect thus making their nationals eligible spouses.

    A handful of other reason not mentioned here may exist. You can make your contribution by leaving a comment or discussing it in our forum. As previously said, let true love be the motivating factor for any quest into marriage.

Some of the things you may need to carefully consider when taking this decision are highlighted below. Bear in mind that these shouldn’t be excuses for aborting marriage plans, they should be trail blazers to guide you when making decision or achieving a compromise.

  • Language

    Man is primarily a social being hence the need to communicate. Lack of effective communication is often the primary reason for failures in marriages even amongst spouses with like tongues. You may need to decide on a common language to communicate in and strive to improve your comprehension of that language except you want to communicate through a third party! Just kidding. Learn or commit to learning the language.

  • Gastronomy

    I don’t know about you but I am a strong advocate of the saying ‘the route to a man’s heart is through his stomach’. A compromise needs to be made in situations where there isn’t any delicacy common to both parties. Either you decide to learn to cook each other’s favourite meals or resort to eating out. Apart from affecting the enzymes in your stomach it would have an impact on the feeding budget and may be a point of contention when the kids start arriving.

  • Acceptance

    Obviously marrying some with a different skin colour would be very obvious to people and attract attention. You should be prepared to deal with this especially in public. There are people who abhor interracial marriages either because of the history of slave trade where Africans were sold as slaves to work in plantations in Europe and America or because of colonisation when it was perceived that the Europeans plundered the wealth of African nations to build the western civilisation or just racism.

    While these may not be your notion, it would be wise to be aware of it and be prepared when you encounter people with these views. It might be worth mentioning that the idea of a man marrying an older woman raises eyebrows in certain sphere of our society. Unconsciously, it is relatively more accepted amongst enlightened Africans to marry an older white woman compared to a black man marrying an older black woman. In some African traditions it is forbidden and considered a taboo. Stand your ground, traditions sometimes make the word of God of no effect.

  • Cultural Identity

    What identity do you want your children to have? Most marriages require the wife to take up the identity of the husband, while the reverse is the case in a few other nations. From the bible the woman is joined with the man and hence takes up the name of the husband. However, the identity the children could be an issue. Questions like:

    • What language should be the lingua fanca in the home?
    • What culture should or should not be imbibed?
    • What traditions should be passed down?
    • What moral values must be taught and learnt?

So What Next?

It can be a lonely path when you’ve decided to take this route to marital bliss, you may lose some friends, fall out with family members while others would adopt a wait and see attitude in anticipation of the demise of the relationship. These attitudes are expected and they should not discourage you once you have considered the implications and made your decision. The good news is that you are not the first and would not be the last. You can seek counsel and encouragements from those that have gone before you and that are happily married. They are the ones you should be close to and take suggestion from.

Marriage is team work, the man and the woman. Both of you must be convinced and committed to the relationship after considering all possible ramifications and the dynamics. A house divided against itself cannot stand. If you are not in agreement and do not speak with the one voice, your relationship would crack at the slightest provocation from within or from without.

In my opinion true love does transcend colour and it should be the motivating factor when going into any marriage be it ethnic, inter-tribal or interracial. The motives must always be pure and should be investigated and discerned by both parties. It doesn’t mean that an eye of suspicion should be raised each time someone from a different race asks you out, neither should you ask after his or her immigration status at first glance, trust me I know how that feels.

About Author

Pele began his education in Nigeria before moving to the UK for a masters degree and subsequently a PhD in computer science. The sharp contrast in life and morals in the UK motivated him to start his blog, a website dedicated to sharing candid and virtuous views to enable individuals and families maximize their potentials in life, relationships and finances.

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