Interracial marriage can be a touchy subject in our culture. There are many people who dismiss this conversation altogether in their families and churches, which is why I decided to find out what the Bible says about interracial marriages.
Is Interracial marriage forbidden in Christianity? No, interracial marriage is not forbidden in Christianity. God loves all different skin colors, cultures, and ethnicities. Christians are welcome to marry any ethnicity.
God created diversity and meant for his people to be united, not uniform.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.Genesis 2:24
God also created marriage as the most covenant relationship humans can experience in order to show us his faithful love to us. Because of this, marriage is meant to be a reflection of God’s love, no matter the different race of a couple.
What The Bible Says About Interracial Marraige
In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to not intermarry with other races and ethnicities. This is not because of their skin color, but because these cultures worshipped other gods and would lead the Israelites away from the one, true God.
God created marriage for our good, and He wants us to love marriage, but He also wants us to love him even more.
God knew that if the Israelites intermarried, they would be tempted to fall into sin and follow the culture of that day that was full of polygamy, idolatry, and all other kinds of evil within marriage.
At the same time, God did not always forbid intermarrying in the Old Testament since He allowed Moses to marry a Cushite woman.
Interracial Marriage Is Not Forbidden
When Moses ran away from Egypt, he spent 40 years as a shepherd in Midian before returning to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians. While he was in Midian, he married a Cushite woman named Zipporah and started a family with her.
In Moses’ day, Cush was located in Eastern Africa, which meant that Zipporah was either Ethiopian or Somali.
In Numbers 12, Moses’ brother Aaron and his wife Miriam criticized Moses for his Cushite wife, but God rebuked them and told them that Moses was his faithful servant.
This shows that God does not forbid interracial marriages and He even made Jesus’ family tree full of them.
Jesus Came From A Line Of Interracial Marriages
In Jesus’ time, Jewish men usually used their genealogies and family trees as a way to boast in themselves and prove their racial purity. They would only list male names and emphasize the best of the best people in their lines.
Jesus’ genealogy, however, was surprisingly full of names of both men and women and included interracial couples.
One of these couples was Salmon and Rahab, noted in Matthew 1:5 of Jesus’ genealogy. Rahab was a Canaanite woman and prostitute before she followed the God of the Israelites in Joshua 2, and went on to marry Salmon, a Hebrew man.
Another interracial couple mentioned was Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was a Moabite, and Boaz of course was an Israelite. What’s interesting is that Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab, which probably impacted his view of interracial marriages and later on his own marriage with Ruth.
From the book of Ruth, Johsua, and even Jesus’ genealogy we can see that God has no problem with using interracial marriages in his purposes and even made them part of Jesus’ story.
God loves everyone and their different ethnicity, even if our culture doesn’t.
Marrying An Unbeliever Is Wrong
While marrying someone with a different skin color and race than you isn’t wrong, it is wrong to marry an unbeliever. As Christians, our marriages are meant to be relationships that point us to Jesus and help us grow in our walk with God.
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
What does unequally yoked mean? For animals, yokes are used to connect them together in order to help them pull something at the same time and at the same pace.
In the same way, God created marriage for a man and a wife to be equally yoked so that they can follow God and do his work together.
This doesn’t mean that couples have to be perfect, but they should be believers to be equally yoked to each other, no matter what their skin color or background is.
Made In The Image Of God
When God created the universe, he created Adam and Eve; mankind. He didn’t create them like he did the animals or plants, he created them in his image.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.Genesis 1:27 ESV
Being made in the image of God means that we reflect who he is, and we have souls or a spirit just as God does. Animals and plants don’t have these. The Bible also says that God breathed his breath of life into Adam, making him distinct from the rest of creation.
Later on, Adam and Eve went on to be the father and mother of the whole human race, and from them, we all exist. But what does this have to do with interracial marriage?
When we understand that every single human being is created in the image of God, we can see that we all have value, worth, and purpose.
There is no skin color or ethnicity or culture that separates us from those truths, and since we are all part of the human race, there should be no reason for being against interracial marriages.
Interracial Marriage Is Not Wrong
While intermarrying may have been wrong for the Israelites in the Old Testament for a time, interracial marriage now does not go against God’s commands, and there is no sin in it.
God loves interracial marriages.
When Jesus came down to earth to die for our sins, he redeemed all things, and by His power, he made it possible for everyone to have a relationship with God.
The Galatians were having trouble understanding this after Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, so Paul reminded them that in Jesus, it doesn’t matter what your culture or ethnicity is.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28 ESV
If anyone can follow Jesus whether they’re Jew or Gentile, or white or black, or different ethnicities, we can know that interracial marriages are also not forbidden in Christianity.
Marriages are meant to reflect who Jesus is, and as long as the relationship helps both the husband and wife grow in Christ, then the marriage can be a beautiful representation of how God loves and cares for all cultures and all peoples.