Hello, friends. I’m sorry that it’s been a while since I’ve updated my sight. I write as I’m inspired. This site was God’s assignment, so I commit my work to Him and write when He leads me to do so. He’s had me tending other things lately. I’ve missed writing here and am glad to be back.
With it being the week to celebrate Martin Luther King, I want to write about color. Not color as an artist uses, but the color of man. I shared my thougths about color recently with my Bible study group and I’d like to share them with you, too.
I was raised in a middle to upper-middle class white community. In all 12 years of school, we only had three ‘black’ families, and each was only there for a short time. I was not raised to be racist, but I was taught that people of other races were different. Like many of my generation, I was taught to see color.
When my husband and I became parents we wanted to raise our children so as not to see color. We tried to avoid calling someone their ‘black’ friend or Asian friend. The only time color, race or ethnic background was mentioned was when necessary to describe who someone was or out of innocent curiosity as to their background. We’ve been pleased to see each of our sons interact the same with children of all colors and backgrounds.
Although I don’t know a lot about Martin Luther King, I know enough about him to say that I appreciate the work he did to encourage all of us to judge others on merit and character, not on skin color.
Inter-racial marriages: I was raised to believe that inter-racial marriage was wrong. Although I’ve had many friends of other races through the years, I’ve never been physically or romanticly attracted to them, so this was never a personal issue for me. The topic came up recently, though, when one of our friends admitted that he was struggling with the fact that his daughter’s boyfriend was black (she is white). Until they met him he sounded too good to be true, and our friend acknowledges that the boyfriend is everything a father could hope for on behalf of his daughter – except that he’s black.
As I considered his situaiton and the issue of inter-racial marriages, I thought about inter-racial adoptions. As a society we look down on inter-racial marriages, but we applaud those who adopt children of other races from impoverished or war-torn places in the world. If inter-racial marriage is wrong, then wouldn’t inter-racial adoptions be wrong, too? How could this be? I’ve known of many who felt led by God to adopt children of other races and who seemed to be blessed and rewarded by God for doing so.
I started mentally searching the Bible for insights to these issues. I recalled the commandments God gave the Israelites not to intermarry with other people. If they did they’d be cut off from their communities. Clearly the Bible states that intermarriage is wrong. Right? Not necessarily. Read the commandments about intermarriage more closely. God’s commandments clearly stated that His chosen people, the Israelites, were to avoid intermarriage with other peoples in surrounding areas – but not because of color. God was trying to set the Israelites apart from pagan people who would destroy the righteousness of the Israelites and pull them away from obedience to Him. Intermarriage wasn’t about race or color. Read further into the Bible and you’ll discover that when the Israelites returned to Jerusalem after being in exile in foreign lands, God called for the Israelites to live among many other peoples so that they could be a ‘light’ unto them. Not once have I read any passage that tells of God in the OT or Jesus in the NT commanding people not to intermarry because of color. In fact, Jesus and His apostles traveled far and wide reaching out to all they encountered, regardless of color, status, or religious/ethnic backgrounds. All they looked for in others was evidence of faith in God as our Heavenly Father and later, faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
After making this interpretive distinction in my mind I came to realize that although some of us strives to not see color, we still see race, and that’s a shame because this, to me, is not what the Bible teaches.
There are probably many who disagree with what I just stated and who would argue those thoughts. That’s ok. I know what God has led my heart to feel and believe, and that’s what I’m going with. God wants me to love people of all races equally, seeing them by the quality of their hearts on the inside, not the color of their skin on the outside.
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer. Psalm 19:14