As I have been journeying towards my own upcoming marriage and interacting with more married folks, I realize that my fiance and I share much of the same values. While much of that can be attributed to our similar churched upbringings, much can also be explained by our similar cultural experiences.
Mind you, my fiance’s Taiwanese-American experience and my own Chinese-American (Cantonese speaking) experience have their differences. But much of the values that we share can be attributed to similar culture.
Just as people are drawn together to marriage because of similar backgrounds and values, people are drawn together in churches in the same way.
It seems like the reasons that people are attracted to ethnic-specific ministries are the same reasons that people are attracted to same-ethnicity marriages: shared values, experiences, and priorities. I want to be in a church with people who have similar values, expriences, and priorities as I do.
In the same way, I wonder if the the reasons for intermarriage (mixed marriages) are similar to the reasons for multi-ethnic churches. Something draws people together–vision, pasttimes, socioeconomic status. But the marriages and churches have a mix of different ethnicities. And each (the marriages and the churches) have their share of critics and applauders.
Questions to ponder:
- If people truly have a vision for their churches to be multi-ethnic communities, should their marriages reflect the same vision?
- Would Asian-Americans who want multi-ethnic churches also want to be married to someone of a different ethnicity? How close to home can this vision be?
- How are mixed marriages approached in an ethnic-specific church community?