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In listening, we can understand more fully, lament more deeply, and celebrate more joyously with our friends.

And in understanding, lamenting, and celebrating, we grow closer to and become more like Jesus.

This topic of interracial marriage is a great place to proclaim the Gospel. 5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, 6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If marriage is a picture of the relationship of Jesus Christ to His bride, the church (all true believers), then marriage to a believer of another race simply pictures the fact that Jesus came to save Gentiles as well as Jews -- a truth unbelieving Jews were not willing to accept (see here Matthew 3:9; Luke -30; Acts -22).

But from my experience and from stories of my peers, there is as much desire for racial justice and reconciliation as there is unhelpful idolizing and fetishizing of interracial relationships and biracial friends.

Below are four truths we need to understand about IRRs.

This is tremendously dishonoring and harmful to relationships that are already difficult—as all relationships are!

We tend to either reduce IRR stories, whether they are our own or others’, to a party trick (something to show off and exploit rather than understand and love), or we elevate them to a pedestal where we can worship and idolize them.

You’ve found someone you want to date who wants to date you back! Actually, you don’t get bonus points for being in an interracial relationship (IRR).

They’re cute, funny, and sincere with similar interests and values. But for all the praise and comments my husband Vaughan and I have received throughout our relationship (he’s Black, and I’m a Korean American adoptee) about our future adorable biracial babies and how cool and progressive our relationship is, you would think we had achieved ultra-super-special dating status. Race is certainly a hot topic today, and it seems especially paramount to Millennials to prove how racist we are. I fully believe we are called to initiate, grow, and maintain healthy cross-cultural relationships, and that being part of the kingdom of God means experiencing more than just your little corner of it.

Deciding to enter an IRR doesn’t change prejudice in your heart.

You will definitely bump up against and wrestle with your own stereotypes and racist mentalities throughout your relationship, but it takes more than a change in your relationship status to change your misperceptions and biases.

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