When you struggle with your interracial marriage

by Jamie Zenteno

Marriage first of all is difficult regardless of who you marry or where each of you are from.

Secondly, I believe sometimes cultural differences can be, if allowed, are either a blessing or a curse. . . depending on how you look at it.

Mind you I come a really small town, yes we have a post office, yes we have an HEB but other than a few fast few chains and horse pastures well there's nothin' here to do. Well at least by city-folk standards there "ain't" nothin to do.

I have always joked that I had to marry someone NOT from my hometown so I would know that we're not related. (Shells hun if you're reading this years later after I write this...do NOT marry anyone from your home town you're literally related to everyone...sorry hun.)

If you married someone NOT from the US then this post today is for you.

If you did not then this is just an insight of how 2 very different people God brought together works.

I have learned to love (even more) authentic Mexican food, I can now cook it pretty darn well to where my hubby says it tastes like his moms, I've definitely learned to not just go to the department store first but to see if they have it cheaper at the flee market instead, I've learned to not be so serious and uptight about things, AND I've learned how to embrace another culture into my own family.

That being said, this hasn't come without MUCH resistance on both our parts. My hubby and I are pretty stubborn on our own but mix cultural differences . . . oh my word.

However, God has brought us together for reasons we didn't see in the beginning but now we do.

When we first got married we argued about how we would do Christmas. Since his family didn't really celebrate it the way we do here in America. We argued about how the timing of Jesus's actual birth and how much America commercialized the holiday for December 25th.

We differed on opinion about how elderly are taken care of. The American way is to put them in a home and the Mexican way is to take them into your home and care for them until they pass.

We differed on opinion of how much help to accept when our baby girl was born.

We differed on routine, we differed on values, we differed on money views, we differed on how much personal time to get, we differed on eating habits, and yes the list goes on. BUT are any of those things NOT fixable to God?? No.

We believed that God put us together to first minister to young people. We got to share our different views with a teen generation that needed to see 2 strong people be very real with them. One was the hometown girl that could relate to them and the other was the outside perspective from American culture that stood strong in DIYing it and standing up for the right things even when it made you uncool.

We have shown people that 2 VERY DIFFERENT people from 2 VERY DIFFERENT cultures CAN work...by biblical standards AND going against the modern American grain no less.

We are showing our daughter that skin color doesn't matter ESPECIALLY in the eyes of the Lord. We are allowing cultural experiences to shine into our daughters life to help well round her.

Yes its hard sometimes. Because naturally every married person has old habits that try to sneak into a marriage, But with Cesar and I, we also have cultural differences that tend to slip into our marriage as well.

I am an organized, get it done right now kinda gal.

Cesar is a lets see what happens, it can wait kinda guy.

My culture is very past paced, doesn't slow down and teaches to put work first.

Cesar's culture is more laid back, takes time to smell the roses and teaches to always put family {even extended family} first in everything.

{You can imagine my resistance when God was tellin' me....Yep Jamie ....he's the one.}

You may even being thinking, God what were you thinkin'?!?!? But He really does know best. Because Cesar balances me out and I him. He has made me really think about getting ahead of myself sometimes. And I have made him plan better and think about the future a little more. I know for a fact that's one of the reasons why we're together.

We've had heated arguments sure, but you're going to have that in any marriage. So don't believe the lie from the enemy that is saying, "This won't ever work, This wasn't right for you, you should have married the other guy..." because its wrong.

I have now allowed cultural differences to be such a blessing in my relationship with my husband, my in-laws and our family. I wouldn't have it any other way.

So if youre a wife that married someone on the mission-field, or you found a crazy guy like mine that decided to introduce himself to you after church one night by saying "Hi, I'm Cesar like the salad," pray through your differences and remember why God brought you and your husband together in the first place.

You and your husband were not called by God to be perfect, that's God's job. But remember you we're called to love like He loved us.

Let me pray for you today,

Father I thank you so much for my dear sisters in Christ who may be struggling with their identity in marriage, where they fit into it or even their identity in you Lord. But God I stand with them to break the lies from the enemy. They are nothing but that. You have given them this blessing of a marriage, maybe a blessing of children as well and I ask that you would instill in them a peace that passes all understanding. Restore the love if it needs to be restored. Father you be the counselor in their marriage and set the tone for love. Father help them to both understand their differences and to accept one another and embrace the life you want for them. I thank you for my sweet sister, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.