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photo: | Author: Lukas Gojda       Graphic: Martha G. Brady

I‘m reaching way back to remember my not well known Jamaican patois. I think fe’ true was a saying from patois meaning this is true! It was like a verbal underline at the end of a sentence. (Any Jamaicans reading this, feel free to correct me!)

The motto for Jamaica was “Out of many, one people.” It was amazingly true. I always thought Jamaica was merely a nation with black people and a few leftover white British people and that was it. I was very wrong!

Jamaica had black people of every shade and combination! There were also Asians from India and China,  and of course whites, mostly British from way back. There were a few other Europeans tossed in for good measure, but that was about it. There was good sized Jewish community as well.

The motto for Jamaica was OUT OF MANY, ONE PEOPLE. They had blacks, whites, Jewish, Asian Indians, Chinese & every combination of the above! Share on X

Over years of intermarriage, the blends were beautiful! There was Jamaican food for sure, but also Indian and Chinese food was easily available. The influence of the other cultures on Jamaican food was also abundant. It give Curried Goat..a common country offering at weddings. That had to be from the Indian influence for sure even though it was considered to be a Jamaican food.

Then we had students from other islands that we learned from. I remember our Indian students from Trinidad. They couldn’t get roti easily in Jamaica, at least not in Mandeville. Roti is a flatbread that they eat with most of their food. Delicious!

The intermarriage discussion in the 1970’s

It was during my time in Jamaica that I discussed intermarriage with Walford often. I came from the stream of thinking that taught…oh, I won’t even go there. It claimed to be Biblical. I realized it wasn’t.

Here is the choice Walford gave me. If your daughter came home with a black man who was a vibrant Christian vs. a white man who was not a believer, which would you choose? I realized it would be no choice for me at all! I would want the man who was the vibrant Christian.

If your daughter came home with a black man who was a vibrant Christian vs. a white man who was not a believer, which would you choose? Share on X

My concern back then had much more to do with social issues in the US. Even there, I think there was a lot of snobbery involved in my thinking! We always want the best for our children and grandchildren. We want to put a beautiful polish to our motives. At the time, I didn’t know many people in the US who were well educated, middle class, christian and were black. GOD showed me a lot of snob in my heart that wasn’t pleasant to find there!

But even at that, GOD doesn’t always call our children into a life of being middle or upper class, does he? Nor does He call them to an easy life. He does call them to depend on Him and sometimes that means a disability, being placed in a difficult setting for the marriage they have, or even having less than others around them.

But even at that, GOD doesn't always call our children into a life of being middle or upper class, does he? Share on X

What are the most important tools needed for marriage?

The important tools needed for any marriage to thrive are not money, status and power. But rather love and respect for each other and a relationship with Jesus Christ for both partners in the marriage.

Speaking as someone who has been married for 47 years now, I can tell you that you won’t adore each other every day you are married. The love just isn’t there some days. The respect might not be either. That’s when Jesus comes and gives us what we need. Sometimes we need to be able to speak truth in love. At others we need to love when our own has dried up and left the room.

BUT that was the early 1970’s. I realized that apart from certain few cities, my daughter would be choosing a life of difficulty for herself and her children socially. He reminded me that all of life is difficult. We don’t know what GOD has for our children. What they need is to have both be close in their relationship to Christ to face whatever comes. I had to agree.

Yes, I knew that in my head…and came more and more to see that in real life too. Now, 40+ years later, that stigma is considerably less! Even in much of our culture, we have learned that color truly is skin deep. It tells us nothing about the person.

But while I lived in Jamaica…and since, I learned at a new level, that variety truly adds spice to life! Both variety in the way people look and the variety in personality as well.

Challenge: How do you deal with people who are different than you, either in color or behavior? Do you turn away or do you try to get to know them better?

Have you noticed beautiful paintings or beautiful quilts? If you look closely, they include some very ugly colors along with the the ones we tend to like really well. Sometimes I have found that the people I thought would be the most weird or difficult, became some of the dearest friends. They are nothing like me and that is what makes them such wonderful friends!

Ask GOD to open your eyes to people around you…to their beauty…both physical and spiritual. You might be amazed at what He helps you see.

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