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Love Across Borders: The Spicy (and Sweet!) Side of Intercultural Marriage

So you met your soulmate on a YWAM mission trip to Thailand, or maybe your love story began when you were both on staff of a DTS. Congratulations! You're about to embark on the beautiful, bewildering adventure of an intercultural marriage. But before you rush to get matching sarongs for the honeymoon, let's be honest: it's not always sunshine and rainbows. Buckle up, because intercultural love comes with its own set of challenges and, of course, incredible rewards.



The Spice Must Flow (Sometimes a Little Too Much)

  • Communication Crossroads: Imagine trying to navigate "hangry" in two languages. Misunderstandings are bound to happen, spiced up by different cultural approaches to directness or non-verbal cues.

  • Family Feud? More Like Family Fiesta: In-laws expecting a dowry you never heard of, or holidays celebrated in wildly different ways – intercultural family dynamics can be a whirlwind.

  • Culture Clash Cuisine: You love your kimchi, they love their sauerkraut. Finding common ground (and meals!) in the kitchen can be an adventure.

The Sweet Rewards of a Global Gumbo

  • Double the Fun, Double the Traditions: Celebrate Christmas with a twist of Diwali lights, or Thanksgiving with a side of mooncakes! Intercultural marriages create a beautiful fusion of traditions.

  • Worldly Wisdom: Your partner opens a window to a whole new world, expanding your perspective and challenging your own cultural assumptions.

  • The "Wow" Factor: Imagine introducing your spouse's family to your hometown traditions – it's a guaranteed conversation starter (and maybe a few funny cultural faux pas).

  • Global Foodie Power Couple: Explore the world together through its cuisine! You might even develop your own unique fusion dishes that would make any international food competition jealous.

  • Raising Mini-Globetrotters: Your children will grow up with a built-in appreciation for diversity and a head start on becoming citizens of the world.

Making it Last: Tips for YWAM Lovebirds

Building a strong intercultural marriage takes work, but the rewards are more than worth it. Here are some tips for YWAM couples venturing into this exciting territory:

  • Communication is Key: Practice active listening, be patient, and don't be afraid to laugh at the inevitable misunderstandings. Consider seeking out resources or workshops on intercultural communication and relationships.

  • Embrace the Adventure: See cultural differences as opportunities to learn and grow together. Make it a point to experience each other's cultures firsthand – try new foods, attend traditional events, and travel together whenever possible.

  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Approach challenges as a united front, and celebrate your victories together. Remember, you're on the same team, building a life together.

  • Find Your Tribe: Surround yourselves with other intercultural couples or people who are open-minded and supportive of your unique relationship. YWAM has lots of those...

  • Let Your Families In: Make an effort to build relationships with your in-laws. Learn a few phrases in their language, show genuine interest in their culture, and be patient as they learn about yours.


Building a Bridge, Not a Wall

Intercultural marriages can enrich not just your own lives, but also the lives of those around you. Here's how others can help make intercultural marriages thrive:

  • Be Welcoming: Friends, family, and communities can create a supportive environment by being open-minded and curious about your intercultural relationship.

  • Celebrate Diversity: Show appreciation for the unique blend of cultures that intercultural couples bring to the table.

  • Offer Help: If you know an intercultural couple who's struggling, offer practical help like childcare or language translation. Sometimes a little support can go a long way.


So, remember, love knows no borders, and intercultural marriages are a beautiful expression of that. With a little spice, a lot of love, and the support of your community, you can create a love story that's as delicious and heartwarming as a perfectly blended curry. But good things take effort. So be prepared to put in work and hard learned lessons into building a beautiful marriage!



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