Your Intercultural Marriage Book Review – a guide to a healthy and happy relationship

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I was searching for books about intercultural marriage at one of Bangkok’s biggest book store when I stumbled upon Your Intercultural Marriage written by Marla Alupoaicei. It wasn’t on my list because I haven’t heard of it before; however, the books that I intended to purchase were not available at the time. I didn’t want to go home empty handed so I picked up the only available book about intercultural marriage (The ones that I wanted were actually available at the nearby bookstore).

But I didn’t regret my decision because as it turned out, “Your Intercultural Marriage” is something that I was actually searching for. It’s written to target Christian intercultural couples who are looking for a “great resource to help them build a strong marriage in Christ.” Because I’m a Christian, I’m targeted. Here’s what I think about the book.

6 Reasons that make “Your Intercultural Marriage” a great resource

  • The book showcases interviews, stories and real life experiences of intercultural couples across the globe. The author uses them to explain and support most of the points discussed making them very relatable.
  • Common issues in an intercultural marriage such as the challenges of communication, differences in faith and values, attitude towards time, food and mealtime issues, rearing the children and among others are explored and exhausted in the book. Solutions on how to tackle and solve them if not come up with comprises are also suggested by the author.
  • The book is clearly well-researched and it provides plenty of facts and ideas that will enlighten and widen your understanding towards varied culture which is akin to having a microscope and getting a peak into the cultures and behaviors of people that you would otherwise not learn about. It also suggests lots of references for further reading on every topic covered as well as related movies to watch.
  • The question of whether or not God supports interracial and intercultural marriage is also covered in this book. For centuries the world was made to believe that the reason God designed each race and culture unique is that He did not intend interracial and intercultural marriage to exist. The author uncovers what the Bible has got to say about it.
  • Alupoaicei rightly pointed that even couples are both Christians and same-faith; they most probably will still grapple with the differences in their core values and beliefs. She therefore provided a checklist of issues that an intercultural couple can use as guide in examining their differences and identifying where they stand. The author also gave light on why God does not intend marriage to happen between a believer and a non-believer (interfaith marriage) by referencing the Bible.
  • The author was able to discuss challenging and sensitive issues in a very entertaining way, highlighting the benefits of an intercultural marriage and the joys that the challenges of differences can bring instead of focusing on the negative, conveying positive energy and hope for the readers which assure that regardless of the difficulties, with trust in God and willingness to work out those differences, an intercultural marriage can be maneuvered into a healthy and happy marriage.

2 Reasons why “Your Intercultural Marriage” may not be a great resource for you

  • Since the book is written to target Christian intercultural couples whose faith is a large part of their lives, a good portion of the book is spent quoting Biblical texts, retelling Bible stories about intercultural marriages and upholding Christian principles towards marriage, relationship, money and child rearing. If you are someone who don’t believe in the Bible and who detest Christianity, reading through all those texts may irk a big part of you.
  • The book is written as a resource to Christian intercultural couples but not to Christians who are married outside their faith – the interfaith couples. Alupoaicei identified reasons why interfaith marriage is not a good choice – “The Bible does contain some instances in which God warns His people not to intermarry with others, but this was always due to spiritual reasons …” – but provided no advice for those who already have married an unbeliever.

If you’re a Christian who married a Non-Christian, does that mean that you are totally left at loss? Of course not! Perhaps you just have to look for another resource that targets Believer-Unbeliever audience (I do consider writing such a book).

Conclusion

The book Your Intercultural Marriage is a great resource for Christian intercultural couples especially those who are still new to or are considering an intercultural marriage. It provides insightful ideas about culture issues, relationship, marriage and faith. While reading a material that’s written based from Christian principle may not appeal to some general intercultural couples, if you are able to tolerate Biblical texts, you too can find valuable information that will suit for your situation.

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