Church, Marriage and Family

Does going to church strengthen marriage and family? I would think that any Christian would agree with that statement. But I find it exciting that even secular researchers would agree that church and religious activities are good for marriage and family.

On a regular basis, the Heritage Foundation posts the latest findings from researchers. This month their “Top Ten” related to religion and family. Here are some of the findings they summarized.

Researchers have found that couples who believe that marriage has spiritual significance tend to adjust more easily to marriage and experience lower levels of conflict. They have found that marriages in which both the husband and wife frequently attend church services are less likely to end in divorce than marriages in which neither spouse attends frequently. On average, wives who attend church weekly with their husbands experience higher level of marital happiness than peers in marriages in which neither spouse attends church weekly.

Adolescents who attend church more frequently and report that religion is important in their lives are more likely to marry and less likely to cohabit than peers who are less religious. Adolescents who consider religion to be important in their lives tend to have a higher expectation of getting married than their peers. Young adults who attended religious services frequently during adolescence are more likely to disapprove of premarital sex and cohabitation than peers who had not attended services frequently.

Research even found that urban mothers who give birth out of wedlock are more likely to become married within a year of their children’s birth if they attend religious services. Men and women who attend religious services weekly are less likely to commit an act of domestic violence than peers who seldom attend.

Many years ago, Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher wrote the book, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier, and Better off Financially. At the time, they documented the benefits of marriage. These findings not only show the benefits of marriage, but the benefits of church attendance to marriage and family. I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view.

July 22, 2010