A new study conducted by Barna Group found that the importance of Christianity in people’s lives was positively correlated with a higher satisfaction with their marriages.
The survey, issued on behalf of Marriage Helper, divided respondents into three groups based on the level of impact Christianity had in their lives. Adults who identified as Christians, had attended a church service in the past month and who said their faith is very important in their lives were categorized as Practicing Christians. Those who identified as Christians but didn’t meet this standard were labeled as “Christians, not practicing.” Those who did not identify as Christians were classified as “non-Christians.”
The results found indicated that Practicing Christians were significantly happier in their marriages than any other group. In the study, 73% of Practicing Christians stated that they were “very satisfied” with their marriage compared to just 59% of U.S. adults and 54% of both non-practicing Christians and non-Christians.
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Additionally, 93% of Practicing Christians agreed that they were at least “somewhat” or “very satisfied” with their marriages – a stark contrast to just 81% of U.S. adults, 78% of non-practicing Christians, and 75% of non-Christians.
These results should not be surprising to Christians who practice their faith, as they know that God created marriage and designed it in a specific way, asking husbands to serve and love their wives as Christ served and loved the church and commissioning wives to submit and help their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33, Colossians 3:18-19). Practicing Christians also recognize that, as God has forgiven them of their sins, they too are called to forgive any trespasses that their spouse may commit against them (Matthew 18:21-35). Finally, when both members center their lives on God, the only One who will never fail them, they keep themselves from idolizing their partner and expecting perfection from them. Individuals with these open and forgiving marriages, filled with love and grace, will naturally find themselves more likely to be satisfied in marriage than those who do not center themselves on the truth found in Christ alone.
The study also found that members of Generation X (those born within 1965-1980) were the least likely to say that they were very satisfied with their marriage at just 47% of Gen X respondents. This is much lower than the 65% of Millennials (1981-1996) who say the same, and it is quite a bit smaller than the 61% from the Baby Boomer generation (1946-1964).
One of Focus on the Family’s values is the permanence of marriage – finding satisfaction with your spouse whether you enjoy peace or endure trials. Just as God promises an everlasting covenant with Christians by grace through faith, a husband and wife emulate this by promising to enter into an everlasting commitment to one another. If you and your spouse find yourselves facing difficulties that seem too immense to overcome, Focus on the Family provides many resources that can help, including Hope Restored, which provides marriage counseling for couples who feel that they may be on a path leading to divorce.
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