“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”
We have all heard it said that, the family that prays together, stays together. A new survey by the Barna Research Group indicates that this old saying is still true. The phone survey interviewed 1,512 Christians about their marriage history and their church membership.
The respondents were divided into three groups. Couples who belonged to different denominations made up 17 percent of the sample. Couples from different denominations who decided to become active in the same denomination after marriage made up another 14 percent of the sample. The rest of the married couples, 65 percent, belonged to the same denomination when they were engaged. The lowest divorce rate was among those of different denominations before marriage and who decided to become active in the same denomination after marriage. This group’s divorce rate was only 6 percent. The divorce rate for those who were raised in and remained active in the same denomination was 14 percent. The divorce rate for those who remained in different denominations was 20 percent, which is still less than half the divorce rate for the general population.
Researchers stressed that shared beliefs were not the primary reason for the success of these marriages. Rather, interviews showed that the most important factor in the successful marriages was shared religious activities. This is yet another study that reveals practical benefits for the lives of active church members compared with atheists or inactive church members.
I thank You, Lord, for the gift of marriage. Help me always to honor it. Amen
Study: Divorce Rate Higher for Inter-Church Couples, The Christian News, July 26, 1999, p.17. Photo: Courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency. (PD)