The New York Times recently published
an article admitting that religious conservative women tended to have happier marriages compared to non-religious women. While it’s surprising that it was the Times that published the findings, the paper’s readership seems to be even more shocked, if the Twitter comments are anything to go by.
The article identified male involvement in the home and community as the top reasons why religious marriages tend to be strong and happy. The results are not surprising for those who are both religious and conservative, but Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire also adds three other factors that contribute to this result.
(1) The non-religious attitude toward marriage is egalitarian. There is nothing wrong with this as long as being egalitarian means pulling one’s weight in the household. The husband could cook and clean not because he’s striving for an “equal marriage” but because he wants to help.
But when “equal marriage” is interpreted husband and wife doing exactly the same things, to the same degree, and in the same amount, meaning everything is even, things turn problematic. After all, men and women are different. Not equal, but definitely, one is not superior to the other.
In a functional marriage, this means not everything will be split exactly 50/50. There are some aspects where the wife will do 80 to 90% of a certain thing while the husband will do 80 to 90% of another thing. But if one is obsessed with ticking off a checklist, one could spend more time squabbling than actually trying to make the household thrive.
In a religious environment, scriptures exhort partners to be of service to each other without thinking of their contribution.
(2) Another difference between the religious and secular approach to marriage is the union’s purpose. In the secular view, marriage brings together two people who love each other. But the problem is, what happens when those loving feelings fade? In addition, one can love another regardless of marriage.
But religion gives a higher purpose to marriage. Knowing that their union has been consecrated by God, both partners realize that they are now part of something that is bigger than themselves. This allows them to remain committed even through the inevitable rough patches and the additional sense of security and purpose also leads to more happiness.
(3) And lastly, 66% of divorced couples have no children. Religious people, on the other hand, usually have more kids compared to non-religious people. This means secular marriages will likely be childless which means the partners have a greater likelihood of divorcing.
Why this may be could have several reasons. One possibility is the lack of purpose in the marriage. Another could be the lack of a unifying factor during tough times.
Whatever the case may be, the evidence shows that religion is good for marriage and benefits your emotional health.
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