The Blessing and Benefits of Marriage

The Bible teaches us that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman that was designed and ordained by God. In a successful Christian marriage the participants enter into a life-long covenant and commitment with one another and, together, with God. Because God instituted marriage and is, Himself, a part of the marital covenant with the couple there are many blessings and benefits that a faithfully married couple enjoy.

Indeed, the Bible promises us that a healthy marriage fulfills our basic needs for human companionship, intimacy, mutual assistance, and sexual expression (Gen. 2.18; Eph. 5.25; Heb 13.4). When the traditional marriage is the basis for reproduction, family nurturing and development, the result is a stable society and blessings upon men, women, and children (Gen. 2; Deu. 6.4-7; Eph. 6.4). In short, the traditional marriage is a gift from God!

Given the Bible’s clear teaching, positive message, and wonderful promises regarding marriage, it should come as no surprise to us that social research confirms the many benefits associated with this marvelous institution. Below are just a few of the wonderful benefits of traditional marriage in America that have been substantiated by research.

Married adults are significantly happier.

Studies show that adults in traditional marriages report significantly higher levels of: overall happiness, meaningfulness of life, emotional wellbeing, and even satisfying sexual experiences. Adults in first time marriages rate higher on all of the preceding factors versus single adults, cohabitating adults, divorced adults, and married adults in their second or higher marital relationship.

Married adults enjoy better health.

Research reveals that adults in traditional marriages experience higher levels of physical health and mental health than their single, cohabitating, or divorced counterparts. Married people live longer, recover from illness quicker, encounter depression and anxiety at lower rates, and rate higher on virtually all other wellness/health related factors.

Married adults enjoy better financial stability.

Studies also confirm that adults in traditional marriages are significantly more well off financially in comparison to the single, divorced, or cohabitating adults. Married couples earn and save more money and are regarded as more reliable employees. The better financial status of married people also means that they are able to make more and better investments, enjoy better medical care, eat better, live and work in safer surroundings, and so forth. The higher financial stability of married people also results in many variables that raise the standard of living and reduce stress. Furthermore, rates of poverty dramatically increase outside of intact traditional marriages.

Married families produce healthier and more successful children.

Perhaps the most dramatic benefit of marriage is demonstrated in the significantly better lives and opportunities of children. Research tells us that the children of intact traditional marriages benefit in numerous ways – what follows is merely a sample.

Children of intact traditional marriages are physically, emotionally and mentally healthier. They are more successful in school and rate better in all measures of academic and intellectual development. Children of intact traditional marriages are much less likely to get into significant trouble at school or serious legal trouble. They are less likely to use drugs, become violent, engage in risky behavior, or develop other behavior problems. They are far less likely to live in poverty as children and less likely to live in poverty when they become adults. They are also less likely to become victims of physical or sexual abuse. Children of intact traditional marriages are less likely to engage in premarital sex and have children out of wedlock. When they become adults, they are less likely to cohabitate or experience failed marriages themselves.

It is easy to see that the Biblical promises of happiness and living a meaningful and satisfying life are much more likely to occur within the context of an intact traditional marriage. Most of the ills of our society can be traced back or linked to the widespread failure of marriage in some way, shape, or form. The best chance that each of us have to strengthen the future of our own life, family, church, and society is to decide to develop, invest in, and commit to the life-long, Biblical pattern of marriage.

Kirk VanOoteghem serves as Executive Pastor of River of Life in Muncie, Indiana.  He has many years of experience as a marriage counselor and educator and is the founder of MarriageMoment.org – an online ministry dedicated to protecting and strengthening marriages.

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