Last week was the holiest week of the year for Christians throughout the world, and Passover was celebrated last week by those of Jewish faith. If you and your spouse are believers, but you did not find yourselves in a church (or synagogue), what is the reason? Has a rift with people within your church caused you to turn away from your faith? Do you and your spouse share different beliefs, making it difficult to celebrate religious holidays together? Or have you just drifted away from the church, getting used to the extra free time on weekends?
If you would like to participate more fully in your faith, consider talking about this issue with your spouse. Discuss obstacles that you face and potential solutions. Getting back to church may not only help your spirituality, but may also help your marriage, according to research scientists.
From my perspective, celebrating our faith lives together has brought my husband and I closer together. Committing to passing on the teachings of our faith to our children has given us a common purpose. Participating in our faith community has given us joy. It sometimes takes discipline to make it to church, but we receive more than we give.
Research on U.S. couples is clear that couples who self-identify with a particular religion don’t have an advantage when it comes to divorce rates. However, couples who commit to practicing their faith together regularly within their church do have substantially lower divorce rates. Read details in the post Is Religious Practice Relevant to Divorce Rate?
Having a strong community of support, having faith leaders to help when the marriage is in crisis, studying the church teachings (i.e., loving one another), flexing the muscles of commitment and dedication, developing higher emotional intimacy created in shared prayer–these are all possible reasons couples who are committed to practicing their faith may have lower divorce rates. What reasons do you think religious practice may protect marriages?
If you are regularly practicing your faith within your church community, has it helped your marriage? If you have drifted from your church, is it time to make a commitment of time and effort to your faith? Why or why not?
Lori Lowe is the author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, family interference and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in all e-book formats at www.LoriDLowe.com.