Christian Marriage: Can Attending Church Improve Your Marriage?
What dramatically improves a Christian marriage? Going to church!
The research is in for Christian marriages. Don’t get a divorce – go to church! Spirituality plays a HUGE role in improving your marriage relationship.
I know it’s hard to believe – even perhaps for those who are in a Christian marriage – but something as simple as regular church attendance can actually improve the quality and stability of a marriage.
Thirty years of research reveals that higher levels of marital satisfaction is found among couples in a Christian marriage who frequently attend religious services. The benefit is further enhanced when both the husband and wife attend the same church and practice similar religious beliefs.
How does spirituality improve a Christian marriage? Professor of Psychology at Bowling Green State University, Annette Mahoney, cites three specific ways:
1. The first is prayer. In a Christian marriage, praying privately for the well-being of a spouse actually results in greater marital satisfaction over time. Other benefits include an increase of positive qualities such as selfless concern, gratitude, and forgiveness.
2. Divine guidance is the second positive benefit of shared religious commitments. When couples in a Christian marriage view their relationship as being reflective of God’s will and a part of His plan, they experience greater levels of love, satisfaction and positive communication processes.
3. Finally, in a Christian marriage where a couple participates in religious activities together, higher marital satisfaction and improved communication are reported. Examples of shared religious activities could be praying as a couple, engaging in spiritual dialogue, or volunteering as a couple for community service projects or areas of leadership in a house of worship.
How can you tap into this resource for your Christian marriage? Here are a few steps.
Start by praying daily for your spouse.
Don’t pray that God will change your spouse – perhaps pray for God to change you :-).
Pray that God will bless your spouse and that He will increase your love for your partner. Also, if your mate is facing difficulties, pray that God will help her or him through their tough time.
Something else you can do to improve your Christian marriage is to pray together. Many couples find this awkward at first, so begin by offering a prayer of thanks over meals. Praying for safety during a trip or for God’s help in difficult times are other excellent opportunities for prayer.
Another thing that is so important for a healthy, Christian marriage is to thank God for your mate. Thank Him for bringing the two of you together and for blessing your marriage.
Another practical action step for strengthening a Christian marriage is to find a local church and schedule time to attend regularly.
Find a church that is involved within its community, and volunteer! Couples who get the most from church are those who volunteer to assist with church ministries. As often as possible, this should be done as a couple.
But there are dangers with regards to religious dialogue and practice that I need to briefly mention.
Couples who deeply disagree in their interpretation of the Bible, experience increased conflict and, therefore, diminished marital satisfaction. So, it would be a mistake to force a religious component on your partner even if you’re in a Christian marriage. I strongly recommend Christian marriage counseling if you’re in this situation.
But overall, shared religious beliefs and practices will result in higher levels of marital satisfaction. Therefore it is true that something as simple as frequent church attendance can improve the quality of your Christian marriage.