Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study finds that Christians who regularly attend church divorce less

Note: This post is to contrast with Richard Dawkins’ atheist view of marriage posted earlier today.

From Citizen Link. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

It’s a number that is trumpeted from the rooftops — and the pulpit: Half of marriages among Christians and non-Christians alike end in divorce.

But the reality is that Christians who attend church regularly get divorced at a much lower rate.

Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, found that among people who identify as Christians but rarely attend church, 60 percent have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.

W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading sociologist at the University of Virginia and director of the National Marriage Project, found a nearly identical spread between “active conservative Protestants” who regularly attend church and people with no religious affiliation.

Professor Scott Stanley from the University of Denver, who is working on the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, said couples with a vibrant religious faith have more and higher levels of the qualities that marriages need to avoid divorce.

“Whether young or old, male or female, low-income or not, those who said that they were more religious reported higher average levels of commitment to their partners, higher levels of marital satisfaction, less thinking and talking about divorce and lower levels of negative interaction,” he said. “These patterns held true when controlling for such important variables as income, education and age at first marriage.”

I think this is another good example of means-end reasoning in marriage. I often criticize women for choosing the wrong men to marry because they don’t define typical marriage scenarios and then select men who have prepared for those scenarios. Going to church is an antidote for the moral relativism that ails us, and it transports us outside of our hedonism to a place where we can think about bigger and better things. Women need to choose men who have a habit of attending church. Basically, young people need to study research to find out what works (chastity, pre-marital counseling, church attendance, etc.) and then demand that prospective mates demonstrate those skills – if they expect the marriage to last.

I say this as someone who struggles enormously with the feminized church, but you can’t argue with the data. I personally think that church attendance is less important than a good knowledge of philosophical theology and apologetics, and the habit of debating about those things. (Especially science apologetics) I’ve been to my friend Andrew’s church, and if I lived near him, I would attend regularly. They have excellent apologetics events, world-reknown apologetics speakers and classes on apologetics. They have shown William Lane Craig debates, taught Greg Koukl and Lee Strobel books, and they even did “The Truth Project”, which features Stephen C. Meyer. They actually believe what they claim to believe, and they have actually studied why they ought to believe it. I would attend a church like that regularly.

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