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Are religious families happier families?

POSTED: January 3, 2016 12:49 p.m.
Wendy Jessen/

Latin young family with their hands clasped in a circle and their heads bowed in prayer.

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Religions play a role in the lives of people all over the world. Besides the beliefs, customs and way of life that comes with adhering to a religion, it seems that it can also have a positive effect on marriages and families.

According to a Family Studies article, out of married persons polled, those who claimed to be in a happy marriage were about 10 percent more likely to have frequent religious attendance (66.3%) compared to those who rarely or never attend (57.5%).

While that doesn't seem to be a huge difference between religious and non-religious people, an article in The Washington Post states, "average Americans who regularly attend services at a church, synagogue, temple or mosque are less likely to cheat on their partners; less likely to abuse them; more likely to enjoy happier marriages; and less likely to have been divorced."

It seems that religions do more for people than simply teaching them to believe in God or a Higher Power; it also helps people to become a more kind, caring and compassionate spouse.

Husband and wife need to work together on their marriage to make it strong. It takes work and constant attention to be happily married. While correct principles can be taught at church about how to have a strong marriage, those teachings are worthless if you don't put them into practice at home.

The benefits of religion don't stop with marriages. The Washington Post shares that religious teens are more likely to shun lying, stealing and cheating, and believe in following the Golden Rule. Additionally, both parents and teachers of kids from religious homes agree that the kids have "better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents."

Not only that, but the percentages again increase in religious families when it comes to eating dinner together on a daily basis, doing household chores together regularly and engaging in family activities at least monthly.

However, families cannot rely on religion alone to make their marriages happy or to raise good children. It begins in the home. What is taught and lived in a family setting has an enormous impact on family life and happiness. If parents are not setting the proper example at home, children will likely follow what their parents do more than what their religion says to do. If you live one way at home, while your church is teaching something completely different, your children will have to decide whether to follow you or the religion. If you want your kids to adhere to certain religious beliefs, it is important to be living your beliefs also.
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