I read a survey that just came out. It studied healthy families, church attendance, and emotions.
The conclusion: they are all connected.
Bad families mean diminished faith, less church attendance, and more loneliness. Good families bring increased faith, healthy church involvement, and happiness in relationships.
There are two great human institutions created by God – marriage and the church. It shouldn’t surprise us that they are interconnected for our faith, health, and love.
Consider the first great human institution of marriage!
Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, ESV).
Let’s say God knew what He was doing when creating marriage.
Matrimony throughout the Bible is man and woman (binary), and not according to a bunch of alphabet letters. It’s also radical, by today’s standards, realizing that God created marriage to be a lifetime commitment.
If a man and a woman are to be married, then God probably designed this traditional and non-progressive approach to love as being of great emotional value to the couple and their children.
I once heard a Bible teacher say, “All that is good between man and woman and their children is protected within the institution of marriage.”
Now, let’s consider the second great human institution created by God: the church!
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
God created marriage and church. In the study that I read, it was revealed that healthy marriages bring healthy churches. And both satisfying marriages and church relationships mean healthy emotions.
Now for some statistics from that study . . .
- 80 percent of church attendees today grew up in continuously married homes.
- The family decline appears to fuel faith decline.
- Cohabiting, non-married churchgoers were substantially more likely to report struggling in their relationships.
- Both cohabiting men and women were far more likely to report being lonely than married men and women.
- Declining marriages decrease church attendance and increase loneliness.
In 2017, the U.S. Surgeon General declared that America was experiencing an epidemic of loneliness. Being lonely has the same negative health detriments as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
The survey I read was developed by an organization named Communio and studied 19,000 Sunday church attendees. It found a significant connection between stable families, active church attendance, and followers of Jesus who aren’t lonely.
No wonder the spirit of this age is attacking the two Godly institutions of marriage and the church from all angles.
Yes, evil plots destruction, but let’s remember the words of Jesus, “The gates of hell shall not prevail.”