Food for thought

A recent study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that married couples who attend religious services regularly are 30 percent to 50 percent less likely to divorce than couples who do not

Feb 10, 2017

A recent study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that married couples who attend religious services regularly are 30 percent to 50 percent less likely to divorce than couples who do not.

Tyler J. VanderWeele, professor of epidemiology at Harvard, proposed five reasons why consistent religious service attendance may lead to marital stability:

-- Teachings heard at services point to the sacredness of marriage and remind husband and wife that “an important bond is created in the exchange of marriage vows.”

-- Various faiths prohibit or discourage divorce and speak against adultery, one of the leading causes of divorce.

--The message of love and placing others’ needs before your own heard at religious services may “improve the quality of married life and lower the likelihood of divorce.”

-- Religious institutions and communities typically offer programmes and resources that support marriages and families, such as relationship building, counselling, retreats and workshops.

-- Attending religious services has positive impacts on physical and emotional health, which may “indirectly support marriage.” Depression is less prevalent among attendees, who tend to find “greater levels of meaning in life and greater levels of happiness.”

What does this mean for Catholic married couples? Don’t miss out on Mass — your marriage will thank you.

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