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In the book The Case for Marriage, Linda Waite confirms that

“Unmarried people are far more likely to die young — especially men, who on average engage in riskier behavior when single than when married. Statistically, divorce is as dangerous to a man’s health as starting to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day. Nine of ten married men will live to be at least sixty-five, while only six of ten single men will. Nine of ten wives make it to sixty-five, but only eight of ten single or divorced women will. Married people have more money, and their money goes further. If you think about it, two can live almost as cheaply as one. Cohabiting doesn’t offer nearly as many financial benefits as marriage, because married couples make long-term plans and decisions. The secret is an added ingredient: commitment.  Married people not only have far more sex than singles, but they enjoy it more, both physically and emotionally. One reason married people have more intimacy is that it costs them less in time, money, and energy. They have already made the huge investment in establishing and maintaining a relationship and can lie back and enjoy the dividends.” And, the long-term emotional commitment of marriage brings more intimate satisfaction than found with cohabiting couples. ”

So, if you want to be healthier, wealthier, and sexier… stay in a long term committed marriage.   It is difficult to keep things fresh, to overcome differences, and stay with it, but it is worth it.

I went to lunch last year with a man who was struggling with his marriage. He shared with me the challenges of his relationship and temptation to “throw in the towell.”  I listened intently and asked how I could help.   He paused and said, “Tell me it’s worth the effort.   Tell me to hang in there.”  He spoke of the wear and tear of the past few years. He told me of his regrets of making work more important than family. He said, “I want to fix this, but it might be too late. Help me with my marriage. Do you have any advice?”  I did encourage him and offer him some hope.   God wants you to hang in there.  Every marriage has seasons. Sometimes the winter season seems long, cold, and lonely… But HANG IN THERE!!!    Spring is coming. There is a Summer in your future.  If you will commit to changing the “dance” of your marriage, but making your spouses’s priorities your priorities.   We all have reasons and stories as to why we “give, give, give,” and our spouse “takes, takes, takes.”   But remember that it’s easier to see the “speck” in our spouse’s eye than to see the log in our own.

I’ve sat with dozens and dozens of couples contemplating divorce. Each time I hear the same lies come out of their mouths.   “God would want me to be happy….”   Maybe, but perhaps, God wants you to be Holy.   Marriage will bring out the reality of how selfish the human heart really is. Marriage will challenge you to be holy and more mature by looking out for the interests of others (Phil 2) in ways you’ve never thought possible.    I’ve heard “For the sake of the kids, we should get divorced…”   Hmmmm…. be very very careful.    Divorce is a mutating beast that evolves and transforms into uglier and uglier forms. If you and your spouse are struggling with money and communication, imagine how much harder it will be when you have twice the expenses, two places to live, and you still have to talk about money, kids, schedules, etc.       There are some times when the Bible permits divorce, but mark my words.  Divorce hurts. It hurts deeply and badly.  A friend who was divorced once said, “I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy.”  Another friend said, “Imagine the person who knows you best stands up in open court -before the whole world- and says, “I don’t want to be with you anymore. That’s just the beginning of the pain.”

Redbook magazine did a study a few years back that showed the direct correlation between faith, happiness, and sexual fulfillment.  the overwhelming conclusion from their data was that people of faith have more dynamic intimate lives than those without faith.

This shouldn’t surprise us. God says that he created human beings in three parts: Body, Soul, and Spirit.   When a couple connects on all three levels with physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy… The results are powerful. We are able to “know” one another at a deeper level as we resonate with God’s hardwiring of our original design.

“For instance, Dr. Herbert Miles, author of Sexual Happiness in Marriage, surveyed 151 college-age couples six months to two years after they married. These couples had strong religious backgrounds and received marriage counseling concerning God’s plan for lovemaking prior to marriage. Dr. Miles found that 96.1 percent of these wives enjoyed regular physical satisfying pleasure in their marriage. These results show that young wives who commit themselves to following God’s principles for lovemaking free their bodies for total enjoyment of the embrace of their husbands.

I read Tim and Beverly’s books The Act of Marriage and The Act of Marriage After Forty. They surveyed 1700 couples from their Family Life Seminars for their book. This group consisted of couples with a wide age spread and different levels of spiritual maturity. However, 89 percent of the women reported succeeding in love with their husbands. When both the husbands and wives work at applying God’s principles to their daily lives, they enjoyed the results in their bedrooms.

A Redbook survey of 65,000 women also reported on the same subject. This survey found that the “very religious” woman reaped the most from the love embrace. The “slightly religious” woman was the most likely candidate to fail in all areas of her daily life including the sexual embrace. (Claire Safran, “65,000 Women Reveal: How Religion Affects Health, Happiness, Sex, and Politics,” Redbook

God’s wisdom is the compass. His principles mark the path.  His grace is the fuel. Marriage makes you healthier, wealthier, and sexier. For more information, check out www.godonomics.com or check out this clip about a funny marriage conflict with my wife.

 

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