Who doesn’t want to be fit, smart and have enough resources to make ends meet? It’s very often easier said than done. But now, according to recently released census data, the quickest way to happiness is also the oldest way:
Get and stay married.
According to a Heritage Foundation report:
Intact families tend to fare better financially and marital satisfaction has been linked to better physical and emotional health. The average income of single men is just 60 percent of that of married men, and single women’s average income is just 40 percent of their married counterparts. And the economic benefits of marriage are not for adults alone. Marriage can decrease the likelihood of child poverty by more than 80 percent.
So, as Mark Twain once said of the music of Richard Wagner, “It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds.”
Indeed, the trajectory of this is good news, but it still doesn’t help soothe the pain or heal the hurt of the couple who, this very day, has decided to throw in the towel. Divorce is a major problem within the United States and even in the Christian church.
If you were to sum up the essence of Christian marriage into a single word, what would it be?
I might suggest the word “other” - because in order for a marriage to thrive, each spouse must be sacrificial and selfless towards the other. Marriage is really not about your happiness, but about you helping your spouse become the person God made them to be.
But wouldn’t you know - despite this selfless focus, as evidenced by the Census data, healthy marriages will inevitably and naturally greatly benefit your happiness and satisfaction, too! So, in the end, perhaps Benjamin Franklin didn’t quite have it right when he said that the key to health, wealth and wisdom was to get to bed early and rise at dawn. Instead, if you want all those things and more, feel free to sleep in tomorrow – just make sure it’s with your spouse with whom you’ll spend the rest of your life.
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About Jim Daly
Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of its National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, heard by more than 2.9 million listeners a week on more than 1,000 radio stations across the U.S. He is husband to Jean and father to Trent and Troy.
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