The findings make sense for several reasons
, say researchers on religion and marriage. Ellison and Xu offer these considerations:
- Shared religious values may contribute to intimacy, trust, empathy and mutual understanding.
- Couples who pray and study the Bible together can reinforce religious commitments that may lead to more acts of routine kindness and forbearance in their daily lives.
- Believing their relationships are sanctified by God can provide added incentives for expressions of loving kindness, compassion and affection among partners. The belief may also encourage partners to practice spiritual models of unconditional forgiveness.
As hard as it is these days to get people to the altar, the challenge for religious institutions goes beyond making sure couples get to the church, mosque or temple on time on their wedding day. The happily ever after part, the research indicates, also involves a commitment by couples to continue to share their spiritual lives with one another.