The first family is instituted in Genesis 2:22, where it says, “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” Adam needed a helper suitable for him, and thus God formed Eve. The fourth chapter of Genesis says, “Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” This took place because God commanded it in Genesis 1, where He said, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. …” Within the first few chapters in the creation story, God has made man and wife and caused them to be fruitful and multiply. This is the family institution.
For decades now there has been an assault on the biblical definition of family and marriage. The Church has been strangely silent during this assault. Pop culture and Hollywood have promoted sexual immorality for decades. During all of this time, the fact that biblical marriage and family is overwhelmingly the most viable option for a healthy society has been largely ignored.
Are there any benefits in a biblical marriage and family? The answer is yes. The benefits to each spouse are numerous. Societal benefits are also numerous. United Families International has published an extensive guide outlining the benefits of marriage. From this guide I have noted some of the most interesting facts and research that stood out to me.
First, research shows that married couples have higher levels of happiness and well-being compared to individuals that are single. Marriage is also associated with higher self-esteem, life satisfaction, and reduced stress. Married couples also tend to be healthier and better off financially compared to single or divorced individuals. Have you ever been told that staying single is the best way to ensure happiness? The UFI guide proves that to be utterly false (p. 5).
Second, nearly 50 percent of husbands described sex with their wife as “extremely satisfying emotionally.” Cohabitating men registered under 40 percent as being emotionally satisfied in their sex life. Sex inside marriage provides security, bonding, and exclusivity to each spouse, and this is why it is overall healthier. Married couples are also less likely to be exposed to sexually transmitted diseases (p. 15).
Third, this guide pointed out that marriage and the workplace are significantly related. Employees that are in troubled relationships or divorced can decrease in productivity and increase stress and anxiety in the workplace. Couples that are happily married are often more stable, more dependable, and more motivated. One fact that could explain this is that a married individual likely works to provide for spouse and children. This is a motivator. Research from this guide concluded that “happily-married employees are good for business” (p. 6).
Last but most important are the benefits to children who have both a mom and a dad. Parents who are married are less likely to be poor, and most single mothers would be able to escape the poverty level if they were married. Children who are born and raised outside marriage are six times more likely to receive welfare from the government. An interesting number is that for every $1,000 that the government provides to aid families that are broken, it spends about $1 stopping the breakdown of the family (pp. 39-40) Children’s future physical, mental, and social health all benefit from a mom and a dad in the home.
The research backing the importance of biblical marriage in a society is overwhelming. All of this social science and research points to the need for healthy and biblical marriages in any society. For a culture and its people to deny this fact is to deny reality.