The Church's Impact: An Urban Legend?
A new study on urban families by University of Virginia professor W. Brad Wilcox confirms what many of us already suspected--religious fathers tend to have better relationships with their spouses and children than unbelieving men. Among the highlights of Wilcox's research, churchgoing fathers are 95 percent more likely to be married when their child is born, significantly more likely to rate their partner as "supportive," and more likely to have "excellent" relationships with their spouse and children. Up to this point, no studies had zeroed in on the effect that religious beliefs have on the marriages and relationships of African-American and Latino parents in urban America. Research has already established that marriage is the most effective antidote to poverty. Now we can say with scientific certainty that church is the social glue that holds most of those marriages together. As Wilcox says, "Men, more than women, it would seem, turn their hearts and minds to the needs of their spouses when they are regular churchgoers, in large part because churches foster a code of decency that makes them more responsible and considerate." He added, "When mom is happy, everybody is happy. This study suggests that mom is more likely to be happy when dad is in church."
From Family Research Council.