The Happiest Women In The World Are Married

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   4/29/2012

Who are the happiest women in the United States?

Women who are married, attend church weekly with their husbands, and have at least four children, according to the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project.

A woman is especially likely to be happy in her marriage if she and her husband agree that raising children is a joy. Also, religious commitment shown by attending church regularly- and together- is a big plus.

According to Maggie Gallagher's column titled "The Happiest Wives in America," these traits mark the happiest women in our country. Gallagher referred to marriages currently in the limelight, like Rick and Karen Santorum's.

Though the Santorums have had their share of challenges associated with Rick's 20-plus years in politics and family circumstances like Bella's genetic disorder (with statistics showing a 10 percent chance of surviving past her first birthday), they've exemplified happiness with each other.  

The Santorums also exemplify a marriage united in the Christian faith. These days marriage may be founded on one of a plethora of philosophies, but those set forth in the Bible provide the surest guidelines for a satisfying marriage.

Interestingly, one major focus of the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project is to determine whether a "soulmate" model of marriage (a.k.a. "for long as our love shall last") or an "unconditional" model of marriage (a.k.a. "till death do us part") is the best model for marriage.

NMP has chosen well the two models to study, because it seems that most marriages fall under one or the other category. The unconditional model is set apart because of the high commitment it requires from both couples. The vows "for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer" are poetically stated at marriage ceremonies, but are rarely taken seriously. An unconditional model of marriage takes these vows seriously.

In an unconditional model of marriage, when infatuation fades and differences set in, divorce is simply not an option. Couples faced with difficulties are stuck with each other, and they know it! Establishing this kind of commitment, though it seems trite, leaves no room to entertain thoughts of "what if..." simply because what-ifs are not an option!

So instead of exiting a difficult marriage, couples who have agreed to an unconditional model of marriage have no choice but to look at each other and ask, "What can we do to make this work?"

Therein blossoms true love. Selfishness is destructive, so giving becomes the resounding path. These couples are compelled to better one nother, not just themselves individually. They are also figuratively joined at the hip regarding any tragedies they or their families may face. Like sudsy dishsoap and a dishcloth, they are in it together.

With the unconditional model of marriage, negative perspectives are found to be disenlightening. So couples learn to embrace each other as a gift, admiring each other's unique and God-instilled qualities, instead of picking at each other's weaknesses.

In a sense, an unconditional model of marriage could be compared to an arranged marriage. On a couple's wedding day, the pair cannot foresee the challenges they may face nor the changes that may occur in each other. The person they married will look different, and may even have a different personality, after 20 years of marriage. Yet ironically, arranged marriages also seem to have a high rate of togetherness, perhaps because their nature of unfamiliarity demands an unconditional model "that we're together no matter what."

One of the best pieces of advice my husband and I received before we married was to never say the word "divorce" regarding each other. "Don't even joke about it," we were told, because casually speaking the word means it was casually thought, which raises a blaring alarm between couples.

The "soulmate," or "conditional" model of marriage, which is more emotionally driven, is very common and seems to be the most romantic and adventurous, but it simply is not realistic, and therefore leaves behind more heartache than happiness. In this model divorce is a viable option and, like aspirin for a headache, is too casually reached.

The "soulmate" model is also dishonoring to God. Ephesians 5:32 says that marriage is "a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one."

Marriage was created to glorify God. God's deep love and faithfulness is pictured in an unconditional model of marriage, and healthy marriage like these should point to Him. A "soulmate" model, however, does not.

Simply put, either our marriages glorify God, or they don't.

So, why are the happiest women found who are married, religiously united with their husbands, and raising children? Because herein lies the marriages which are most likely united unconditionally. A woman in this marriage has a sense of love and security that does not exist in the conditional marriages. She's also more likely decided to embrace the blessings of her family instead of sulking in the trenches (trenches do exist in every situation for those looking for them).

Because even though we aren't perfect, God still chose us, and remarkably sticks with us. We've been weak as a church and we've been unfaithful. Yet His commitment proves His tremendous love.

May our marriages provide that picture to the world.

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