Recent Statistics Affirm Marriage, Church Involvement and Happiness
By Tess Farrand, Contributing Writer
Dr. Pat Fagan serves as the Director MARRI Faith & Family Findings at The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Fagan recently compiled studies and telling statics that support biblical findings for Movieguide’s® Report to the Entertainment Industry, and so you should know them too…
According to Fagan’s findings, a national assessment of religion and happiness from Switzerland shows, “Those who attend church regularly and who report affliction to a denomination are happier.” This makes sense as God created us with a deep need for community and belonging with other like-minded people (1 Cor. 1:10, Prov. 27:17, Rom. 12:6).
Sadly, there aren’t many TV shows or movies these days that show commitment to a specific church. We need media to reflect the landscape of these happy Christians who continue to put church as a priority. We need the industry to stop confusing the public with movies such as COME SUNDAY that show perversions of biblical teachings.
Additionally, a study conducted by the sociology department at Texas A&M affirms that couples who live together before marriage or don’t get married at all are less happy than couples. Most of the time, couples test the waters for marriage by living together first. To their surprise, it actually ends up only hurting their aspirations of marriage rather than helping. “Playing house,” so to speak doesn’t work.
Did you know that the American Psychological Association states that 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce? If someone chooses to remarry after a divorce, the proceeding marriages have even less probability of being successful.
The state of childhood happiness is also at risk when divorce comes into the picture. Children feel responsible for their parents’ decisions and oftentimes the dissolution of marriages breeds more unhealthy views of biblical commitment and sexual encounters.
Movies like KRAMMER VS. KRAMMER, THE OTHER WOMAN and BOYHOOD, all communicate that divorce directly imposes long-term obstacles and questions for children.
While there are many shows that highlight divorce and blended families because of divorce, there are fewer shows and movies that reflect God’s design and value of the marriage union. For example, THIS IS US does showcase several married characters but also reflects divorce, living together before marriage and having children out of wedlock. Perhaps THIS IS US does a great job of showing a range of relationships, but still we need to ask ourselves as media consumers: how did we get here?
Is it our sin-nature that brought to reflect the opposite of God’s design for us on TV and the big screen? Is the industry trying to mirror the majority of family dynamics?
Whatever the root there is a reason that these findings echo biblical teachings…. We serve the Creator who fashioned everything to reflect His goodness and ultimately point us back to Him.
It’s vital to keep in mind that relational conflict came into the world AFTER the fall (Gen. 3). Here, Adam and Eve place blame on one another for eating the forbidden fruit and ever since then, we must fight against the temptation to go against God’s design for relationships.
Remember not to fall prey to the industry’s promotion of “whatever feels good — do it.” Instead, lean on your community to keep you accountable to God’s design (Phil. 4:8) most importantly pray that you would have the strength to support uplifting TV and movie content. These stats should encourage us that God IS moving. Now, it’s our job to make sure the media reflects this too.
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – Mark 14:38.
Let us know what you think about the current options for family-friendly TV and movies in the comments below.
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