Marriage is more than a man and a woman making a contract (“I promise to stay with you until death do us part”). Marriage is a divine institution ordained by God when He made the first man and woman, as outlined in the book of Genesis, “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him,’” (Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
American King James Version×, NKJV). Later in the chapter marriage is defined, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24 Genesis 2:24Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall join to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
American King James Version×). As a divine institution there are many blessings that come from having the type of marriage God intends.
One such blessing has come to light in the news in a recent study. Carlos Alviar, cardiology fellow at New York University Langone Medical Center presented a study at a recent American College of Cardiology conference (“Marriage Linked to Lower Heart Risks in Study of More Than 3.5 Million Adults,” American College of Cardiology at ScienceDaily.com, March 18, 2014).
In the study, Dr. Alviar and colleagues studied the cardiovascular health of married individuals compared to individuals who were widowed or divorced. What makes this study unique is that 3.5 million individuals were used for comparison. The bottom line is that being married has a direct positive effect on heart health, while being divorced or widowed is linked to higher rates of cardiovascular disease. The greatest health impact is in individuals under age 50 (12% lower chance of any heart or artery disease).
Other risk factors such as smoking, obesity and being sedentary also increase with being divorced or widowed. But being married brings the component of spouses helping each other to be healthy via a better diet, taking medicines, exercising and the like.
God’s desire is for the life He has given to us to be a blessing in many areas – not just marriage. Why not work within the parameters that God has established and have the best possible life you can have? We invite you to read our booklet Making Life Work which walks through practical guidance to help you achieve success in your career, friendships, finances, family and every other aspect of life.
Here’s to you having a health marriage and a healthy heart.