What actually makes for a happy marriage? Feminism or Masculinity? Leading or Participating?

I agree that a biblical marriage would lead to a happy marriage, but of course what actually constitutes a ‘biblical’ marriage? Our friend in need, Mark Driscoll, notes:

Men who lovingly and biblically lead their homes have considerably better marriages and families.

He quotes a lot from a source which he deems friendly to his statements made on that blog post. I would disagree with him – no shocker, right?

First, I submit this post:

Promoting healthy marriages will require that churches look beyond their limited and somewhat biased understanding of how marriages should function and discover how healthy marriages really function in our society.  Professionals who work within the field of marriage and family therapy, sociologists, researchers, and demographers provide this necessary insight and empirical research data.

Dr. Howard Clinebell, Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Psychology and Counseling, Claremont School of Theology and author of Basic Types of Pastoral Care & Counseling, characterizes a healthy marriage as one evidenced by mutual care and support that allows for the growth and fulfillment of each person’s God-given potentialities.  Clinebell writes in 1984 that based on personal experience he and his wife, Dr. Charlotte Ellen, “can attest to the fact that an egalitarian marriage is potentially more fulfilling for the woman and the man.” Conversely, sexism Clinebell states, “is a central cause of diminished and destructive marriages.”

Second, there is a recently released study, and I quote it with some mild trepidation, that the more equal the marriage, the better the marriage is, all the way around. As a matter of fact, it shows:

Feminism has actually been great for marriage. People in egalitarian marriages are happier than those who aren’t; they also have more sex. Couples who marry later have significantly lower divorce rates — the chance of divorce decreases every year a woman delays marriage, and the most stable marriages occur after the woman is 35. “Today, men rank intelligence and education way above cooking and housekeeping as a desirable trait in a partner.” Educated, high-earning women have the lowest divorce rates. So while I don’t discount the feelings of women who call into Dennis Prager’s radio show, the actual statistics tell a very different story….

….Also, equal marriages are happier marriages, and equal marriages tend to be more stable. Oh and men tend to be happier than women in marriages. Perhaps it’s true that Manly Men aren’t getting married as often as they once were — it’s hard to find statistics on Manly Man alone. Maybe women are less interested (and less obligated) to marry men who treat them like domestic servants rather than partners. As Amanda points out, far fewer women kill their husbands today than they did 30 years ago — that is perhaps indicative of the fact that women have more options to escape abusive relationships than they used to, and it’s less common for a woman to feel that she has no option other than to murder her abuser…..

Also, here.

I guess, we could look at it relatively. Better than what? What is ‘biblical?’ For me, Men who participate in their marriages according to Ephesians, in such a way as to submit one to another, will be happier. Evidence, we have it.

Plus, since Mark is all about sex, it seems to be more plentiful and better in a marriage where husbands and wife are more equal.

Frankly, a good marriage is built on love, respect, trust, communication, and work.

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2 Replies to “What actually makes for a happy marriage? Feminism or Masculinity? Leading or Participating?”

  1. There’s another question that needs to be answered: What constitutes a “better” marriage? I suspect that under Driscoll’s ideology an egalitarian marriage is by definition not better than a complementarian one, so I doubt he’d concede the point, pesky facts to the contrary aside 🙂

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