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Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Religion on Enduring Marriages

Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, IN 46808, USA
Academic Editor: Martin J. Bull
Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(2), 24;
Received: 26 April 2016 / Revised: 10 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 21 May 2016
This article adds to recent literature in the study of religion and marriage by examining older couples’ use of religion as a cultural repertoire in enduring marriages. The study includes qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with 43 married, Christian couples. Couples reported four predominant social contexts that gave sacred meanings to their marriage: prayer, worship services and sermons, first-rite rituals and communion. These social contexts magnify sacred meanings within religious cultural repertoires by enhancing older couples’ perceptions of their marriages as sacred through formal and public recognition of their marriage longevity, lauding their marriage longevity as a blessing from God to be emulated, promoting religious meanings of familism and giving positive marriage outcomes sacred meanings. Negative effects of religion on marriage outcomes occurred among older couples when lived experiences of religion conflicted with their cultural expectations for enduring marriages. View Full-Text
Keywords: religion and marriage; culture theory; sacred marriage; sanctification of marriage; cultural repertoire religion and marriage; culture theory; sacred marriage; sanctification of marriage; cultural repertoire
MDPI and ACS Style

Mullins, D.F. The Effects of Religion on Enduring Marriages. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 24.

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