Marriage Matters

Religious Involvement and Health

This article was posted on: July 9, 2019

“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.”
Proverbs 4:20-22

Social science research details numerous health benefits that are associated with regular worship:

  • Those who are religiously involved live an average of seven years longer than those who are not.
  • Religious practice generally increases one’s life span. One aspect of worship is the support network it engenders among family and friends that builds a community that cares.
  • Young people who attend services weekly and rate religion as important in their lives are more likely to follow a healthy life style (adequate diet, sleep,and exercise).
  • Such young people are also less likely to engage in risky behavior (such as driving without a seat belt or driving drunk), to smoke (tobacco or marijuana),or to drink heavily.

Given the tremendous benefits of regular religious practice, is there a spiritual discipline—prayer, meditation, or Bible reading— that you can adopt? Can you help another do the same?

The following chart shows that teens who attend church are less likely to use hard drugs. Weekly church attendance fosters good habits and morals in children and teens.

For links to the research behind these statements, please visit *It bears emphasizing that these patterns hold for the groups involved, not for all the individuals who make up each group. There is naturally a wide variation among individuals.

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