The Problem with Marriage
In Genesis 1-3 we find that in the perfect era of Creation, God introduced two institutions for people that were good – work and marriage. With the introduction of sin, both of those were compromised, with work becoming toilsome and marriage conflicted. We have an opportunity through business to not only demonstrate the Good News of Jesus in how people experience work, but to foster cultures that redeem, restore, and build up God-honoring marriages as well. Consider these brutal facts:
- 90% of Americans will get married; rough spots occur roughly 3-4 years after marriage, right around the time of the first child.
- 40-50% of American spouses will experience divorce; divorces spike at around 14-17 years of marriage (around mid-life points).
- 20-35% of peers in business are likely to experience marital stress at one time.
Truett Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A, famously said, “You can’t expect people to do well in their business if they’ve got problems at home.” While people mask the realities of troubled marriages, the consequences weigh heavily on the family and the organization. Happily married employees demonstrate lower turnover and absenteeism, as well as operate with higher motivation.5 There is hope!
- Studies indicate marriage issues cost American employers over $6B annually (typically over $80,000/employee that gets divorced) and contribute to a myriad of health and social issues.
- Companies who invest in relational and marital wellness often realize an actual ROI of $1.40-$4.90!6 for every dollar spent.
- In a 2006 study of MBA graduates, 70% rated family-friendly services of an employer higher than compensation when it comes to evaluating employers.
Job satisfaction, performance, and cultural contributions all increase at work when marriage and family satisfaction levels are high. Marriage ministry might just be a competitive advantage as well as a legacy-changing opportunity!
You have tremendous opportunity to influence the wellbeing of marriages and family life. Consider the opportunities that exist to make a powerful, generational impact on each of your employees in the area of marriage and family.
What We Can Do About It
We can’t force marriage enrichment or take responsibility for the decisions of other people. However, as a leader you have the capability – the calling – to foster a culture of healthy marriages. You get to set the policies, practices, and culture of the company that promote healthy marriages. You also can deploy a variety of intentional ministry resources to promote marriage enrichment and offer marriage recovery to your staff.
The second way you can foster a culture of healthy marriages is by how you model healthy marriage pursuits. You can make it “okay to not be okay” and offer help and intentionally pursue and demonstrate a Christ-centered marriage yourself. More than any program, your testimony and conduct as a leader will set the tone for marriage issues in the culture of the business and determine what is shared, hidden, celebrated, and embraced.
Looking for a list of ideas to help improve the the marriages in your company? Download the Marriage At Work Assessment to determine how well you are creating a healthy marriage culture and gain new ideas to expand the marriage ministry opportunities within your company.