Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, recently celebrated 70 years of marriage, making them the longest-married presidential couple in U.S. history. Their marriage isn't just long-lasting – by all accounts, it's a happy union characterized by both love and friendship.
Of her marriage, Mrs. Bush has said:
"I think we grew together. I think that when you have a child die and you survive, and you've been through a war and you survive, and you build a business and you survive, you either grow apart or together. We always turned to each other."
Turns out the Bushes' habit of nurturing their relationship and staying committed might have helped them weather life's challenges as individuals as well.
The New York Times recently reported on a new study that concluded "being married makes people happier and more satisfied with their lives than those who remain single – particularly during the most stressful periods."
The study's author says, "Marriage may be most important when … things are going wrong."
Of course, this boost to life satisfaction comes from being committed friends.
The study finds "Those who consider their spouse or partner to be their best friend get about twice as much life satisfaction from marriage as others."
This is especially true during middle age when life and family stresses are at their highest because "they have a shared load and shared friendship."
It's amazing to see how, thousands of years after God created marriage, science continues to affirm God's Word and confirm matrimony as a valuable institution for society and individuals. We continue to learn of the benefits marriage brings, and continue to see the biblical wisdom of Mark 10:9: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate."