We often think of that scripture in spiritual terms, but our souls are intimately entwined with our bodies to the degree that you can’t meaningfully talk about one without discussing the other. Or, that is, you can, but then you’re talking about death–that unnatural separation of body and soul.
The upshot, of course, is that whatever affects the body affects the soul in some way and whatever affects the body affects the soul as well. It stands to reason then that the way we choose to love one another–or not as the case may be–affects our health.
St Paul reminds men of as much when he says that a husband ought to love his wife as he loves his own body (Eph 5:28). It turns out that he was speaking more literally than we knew. According to a new study,
…married people have better mental and physical health than their unmarried peers and are less likely to develop chronic conditions than their widowed or divorced counterparts. A University of Missouri expert says that people who have happy marriages are more likely to rate their health as better as they age; aging adults whose physical health is declining could especially benefit from improving their marriages. (read the article here).If taking care of your marriage because you want love your spouse better wasn’t enough of a reason, then perhaps this will provide a little extra motivation.
For additional tips on how to make your marriage (and your health) better, I hope you’ll join me in my “40 Days to a Better Marriage” Challenge that I describe below. Every day, I’ll offer one, small, thing you can do to cherish each other a little better and help your marriage be a better witness to the free, total, faithful, and fruitful love God longs to share with all humankind.
Love doesn’t have to do big things to produce big benefits.