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Christmas Eve


Once a year there is a Sunday where either Matt or I get to teach on whatever we want. The rest of the year is all scheduled out. But on the Sunday after Christmas we get to choose. It’s always hard for me to decide what topic to teach on. I’m not good with unlimited choices.

But this year someone sent me an article about relationships, and marriage specifically, that I found fascinating. After reading it I thought, “That’s it. That’s what I’m going to teach on.”

In the article, originally featured in “The Atlantic,” Emily Smith writes that, after decades of research, scientists have discovered there is a particular quality that is “the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage” and therefore, essential in happy marriages.

One psychologist, John Gottman, in fact, “can predict with up to 94 percent certainty whether couples will be broken up, together and unhappy, or together and happy several years later,” based on the presence or absence of this quality.

It’s not surprising then that this quality is also a Christian virtue to be present in all of our relationships. In other words, it’s not just a good idea if you’re married, it’s actually a non-negotiable requirement for all followers of Jesus.

So what is this quality and what does it look like to live it out? That’s what we’re going to talk about this week. See you on Sunday.


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