“It’s just like an American to think you invented the family.”
That’s what Dr. Lilian Wahomey, a psychologist in Kenya, jokingly said to me over lunch one day. I met with her almost 25 years ago to explore ways Focus on the Family could come alongside families in Africa.
I asked, “Do you think a focus on marriage and parenting is be relevant in this part of the world?”
With a friendly smile, she reminded me that the core needs of marriages and families transcend language, culture, nationality, and socio-economic status.
Fawn Weaver discovered the same thing when she interviewed couples from all over the world to find out what made their marriages not just good, but great. What made their relationships as strong and satisfying behind closed doors as they appeared to be in public?
At first, Fawn’s assumptions about marriage were similar to mine about families. Surely the needs of couples in the United States differed wildly from couples in Asia, Australia, or Latin America. But from South Africa to the Philippines, Fawn discovered that the secrets to a happy, thriving marriage were remarkably similar.
To do her research, Fawn didn’t send out questionnaires to dozens of nameless couples. She met with them face to face. She wanted to see how they interacted. Did they look into each other’s eyes? How playful were they? She found that no matter where they were born and no matter what their background, happy couples with great marriages throughout the world were consistent in their beliefs and behaviors.
We shouldn’t be surprised. God designed all of humanity in His image. Although there are very real differences between language, history, and culture, we’re all wired with a common “language” when it comes to what we seek in marriage and in what makes a marriage great.
Fawn is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Discovering the Secrets of a Happy Marriage” to share stories about successful couples from around the world and to explain how what they do can benefit your marriage as well.
Fawn Weaver is an author, speaker, and businesswoman. She founded the Happy Wives Club, a community of more than one million women in 110 countries who connect online.
While you’re here online, why not take a few moments to try our free Marriage Assessment online tool? It will help you quickly determine what’s working well in your relationship and identify areas where you may need some improvement.
Fawn’s book Happy Wives Club: One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage is available for a gift of any amount on our website, or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).