A group of professors at Grove City College Pennsylvania have found that there is a clear relationship between religious participation and the development of positive character traits, particularly self-control.
Professors of psychology Drs. Joseph J. Horton, Kevin S. Seybold, and Gary L. Welton, defined “character” by simplifying the components usually attributed to "good character" - such as humility, healthful behaviors, academic honesty, and work ethic - stating that "there is a common cornerstone to these qualities and that is “self-control.”
You can not have character without self-control. Or rather the ability to delay gratification. Making moral choices requires that you be able to choose what is right even when it is difficult or disadvantageous to yourself. No matter how you define character, self-control is required to bring about those qualities.
It was discovered that personal faith combined with belonging to a religious community (that is, an organized church) was vastly more beneficial in the development of attributes which help in dealing with stressful life events than either isolated personal belief or simply being part of a close knit community. The benefits of religion for character development, come most likely from participation in a community and commitment to a belief system rather than a generalized spirituality. This is because a belief system and community result in expectations for, and demands upon, behavior that spirituality, or general religiosity, does not.
What better way to support marriage and family life than to participate in an organised religion. We have all read reports about how church attendance is decreasing in the west while crime and family break ups are on the increase. Religion is a good base on which to build a civilization of love which in turn demands self control.