National Marriage Week Underway
Special Report - February 9, 2010
As couples prepare to celebrate Valentine’s Day, churches, communities, schools, and businesses across the country are taking part in National Marriage Week USA in an effort to “raise the issue of marriage to the national agenda.” Set for the week of February 714, National Marriage Week (NMW) “seeks to mobilize individuals, organizations, and businesses in common purpose to strengthen marriage in communities and convey what the social science clearly tells us: marriage leads to greater wealth, health, longevity, and happiness.” According to NMW’s Web site, the week is a collaborative effort that looks to churches, businesses, educational institutions, the media, government, and parents “to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.”
Resources for government officials, churches, businesses, schools, colleges, and parents are available on the NMW Web site. They include links to research on marriage, marriage preparation and enrichment courses and materials, Bible studies, sample government proclamations, sample sermons, sample pamphlets, a Marriage Webinar, and information on various religious conferences and initiatives aimed at promoting and strengthening marriages. Churches are encouraged to “plan and provide marriage preparation classes, marriage enrichment courses and small groups, courtship and dating seminars, and parenting instruction,” host screenings of the pro-marriage films “Fireproof” and “No Greater Love,” and offer a Renewal of Wedding Vows Service on Valentine’s Day, among other activities. Schools are encouraged to hold assemblies “on the importance of marriage” with a focus on the skills that are key for healthy relationships. Colleges and parents are encouraged to find ways to discuss the marriage benefits of “more wealth, greater health, longevity and happiness.”
Mike McManus, president and co-founder of Marriage Saverswhich is one of the organizations sponsoring National Marriage Weekrecently spoke about the event on the North Carolina Family Policy Council’s weekly radio program, “Family Policy Matters.” He encouraged churches to use National Marriage Week and Valentine’s Day weekend in particular to strengthen the marriages in their congregations. “Marriage has really been increasingly a neglected topic, I think, in our private and even church conversations,” he told Bill Brooks, president of the N.C. Family Policy Council, on the program, which aired January 30 and can be heard here. “It’s God’s first institution, but in many respects it is the last institution of the average church.”
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