Special Report - February 7, 2012
Today marks the beginning of the 10th National Marriage Week in the United States. For at least the next seven days, February 7-14, churches, businesses, cities and towns, service organizations, and couples across the country will be working 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." Throughout the week, couples will attend conferences, seminars, courses, small group meetings, couples' events, and more offered by churches and other organizations that emphasize the initiative's message—"Let's Strengthen Marriage."
According to National Marriage Week USA, the goal of the week is to strengthen marriages at a community level, "reduce divorce and cohabitation, and serve the needs of children" through "a collaborative effort to encourage many diverse groups to strengthen individual marriages, reduce the divorce rate, and build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children." The organizations and churches sponsoring this week's events recognize that "marriage is a skill," and are committed to helping couples "celebrate marriage or educate couples" on the benefits of marriage as the spiritually, physically, financially, and statistically "best possible environment for a healthy relationship to develop." Webcasts, seminars, courses, and other events this week aim to help couples "learn some new skills to turn [their] marriages from good to very good!"
The website for National Marriage Week USA touts three primary goals for the week, including:
The website includes a list of marriage classes, home groups, Sunday school classes, and Date Night Challenges being held nationwide in the week leading up to Valentine's Day. It also has a host of resources for organizers, churches, and pastors from a variety of groups such as Family Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Marriage Savers, and others. Also available on the website are a pastor-specific webinar, and a tool kit, which includes a suggested curriculum, logos, sample press releases, sample public official proclamations, newspaper ads, research, public service announcements, downloadable brochures, marriage tips, and more.
"Rebuilding our economy is tied to rebuilding marriages," said Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA. "Taxpayers spend at least $112 billion a year for divorce and unwed childbearing. Marriage brings vastly more financial stability to individuals.... National Marriage Week USA is a collaborative effort among many groups to let people know they can learn how to have a better marriage"
Source URL http://ncfamily.org/stories/120207s1.html