Check out our Events Page for more information or go to http://www.hatcreekcamps.org/event/marriage-retreat-2/ to register now!
February: National Marriage Week – February 7-14, 2016
Amidst all the candy-and-flowers celebration of Valentine’s Day (which I heartily support), there is something else even deeper worth celebrating. It is the very quintessence of human love: marriage. In a world where the very idea of a monogamous, healthy, lifelong marriage apparently seems quaintly nostalgic to some, there is good news about this old “tradition.” Allow me to quote from a press release published by NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org:
“Marriage works,” says NMWUSA executive director Sheila Weber. “Research shows that marriage makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security. Children with married parents perform better in school. There are proven ways to repair and restore marriages—but most folks don’t know where to go to get the help they need.”
That’s the driving motivation behind National Marriage Week, which is February 7-14 each year. Weber again: “The goal is to elevate attention on the need to strengthen marriage and ways to do it, and initiate new efforts to reduce the divorce rate and build stronger marriage, which in turn helps curtail poverty and benefits children.”
Now celebrated around the world (it has long been an organized celebration in the UK, Germany, Ireland, Australia, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere internationally), National Marriage Week provides an opportunity for churches, organizations and governments to find and promote ways to strengthen marriages. But you don’t have to make a big public splash. There are many ways you can strengthen marriages within your own sphere of influence – your family, your friends, your church and your neighborhood, and of course, your own marriage.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Establish a regular “date night” with your spouse, and encourage other couples to do the same. Share ideas with them!
- Form or join a couples’ club. It doesn’t have to be anything formal, just a time of fun and fellowship with other couples who enjoy and believe in marriage. (Our “2×2:The Noah Project” is an example. For more information, contact us.)
- Talk positively about marriage, and brag about your spouse. That’s not being prideful, it’s just bearing witness to the blessings that God has brought you in your partner!
- Make anniversaries a special event, especially the “big” ones (although every year you stay together is cause for celebration). Let your parents and grandparents know that you respect them for staying together for 40, 50 or 60 years. Let your children see that you value that kind of longevity in marriage.
- Renew your vows. That can be done in a special public ceremony, or in a quiet moment with just the two of you. Either way, it’s a reminder of the promise that you made in front of God and others.
- Read a good book about marriage together. Talk about it, and find ways to incorporate the good ideas into your relationship. (If you want some suggestions, contact us!)
Valentine’s Day is fun, and I hope you enjoy it with the person you love. But whether you are married or not, there is much you can do to support marriage. Our country needs it. National Marriage Week is a good time to start.
For more about National Marriage Week, go to www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org.
Contributed by: Larry Compter, Executive Director
Above image courtesy of Just2shutter at FreeDigitalPhotos.net