“Family: The Promise Begins With Me”
When was the last time you had a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Too long ago? Well, you have another chance in two weeks! It’s not too late to register for the World Congress of Families IX on Oct 27 – 30 in Salt Lake City.
Day-passes are still available for $30, and by using the discount code “WCF,” you can get a week-long pass (without meals) for just $125. Click here to register, and here for a color flyer you can copy and share.
The World Congress of Families (WCF) brings together presenters and attendees from many different nations and vastly different educational, cultural, and faith backgrounds — who all agree that the “strength of family truly is the strength of nations.” You will meet new people and come away educated, enlightened, and inspired. The World Congress of Families offers one of the most unique and profound experiences of a lifetime!
WCF conferences have been held in Prague (1997) Geneva (1999) Mexico City (2004), Warsaw (2007), Amsterdam (2009), Madrid (2012), and Sydney (2013). Now, for the first time in history, it is coming to the United States!
What is the purpose of these conferences?
Mary Louise Fowler, Chairperson of the 2013 WCF in Australia explained that the WCF “gives people encouragement to go home and spread the news that my job as an advocate for family values is really important. It’s a little one, but it’s important, you know? What we do actually has an impact on the overall strength of society. Everybody has a part to play.”
This year’s WCF Executive Director, Janice Shaw Crouse recently wrote:
As we survey the globe, we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the suffering of children, women and men swallowed up by war, natural disasters, disease and poverty. As we take stock of our own families, we can feel equally inadequate and hopeless in the face of our personal challenges. After all, what can one person do?
Edward Everett Hale, an American author and Unitarian minister, penned an inspired answer to that question: “I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will.”
These sentiments informed the theme we chose for the ninth World Congress of Families, to be held Oct. 27-30 here in Salt Lake City at the Grand America Hotel. Our theme [is] “Family: The promise begins with me.”
Yes, I am only one person, and you are only one person, but we both have an important part to play. I can influence some people, and you can reach others. The promise to strengthen families begins with you and me — starting with our own families. I promise to care for my aging mother. My friend promises to spend more quality time with her daughter. What can you promise?
WCF9 in Salt Lake City promises to feature nearly 200 speakers from almost 20 countries, including:
- Dom Duarte Pio – King of Portugal, Duke of Braganza
- Duke Paul von Oldenburg – (Belgium)
- Nick Vujicic – Life Without Limbs (Australia)
- Theresa Okafor – Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (Nigeria)
- Lila Rose – Live Action (United States)
- Franscisco Tatad – Former Majority Leader Philippine Senate
- Rebekah Ali-Gouveia, Esq. – Attorney (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Alex Schadenberg – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (Canada)
- Bob McCoskrie – Family First New Zealand
- Errol Naidoo – Family Policy Institute (South Africa)
- Dr. Suja Koshy – SNDT Women’s University (India)
One of this year’s exceptional speakers is Dr. Jill Manning, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes in research and clinical work related to pornography and its impact on families. She has been featured in numerous television and radio programs.
Jill has given us special permission to publish an excerpt from her upcoming WCF presentation here today. Jill’s message comes from her front-row seat of watching the impact of pornography upon marriage. It also gives us a glimpse of the quality programming you will find at the World Congress of Families in two weeks!
We truly hope to see you there.
Faithfully for Families,
United Families International, President
“The Impact of Internet Pornography & Sexually Addictive Behavior on Wives”
by Jill Manning, LMFT
Pornography promotes, eroticizes and instills the antithesis of each and every one of the attributes we find in stable and satisfying marriages. Conversely, happy marriages are a preventative buffer against pornography’s influence.
Although the majority of pornography consumption does not fall into the category of addiction, it is critical that we not minimize or ignore the fact that a person does not need to reach the threshold of addiction in order to cause grave harm. Even one exposure can have long-lasting effects and we know that it takes less than five hours of exposure for changes in human beliefs and attitudes to occur. Pornography, which includes a wide spectrum of content, is problematic across all degrees of usage because the continuum of impact does not slide between benign effect and benefit, but rather minimal to severe harm.
When a married woman discovers her husband has been secretly and perhaps even compulsively consuming pornography, the discovery not only shatters her sense of security and trust, but often threatens the very foundation upon which she has constructed her entire relational world. She is suddenly confronted with how psychologically split her supposedly “modern man” really is, and it can be devastating to her psyche and spirit. Learning she is one of many instead of being an exclusive and chosen life-partner is excruciatingly painful – especially when ‘the many’ are virtual, airbrushed fantasies and exploited strangers.
Although women in various kinds of relationships can experience intense and adverse reactions to pornography use in their primary relationship, there is a significant difference between women who are dating or cohabiting and those who are married. According to research, married women are significantly more distressed by a partner’s online pornography consumption than women in dating or cohabiting relationships, and they view Internet pornography consumption as a significant threat to the marital bond.
As would be expected, the distress they report increases according to the perceived frequency of their husband’s online sexual activities, but interestingly enough is not significantly influenced by their religious beliefs – which effectively counters the false notion that these women are only distressed because of a religious or conservative mindset.”
“One reason pornography consumption can be so potent is that it is rarely an isolated pursuit. Numerous studies have shown that pornography, which is a supernormal stimuli for humans, is frequently associated with, but not limited to: compulsive self-stimulation, increased risk of aggressive and abusive behavior, misogynistic attitudes, less progressive views of gender, callousness, domestic violence, intimacy disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, a threefold increase in the likelihood of committing adultery, a fourfold increase in the likelihood of hiring prostitutes, cybersex, sexual dysfunction, diminished spirituality, decreased mental and physical well-being, and increased risk of job loss, separation and divorce.”
 Bridges, Bergner and Hesson-McInnis 2003
Jill C. Manning, Ph.D. is a former Social Science Fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and is the author of several academic journal articles. She currently works as a therapist at the Colorado Sexual Recovery Center where she works exclusively with partners of sex addicts.