“Marriage pays huge dividends!” Strengthen Yours.

“Marriage pays huge dividends!” Strengthen Yours.

The truth is, marriage is beneficial for both personal and national economic stability and is critical for raising well-adjusted children.  Such is the sentiment of  Chuck Stetson, CEO of National Marriage Week USA which is appropriately proclaimed the week before Valentine’s Day   This annual event is a great time to celebrate this most important institution.

We at United Families International want to celebrate with you – to encourage those who are married to take the time to strengthen and nurture your marriage and to those adults who aren’t married, to recognize the important place marriage plays in a healthy society and that promoting (and preparing for) it benefits everyone!    First, we wanted to share some positive things that have been in the news this past week regarding marriage.

1.     The French Constitutional Council, France’ highest authority on the French constitution, ruled last week that disallowing same-sex marriage does not violate the country’s constitution.  The Council noted that lawmakers had already agreed that the “difference in situations of same-sex couples and couples made up of a man and a woman can justify a different in treatment concerning family rights.”  France currently has in place a form of civil union and the court ruled that that is enough for same-sex couples to form a “normal family life.”  What a change from the outrageous rulings on marriage that have emanated from some U.S courts.

2.    In spite of all the bad news surrounding the recession, in the U.S. marriage seems to be faring well.  The National Marriage Project, University of Virginia, is reporting on a new study/survey that shows that 38 percent of couples who were considering divorce or separation have now put aside those plans as a result of the recession.  “The Great Recession and Marriage” points out that even though the economic downturn has indeed brought considerable stress and harm to some marriages; it has also brought about a re-ordering of life and produced a deeper commitment to marriage for others.

When marriages thrive

The seminal work, “The Case for Marriage” (2001) synthesized much of the research that had been done to date on marriage and there continues to be an avalanche of studies and research on the importance of man/woman marriage.  Not being married can be hazardous to your health, to your pocketbook, and most importantly, to your children.  Go here and to see a condensed list of the benefits of a healthy marriage.  We also want to highlight United Families International’s compilation of studies entitled:  The Marriage Advantage. Please share the information with your friends and family.  Marriage can no longer be taken for granted.

When marriage breaks down or becomes irrelevant

Marriage breakdown costs U.S. taxpayers at least $112 billion a year – that’s a low-end estimate.   We would argue that a government cannot create enough social programs to compensate for the breakdown of marriage (or for the failure of marriages to form at all) – those governments that try, will ultimately go broke in the process.

If you want to see what happens when marriage is devalued to the point that a segment of society ceases to participate in it, take a few minutes and read through  “Nobody Gets Married Anymore, Mister.”  Read one school teacher’s account of what happens to schools and to communities when marriage disappears.  The author explains how the tragedy compounds with each succeeding generation. (Note:  72 percent of all African-American children are born out-of-wedlock)

In honor of National Marriage week

Simply knowing the critical effect marriage has on children and society doesn’t make having a happy marriage easy.  To succeed in marriage, men and women must overcome the most common weakness of humanity:  that of selfishness. We hope that understanding how crucial marriage is will help create some incentive to strengthen your love and commitment to your spouse and family.   Here are ten tips to help you do just that.  First for the husbands…

Tips for Him

Be Gentle – Your actions, words, and thoughts affect her deeply–be gentle.  Complements and suggestions reach the core of her being.

Eliminate harshness or criticism. Resolve any differences in private where you can be open, collected, and kind in your approach.

Be Open and Honest – Total openness is essential for a healthy relationship.  Becoming a predictable, blending of each other’s mind raises the level of trust and marital fulfillment.  Take time to talk.  By sharing your interests and feelings you strengthen your relationship.

Share the Leadership – Listen to her, counsel with her and often follow her lead.  Contribute to a faith-based home by leading out in prayer, religious study, giving service, and weekly family time.

Concern Yourself With Her –  Be genuinely interested in her hair, clothes, peer relationships, and on and on.  These things affect her life, so they affect your marriage–be interested in them.

Have Fun Together   Pressures will mount and more and more things will demand your individual time and energy, but life together was intended to be full and rich.  Make sure it is.

Tips for Her

Appreciate and Admire – Appreciate that he spends most of his time in pursuit of your comfort and happiness.  His confidence is increased when you express admiration and appreciation.  Look for his goodness and strengths.  Let him know he is your hero.

Be Attractive – Know what his appearance preferences are and wear them.  He has a responsibility to maintain his appearance for you as well.

Create Peace and Order – Organize your home.   Make it a peaceful place to be where you can listen and share each other’s burdens and joys.  Try to have at least one meal together every day.

Persuade in Kindness – Compliment, ask and wait.  Make sure he understands your needs.  He will fulfill them when he can.  Respect his counsel and advice.  Include him in your decisions.  Let him know you appreciate his leadership by honoring his manhood.

Keep Dating – Share his adventures, hobbies and interests.  Make time to have fun together.  Be fiercely committed.  Let nothing come between you.  Make yours a “forever” team.

Social science data new and old clearly indicates that happy marriages are the seed bed of society.  Join us in celebrating National Marriage Week by doing something to create and protect happy marriages–especially YOURS!

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