By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
Anyone who resolved in January to be healthier, happier and more financially stable in 2012 may want to start by assessing the status of their marriage or their lack thereof.
This year’s National Marriage Week, Feb. 7-14, marks the 10th annual observation designed to elevate marriage as a national issue with policy leaders, promote its benefits, and create a nationwide calendar for marriage classes, conferences and events to help husbands and wives strengthen their ties.
“Marriage builds financial stability, greater longevity, better health, and research shows it’s the best circumstance for raising children,” said Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA.
Sadly, she said only 28 percent of churches now offer even a marriage class.
“We would like to stir a new call to the church that there would be a marriage ministry in every church in America,” she added.
The Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said it’s imperative for pastors in North Carolina to heed that call, especially in light of May’s Marriage Protection Amendment referendum.
“We urge pastors to take up the subject of marriage either on National Marriage Week or sometime, even perhaps in a series of messages, before the primaries when Tar Heel voters will have to decide whether to protect marriage as between one man and one woman in our state’s constitution.”
He said too many Christians take their own marriages for granted and fail to see the significance of promoting this sacred institution established by the very God who created us.
“Even those of us who appreciate our own marriages often miss how important marriage is to our society as a whole. Kids raised by married couples perform better in school and have lower rates of teen pregnancy and addiction,” he said. “Plus married couples fair better economically so they are less likely to wind up on welfare.”
He said even folks whose belief systems don’t include God’s plan for marriage should be thankful for the stability it gives our state and should hope to strengthen the institution, if for no other reason than to save tax dollars.
According to a study by the Institute for American values, the nation spends at least $112 billion a year on divorce and unwed childbearing.
“These costs arise from increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice, and education programs, and through lower levels of taxes paid by individuals who, as adults, earn less because of reduced opportunities as a result of having been more likely to grow up in poverty,” the study reported.
“What we’ve got to realize is that we can’t fix many of these social ills until or unless the family is strengthened and the best way to do that is to support marriage God’s way,” Dr. Creech said. “Too often couples give up and walk away from their marriage instead of getting help; others become afraid to commit to marriage because they see the heartbreak of their divorced friends, still others would like to redefine marriage.”
He said it is time for Christians to take a stand for traditional marriage and be willing to reach out to others to offer help.
Take Christian Action:
To find out more about National Marriage Week, which is part of an international movement, log onto http://www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org
To learn how to help protect and defend marriage in North Carolina, http://www.voteformarriagenc.com/