18 Feb The Perfect Day to Begin
February 14, 2014
Celebrate, Strengthen, and Defend Marriage!
It is not only Valentine’s Day today throughout the world, it is National Marriage Week in the United States. At United Families International, we believe Natural Marriage is something to celebrate, strengthen, and defend!
We celebrate the importance of marriage between a man and a woman, because it is the safest, healthiest, and happiest place in the world for men, women, and children.
Decades of research shows that “Both adults and children live longer, have higher rates of physical health and lower rates of mental illness, experience poverty, crime and domestic abuse less often, and have warmer relationships, on average, when parents get and stay married.”
Natural marriage has a powerful societal impact. As Janice Shaw Crouse beautifully stated at the recent World Congress of Families in Sydney, Australia, “All marriages have imperfections. But by striving towards the ideal, the marriage builders keep the ideal alive. Good marriages generate life and energy that radiate outward, affecting all in their path. The way they live generates something akin to a magnetic field that helps to hold a community together.”
Valentine’s day is the perfect day to begin again to strengthen your marriage. Here’s some helpful advice from experts:
Dr. H. Wallace Goddard compares cultivating a good marriage to growing a healthy garden. “To achieve a full and satisfying harvest, the gardeners must work in harmony with one another, using the right tools, gardening wisdom, and a willing spirit. The gardening process teaches us vital – and sometimes painful – lessons about life. The struggle is worth it: both good marriages and healthy gardens can enrich and delight us. But neither happens by chance.”
At the World Congress of Families in Sydney, dynamic speakers Francine and Byron Pirola taught powerful marriage-strengthening principles such as, “Marriage is supposed to make you holy–wholly extend you and challenge you. To be loving, you change the way you are. Dumb-loving is what we do every day without thinking. Smart-loving is what makes a difference. Daily appreciation of your spouse is part of that. Every day, tell them something you appreciate about them.”
Our friend Father Jaroslaw Szymczak of Poland also shared his thoughtful insights with the World Congress audience in Sydney. “With 30 years experience as a marriage counselor, I notice that the counter culture has made an idol out of personal happiness. There is only one thing to do to be happy: to love. Your spouse will never be perfect the way you want it, because everyone has a different version of perfect. There is always something you can change: your happiness, yourself.”
Unfortunately when the going gets tough in marriage, many couples look for a way out instead of a way through. Divorce can be a necessary escape hatch from abusive situations, but a 15-year study showed that the less than one-third of divorces occur because of high-conflict, abusive marriages. Most occur in low-conflict, but unhappy marriages.
The good news is that research shows that two out of three unhappily married adults who hung in there and stayed together said their marriage was happy five years later. It’s never too late to improve your marriage. Today would be a great day to start! According to renowned Family Scholar Randal Day, “Each new encounter during a day starts the relationship over.”
Today, Natural Marriage hangs in the balance in many states and countries across the world. The state of Utah has filed an appeal after a Federal Judge overturned their Marriage Amendment. Yesterday, a federal judge overturned Virginia’s Marriage Amendment and the day before a federal judge overturned part of Kentucky’s Marriage Amendment, ruling that Kentucky has to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.
The judicial anarchy and over-reach continues, but all of these rulings are being appealed. The battle is far from over and we will keep you updated as things develop on each of these fronts.
United Families International continues to work hard to defend marriage between a man and a woman wherever we can. We need your help, and your voice! Please Sign the UFI Petition in support of Natural Marriage, and forward this email to your friends and family who believe that Natural Marriage is something to celebrate, strengthen, and defend!
President, United Families International