The United States is not the only country to celebrate Marriage Week; Ireland, the UK, Germany, Australia and the Czech Republic also celebrate it.
An article was posted on FOXNews.com entitled "Why You Should Care About Marriage In America." The article provides an excellent summary on the research that shows clearly the societal benefits of marriage.
[M]arriage is the best way to overcome poverty, and it is proven as the best circumstance for raising children. Research overwhelmingly shows that lack of marriage or divorce impoverishes women and children. In addition, boys reared apart from their father are twice as more likely to spend time in prison by age 32 as those who were raised in a married home headed by their own mother and father. Teenage girls who are raised by their own father are much more likely to resist the advances of boys or young men who do not have their best interests at heart. In fact, 35 percent of adolescent girls whose father left before the age of six became pregnant, compared to just 5 percent of girls who were raised by their mother and father. Research also overwhelmingly makes the case that married folks live longer, enjoy better health, greater personal happiness, more well adjusted children, and greater financial stability. (All research references can be found at www.nationalmarriageweekUSA.org)
Feminists are quick to recognize the high percentage of women and children in poverty yet not as quick to recognize that a leading protection is marriage. It may be unpopular to say that women need men and marriage, in light of the traditional effects of patriarchy. Yet, many marriages are found on the ideal of equality with egalitarian sharing of duties and men respecting women for their capabilities as professionals, wives and mothers. Men and women can learn the skills needed to show the respect that each deserves while maintaining feminist ideals, and build a relationship of lasting happiness.
Additionally, "In April 2008, economists reported that it costs U.S. taxpayers a whopping $112 billion a year for divorce and unwed childbearing."
The public health implications of this are persuasive. Many of the human service dollars that go to juvenile and adult corrections, unwed pregnancy, even health care costs can be saved if more children are born and raised in households with married parents.
For years I have wanted to be involved in some grand National Marriage Week effort but have not found or had the means myself to establish a local group. But I can start small, with my marriage.
Each day this week, I'm planning to leave notes for my husband describing how much I love and value him. I'm recommitting to our nighttime routine of praying together and kissing each other good night.
I feel lucky that our half anniversary is two days before Valentine's Day and each year we celebrate the whole weekend as our Anniversary Weekend. With National Marriage Week, we can celebrate the whole week.
What can you do to strengthen your marriage this week? Do you know of any events focusing on marriage happening in your community?
One thing you can do to promote stronger, happier marriage is by posting about National Marriage Week on your blog. Here's a banner you can post: