As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:13 (NIV)
Are you whistling past the graveyard of failed marriages? What’s the number of divorces and family break ups you would find acceptable for your congregation? How many divorces and separations occurred in your congregation last year? Ask your staff if there were any others that you weren’t aware of. What’s your plan to reduce the demolition of families in your charge? Take a moment to reminisce about those children of divorced parents and their mental anguish and often physical impairments. Every Marriage Matters can help, call Tom Dressel at (503) 655-1489.
· A Weekend to Remember is one of the very best and most cost-effective ways you have to meet the provision of our Clackamas County Marriage Policy. The Policy states: “We will work to provide marriage enrichment opportunities, such as classes, small groups, and/or retreats, to build and strengthen marriages.” You, as pastor, are offered free registration, call 800-FL-TODAY. Would you like to cut your couples’ registration costs in half? Establish a group at “Rates & Offers” under www.weekendtoremember.com.
Some nearby events: Nov 11-13 at Semiahmoo Resort (Bellingham)
Nov 18-20 at Red Lion on the River (Jantzen Beach),
Nov 18-20 at Coeur d’Alene Resort
Nov 18-20 at Semiahmoo Resort (Bellingham)
Mar 9-11 at Sunriver Resort
Mar 23-25 at Valley River Inn (Eugene)
Apr 13-15 at Hyatt Regency (Bellevue)
· Start your planning for National Marriage Week USA, February 7-14. Check out www.nationalmarriageweekusa.org (this website features the 2007 ABC World News video segment, A Key to Success in Marriage. Every Marriage Matters’ work in Clackamas County is the subject). It's time to start planning a class, home group, or major event for National Marriage Week USA – 2012. Join with others across the nation to create a ground swell of activity to strengthen marriages. We'll help get the word out about your event! (The attached memo gives details.) Marriage strengthening resources for clergy, including sermons, and articles to assist pastors in preaching and teaching at www.marriageresourcesforclergy.com. Every Marriage Matters can also help, call Tom Dressel at (503) 655-1489.
· Pastor and Administrative Assistant Breakfast Mark your calendar for Jan 12. We’ll discuss fun ideas to promote healthy marriage during Marriage Week, at Miramont Pointe, Clackamas.
· Institute for American Values’ Center for Public Conversation events are videotaped and are available for viewing at: http://www.centerforpublicconversation.org/events/index.php. Recent events include: “Why Marriage Matters: An Argument for the Goods of Marriage” and “Is Marriage for White People? How the Decline of African American Marriage Affects Everyone”.
· CBS Discusses the Declining Divorce Rate, includes a couple whose husband lost his job.
COMMENTS FROM PRESIDENT STEVE
· We all need challenges! On Sep 15 I had the opportunity to challenge key Christian leaders in the Portland-Vancouver area to raise 1,000 Marriage Mentors in the next two years. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Now comes before us the task of recruiting and training the 1,000 mentors. Continued on the attached article, We All Need Challenges.
● Cohabitation and Divorce – There Is a Correlation More than 60 percent of marriages today are preceded by some form of cohabitation. And 75 percent of current cohabiters enter these relationships with some plans toward marriage. (Baptist Press, http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=36263)
● Marriage: A New Conservative Issue “[The home] is the foundation of our country. We need to have a policy that supports families, that encourages marriage… that has fathers take responsibility for their children.” (Mike McManus, http://ethicsandreligion.com/redesignedcolumns/C1572.htm)
● Myths About Living Together The majority of young adults do believe that living together helps people make decisions about marriage as well as provides a way for couples to work through issues before making a lifelong commitment. In fact, over half of younger people believe that living together prior to marriage will lower their odds of marital problems and divorce. (Boundless webzine, Source: http://www.boundless.org/2005/articles/a0001126.cfm)
● Why Cohabitation is Worse Than Divorce for Kids A new report says cohabitation has replaced divorce as the biggest source of instability for American families. (A Washington Post conversation with Brad Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project, http://live.washingtonpost.com/onlove-pitfalls-of-cohabitation.html)
● Why Wait for Sex? What's so special about it? In a sex-saturated culture, waiting till marriage seems outdated and prudish. (Focus on the Family, a series of 11 linked articles, http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/preparing_for_marriage/why_wait_for_sex.aspx)
RESEARCH FINDINGS WORTH NOTING
· Don't Believe the Hype, College Educated Women Are Still Getting Married Every so often, the media dusts off and replays some version of the story that marriage is dead, a casualty of women’s empowerment and dramatic economic shifts. (FoxNews.com, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/10/19/dont-believe-hype-college-educated-women-are-still-getting-married/?test=faces)
· Is Marriage Good for the Heart? Happily wedded people who undergo coronary bypass surgery are more than three times as likely to be alive 15 years later as their unmarried counterparts. (GrowthTrac.com, http://www.growthtrac.com/artman/publish/marriage-heart-1375.php)
· Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project The mission of this project is to develop, disseminate and evaluate best practices to help couples at high risk for divorce who are uncertain whether to divorce or to try to rebuild their marriage. (University of Minnesota, www.cehd.umn.edu/cbp)
· One parent or five? Most couples who marry, even today, probably intend to have one or two children at least. Marriage and the baby carriage have always gone together. But this is not what is meant by the new catch-phrase “intentional parenthood”. (MercatorNet, http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/9793) The full report by the Institute for American Values’ Commission on Parenthood’s Future is available at http://www.familyscholars.org/assets/One-Parent-or-Five.pdf)
· Some couples pull back from the edge of divorce A survey of 2,484 parents who filed for divorce in Minnesota offers new insight into how people decide whether to call it quits or try again. (USA Today, http://yourlife.usatoday.com/sex-relationships/divorce/story/2011-09-28/Some-couples-pull-back-from-the-edge-of-divorce/50592266/1
· Striving for Purity in a Hyper-Sexual Culture Young adults find it hard to adhere to biblical truths about intimacy. (ByFaith Online, http://byfaithonline.com/page/in-the-world/striving-for-purity-in-a-hyper-sexual-culture)
· Marriage and Childbearing Impact Economy An international study, titled “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend,” shows why getting married, staying married and having kids helps society. (CitizenLink.com, http://www.citizenlink.com/2011/10/21/study-marriage-and-childbearing-impact-economy; the full report source: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6464634/SDD-2011-Final.pdf)
· The Fine Line Between Marriage and Divorce Iris Krasnow found in the 200 interviews with wives who remain in long running marriages that the majority of them have the guts and determination to stick it out, no matter what. And laments about their marriages aren't because of anything serious. (Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/iris-krasnow/the-fine-line-between-mar_b_959372.html?ref=mostpopular)
· The High Cost of Unintended Pregnancy The high incidence of unintended pregnancy imposes costs on American society that range from increased rates of crime and welfare participation to reduced levels of high-school completion and labor-force participation. We focus on one of the most policy-relevant aspects of this problem by estimating the amount spent by the government each year on medical care that is directly associated with unintended pregnancies. (The Brookings Institution , http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2011/07_unintended_pregnancy_thomas_monea.aspx)
· The Sustainable Demographic Dividend Elderly populations are surging even as productive working-age populations stagnate or shrink. Also at work is another demographic trend sweeping the world: the decline in the number and percentage of children raised in intact, married families. (The National Marriage Project, http://sustaindemographicdividend.org/articles/the-sustainable-demographic)
RESOURCES TO PASS ALONG
· Four Decisions Healthy Couples Make Every Friday is date day for my husband and me. It’s a decision we make in advance. (CrossWalk.com, www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/relationships/four-decisions-healthy-couples-make.html?utm_source=Crosswalk_Weekly_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08/22/2011)
· 4 Communication Firecrackers and how to avoid them: Threats; Name Calling; Blame; and Exaggerations. (Kyria, www.kyria.com/topics/marriagefamily/marriage/communication/3.42.html)
· 10 Things You Need to Say to Your Spouse Saying the right thing is mostly a matter of practice. It really doesn't help that you "didn't mean it." What does help is saying the right thing. Positive communication is crucial to a marriage that works. (Family Minute with Mark Merrill, http://www.familyminute.com/article/10-things-you-need-to-say-to-your-spouse)
· Accommodating, Adapting and Other Forms of Denial A definition of codependency: When we see a weakness in another, such as someone’s anger, and ignore it, we thereby reinforce it. So, when you shirk away from addressing your wife or boss’s anger, you reinforce their problems. (CrossWalk.com, www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/doctor-david/accommodating-adapting-and-other-forms-of-denial.html)
· Defending Your Marriage From External Stressors All of us experience attacks on our marriage. God, however, has made provisions for you to withstand these negative influences. Fortifying the walls of your marriage is not simple, as it also requires obedience to the Lord's call to rebuild. (This is the first of 8 linked articles (Focus on the Family, http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/strengthening_your_marriage/defending_your_marriage_from_external_stressors.aspx)
· Delaying divorce to save marriages Conventional wisdom holds that about half of U.S. marriages end in divorce — and that most Americans wish the divorce rate were lower. Still, many are skeptical about whether we can lower the divorce rate without trapping more people in bad marriages. (Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/delaying-divorce-to-save-marriages/2011/10/19/gIQAKh0f1L_story.html)
· Divorcing couples open to second chances "Marriage-friendly" therapist William Doherty of the University of Minnesota has published new survey results suggesting that a surprising number of divorcing couples are interested in reconciliation. (Minneapolis-St Paul Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/130791633.html)
· Divorce has "immense" impact on small businesses Business owner Glenn Phillips estimates his divorce cost him more than $200,000 – about a quarter of his annual revenues at the time – in lost potential new business and add-on business to existing clients. (Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/28/us-column-cohen-divorce-idUSTRE78R4FG20110928)
· Pulling Out of a Relationship Spin You can be lazily moving along in your relationship and all of a sudden be hit by the loss of traction and the feeling that things (you) are spinning out of control. (CrossWalk.com, http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/doctor-david/pulling-out-of-a-relationship-spin.html)
· Putting the Honey Back in 'Honey, I'm Home' The real Witching Hour: That after-work period when we are tired, hungry, desperate to unwind yet still thinking about work. There is dinner to make, kids to feed and quite often a mate requiring attention. (Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204612504576608871744404618.html)
· Why It’s Important for Your Husband to Dream A woman has the ability to snuff out dreams in the heart of her husband through her fear of what she believes is unsafe or too expensive. (CrossWalk.com,