"Our campaign to strengthen marriage is quite timely," said Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA, the week leading up to Valentine's Day each year.
"A recent Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data said that in 1960, 72 percent of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are—a record low," she continued. "A new book, 'Coming Apart,' also explains that a retreat from marriage among the working class is one key factor in the growing economic divide."
Re-building the economy is tied to rebuilding marriages, Weber said.
"Taxpayers spend at least $112 billion a year for divorce and unwed childbearing. Marriage brings vastly more financial stability to individuals," she continued. "Research shows that virtually all of the growth in child poverty in the United States since 1970 can be attributed to the nation's retreat from marriage."
National Marriage Week USA is part of an international marriage week movement in 16 countries around the world. It seeks to:
1) elevate marriage as a national issue with the media and policy makers,
2) promote the benefits of marriage,
3) provide a new national clearinghouse of existing, trusted marriage classes and conferences to help couples find help for their own marriages or to help others
The economic cost of broken marriages is huge because women and children are much more likely to become impoverished through divorce. This impoverishment leads to higher rates of crime, substance abuse, delinquency and a host of other social ills. The nation's prison system, which is filled with men and women who come from broken homes, is proof that broken marriages are bad for people, for families and for nations.
"But there are solutions. National Marriage Week USA is a collaborative effort among many groups to let people know they can learn how to have a better marriage--most couples do not know where to get the help they need," Weber said.
There is no more effective weapon against the evils that threaten marriages and families in our time than prayer. Click here to share in our St. Valentine's Novena of Masses for Married Couples which is being offered this month!
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