'National Marriage Week' Next Month Will Focus on How the Institution Is the Strongest Weapon Against Poverty

Across the United States people will soon be holding events over a period of seven days to advance the value of the institution of marriage.

Known as National Marriage Week, the annual event will go from Friday, Feb. 7 through the following Friday, which is St. Valentine's Day.

Sheila Weber, executive director for National Marriage Week USA, told The Christian Post that this will be the fifth year for the observance.

The theme for National Marriage Week 2014 will be a focus on how the institution of marriage is a strong weapon in the ongoing war against poverty, Weber told CP.

"This is the 50th anniversary of the 'War on Poverty' and there are many current political debates about how the war on poverty has failed, and what to do about growing income inequality," She added.

"We believe that the decline of marriage is not just a symptom of growing income inequality, but a cause. The overwhelming increase in single motherhood -- 53 percent of all babies today born to women younger than 30 are outside of marriage -- is moving the middle class into the lower class."

Weber also shared with CP that the National Marriage Week USA website has "the only online national marriage calendar for everyone to list and locate, for free, a marriage class or event," which has now become a year-round clearinghouse.

"We have hundreds of events posted on our national calendar--you can plug in your state and see what may be happening near you. A marriage week event can be as large (bring a national speaker to your town) or as small (start a marriage home group) as anyone chooses."

Weber also told CP that the National Marriage Week observance was "getting more national attention" as time progresses.

"I have been a guest on 'Fox and Friends' national TV four times in the last year. We are being covered by BreakPoint and lots of radio," said Weber.

"We have a newly launched Twitter account @marriageweekusa and do need help in building followers, as we will have valuable stats and tips to share!"

Several groups have joined National Marriage Week USA to hold events and offer their support to the mission of the observance.

Cynthia Davis, executive director for the Center for Marriage Policy, told CP that her organization was "very excited" for National Marriage Week.

"Christians should show a higher marriage rate, yet statistics show that the culture is having a greater influence on them than the Bible," said Davis.

"While there may be many reasons for this, we owe it to ourselves and our communities to do better than this. We must fight back!"

Davis added that the center "is focused on promoting good laws or a modification of bad laws so that people can once again focus on marriage and family, not just what will give them the greatest perks in the tax code."

"This will take a multi-pronged approach. National Marriage Week is doing a great job of reaching the citizens on a personal level. Each level of communication is important," said Davis.

"We applaud all organizations that are doing their part to be a conscience for our nation, especially on the marriage issue," she added.

Mike McManus, president of Marriage Savers, told CP about the dire situation for the institution of marriage in the U.S.

"I believe the disintegration of marriage is the central domestic problem of our time. Only 48 percent of Americans are married today, down from 67 percent in 1960. Our divorce rate is triple that of Britain or France," said McManus.

"I view National Marriage Week as a time to educate Americans on the scale of the problem, but also to consider major changes in the way we prepare couples for marriage, strengthen existing ones, help the crisis marriages to heal, enable separated couple to reconcile, and help stepfamilies to be successful, 70 percent of whom will divorce."

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