Dear POP Folks,
February is the month of love, apparently so designated due to the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere. Saint Valentine, a Roman priest martyred for his faith in the mid 200’s, happens to have a memorial feast day squarely in the middle of February. So, in the twists and turns of cultural development, his
In recent years, the retail community – most especially jewelers, chocolatiers and greeting card publishers – have energetically promoted their products as guaranteed facilitators of romantic love. Conversely, they have at least implicitly fanned the dark cloud of shame in the direction of any husband, suitor or would-be boyfriend who does not pony up to the cosmetic case and make an acceptable restaurant reservation in observance of the red-hearts-and-lace festival day.
In Christians’ never-ending attempts to rescue or bless run-away celebrations in the popular culture, it should come as no surprise that Worldwide Marriage Encounter (ME) has baptized this February madness with National Marriage Week, observed annually February 7 to 14.
In doing so, ME may be a voice crying in the wilderness, challenging a society that has reduced the word marriage to any semi-permanent connection that presents itself.
Our task as Church, as a society, and as a nation struggling to survive, must be to strengthen traditional marriage. This active support of a state created by God does NOT mean that we be any less supportive of courageous parents raising their children or grandchildren alone due to divorce, separation, illness or death. We must continue to offer support to all mothers, especially single women, who choose life for their unborn children regardless of circumstances. We must do more to aid parents and children whose family unity has been wounded or shattered by violence or poverty.
AND we must work harder and pray harder to save traditional marriages. Check on the statistics of intact, dual-parent families and the children they raise. There are significant differences in areas such as poverty, education, volunteerism, faith, imprisonment, and overall happiness in life.
TIME Magazine declared in 2012: “We have launched highly effective public education campaigns on much less momentous issues, from smoking to recycling… For now the decline in marriage is our most ignored national crisis…”
We can support our intact marriage-families by:
- Praying for them;
- Encouraging family prayer daily, especially at table and bedtime;
- Offering to babysit for busy parents so that they can enjoy a date night…regularly!
- Visiting The National Marriage Week website for many more ideas and suggestions.
Let’s support marriage. It’s God’s idea.