National Marriage week is just around the corner, starting on February 7, 2015 and continuing through February 14, and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate God’s design for marriage, or what we are calling biblical marriage.
What is biblical marriage? It’s the union between one man and one woman, and it’s God’s perfect design. Marriage is not ultimately defined by our culture, despite what some courts and some churches have suggested, but rather by God in the Bible.
Here at FACT, our vision is a Tennessee in which biblical marriage is honored, families thrive, life is cherished, and religious liberty is protected. We seek to purse that vision by educating our state through various resources and free or low-cost events; advocating for public policies that support marriage, family, life, and liberty; holding our elected officials accountable through voter education materials; sending email alerts about key legislation; and joining in strategic alliances with other like-minded national, state, and local organizations to increase our impact.
As a way to celebrate God-honoring marriage, we have pulled together information about marriage that we hope you will find helpful and will share with others as, together, we celebrate God’s design for marriage and its importance to a strong and healthy social order.
Statistical studies bear out the value of healthy marriages as well as the consequences of divorce and out-of-wedlock child bearing:
- Married couples seem to build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples.
- Minorities benefit economically from marriage also.
- Marriage, and a normative commitment to marriage, foster high-quality relationships between adults, as well as between parents and children.
- Staying married increases the likelihood that children will graduate from college and achieve high-status jobs.
- Children who live with their own two married parents enjoy better physical health, on average, than do children in other family forms.
- Marriage is associated with reduced rates of alcohol and substance abuse for both adults and teens.
- Married people, especially married men, have longer life expectancies than do otherwise similar singles.
- Marriage is associated with better health and lower rates of injury, illness, and disability for both men and women.
- Married women appear to have a lower risk of experiencing domestic violence than do cohabiting or dating women.
- Teen birth rate for girls when their father leaves before they are 6 years old is 35%—seven times the rate if their fathers stay married.
- Boys without fathers at home are twice as likely to end up in prison.
- We would have 25% less poverty today if we had the marriage rates we had in 1970.
- In the United States, marriage drops the probability of child poverty by 82%.
With stats like these, courtesy of NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org, it is clear that we need strong, stable, biblically-based marriages more than ever.
The Upcoming Supreme Court Marriage Case
The Supreme Court is taking up the decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming marriage as the relationship between one man and one woman. Briefs from those suing to strike down state marriage laws are due Feb. 27th. Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan will file replies by March 27th. Reply briefs by the plaintiffs are due on April 17th. Read David Fowler’s position on the Supreme Court marriage case.
As we approach the date when our Supreme Court will hear the case, pray that those judges will have discernment and sound reasoning so that they might understand the importance and meaning of marriage and be able to see through the arguments for and the implications of redefining marriage. Also pray for clarity of thought and for persuasive speech for the attorneys defending marriage in order that the arguments against marriage will be refuted, confused thinking will be exposed, and that all the judges’ doubts regarding marriage be removed.
Helpful Marriage Books
There are many great books to help you thrive in your biblical marriage. Here are just a few that we would recommend:
- From Anger to Intimacy by Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham
- The Language of Sex by Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham
- Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
- 12 Hours to a Great Marriage: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Love Last
- The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
- The Marriage Book by Nicky and Sila Lee
- The Power of Commitment: A Guide to Active, Lifelong Love by Scott M. Stanley and Gary Smalley
- The Case for Marriage: Why Married People are Happier, Healthier and Better Off Financially by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher
Ways to Pray for Your Marriage (and Your Friend’s Marriage)
What better way to honor your marriage or the marriage of one of your friends or family members than to pray that God would bring unity and His perfect will on this blessed union. And here are just some additional marriage-related prayer points for you to consider:
- Pray for marriages in the church to be strengthened, for the body of Christ to be ministers of reconciliation, healing, and growth to those who are hurt, and for our marriages to reflect Christ’s relationship with His church and to be a testimony to others of God’s grace and glory.
- Pray for God to deliver and restore sexual purity to all those engaged in sexual sin.
- Pray for ministers of God’s Word to proclaim God’s truth regarding sexuality and marriage with clarity, boldness, and grace.
- Pray for those who are counseling individuals and couples struggling with marital difficulties that they would give biblical counsel in order that healing and reconciliation would take place.
If this information has been of help to you, please share it with a friend (see the social sharing icons below). And be sure to join us on Facebook for more tips, stats, and quizzes!