“Research proves marriage is still the best means of happiness, financial stability, and raising children.”
>—Sheila Weber, Let’s Strengthen Marriage
For the past number of years, we have been blessed to observe “National Marriage Week,” which started in 2010. Today, it is sponsored by the Let’s Strengthen Marriage organization. This annual observance, which begins on February 7th and continues through February 14th every year, seeks to provide a heightened awareness of the importance of healthy, strong marriages and families and to initiate new efforts to reduce the divorce rate and build a stronger marriage culture which, in turn, helps curtail poverty as it provides benefits to children.
According to research on the breakdown of marriages, there are far-reaching effects, including life expectancy and negative national economic impact to taxpayers, not to mention the emotional devastation on children of divorced parents, as well as the toll it takes on the couples themselves. Chuck Stetson, chairman of Let’s Strengthen Marriage, was quoted as saying, “The marriage breakdown costs taxpayers at minimum of $112 billion a year. The nation needs to pay attention.” While this is absolutely a compelling reason to take notice, there are also undeniable reasons based on what we believe is God’s heart for and love of His people as it relates to marriages and families.
“Research shows that marriage makes people happier, live longer, and build more financial security. Children who live with their married parents do vastly better by almost every measurement,” says Let’s Strengthen Marriage executive director Sheila Weber. “There are proven ways to repair and restore marriages–but most folks don’t know where to get the help they need.” One of the goals of this initiative, as stated by the parent organization, Let’s Strengthen Marriage, is to elevate national attention on a year-round basis about the need to strengthen marriage and ways to do it, and initiate new efforts to reduce the divorce rate and build a stronger marriage culture.
Once again, this year, Windwood embraces the opportunity to stand for healthy marriages – and, as a ministry that was formed, inspired and continues to operate on what we perceive as God’s intent for marriages and families, A Future and a Hope Ministries welcomes the observance of National Marriage Week and are pleased to cooperate and support the efforts and initiatives being planned for the membership and surrounding communities of Windwood Presbyterian Church.
God is honoring our joint ministries’ efforts and plans to positively impact the decline of healthy, Godly and intact marriages and families. We observe that one of the greatest contributing factors to marital discord is based on financial struggles. Recently, through the efforts of one of our counseling team members, we have seen one of the blessings God has provided, in that the Dave Ramsey organization has generously and graciously provided a significant discount of the Financial Peace University kit to those clients of A Future and a Hope Ministries. For those who desire to take the class Ramsey started decades ago, this is a blessing. In order to “help people manage money God’s way,” who may be struggling enough financially that make even the purchase of a kit cost-prohibitive, this discount provides hope and solutions. Financial Peace University provides guidance and sound advice on turning the tide for those who experience the discouraging issues of financial hardship and the ways that they contribute to the struggles of this life. We are blessed to be able to help and reach many more for the sake of happy, healthy and intact marriages and families in our community through the generosity of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University organization.
As God continues to bless our efforts to do His will in A Future and a Hope Ministries, we remain committed to seeking His face for guidance and direction, as He encourages us through the victories in Christ we are honored to witness, as the Holy Spirit heals and strengthens those He leads to us for counseling and care. Part of the Mission Statement of A Future and a Hope Ministries, declares, “Our counseling team believes that with God at the center of our families and relationships, hope and healing is still possible – a future filled with all that God has intended for us.”
We are excited to be equipped and involved in the calling to serve God and His people through this ministry – and as February begins, we joyfully engage and participate in the celebration of loving relationships, Godly marriages and intact families. . .
To His honor and by His grace,