Ministry Today – Serving and empowering church leaders

Pastors can now offer congregants proof that traditional marriage is not only good for children, it's good for taxpayers.

So say traditional marriage advocates who are participating in a weeklong initiative aimed at promoting marriage. The leaders of National Marriage Week, which began this week and culminates with Marriage Sunday on Feb. 14, say building a "marriage culture" helps curtail poverty and the fatherlessness that influences high incarceration rates.

"The alarming drop in marriage rates in America combined with high divorce rates are costly to the nation--financially costly to taxpayers and individuals, and emotionally costly to children," said Chuck Stetson, chairman of National Marriage Week USA. "The nation needs to pay attention."

The group points to research that shows single mothers have lower household incomes than married couples, children from two-parent homes have higher graduation rates and that a majority of juvenile and adult inmates come from fatherless homes.

Pastor Derrick W. Hutchins, who oversees more than 10,000 pastors as chairman of the national Pastors and Elders Council for the 6 million-member Church of God in Christ, says the findings can empower pastors with the tools to help couples stay together.

“The love of money is not only the root of all evil; financial discord among couples is the No. 1 cause of divorce in the U.S.,” Hutchins said. “We pastors can use Marriage Week as a means to draw attention to the need for couples to learn how to work through problems that often lead to divorce,” he added.

In addition to raising awareness of the benefits of marriage, campaign leaders seek to mobilize churches to support marriage through activities such as youth dating seminars, marriage preparation classes for singles and weekend marriage conferences for couples.

Organizers also are spearheading a petition drive to protect the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of gay marriage.

Originally hosted by a group known as Smart Marriages, the marriage week is being sponsored this year by the Let's Strengthen Marriage campaign, which recently held a webinar ( aimed at challenging church leaders to lead a "marriage revival" in the U.S.

The week, which has been marked in Europe for several years, has been endorsed by the Family Research Council; Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson; Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the Stand4Marriage DC Coalition; and the Rev. Sammy Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

"Marriage works," said Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week. "Research shows that marriage makes people happier, live longer, and build more economic security." [; 2/8/2010]

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Graveyard

    An Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor

    There are eight common patterns to look for.

  • Why did you choose the church you attend?

    7 Key Reasons People Choose a Church

    The real issue is not the intrigue of this research; it is what you and your church will do about ...

  • Many of these issues are self-inflicted.

    10 Poisons That Will Kill Any Church

    Here is why the churches that die from them do so by their own hand.

  • The Key to True Power

    The Key to True Power

    Jesus overturned every worldly idea about power when He introduced the concept of servant leadership.

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

  • Do yourself and her a favor. Take the target off your pastor's wife's back.

    Why Pastors' Wives Have a Target on Their Back

    Here are three instances of what we are doing to the wives of God's servants sent to ...

  • The heart of a leader is more important than any other characteristic.

    5 Qualities to Seek in the Heart of a Leader

    The hope here is that you would reflect on your own leadership and consider your own heart as a ...

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders