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The marriage rate has plunged 50% since 1970.  >  Half of all new marriages end in divorce.  >  Cohabitation diverts tens of millions of the marriage eligible from ever marrying.  >  Those who marry after living together are 50% more likely to divorce.  >  More than 5.4 million couples live together outside of marriage.  > 
40% of children are born out-of-wedlock.  They are 5 times more likely to live in poverty than those in intact homes and 4 times more likely to be expelled from school or jailed.  >  Only 45% of teenagers live with their married mother and father.  >  Every divorce destroys a tiny civilization  > 
Preparing a man and a woman for a lifetime of successful marriage.
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‘Marriage Saver’ coming to town

By Juanita Russell
Guest columnist
Times-Mail, Bedford, Indiana
November 9, 2007

Circle Nov. 13 on your calendar to attend an important educational meeting focusing on marriage and family.

The Marriage and Family Alliance of Lawrence County is hosting Mike McManus, the co-founder of Marriage Savers. McManus has been a correspondent for Time magazine and is the syndicated author of “Ethics and Religion.” He will present the strategy and details of this successful model as well as answer questions and concerns of how to adapt his plan of action for Lawrence County.

His presentation will include the importance of training mentor couples who help provide support in 1) premarital preparation, 2) enrichment opportunities 3) marriage reconstruction 4) marriage reconciliation 5) step-families. He will also address the nuts and bolts of developing a community marriage policy. (For more information on McManus and Marriage Savers go to

Currently there are 220 communities in the United States participating as Marriage Saver communities. Several of those communities have seen a significant reduction in the divorce rate and strengthening of marriages and families as a result of this effort. They have developed extensive planning and implementation processes that help people prepare for lifelong marriages, strengthen existing marriages and restore troubled marriages.

In most communities, faith congregations assume a leadership role in major aspects of preparation and mentoring opportunities. But these congregations act in concert with many other community leaders representing the whole community. As part of this community, we look forward to you being part of this discussion.

Recently someone indicated that this ‘marriage project’ belongs only in the field of religion. What a terrible misconception!

Data from a wide variety of studies, including data collected from the National Fatherhood Institute and The Future of Children, indicate the numerous challenges that face our nation as a whole, community after community, and the troubles and challenges of many people, both children and adults, are the result of the disintegration of the family. The family is the basic unit of society.

Looking within our own families and communities, most of us are aware of numerous challenges, but the data presents the scope and consequences of these challenges. If still in doubt about all these facts, just talk to teachers and principals who see the result day after day. It is most difficult to challenge and equip young minds and hearts, when too many of those hearts are torn and broken.

Please join us for this important meeting to be held at the First Christian Church from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Tuesday the 13th is a wonderful opportunity to be part of an effort that is working on developing solutions that affect us all. Hope to see you there!

Juanita Russell is a member of the Marriage and Family Alliance and PeopleWork Associates.

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