bride and groom in tennis shoes

Endings and Beginnings – Marriage Moments

 August 1, 2019

This past month, Marriage Matters Jackson closed its doors. I’ve been part of this organization for more than twelve years. Over the years I’ve served on the initial advisory committee, chaired the religion and faith subcommittee, volunteered at many events, and served on the board for seven years. I also wrote two short books of reflections, Marriage Moments I and II, as a fundraiser for the organization. With the end of this organization, the need for support and education for healthy marriages remains. And so, as my own small effort to provide support for married life, I’m starting a new blog series this month, Marriage Moments.

Why Marriage Moments?

When Marriage Matters Jackson started, divorce rates were high. One of the measurable goals of MMJ was to lower that statistic. Now, in 2019, the rate is lower, but more and more adults are choosing to remain unmarried, opting for cohabitation rather than marriage. Many don’t recognize the benefits that come with a committed marriage relationship. Statistics show that married couples enjoy better health, wealth and loving. Marriages continue to form the bedrock of families. This is in no way meant to disparage single parent families. I raised my children as a single parent and know the strengths and challenges of these families. It’s simply a statistical reality.

In light of all of the negative factors affecting marriages today, married couples need support. Marriage itself needs a public relations make-over.

Monday Marriage Moments

In an effort to provide support and show marriage in a positive light, starting next Monday, I’ll be posting weekly Monday Marriage Moments, using reflections from the two Marriage Moments books – Marriage Moments and Marriage Moments II – Michigan Edition. Marriage Moment II includes reflections on marriage by two local Jackson writers, Ken Wyatt and Brad Flory, both of whom are in stable, long-term marriages. It also features some of the many beautiful vacation spots in Michigan.

Each moment will end with reflection questions to encourage readers to think about their marriage.

Thursday Marriage Tips

Periodically I’ll be including marriage tips on Thursdays as a way to support and educate couples. These tips will include information on common challenges in marriages:  communication skills, handling finances, dealing with in-laws, parenting and other areas. Much of this will be taken from my book, From I Do to We Do—The First Five Years, as well as other resources.

My Credentials for Writing Marriage Moments

I have a Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry and a Doctorate in Ministry with an emphasis in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction, served as Director of Family Ministry at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Jackson, MI and taught in the Masters of Family Studies Program at Spring Arbor University. Besides my involvement with Marriage Matters Jackson. I have also read extensively on marriage and family life.

But perhaps more significant, I have learned through my divorce. I have learned more from my failures and mistakes than my successes. The end of my marriage was one such case. I learned a lot about myself and how I am in relationships. It took a long time to heal and become stronger and healthier before entering a second marriage—stronger, wiser and more able to navigate the potential pitfalls that can be part of marriage.

I hope you will enjoy these reflections and tips. Healthy marriages make healthy families which make healthy communities and a better world. Please join me in this small effort and pray for marriages.

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