This year we have had the joy to highlight Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Now we encourage you to join in and celebrate National Marriage Week!
Launched nationally in Australia in 2009, Marriage Week is an annual celebration, to honour and promote the benefits and importance of marriage. From last Sunday to this coming Saturday, 14 to 20 September 2014, there are special events happening across Australia. The aims of these events are to provide support, encouragement and effective resources for strong and vibrant marriages.
The main events of National Marriage Week include:
Marriage Week messages in church services, youth groups, community groups etc. which give teaching on the covenant of marriage and how it is sacred as well as a lifelong commitment. At the same time, parents will be encouraged to model this and talk to their children about the marriage relationship.
‘The Great Aussie Date Night’ on 20 September, the Saturday of Marriage Week, to help strengthen marriages and rekindle romance in a fun, enjoyable way. This night aims to give a husband and wife, as well as those preparing to marry, the opportunity for some quality time together.
Churches and organisations partnering with Marriage Week are listed on the website by State/Territory. Event details are updated by the organisers – so please check here regularly.
We encourage you to be part National Marriage Week events and present a united front in support of strong biblical marriages. Listen to Warwick and Alison Marsh’s 1.36 minute encouragement to you.
Happy Marriage Week from Alison & Warwick Marsh
The Marriage Week Australia team point out that “our marriages are not private matters. Our children, gain emotional security and a myriad of benefits from our marriage, our love and union. Our marriages matter to our extended family. They matter to our employers. They matter to society. They are the fabric that holds families together. On average married people live longer and have good relationships with their children; families enjoy better physical health, married men earn more money.” Yes, there are many compelling reasons to celebrate and promote marriage!
If you do not find an event near you, why not organise something to celebrate marriage yourself? If you are married do something special for date night. Or do something special for someone else. It could be something as simple as afternoon tea for one of your neighbours at which you honour their marriage with a small gift! To help in this, you can register and download promotional posters, a video clip, sample sermons, a free Resource Kit and even E-Cards and E-Invitations from the National Marriage Week website.
National Marriage Week in Australia is part of an international movement which began in the UK in 1996 with the aim to reach 75 countries. Since then it has spread to the Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, USA, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Australia. It reinforces the message of the recent National Marriage Day on 27 August 2014 which was organised by the Australian Family Association.
Year by year the National Marriage Week in Australia is gaining momentum. Its website now lists 38 churches and partnering organisations as well as dozens of participating radio stations who –
Believe that marriage was foundational in God’s plan of creation;
Believe that marriage is between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others;
Value marriage as a binding public commitment, which becomes the foundation of healthy families, healthy children, and a healthy community. This social institution is enshrined in the history of civilisation, providing generational links and stability;
Seek to promote the value of marriage, based on Judeo-Christian Scripture.
The above statements about marriage strongly resonate with statements found in the Canberra Declaration which declares that “no other social institution has done so much good for people and nations.”
The National Marriage Week Australia team further remind us that “the quality of our nation’s marital relationships will be a determining factor in the destiny of Australia. The strength of Australian families depends on the qualities of the relationships between our nation’s mothers and fathers. Therefore marriage should be encouraged, strengthened, valued and supported by society and individuals in every possible way as a social good.”
Please pray that God will use National Marriage Week to help re-establish marriage as a foundation of Australian society. It was God who ordained at creation that “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
Yours for strong, vibrant and God-honouring marriages in Australia,
David & Marilyn Rowsome and Warwick & Alison Marsh
PS We are still marvelling and giving thanks to God for the huge results of the Double Our Numbers Surveywhich closed on 28 August 2014. Since then we have been contacting the hundreds who have volunteered to help the Canberra Declaration in some way. At the same time we are evaluating the hundreds of excellent suggestions on how we might double the number of signees. Next Good News Update we will be very pleased to announce the winners of the prizes