Ethics & Religion
A Column by Michael J. McManus
 

Home
Page

For Current Column
See the Home Page

 

About the
Columnist

 

Search this
Site...

 

Column Archives
List of all columns 
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012

2011

2010

2009
2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

For 2003 and earlier
only the title is listed.
Use the Search Function
to find the article.

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

1998

 

About The
Columnist

 

Email
Comments
to Mike

Ethics & Religion
July 14, 2016
Column #1820
My Goal In Writing This Column
By Mike McManus

 

With this column, I complete 35 years of writing Ethics & Religion. This anniversary might a time to outline to readers what I am trying to do each week, and some of the results of the column.

My pledge to editors is that I would address America's toughest moral problems - but would always suggest an answer. The subliminal message: hope!

For example, in recent months I have offered answers to alcoholism, abortion, drunk driving, the federal deficit, pornography and ISIS persecution of Christians.

In 1990 I wrote a column about a question Rev. Richard McGinnis asked his church: "Are there any couples here whose marriages were once on the rocks, but who have come off of them and restored their marriage? If so, meet with me after the service." Out of 180 people in church, 10 couples met with him.

 

He told them he was overwhelmed trying to save marriages in crisis. Then he thought about how Alcoholics Anonymous got started, with "Bill" and "Dr. Bob," working together to keep each other sober. They developed the "12 Steps of AA" that have helped millions to stay sober.

Father Dick asserted, "I want to meet with you to see if there is anything of a common nature you had to do for your marriage to be restored." Seven couples agreed to tell their stories.

At first, their stories seemed wildly dissimilar. One woman had been in adultery for eight years. A husband was an alcoholic who was out of work for two years. There was a workaholic dentist and a bisexual who had homosexual affairs.

Yet the couples were able to agree on 17 "Action Statements" like the 12 Steps of AA. One was, "Through other Christian testimony and personal example, we found hope for our marriage." Each couple decided "to follow Jesus as my Savior and Lord." Each husband and wife also "realized the problem was with myself, and began to change with the Lord's help."

The result was a "Marriage Ministry" in which those seven couples met with 40 couples in crisis over five years, saving 38 of them!

I provided Pastor McGinnis' address, sparking 1,500 letters! No column had such an impact. But in calling back a sample of those who wrote in, not one created a "Marriage Ministry." My column appeared to be a failure.

However, in researching my column, I have found other strategies to better prepare couples for a lifelong marriage, to enrich existing ones and save those in crisis. For example, 4 million couples have taken PREPARE-ENRICH, a premarital inventory which asks couples to respond to 150 statements:

I go out of my way to avoid conflict with my partner.

Sometimes I wish my partner were more careful about spending money.

My wife and I trained couples in our home church to administer the inventory and talk
through the issues it surfaced. Of 288 couples prepared for marriage in the 1990s, 58 decided not to marry. But of the 230 who did marry, we know of only 18 divorces in two decades!

Thirty years ago, I suggested that the pastors of Modesto, California consider requiring every couple marrying in the city to take the inventory in a "Community Marriage Policy." Some 86 pastors signed on. The result? Modesto's divorce rate plunged in half!

My wife and I have now helped the pastors of 230 cities create Community Marriage Policies which included the Marriage Ministry described here, plus three other interventions:

"10 Great Dates" is designed to enrich existing marriages. Couples come to church on 10 Friday nights, watch a brief DVD on a topic such as "Resolving Honest Conflict" and then go on a date to discuss it. It's a fun way to reinvigorate marriages.

What if one spouse in a crisis marriage refuses to seek help? The committed spouse can take "Marriage 911," a 12-week workbook course with a friend of the same gender, designed to help him or her grow so much they win back their errant mate. It usually works.

Seventy percent of couples with stepchildren divorce. But if a church creates a Stepfamily Support Group, it can save 80% of stepfamilies.

An independent study of Community Marriage Policies reported they cut divorce rates by an average of 17.5% in seven years, saving 100,000 marriages, reduced cohabitation by a third and raised some marriage rates.

Thus, writing this column led to a national ministry that is saving marriages.

Would you like to create a CMP in your city? Call me 301 978-7105.
_____________________________________
Copyright (c) 2016 Michel J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous columns go to www.ethicsandreligion.org. Hit Search for any topic.
 

  30+ Years / 1700+ Columns
  LATEST ARTICLE
  May 25, 2017: Column 1865: Trump's Budget - A Disaster
  Recent Columns
  Trump Eliminates U.S. Abortion Funding Abroad
  Comey Fired for Wrong Reasons
  Should FBI Director Comey Be Fired?
  Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part II
  Cohabitation: A Growing Problem - Part I
  Texting While Driving - A Killer
  Why Have "Religious Nones" Tripled?
  Norma McCorvey Roe of Roe v. Wade
  The Worst Valentine: Cohabitation
  Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
  Christianity Gives Women Equal Opportunity
  Sextortion Kills Teens
  Assisted Suicide Is Growing
  Muslim Violence Against Christians
  Recent Searches
  alcoholism, prayer, guns, same sex marriage, abortion, depression, islam, divorce, polygamy, religious liberty, health care, pornography, teen sex, abortion and infanticide, Roe+v+Wade, supreme court, marriage, movies, violence, celibacy, living+together, cohabitation, ethics+and+religion, pornography, adultery, divorce, saving+marriages
©2017 Michael J. McManus syndicated columnist  / [email protected]
Ethics & Religion at http://www.ethicsandreligion.com
9311 Harrington Dr. / Potomac, MD 20854 / 301 978-7105
President & Co-Chair Marriage Savers / www.marriagesavers.org
Site Sponsored by enktesis.com