Celebrate love, marriage this week

Published 12:02 am Thursday, February 16, 2012

It’s that time of year when love is in the air! At the Adams County Families First Resource Center we are celebrating love and strong marriages in conjunction with the National Healthy Marriage Week, Feb. 7-14.

Our belief is that strong marriages are the basis of strong families, which in turn are the building blocks for the strong communities.

So much time and effort today is used to focus on the negatives of our society and community. Let’s take some of that time and effort and recognize what is good, promote it out loud and set a new standard.

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It has been proven time and time again that children with both parents at home do a much better job in school and have far less trouble with the law. Teen pregnancy and addiction are on the rise with single parents. Economically, a two-parent home should be more financially stable. Personally, married people have more happiness, lifelong thriving love and live longer and healthier lives.

Taxpayers spend at least $112 billion yearly on divorce and unwed pregnancy. In today’s society, 40 percent of all American babies are born outside of marriage. Statistics show that since 1970, marriages have dropped 22 percent, decreasing from 79 percent to 57 percent in 2011.

Valentine’s Day is a holiday that honors love and affection of intimate companions. The holiday was originally established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 CE to celebrate Saint Valentine, an early Christian idealist.

Although it was removed from the Roman Catholic calendar, the holiday is still sometimes religiously observed. For others who view the day as more commercial than religious, Valentine’s Day is simply a day where people celebrate their significant others by giving and receiving flowers, chocolates, holiday cards and other gifts.

For some, the day is a bitter reminder of a failed relationship or unwelcomed seclusion. For others, Valentine’s Day is a chance to tell someone how you feel, celebrate a relationship or marriage or just eat pounds and pounds of chocolate.

Regardless of your own situations, it’s safe to say that at this time of year the general population is split between those who anticipate and celebrate the holiday and those who simply despise it.

Over the years, Valentine’s Day has brought together both big admirers and big rivals. Those who find the day unbearable usually argue that Valentine’s Day is merely a commercial holiday invented to encourage people to buy abundant amounts of Valentine merchandise.

Those who typically enjoy the holiday usually react negatively to how strong the opposition is to Valentine’s Day.

If you are one of those people who doesn’t like Valentine’s Day, there are ways you can have fun this week without getting commercial.

Firstly, Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love. Oftentimes people tend to forget that love comes in all shapes and sizes; so naturally, there are plenty of ways to honor it.

Why not remind your single friends, or even your friends who are in relationships, that you love them. Plan a group event for this weekend. Go out to eat at a non-romantic chain restaurant, host a horror movie night at your house, throw a singles’ potluck. There are plenty of people that you could celebrate with on Valentine’s Day. Maybe treat your mother to a dinner to show her how much you care.

Too often the message behind Valentines’ Day gets lost in the public despise for the holiday or covered in the over-commercialization. This week, instead of storming around with a frown on your face, remember that it’s up to you to make the most of the holiday.

Research has stated that children who grow up in homes of happily married, two-parent families do better in many areas than children who do not. We at the Adams County Youth Court Families First Resource Center have been offering for many years, a Healthy Relationship Course to encourage marriage and unify relationships within our community.

The purpose of this course is to educate the couples or participants on communication techniques, how to synergize your relationship, and how to develop a lasting commitment.

The Adams County Families First Resource Center located at 320 State St., is grant funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services. Adams County Families First offers Abstinence Awareness classes, active parenting classes and effective fathering classes. We can facilitate discussion groups and offer lectures on subjects pertinent to successful families besides the Healthy Marriage Course.

All programs and curriculums are available in Adams, Jefferson and Wilkinson counties. If you have any questions, contact 601-304-7883.


Angela Ivory is a facilitator at the Adams County Families First Resource Center.