President Obama’s latest Executive Order on granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens or whatever greasy, bureaucratic words are used to call it, is the same as telling every American that all Democrats and many Republicans are not interested in following the law. This is terrible news for liberty.
But we carry on. Those who love America must.
One of the reasons we find ourselves in this mess is, as Dennis Prager put it, “we have not passed on what it means to be an American to this generation. A society does not survive if it doesn’t have a reason to survive.” As with many things, Prager is right. So what is the most influential source of passing those values on to the next generation?
Strong families. Specifically, strong marriages. Most of us are aware of the problems married people have so I want to share with you a part of my life I hope will help strengthen your marriage and family, and thus America.
If you’re not married, still read on because if you want to be married it’s a good idea to consider these questions before you make this wonderful commitment.
Why do we marry? Honestly, I don’t know how many can answer that question. “She’s hot,” “He’s rich,” “It seemed like the thing to do,” “We love each other” or variations of these might serve as answers. I myself said the first and the last. But I never really thought of why we marry until I was well into it. In my view, we marry because we become better people together than if we were apart. This is why we should take great care in choosing our mate.
Let’s assume we picked the right person. What then? Marriage is great in so many ways, but it can be incredibly challenging. If you ever lived with friends and learned what putting two or more personalities in a house can do to your well being and sense of happiness, you know that being married is all that times ten.
So, you come home from the honeymoon and…wow, whom did i just say I’d live the rest of my life with? Disillusion is a part of the game, sometimes mild and sometimes wild. So what do you do?
About twelve years ago, the priest at our church pulled aside a couple he had known a very long time. He told them our church was very good at getting couples ready for marriage and nurturing couples who have been married beyond 10 years, but they were falling short at couples who have been married fewer than five years. So this priest asked the couple to form a group of six couples, eventually called “The First Fives” (meaning the first fives years of their lives together). Mrs. Cummings and I were blessed to be a part of this new group, and we’ve been together over twelve years.
For a strong marriage which in my view will strengthen America, this is my recommendation: Form a group of other couples who will support you in your marriage.
Note: If you’re the type who might turn your nose up because this group has religion at its core, keep this in mind (God, forgive me a moment): While our group is religious in nature, your group does not have to be. Simply knowing that the challenges you and your spouse go through are likely experienced by every other couple makes yours much easier to bear. Far beyond “misery loves company,” your group will help you and your spouse become stronger and closer.
While how long you’ve been married is not relevant, I recommend finding couples who’ve been married around the same number of years — with the exception of a leader couple if you have one. You can imagine how different the conversations will be if you’ve been married three years and are about to start a family compared to a another couple who are on their second marriage and no longer have children in the home.
Some rules to ensure success:
1. Meet monthly, and take turns hosting. Dinner is usually provided by the host couple
2. Take a weekend to go on a retreat once a year. Each couple should prepare a discussion of some kind
3. Group meetings consist of sharing both the good and bad, and large and small, of your lives. You can use books or open discussion
4. What happens or is talked about in the group STAYS IN THE GROUP. Success requires honesty, and honesty requires trust. Unlike Fight Club, with the exception of the issues you discuss with your group, talk about your group with others and encourage them to join you, or start one of their own
Being part of a couples group is no guarantee you will make it, no guarantee you won’t fight, and no guarantee you won’t get socked with life’s greatest challenges. While Mrs. Cummings and I are far from perfect, I cannot stress enough how much closer we are as a result of our group, and how strong our friendships are with the other couples. They and their children are all family to us, and we’re grateful to have them in our lives.
Strong marriage, strong children, strong America. Make it happen.