This is a guest post from Lori Lowe at Life Gems.  I hope you find it as encouraging as I did in the battle for stronger marriages. It’s up to us to support and defend the institution of marriage.

“What have you done for your marriage today?”

That’s the question posed by Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory on downtown Atlanta billboards. In fact, the question is a key message of the U.S. Catholic Bishop’s National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage.

TV, radio and billboard ads are broadcasting PSAs from the Catholic Church, and a web site offers ideas and tips for strong marriages. The media push is part of a larger public service campaign—aimed not just at Catholics but at the larger community—to encourage couples to remember the little things—the everyday expressions of affection, respect and love.

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Archbishop Gregory was recently featured on his local news advocating for “healthy, loving, giving, life-giving marriages” and offering support for couples undergoing rocky times. It is encouraging to see the Church stand up publicly for strong marriages.

We as lay people also have important roles in promoting lifelong sacramental marriages. After all, when our Church families are fractured (and almost half of them are), our Church is fractured. If our children don’t experience successful marriages and families, why would they choose that path?

Here are some ways you can be a marriage-builder right where you are—in your home, church and community:

  • Model a genuinely loving marriage and family to those around you. Generation X grew up during a doubling of the divorce rate. Many in that generation and younger have not had many positive marriage role models.
  • Work to improve your marriage skills. Marriages, just like cars, need regular maintenance. The site offers tips on managing finances, careers, prayer and more (sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops).
  • Help teach children and adolescents about the value of marital sex and lifelong marriage. Explain why this is God’s plan and how it leads to joy.
  • Be a positive voice for marriage in our culture.
  • Pray for marriages and for families in jeopardy, and offer support to those you know.
  • Provide support and mentoring for young married couples, three-fourths of whom leave the Church until they are expecting their first child.
  • Set aside prayer time with your spouse. Praying as a couple has been shown in research to improve relationships.
  • Be aware of resources to help local marriage ministries, such as the Association of Marriage and Family Ministries.

So, what will you do to help build marriages within your sphere of influence?


Lori Lowe is an author and marriage advocate who writes research-based marriage tips at She and her husband, Ming, and their two children live in Indianapolis.


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Great post! We had the pleasure of living in Atlanta for a year and a half and experiencing the virbant archdiocese there. Archbishop Wilton Gregory is just WONDERFUL. We came back to our home town so inspired as to what a diocese could be like!

    1. Thanks, Lacey! Archbishop Gregory used to be the Bishop at our neighboring Diocese, and I’ve heard nothing about great things about him. It’s very inspiring to see Church leadership truly committed to making a difference in an area as important as marriage, especially when the culture fights so hard to break it down.

  2. You have no idea what the truth is. It is just the opposite. The Catholic Church
    supports the destruction of marriages and adultery. Go ahead and believe the
    lies. in time you will see God allowing the continiuing decay of the Church from
    within until it turns from lies and is Catholic in practice, not deceit!

    1. Wow, Karl. I may in fact be a lowly, brainwashed sheep that is being deceived by the enormous public and private efforts made by the Catholic Church everyday in the fight for strong marriages. And the five years I’ve personally spent working in our Diocese in marriage preparation and marriage retreat settings helping to encourage, educate and embrace real marriages may all be a facade, I suppose.

      You seem to have strong opinions that must be based upon a lot of incredible, secret facts. I’d love for you to share your insights and show me the light so I can understand the true, anti-marriage agenda of the Church. Maybe if you share your knowledge, I can quit wasting my time with all of these (apparently fake) Church-supported marriage enhancement activities. 🙂

    2. Praying that you find peace Karl.

      In the mean time, I encourage you to check out some of what the Catholic Church has published on the importance of the sacrament of marriage. Here’s a great place to start:

  3. I have some disagreements with the RCC on marriage, but when it comes to supporting, promoting, and nurturing they have the rest of us beat, hands down. There are exceptions (including my local church, I am glad to say)but as a whole Protestants are failing to “hold marraige in honour”.

    1. Thanks, Paul. I know you are outspoken in your beliefs, and I truly respect your opinions on these matters. My experience in other churches is light, but I can speak first-hand about the efforts of the RCC to support the institution of marriage…and individual marriages in every instance that I’ve witnessed.

  4. I always believe that marriage is a test of one’s character. It is important for people to know that marriage is a relationship of love and sacrifice. The more we endure its challenges, the better we grow as a person. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Walter! I definitely agree with you that marriage requires both love and, especially, sacrifice. It’s a counter-cultural commitment and one that has the ability to make us grow.

  5. There was something about casting pearls before swine?

    If she is interesting in communicating with you, I am not, contact Bai Macfarlane.
    I am presuming you have heard of her.

  6. BTW:

    That is not saying that you are a swine, rather that it would not bear good fruit to further discuss it
    with you. Just wanted to clarify what could have been taken but was not meant.

    This is from a maliciously abandoned spouse who lives by his vows, now for twenty plus years
    post abandonment. I do not speak, lightly, about marriage. I try to live it as a winess to our
    five children, our four grandchildren and the two children of my wife’s Church supported
    adultery. No annulment. I won in Rome.

    1. Thank you for sharing a bit of your history, Karl. I can feel the pain and frustration you feel toward the Church as a result of your personal experiences, and I certainly respect your strong feelings. However, I think it’s unfair to cast such a wide net as to discredit all of the good work the Catholic Church does every day in support of marriage. The Church certainly has its faults, but taken on the whole, I can’t think of an organization that does more to support and uphold true marriage.

      Thank you again for your openness and for your living witness.

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