Marriage Savers Working Toward Family Restoration

Marriage Savers, a non-profit marriage education training organization in Potomac, Maryland, is making a tremendous difference toward strengthening marriage on a community-wide basis---and that work is restoring the foundations of American families (visit their website at  www.MarriageSavers.org).  The Christian Broadcasting Network aired a story on "The 700 Club" about the 'Kentucky Ten-City Marriage Tour,' Marriage Savers' newest Community Marriage Policy.  

Joining with Kentucky's Family Foundation in Kentucky, Marriage Savers took on the goal of decreasing the state's high divorce rate and strengthening marriage across the state. Kent Ostrander, Foundation director, organized pastors in ten cities to meet with Marriage Savers every morning and afternoon for a week.  The event was covered by The Kentucky Citizen,  and the objective was to persuade clergy to create 'Community Marriage Covenants' in which the city's pastors sign an agreement to help.  Their strategy included the following points:
  1. Prepare couples for a healthy lifelong marriage by requiring couples to take a premarital inventory and meet with trained Mentor Couples to discuss their relationship issues and learn communication skills.
  2. Enrich all marriages with an annual event.
  3. Restore marriages in crisis by training couples whose own marriages once nearly failed to mentor those in current crisis.
  4. Reconcile separated couples with a workbook course taken by the committed spouse with a friend of the same gender to help him/her grow so much they attract back the errant mate. It works in most cases.
  5. Stepfamilies normally divorce at a 70% rate, but if a 'Stepfamily Support Group' is organized, 80% of these marriages are saved – the mirror opposite.

This was very important for Kentucky in light of its current state data:
  • Kentucky has America's third highest divorce rate.
  • Kentucky's marriage rate plunged 44% in only 19 years. Why? The number of cohabiting couples has soared 18-fold to 7.8 million couples – nearly quadruple the 2.2 million marriages a year.
  • Most unwed births are to cohabiting couples. They have jumped 8-fold from 225,000 to 1.7 million, or 41% of all births in the U.S. (which is 20 times worse than Japan's national unwed birth rate of 2%).

         Marriage Savers works to reverse these trends, with the marital interventions summarized above.  Cohabitation rates in cities with Community Marriage Policies fall by one-third compared to similar cities in each state. That reduces unwed births. In some cities, marriage rates rise, such as a doubling of marriages in Modesto, CA. The Director of Kentucky's Family Foundation summarized:

The vision of The Family Foundation's Kentucky Marriage Movement is to elevate the Biblical model of marriage and to encourage healthy marriages for our families, churches and communities across the Commonwealth. To that end we were encouraged by the results of the Marriage Savers approach to raise marriage rates and lower divorce rates and cohabitation rates in communities across the US. The Lord's vision for our Ten-City Marriage Tour was the communities of churches in the unity of the Spirit for the sake of Marriage and Christ's Bride. It is certainly a God-sized vision to offer this to all the churches and communities across Kentucky. Our desire is to be faithful and trust the Lord to continue His vision as He desires.

Feel free to download a copy of the article about the event in "Kentucky New Era." To help launch a local 'Community Marriage Policy'  in your community, contact Marriage Savers at (301) 469-5873. You can read the full 700 Club story here.  Efforts like these toward marriage strengthening also encourage national visibility for work to reduce divorce, cohabitation and unwed birth rates and to increase marriages---all critical elements toward family restoration.


  1. Love the idea of Community Marriage Policy.

  2. Marriages are not always perfect. When times get tough, I think that families should stick together and strive to resolve their differences. I am a big proponent of family restoration. Great post.