Commentary – Celebrate and build marriage and family

Richard Froese

Love is in the air.

Valentine’s Day is back on Feb. 14, a time for love and romance.

After that, Family Day on Feb. 19 brings families of inter-generations and communities together.

Valentine’s Day and Family Day are all about love.

It seems the states of marriage and family are somewhat on shaky ground.

According to Statistics Canada, about 38 per cent of all marriages taking place in 2004 will end in divorce by 2035.

The total divorce rate was down slightly from its peak of about 41 per cent in the mid 1980s, but slightly higher than the rate of about 37 per cent recorded in the mid 1990s.

If a marriage is weak, likely the family will, too, as the children are often split and shared separately by two parents.

Why is the state of marriage and family not as strong as it was generations ago?

Family Day and Valentine’s Day are times to reflect on our roots and foundation of society and to value and cherish the people around us.

Take time to enjoy your family, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, uncles and aunts, cousins, and the full extended family, and show how much you love them.

Think about your activities and ask a simple question.

Is it building the family, or weaken the family?

It’s important that people create quality family time together that will build relationships and personal growth with the people nearest and dearest to you.

Some parents think they have to or need to get their children involved in several activities that keep them on the road and away from home, separated.

Spend more time together as a family.

Sports can especially separate and scatter a family for several nights a week, and over several months.

All of those activities are good in themselves for children and the adults, doing things with their peers.

But think about things that will add quality to the family. Home is where the heart is, as the saying goes.

For many generations, the family meal was a time for the family to gather and share their experiences without any interruptions or eating in a rush so you can get kids to two or three different places for their activities.

It doesn’t sound that relaxing and enough time to share about your day with loved ones.

Some activities are held during the supper hour and bump that precious family time down the priority list.

Growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, I remember many nights watching TV together, good family shows. Other nights, we would play board games, together.

Some family and relationship experts recommend and probably demand that families get together for regular meals with no electronic devices.

Spend time with the closest people you know and love and those who love you the most and want the best for you.

Positive family values provide a strong foundation for healthy family relationships that extend into the community and society.

Live by those principles, to value yourself, your spouse, children, parents and extended family, and your community family.

“We are family” and “It takes a village to raise a child” are popular phrases in life.

Each of us was born to be part of a family and community to live as positive contributing citizens to enhance the quality of life and people around us.


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