To reword a Chinese saying, “The strength of the nation depends upon the strength of its marriages.” This week I participated in the recent 6th National Convention of Solemnizing Officers (6NCSO) spearheaded by the National Statistics Office. One of those that caught my attention was the alarming, growing statistics on the breakup or dissolution of marriages. Last month, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) decried “that there were 7,753 annulment cases filed in 2007 and 7,138 filed in 2006. Prior to that year, the annulment cases had supposedly never breached the 7,000 mark. (Here in the Philippines, we have annulment of marriages, not divorce.) But “it is very likely that the number of petitioner for annulments of marriages is much larger”. One reason was that supposedly the petitioners must provide copies to the OSG and the Provincial or City Prosecutor’s Office. The OSG represents the State in contesting those cases “by preventing collusion between the parties, or the fabrication or suppression of evidence.” But many people circumvent this requisite, ignoring the OSG to make sure they grab that annulment. Thus, most probably, our annulment statistics “may be grossly inaccurate”. (Source: 6NCSO handbook) And we are not even counting those who just went their separate ways without going through the legal means. (There may be some valid reasons for annulment. But it appears many people twist the law to suit their whims.) That sad, big picture is indeed alarming for it shows the slow but steady weakening of our nation!

Psalm 127:1a tells us, “Without the help of the LORD it is useless to build a home” (CEV) God takes the family seriously that He personally builds the home. In the creation, the family was the first institution that He established, way before the government and the church. He Himself caused the marital union. “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (Matthew 19:6, NIV) The Message Version goes this way, “Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” Thus, we want to be God’s channel of building marriages. We invite you to join our “Building Intimacy in Marriage” retreat on August 21-22, 2009, at the Kimberly Hotel in Tagaytay City. (Friday the 21st is a holiday!) Please get in touch with Bro. Aldy or Sis Jacque Dy for more details.

Brethren, let us strengthen marriages.


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