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"Marriage is a living sacrament alive with grace and blessings. Every righteous act of marital life becomes a source of grace."
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Marriage and the Family
The State of Marriage
The divorce rate in this country for all marriages is high and even higher for cohabiting couples who marry. It increases even more for those who use contraception and only 24% of people polled stated their last sexual act was not contraceptive. The increase of premarital sex by the age of 17 increases the likelihood of infidelity by over 60%. The lack of religious practice increases not only divorce but dysfunctional behavior. Fear of commitment is that one forgets that God will make it work. They don't make the connection between God and their need.

These statistics actually point to hope for the state of marriage because there is a difference between those families with religious practices and guidelines and those who do not. Church attendance make a significant difference. There is a difference between first time marriages and all marriages. There is a difference between those who use contraception and those who do not .

The Church's Response
The guardian of marital love. Just as the virtues protect the beauty of the intimacy of each human being in the family, so to do the laws of the Church protect the beauty of the marriage and the family and the dignity of its members. The more families struggle to live this, the healthier the state of family life. The church defines family: CCC A man and woman united in marriage with their children, form a family. This institution is prior to any recognition by public authority, which has an obligation to recognize it. It should be considered the normal reference point by which the different forms of family relationship are to be evaluated. We do not define family. We serve it.