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230,000 Happy Couples Got Engaged This Valentine’s Day, Ask their Grandparents The Secret To Ensure They Will Still Be Celebrating In Fifty Years


Colorado Springs, CO -- February 19, 2007 -- Valentine’s Day is considered the most romantic day of the year. That’s probably why, at least in the USA, ten percent of the 2.3 million couples who gets engaged each year, do so on Valentine’s Day (Source: Diamond Information Center). Stats state 230,000 rings sold… no wonder the diamond industry is so interested!

But what does the future hold for those 230,000 starry-eyed lovers? The most cynical would point to the statistics that say that at least half of them will end up divorced, and those diamond rings will end up as just one more asset to fight over. What will it take, instead, for there to be a celebration of Christian marriage and lifelong fidelity by couples whose marriages have withstood the test of time?

The Christian Grandparenting Network believes that the greatest hope for the young people of today is that they will replicate the lifetime marriages that were so common for their grandparents’ generation – and so rare for their parents’. If today’s engaged couples are still to be celebrating in fifty years, then CGN believes they must be mentored and guided in their relational lives not just by parents, but by caring and loving grandparents who will transmit the necessary “DNA” for lifetime love.

In honor of this past Valentine’s Day 2007 – and to lay the groundwork for Valentine’s Day 2057 – CGN is sharing the stories of dozens of lifetime-married couples, each of whom answers the question “What one piece of advice would you give a young person about their life TODAY that will ultimately help them enter into a healthy, lasting life-long marriage relationship?” CGN will share these stories with the world on its website (, and with young people seeking guidance in their relationship lives at the upcoming Grand Camp 2007.

Earl and Helen Harper just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and when asked about the advice they would give their 16 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, they shared three words; honesty, trust and patience. “You see when you get married you make a promise that you will love and care for that person until death do you part! Not just when you have the time, not just when you don’t have other things to do, not just when you feel like it. You do NOT break promises! You will not always agree, but with love and trust, guided by patience, you can work it out.”

Howard and Vangie Oliver, GrandCamp Director and CGN Board Member, who will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in June, say remembering the value of Please and Thank You and a willingness to make compromises are critical for a lasting marriage.

Gary and Elise Erickson have been married 39 years. Elise and their grandson attended Grandcamp last year and loved it so much; all three will be attending GrandCamp 2007. Elise’s advice is to build your life and marriage on godly principles. She also states, “If you believe you can fall in love, you’ll believe you can fall out of love. Marriage is based on a life long commitment, not changing emotions.” Gary’s advice is to receive your mate as God’s gift to complete and complement you.

John and Connie Chapin will be attending their third GrandCamp this summer, traveling with their 5 grandchildren in their RV. They have been married 40 years and their advice is to keep Jesus at the center of your life and generously ask for and grant forgiveness.

Cavin and Diane Harper have been married 37 years and are the founders and program directors of GrandCamp. Cavin’s advice to those desiring to celebrate their 50th anniversary is that marriage is not about making us happy, but making us holy. Diane believes that seeing your spouse as Christ sees him will help you to love and forgive. “Remember all that God puts up with in you, yet He forgives you and continues to see you as precious.”

All of these words of wisdom will be taught, discussed and lived at Grand Camp 2007. Grand Camp is CGN’s premier ministry, bringing grandparents and grandchildren together to build, develop and nurture the special long-time bond and relationship that is God’s special gift to the generations. At Grand Camp, grandparents and their grandchildren relax and enjoy camping activities focused around bonding and mentoring – from white-water rafting to classroom activities, craft projects to family building exercises, and everything in between. This year’s Grand Camp has adapted a Wild West theme, with the motto “Cowboy Up!” – meaning, be tough in keeping your commitments—whether between grandparent and grandchild or husband and wife. The grandparent/grandchild relationship is often the longest-lasting nonparental bond a person will have in life, until it is supplanted by the marital union – and CGN believes that developing the childhood relationship will in turn strengthen each child’s ability to form long-lasting, permanent, Godly marriage. This relationship, long neglected, needs affirmation and strengthening – for Valentine’s Day 2007, and Valentine’s Days still to come.

Cavin Harper created ElderQuest Ministries (now called Christian Grandparenting Network) when his own parents and others expressed to him their own dissatisfaction with retirement. Rev. Harper realized that the role of idle retiree was not part of God’s intention for family elders and founded CGN in order to help grandparents reclaim their rightful role and place in the family. Grandparents are a key element in proclaiming the goodness of God to the youngest members of each family, and their upright example and righteous living set paths for grandchildren that lead to positive and healthy outcomes. CGN provides free resources as well as events like its annual Grand Camps to assist the older generation in fulfilling their biblical role in the family, and in fulfilling God’s plan for family structure.

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Media Contact:
Krystal Collazo
WDC Media PR


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