Sunday, August 3, 2008

Want to Save Money on Taxes?

Gary and Karen have spent 47 years together.
How should policymakers, state legislators, and others respond to the large taxpayer costs of family fragmentation? We note that even very small increases in stable marriage rates as a result of government programs or community efforts to strengthen marriage would result in very large savings for taxpayers. If the federal marriage initiative, for example, succeeds in reducing family fragmentation by just 1 percent, U.S. taxpayers will save an estimated $1.1 billion each and every year.

We can contribute significantly to lower government costs and higher revenues from tax payers by starting a Pre-Marital Preparation Group at our church. We can also help the nation by strengthening family life, especially marriages.

We do not need most therapists but more caring Christians and Pastors who will see that preaching against divorce is half as effective as teaching couples practical way to enjoy their marriages.

Write your Congressman and tell him/her to raise the amount of money given to strengthen marriage and family life.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Stop Family Destruction

Why should legislators and policymakers care about marriage? Public debate on marriage in this country has focused on the “social costs” of family fragmentation (that is, divorce and unwed childbearing), and research suggests that these are indeed extensive.

But marriage is more than a moral or social institution; it is also an economic one, a generator of social and human capital, especially when it comes to children.

In this study, we adopt the simplifying and extremely cautious assumption that all of the taxpayer costs of divorce and unmarried childbearing stem from the effects that family fragmentation has on poverty, a causal mechanism that is well-accepted and has been reasonably well-quantified in the literature.Based on the methodology, we estimate that family fragmentation costs U.S. tax-payers at least $112 billion each and every year, or more than $1 trillion each decade.These costs arise from increased taxpayer expenditures for antipoverty, criminal justice, and education programs, and through lower levels of taxes paid by individuals who, as adults, earn less because of reduced opportunities as a result of having been more likely to grow up in poverty.

Even very small increases in stable marriage rates as a result of government programs or community efforts to strengthen marriage would result in very large savings for taxpayers.

If the federal marriage initiative, for example, succeeds in reducing family fragmentation by just 1 percent, U.S. taxpayers will save an estimated $1.1 billion each and every year.


The crisis of family destruction is upon us. If every church in America adopted a small program to support marriages, we could help break the cycle of poverty and increase giving to our own churches.Want to learn how to decrease family break ups? Contact me at

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Families at Work

The central focus of Sweeten Life Systems is to enhance the relationships of individuals and organizations. It is impossible to have healthy relationships in the office and factory is they are dysfunctional at home.

The Families at Work Institute and has a lot to say to the situation we face today in America. To read the entire report go to:

Today’s U.S. workforce and workplace are in transition. In Families and Work Institute’s (FWI) nationally representative study of the U.S. workforce, the National Study of the Changing Workforce, we find dramatic
changes over the past 25 years.

To begin, the workforce is aging. In 1977, just over a third of the workforce (38%) was over 40-years-old; today, more than half (56%) is (over 40).

Women today play an increasingly vital role, making up nearly half of the
wage and salaried workforce. In addition, work hours for many employees are climbing and jobs have become more hectic and demanding. Life at home has also changed with an increase in the number of dual earner couples in the workplace (from 66% of couples in 1977 to 78% today), which has created pressure among working families.

It is no wonder that 55 percent of employees feel they don’t have enough time for themselves, 63 percent feel they don’t have enough time for their spouses or partners and 67 percent feel they don’t have enough time for their children.

Repercussions of these trends are being experienced by employers as well. FWI data reveal that 39 percent of employees are not fully engaged in their jobs, 54 percent are less than fully satisfied with their jobs and 38 percent are somewhat or very likely to make a concerted effort to find a new job in the coming year.

Employers are challenged to recruit talent, engage and retain workers, and maximize productivity.

How can employers accomplish their goals and continue the high productivity if families are so stressed that individuals cannot function well? What can we do? It is clear that additional family counseling alone is not enough.

I am a Family Therapist who has spent a great deal of his adult life counseling couples and families. I also founded two counseling centers and one in-patient psychiatric hospital to treat distressed people.

The only answer is for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to establish centers that will actually teach people how to develop healthy relationships. We need hundreds of churches in each city that are so concerned about individual children that they equip adults how to be good parents.

I am happy to see "Divorce Recovery" groups springing up in a few of the 5,000 or so congregations in Greater Cincinnati, but that is too late. We know the major causes of divorce and we know how to teach people to avoid one. Why do so few churches and community organizations do anything to prevent divorce?

It is possible to prevent problems. It is also less expensive and less traumatizing to everyone concerned. Why not do it???

Friday, January 18, 2008

Women in Ministry

Support and Training for Wives in Ministry

Over the past 30 years we have ministered to dozens of ministers and their wives on issues of burn out, church conflict, dealing with aggressive members, gossip, rearing children, etc. Leading a ministry is perhaps the most daunting career in life. Now, help is on the way.

Steve Griebling, Family Therapist and international training expert, will provide four Mondays in November for “Survival Skills for Wives in Ministry”.

The sessions will be from 7:00-8:15 February 11, 18, 25 and March 3 at the Life Way Counseling Center Conference Room in Blue Ash. Directions after sign up.
The enrollment is limited to ten women so each person can receive personal attention.

Cost $20.00 per session

1. How to love people without taking their problems
2. How to minister to distressed minds without losing your own
3. Boundaries as a Minister’s wife
4. Leisure, fun and be relaxation
5. Developing a support system that you can trust

Each attendee will get a copy of Dr. Gary Sweeten’s DVD on the importance of becoming a “Committed Couple”. It can be used as a guide for personal growth or teaching small groups or classes. For questions, contact Steve @ 984-827 or

Steve is a Senior Trainer with Sweeten Life Systems who has extensive experience around the world.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Capable Women-Bad Decisions

From an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer on January 10, 2008.

...poverty is a significant problem for women and girls in Greater

Cincinnati, and there's no sign it's diminishing. The 2007 Ohio Health Issues Poll showed the percentage of women below the poverty line growing from 16 percent to 19 percent while the number of women at upper-income levels dropped from 62 percent to 59 percent in the last two years.

The Women's Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is in a three-year campaign to reduce the effects of poverty on local females, devoting half a million dollars to the effort. This week, a Macy's Foundation grant and matching donation from the Charlotte Schmidlapp Fund added $50,000 to the fund.

But how exactly do you take on a problem this large and multidimensional, a problem that trips up women at multiple points in their lives, that siphons off their ability to take care of their families or themselves?

The focus, according to the Women's Fund, has got to be boosting earning power. Women don't do well at the game of financial catch-up. Many spend their lives trying to recover from early decisions that limited their earning potential - entering low-paying fields, getting minimal education, having children at an early age, sometimes jumping from job to job because of family needs.

By midlife, these factors may mean a woman has an unimpressive resume or has been tracked into a career path with little advancement potential. And by retirement, many women have no pension and have not built up savings for themselves.