As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: Episode 42
As A Peace-Loving Global Citizen: An Autobiography by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Chapter 5: Loving Families Can Change the World
Promises That Must Never Be Broken, pg 150-153
Promises That Must Never Be Broken
During our matching and marriage ceremonies, I ask the brides and grooms to make promises to each other that must never be broken. First, a husband and wife must always trust and love each other. Second, they must not cause any pain to the heart of their partner. Third, they must educate their children and grandchildren to maintain sexual purity. Fourth, all members of their family must help and encourage each other, so they become a true ideal family. Chastity before marriage and fidelity in marriage are of utmost importance. This is what I teach so people can live to their highest potential as human beings, creating and maintaining healthy families.
Marriage is more than a simple coming together of a man and woman. It is a precious ceremony of commitment to carry on God’s work of creation. Marriage is the path by which a man and woman become as one, create new life, and establish true love. Through marriage, a new future is created: Societies are formed; nations are built. God’s world of peace is realized with married families at the center. It is in the family that God’s Kingdom of Heaven is brought about. So husbands and wives must be centers of peace. Not only must there be love between the husband and wife, but the couple must also be able to bring harmony to their extended families. It is not enough that the husband and wife live well together in love. All the relatives must love each other as well. I tell brides and grooms to have many children. To bear many children and raise them is God’s blessing. It is unthinkable that human beings apply their own standard of judgment and arbitrarily abort precious lives given to them by God. All life born into this world embodies God’s will. All life is noble and precious, so it must be cared for and protected.
Naturally, a husband and wife must maintain mutual trust and nurture their love. The promise I emphasize the most to people preparing to marry is “teach your children to maintain sexual purity.”
This is an obvious promise, but it has become difficult to keep in today’s society. The worse the world becomes, however, the more important it is to strictly keep the promise of sexual purity.
The perfection of human beings and peace in the world come about through the family. The purpose of religion is for everyone to become people of goodness who can then bring about an ideal world of peace. No matter how much politicians may put their heads together, they will not bring about peace. Formidable military power will not bring peace. The starting point for bringing about peace is the family.
When I arrived in America in 1971, the wind of promiscuous free sex was blowing across the country, and the entire society was in the midst of confusion. Young people who had received wonderful educations were being destroyed one by one. Sexual immorality was so bad that it was becoming the norm. Sexually transmitted diseases were beginning to skyrocket.
The seriousness of the problem was compounded by politicians, academics, and clergy. They knew about this problem, but most of them ignored it. They tried to look away from the ugly reality because they themselves had not maintained sexual purity. People who are not sexually pure themselves cannot urge their children to be so.
The degradation of sexual morality among adults destroys families and leads to the ruin of children. Immorality and licentiousness in the personal lives of adults ultimately destroy the lives of their children. The reason today’s society does not have a level of happiness to match its level of material affluence is that families are being destroyed. To save families, adults must first live proper lives. Then, it is possible to raise children in sexual purity.
The mother is the fortress that protects the family. No matter how much society may change, the family is healthy and peaceful only if the mother has the heart to sacrifice and serve. It is in such a family that beautiful children can grow. In educating our children, what the children see and learn in the family is most important. A crab that walks sideways cannot tell its offspring to walk straight ahead. The parents must show a good example. True children come from true families. Truth is always very simple.
The most difficult aspect of family life is raising children properly. We give birth to them in love and raise them in love, but they don’t necessarily grow up the way their parents desire. What’s worse, today’s materialistic culture is destroying the innocent minds of young people. Young people who should be growing up to become responsible adults capable of extraordinary achievements are being lost to drugs. Drug-induced states make people lose touch with their own spirit. Young people who have lost touch with their spirit eventually can only fall into crime and sexual immorality.
During adolescence, children think everything should be centered only on themselves, and so there is the tendency to rebel against things the parents may say. If the parent does not respond with understanding, there is the possibility that the child may go to self-centered extremes. On the other hand, a child in adolescence can be deeply moved by anything that seems to connect with his heart. Perhaps on an autumn day, the child will see a persimmon fall from a tree that has lost all its leaves. The child cannot explain it, but somehow it connects with his heart, and he will smile and experience happiness. This is a sign that God’s original character is dwelling in his heart
But if adolescents involve themselves in sexual relationships, their perceptions become clouded, and their power of judgment diminished. When an adolescent boy and girl meet and start talking with each other, they can feel flushed, and there may be a change in their heart rate. If their minds are not brought into harmony with God’s standard in that moment, they will surely be moved in the direction of self-centeredness. They lose the means with which to control their bodies.
During adolescence, our cells open wide all the doors of love in both the physical body and the spirit. The desires of our mind and the desires of our body are meant to become one and function together. When we acquire the nose of love, we start to love smells that we used to hate. When we acquire the mouth of love, we start to love tastes that we used to hate. We want to listen all night to the stories of love. We want to keep touching the person we love. Adolescents start to think they can be happy simply by entering into a love relationship.
However, the doors of love are designed by God and are to open only when the time is right. Children must understand that they need to wait for the right time. Parents must teach these things to their adolescent children very carefully. Love is a process by which we grow to resemble God. Despite what the world may tell us, it is not something to be enjoyed anytime we please.
During adolescence, a child may want to try really hard to copy the activity in a thrilling movie. People ask, “What’s wrong with that?” It is wrong because irresponsible actions lead to destruction. When children mature and acquire wisdom and knowledge, they can control their social and environmental experiences and are truly free to do so, but not during adolescence.
Why do we say, “Do not give a knife to a child”? It is because the child would wave it around. The child might understand how to cut with a knife, but he cuts without control. The child might even cut his mother’s fingers. Because children do not yet fully understand the consequences, we do not give them knives.
The combination of parents not teaching their children the value of purity and children rebelling against their parents leads to broken families. Because of this, societies are being broken. Because of this, nations are being destroyed. Because of this, humanity is being destroyed.