The Words of the Tallakson Family
Blessed Parents Talking about How Their Children (the "Second Generation") Ought to Do Things
Jeff and Seung Hyun Tallakson
(This is purely fictional and it doesn't not represent the opinions of anyone in particular. It was adapted and modified from a conversation on the Unificationist talk group.)
When Should Blessed Children Marry?
QUESTION: By starting their families do you mean starting to have intercourse, or do you mean ceasing to use contraception?
ANSWER: I mean starting intercourse for the sake of procreation and an expected family--children. I guess some are advocating contraception to avoid children, but still have intercourse. For other Unificationists, including True Father, apparently, the idea of their children using birth control methods at a young age, even though they are married/Blessed, is wrong. I am sure birth control for Blessed Second Generation sounds revolutionary for many of you.
I may be in favor of early marriage as an attempt to curtail sexual temptations -- the concept being that if one has a wife/husband then they could more easily practice self-control. I do agree with some others that getting married and having kids is too much to expect from most 17, 18 and 20 year olds. So, how about getting married, then pursue educational interests, separately perhaps, not living as husband and wife? Then when the time is right they could live as a husband/wife, including intercourse, children, mortgage payments, auto & health insurance, Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and the whole 9 yards. The jury is still out on this one.
ANOTHER PARENT ADDS: It looks to me that as soon as a 2nd generation couple gets married, it does not take too long for children to appear. Certainly that is the pattern set by Father's children. It does not look like the leaders, the parents, and the newly Blessed children are paying enough attention to being ready for the responsibility of sex. The responsibility of sex is (the verb) to parent. Even if you use birth control, it doesn't mean itís going to actually work. There is an all too large margin for error in birth control. Do our Blessed children know that?
Of course the worst example I know of is our own dear Hyo Jin, bless his little pea-picken heart, who had drug problems before he was blessed with Nan Sook. Shouldn't he have been completely clean before getting married? This is a very serious issue to me. This is a very serious issue and if any parents thinks that marriage will be the answer for their children's lack of maturity and self-discipline -- think again. Hyo Jin has taught us a lot about what not to do.
ANOTHER PARENT ASKS: Sounds good but how to do you handle this -- Early marriages are the most unstable. Young people are not even physically mature by then. They change their minds a lot.
ANSWER: I think early marriages are okay, often even best, for any Second Generation who has their heads on straight. They should be able to make a commitment and their faith (trust in Divine Principle and True Parents) should be part of that commitment. (so I am so grateful to the members of the True Family who have taken responsibility to lead CARP and its Special Task Force (STF).) Then they can get married. Their parents should not push them into the Blessing. they should make the decision on their own. If itís their decision the sticking power is much much greater. If they have faith, trust True Parents, can make a genuine commitment to God and to each other, then they have all that is necessary. Most people 28 years-old donít even have that. Therefore a young Second Generation could conceivably be more mature than most people who enter into marriage at a later age. If the reasons for marriage are unstable, then their marriage will be unstable.
ANOTHER PARENT ASKS: How can they get married, or if they do get married, how can they get seriously involved sexually if they have no financial base and are still getting their schooling to make their financial base? And what if they donít have the financial base to continue their higher education. Then should they marry?
A PARENT ANSWERS: Good point. This is the probably the second major question after the question of their faith and commitment. They would make a serious mistake for their future and that of their children if they were so enamoured with each other that they gave up their school with the attitude, "Aw. Weíre young. We can get jobs now and take care of school later." Next will come babies. And Whamo! They are stuck in a lower socio-economic social stratum and (unless their life is very full of love) hating themselves for it. If they do hate themselves for it, then their children will pick up on that hate.
ANOTHER PARENT ADDS: Yes. They should be aware of this. They can later feel trapped by the emotional decision they made in their late teens/early 20s, to marry young. Even career choices aren't made so young. Here they are deciding to get married/Blessed and they havenít even begun college classes. They havenít decided what they want to study. They havenít even made a commitment to a career. Career commitments can, of course be changed. No biggie. But their commitment to marriage is absolute. Or ought to be if they are going to be happy in life. Frankly I don't know the answers to these and other questions but I do still believe in early marriage *if* the young person desires it.
As for physical maturity, most people are physically mature by 17 or 18 and often even younger. Boys are supposedly at their sexual peak at age 19 (not me though. I just kept getting better. :->> [Itís all confusing because women are supposed to be at their sexual peak in their early 30's! Again, not my wife. She just keeps getting more and more astonishing with age! :-).] I guess God was stretching the time out to keep sex exciting. That has been True Fatherís repeated message for the Blessed couples in recent years. Who knows, maybe it was just a biological-selection thing to keep the species propagating. Maybe God has two purposes simultaneously, one internal and the other external. (Hey! If thereís an original thought out there, I could use it right now!)
I would think Blessed children whose parents are not that happy together, and not that loving with each other, would tend to decide to wait and get things settled -- like faith and education and career, before committing to marriage. Anyway I really don't know about all this and have many more questions but there must be some answers out there somewhere.
PARENT D WRITES: My oldest son, almost 19, wonders a lot about being Blessed soon. He wants to be matched by Father. My advice was to wait. Marriages are hard to make successful. One key to success seems to be bringing a mature person (oneís self) into oneís marriage.
Statistically, at least in the "outside" world (because the data is not in yet on the Second Generation Blessings) all the evidence my son sees all around him is divorce (parents of his peers), teen pregnancy (in his friends who are girls), under-educated married people (those stuck in marriages and relying on low hourly wages), and all this leads him to see abstinence as the best choice. And a late Blessing--after he finishes his college and knows where heís headed. At this point my children are inclined to be matched by True Parents, if it is available. Otherwise, they are not thinking too much about it. They are focused on sports and studies.
ANOTHER PARENT SAID: If my child wanted to be matched by Father I would encourage them, especially given the fact that Father won't be here forever. "Marriages are hard to make successful" is such a negative statement to start with. While it is true, I would rather say, "Marriages take the constant care and the hard work of love" but the end result can truly be heaven (and is the only way to heaven). I want their romantic hearts to have hope too. If they do get married/Blessed before they finish (start?) their higher education and career training, then I would advise they take their own sweet time just enjoying each other as they would if they were just a "nice" boyfriend and girl friend in the regular world. Kissing and hugging. Controlling themselves though. Making it last years while their prepare themselves for years.. Maybe heavy petting. Maybe be celibate. I mean they are Blessed, but that doesn't mean they have to rush into it all at once. Sex is wonderful, but a baby before one is ready in all ways to be a parent Ė that can easily be hell.
ANOTHER PARENT ADDS: For those who suggest that marrying early will solve sexual temptation: Would you want someone to marry your child in the belief that marriage would resolve their sexual problems?
AN ANSWER COMES FROM ANOTHER PARENT: Sex drives are biological and whether or not we like it, they need to be relieved. I wouldn't even call this temptation; it is the way God created us. Sex is the most beautiful gift God gave to men and women.
I remember Father saying that when young people enter their late teens and start having strong sexual feelings; that is when they should be blessed. Now you can call me on that because I can't quote the speech but I do agree with his premise.
If my child did *not* want to marry young I would respect that but the child who wants to be matched and marry young I would also admire and respect. However, I do believe that we are doing a good job preparing our children for marriage. This is probably the first time most of us parents have even discussed it! Boy are we a baby movement!
As you say, marriage is difficult. Again I would echo hard work. I believe we should provide counseling for young people who want to marry and furthermore, I think we should be teaching them about marriage all along, form age zero to their Blessing and beyond.. Of course the most powerful way to teach them is by our own example. We parents have to love each other. If we have a problem there then we must seek help from counselors we trust. It is extremely important for our children. No one should put if off.
Another parent tells this story: My six year old daughter was playing the other day and was saying what each person's favorite thing in the world was. She said Emma's was "momo" (Emma is the baby and momo is her word for breast-feeding.) Morty the four year old liked his thumb and picking Mommy's neck (his way to comfort himself). Olga, herself said she likes cuddling, and Mommy has Daddy, she said, like Daddy has Mommy. I was touched by her impression of what was most important for us.
PARENT F CHIMES IN: I don't think the sexual drive is a valid reason to seek marriage.
PARENT E ANSWERS: I do. Why not? Face it. We are sexual beings and it isn't a bad thing either.
PARENT F: I think that marriage should be a sacrament, a way to come into unity with Heavenly Father.
PARENT E: Sex is also a sacrament, at least the way Father talks about it, it sure seems that way, and also a way to come into unity with Heavenly Father.
ANOTHER PARENT: My neighbor keeps wanting to make a nuptial agreement with us for our son. I guess he seems like a pretty good kid. She is repeatedly offering an early betrothal deal, in jest of course, with an ever enlarging and increasingly interesting dowry.
ANOTHER PARENT SAYS: I was reading today about. the marriage system during the time of Mary (Jesus). It was likely, according to the tradition, that Mary was betrothed to Joseph at about. 12 or 13. Betrothal was more than engagement. It meant that Joseph was "responsible" for Mary's sexual life from then on. It did not mean that they could have sex, but rather Mary was promised to Joseph, therefore she was taboo for anyone else, with all the prohibitions and laws protecting the relationship.. It functioned to keep conjugal children-producing units pure, responsible, clear, focused and society well-ordered..
PARENT D RESPONDS TO PARENT E: If I do decide to go with the Nuptial Contract idea, it will be for the 20 head of cattle, + land (preferably of the vacation variety -- Hawaii, Cheju Island, or an Alaskan Hunting Lodge) and a large signing bonus payable immediately, with additional options every 7 years, and a bonus for each child born. So, don't worry. I have been studying Major League Sports for years. I have already lined up the best Agent around to represent all my children.
ANOTHER PARENT SAID; One of you said, "If we expect our children to be virgins when they marry they need to have the opportunity to marry young. Celibacy is so unnatural for people in their twenties." I cannot let this pass without adding my 2 cents. As a teenager I never had a girlfriend, never went to a dance, didn't smoke or drink or take drugs and wasn't a homosexual. I perceived the boyfriend/girlfriend relationships going on around me as extremely forced, lacking in love and therefore unnatural. It is not "natural" to fall sexually. It is not "natural" to go against the command of one's conscience. Father said that "God speaks 3 times through a person's conscience to warn against committing any evil act." In this respect God did intervene in the Fall in the only way that He could. What else was he to do? He called, "My son! My daughter!" through their conscience, but they didn't listen. Sex is such an absolute thing. Little babies are born from it with spirits which live and love forever. It is not "natural" to have a sexual relationship without God's permission. You also have to remember that the power of satanic love (just looking for self-pleasure without lasting commitment and responsibility) is not very satisfying. It doesn't last long and it mostly just breaks hearts. It doesn't fulfill hearts.. As explained in Divine Principle, the power of the commandment plus the power of the Principle is stronger than the power of unprincipled (self-destructive) love.
ANOTHER PARENT ASKED: Why canít the early Blessed just use birth-control and still keep on pursuing their educations?
ANOTHER PARENT RESPONDED: Here is my take on the birth control idea. I saw a good article in the Unification News in late 1998/early 1999. It was about "Natural Family Planning". It was a response to Dr. Tyler Hendricksí articles which spoke against birth control. While there is no ultimate or perfect system (because babies result from emotions and fluid situations), the Natural Family Planning which is taught and endorsed through the Catholic Church is great. There's a lot to it that does not simply have to do with birth control. It has to do with education and relationships. I think our culture is so focused on *controlling* everything (like conception), that we often miss the point of love and sexual love.
PARENT F: Itís probably heretical but I assume Father Moon is against birth control not for the same reason as the Pope. Not because itís a sin. (I donít think it is a sin.) But because Father has a strong desire from God's point of view that all Blessed families have many children. I wish now our couple did have more children. Only now, that itís too late for our couple, do I begin to appreciate and feel that our three are not as many as I wish weíd had. But about marrying young Ė I believe young people should, if they decide to, on their own accord, and then I often counsel young people, who I know darn well are going to be active sexually, and quite so, to use rhythm method, because itís nice to have no barrier between the skins, and furthermore, when she is ovulating, never refuse the chance to take up artificial birth control methods whenever they wish. The pill. Thereís no danger in it Ė itís been established. Condoms. Whatever. Their Blessed. Theyíve got to be intimate. Got to. Itís their right. They donít want to have a baby. They want to study. They want to make their career, do mission, grow financial foundations Ė so have sex and practice birth control. These kids I counsel wonít do that for long. They want babies too. And if their external foundations are intact, then they can feel more secure to have those many babies. True Parents had a lot of babies because they had a strong foundation. My husband and I didn't have a lot because we didn't have so much confidence in our foundations (both internal and external).
PARENT C SAYS: I am against early Blessings in general. What if my son wants to be a doctor or a lawyer or another profession? It will take him years to complete that.
PARENT H RESPONDS: Why can't your daughter do both? Why does having a child have to mean other growth ends? Only when there is no other support system in place. My friend, Irma, who I wrote about had her baby in the midst of medical school and her good friend, who was one of the top three in the class had *two* children! Both have family to help care for their children. also would you parents be willing to live with your children and care for your grandchildren while they work and go to school? That is the Korean way.
PARENT C RESPONDS: Well it depends doesn't it? It depends on how rich they are. I donít think the medical school is going to lower their tuition because they had a baby. And it depends if they have grandparents or relatives around with the desire and means to baby-sit. They can use daycare (but it costs. And psychologists increasingly say stay-at-home moms are best.) It depends if one of the marriage partners already has a good job. And it depends on their own maturities and personalities. It depends on so many variants, young Second Generation just have to weigh these and make their own decisions. But we ought to help them see their futures, their possibilities and the consequences of their decisions. And guide them as best we can. We certainly donít want them to get stuck in a dead end somewhere, resentful and hurting.
ANOTHER MOTHER SAYS: I stayed home with my kids and did day care for other mothers who had to work. I couldn't bear to leave my babies with someone who was getting paid to watch them. But some kids do fine that way; others don't. some parents do well with that. others donít. There are too many unknown factors for my comfort with daycare. Until we can create a culture of stable families there are going to be gaps, no matter what.
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