The Words of the Wilson Family
Comments on the Matching Process
Dr. Andrew Wilson
August 13, 2002
I believe I am not alone in the opinion that the Church, specifically the Blessed Family Department, should provide a matchmaking service. While we cannot go back to the days when Father matched the candidates, I believe the Church needs to appoint someone as a matchmaker to provide suggested matches, to which the parents would still have the final say. Here are some reasons:
1. Many parents don't have a clue of how to match their children. There is no tradition in American culture of parents matching children, so we first generation parents don't even have models from the fallen world to fall back on.
2. Some parents will match their children based on venal motives, like seeking to connect their families with leader families by matching their children to the children of leaders. Everyone wants the best for their children. But such an approach will inevitably produce some bad matches.
3. The American tradition is for children to find their own match, and then propose it to parents. Many parents will interpret Father's direction to match their children as permitting the children to find their own choice, as long as the parents approve the choice. This is already happening among some BCs and it is rationalized by their parents who are happy not to have the burden of looking themselves. But it leads to the sort of self-seeking "dating" type behavior that is inimical to BCs living freely as brothers and sisters. Our church culture requires that we be brothers and sisters and banish all thoughts of exclusive relationships. So BCs, seeking a marriage partner, are put in the position where they act with a bad conscience.
4. In traditional Korean society (and Jewish culture as well), the matchmaker was an important position. So I believe that in Korea, our members will utilize matchmakers. But since America has no such tradition, the Church should provide it.
5. The matchmaker can more readily see God's viewpoint on what will make a good match than a parent, because (s)he is in an objective position to see the whole field of candidates, and is not swayed by personal considerations. This is one of the reasons we trusted Father. I believe that an objective matchmaker is in a position to receive Heaven's guidance, since Heaven wants to see our BCs happy in their marriages. Also, people have varied spiritual gifts. The person chosen as matchmaker can be someone who is naturally gifted in this area.
6. Parents' field of vision is limited to their friends and associates, thus it will be very difficult for parents to match their children to the children of their enemies, which is Father's direction. Only the Church has the ability to gather enough candidates to suggest such enemy matches.
7. Parents living in lonely places with few members will have only a very small network of acquaintances to draw upon when seeking a match for their child. The website may solve this problem, although of course it leaves out parents who don't use the Internet. But even a website cannot deal with the larger issue that I raise here.
In conclusion, it is my hope that the Church will take some responsibility to provide a matchmaking service, one that allows parents who wish to maintain the vertical standard of Heaven to ask Heaven for a match and not be required to depend on their own efforts.
Sincerely, Andrew Wilson, Ph.D.
Unification Theological Seminary, Barrytown, NY
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