Raising Children in God's Will
by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Section 1. Attitudes of Parents Toward Child-Rearing
1. Hoping Their Children Will Do Better than Themselves
You experienced ladies, aren't you happy when a passerby says your child is a million times better looking than you are? You will be tickled pink (Laughter) That means the mother is a million times better looking. Wouldn't that be so! Which mother in the world would take that compliment as meaning that she is the one who is a million times uglier than her child? Which mother would even think like that? All mothers are happy under the circumstances. Those are mothers' sentiments everywhere. Mothers are just happy with the results.
If a family wants the children to do worse than their father, the household will surely fall, not prosper. Even if the father is president of the country, if his children don't do as well the family will eventually bite the dust in a few generations. So, when the child says to his father, "I don't believe I should do worse than you," then the father must not criticize the decision. Rather, he should wholeheartedly agree with the view.
2. Children Should Do More Good than Parents
Are there any parents, even though they themselves may be evil, who would say to their children, "I am a murderer and robber so I want you to be one too"? They would tell their children to be good even if they themselves are evil. When parents tell their children "not to become an evil person," that means they admit that they have been evil themselves. When they say, "I want you to do well," that means they themselves have not done well.
Good parenting requires that one devote oneself fully to one's children. That's where the merit is, as it is the foundation of all education.
This is the value we must spread to society and to the world. Don't you think? Are there truly bad parents? I read once that one particular couple went on a cruise after sending their sons to an orphanage. Now, this is a sure way to create bad children, as few children who are constantly with their parents ever go bad.
Do parents ever teach their children to do evil? Most parents want to leave goodness to their children even if they have nothing else to give. Parents want to give their most precious gift to their children, with interests compounded daily. Don't you think?
3. Parents Spare Nothing
People who have worked hard to amass a fortune would gladly give up everything they have to save their parents if that's what's called for to revive them. They would be willing to give up all external things. Parents, on their part, would be willing to give up not only all external things, but they would even want to give up their own lives to save their children.
When I was a child I observed many bird nests. If you climb up the tree to go to their nests, the parent birds would attack you, pecking you desperately to protect their young even though you are many times bigger than they are. They are desperate in defense of their offspring. Not just once, but over and over if necessary. Their protective desire transcends their love for their own lives. Isn't that very obvious?
Human beings do the same. One must be willing to give up one's life for love. That makes one a true human being. What is a good human being, we asked earlier? True goodness is in the willingness to give up one's life for the loved ones. This is the only justifiable definition of good. It's incontrovertible. Do you recognize this? True goodness is in love ...
When I was in Danbury I saw an interesting phenomenon. They were trying to flatten a slope to make a tennis court out of it. The work went on and off because of the rain, which would close up the operation for a while until it became dry enough. During one particular off period, a bird nest had settled there, only about three meters off the track, near where prisoners used to take a walk everyday. The bird colors blended well into the environment so that no one noticed them until they had hatched although people walked by every day. That's how the birds were hatched. It was when they heard the little birds chirping for food that people discovered them. The prisoners tried to do nasty things to the birds, naturally. What was interesting was the way the parents brought food. They would land some distance from the nest and would walk, varying their positions every day to avoid some predators like falcons nearby. That's why they varied their routines every day. That's how they protected their chicks.
As they grew, their parents got awfully fussy about people coming near their chicks, as if they didn't want you to see them. (Laughter) But, who taught them that, to do precisely that all the time? If you pretend that you are not watching, they calm down, but if you look at them again they get very fussy. (Laughter) Who taught them this? It's the universal force. The father-son bloodlines ... God created love as the axis and everything else on the same plane around it, so that their position may be lower but still on the same plane. Do you understand what I am saying?
Honeybees do the same. They search for honey among the flowers and use their wings and legs to get it. I know something about honeybees as I was involved in bee-keeping one time. If you tried to pull the bee away during its honey sucking, it would rather lose its innards than part company with honey. Honey must be awfully good to lose one's life for it! True love is like that. One is willing to give up one's life for it. One does not calculate benefits and losses on love. True love demands everything else to become insignificant. Parents will risk their lives to save their children in peril. Parents are willing to die for their love. That's true love, understand?
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