Raising Children in God's Will
by Rev. Sun Myung Moon
Section 2. Guiding the Children
1. Educating Children About Prudence
Children must be raised to be prudent in everything even if they are raised in a reputable family. In other words, worthy children are raised to be prudent in all things. Every step taken, every word uttered, every action contemplated must be prudent. Manners are complex and it's not easy to master them.
Nowadays no one cares that much about manners in this age of permissiveness. It's critical. Do young people like manners? If we don't teach them manners, it's our own ruination: no future. Prudent families contain many useful educational resources. They teach them how to deal with adults, with siblings, with parents.
2. Dedication Needed
Cornerstones must be placed correctly, and center-points well measured. Without correct cornerstones, no sound structure will be possible. Universal victory and historical victory may depend on the cornerstones. Think you are at this very moment laying down the cornerstones. Awesome, isn't it? So, you must be dedicated in all things over and over. Because we are not perfect we must dedicate ourselves hundreds of times, thousands of times, until we attain results that are worthy of perfection. Think about the consequences one hundred years, three hundred years, one thousand years later, from mislaid cornerstones. Other mislaid parts can be fixed only if the cornerstones are laid properly.
Everybody wants an excellent son. But, how shall we raise and educate an excellent human being? Some might say, send them through kindergarten and college. But education is a lifetime dedication.
We need people who can establish new ways. That's why God particularly favors with love those who struggle against evil. We need parents who would dedicate themselves to their children from infancy. We need great servants dedicated to children. The Unification Church has been guiding you to become those very servants. While we look to the higher grounds, we must also be loved by those that are lowly. That is why all blessed families must struggle. When we take pity on our own children, we should also remember to take pity on all other children. In this way, no one shall fail.
Parents must be dedicated to posterity. They must be determined to leave blessings to their children. Such families will not fail.
The main problem is how the blessed families, their children, and their children's children, all three generations, may live together with their teacher. Do you understand what I am saying? Did you know that if you are a servant dedicated to three generations you would be the most meritorious in the eyes of heaven? In view of this, you must be dedicated to educating your children so that they learn these ideals.
You must raise them straight, yes, straight. If you don't have enough to eat, pray to God. If you get some bread as a result, that shows God's pity and power. Yes, that shows it. You must teach your children that heaven is taking pity on you when strangers offer help that is unexpected.
3. Subjecting Them to Hardships
There is an old Korean saying, "Whip the ones you love and feed the ones you hate." Do you understand what it means? It makes perfect sense. Why? In order to maintain the correct tradition ... one must become tear-soaked in love expressed through the parental whip. I can understand that, do you?
Everybody, did sweetness come out of bitterness or did bitterness come out of sweetness? Which came first? [Bitterness] (Laughter) Of course. The rules of life dictate that. Now, did light come out of darkness, or darkness out of light? [Light out of darkness] (Laughter) Yes, of course. So, if you accept bitterness there is an abundance of sweetness that comes out of it. Those who accept any amount of bitterness can create any amount of sweetness.
Now, love is good, love is sweet, love is bitter, which is it? "Sweet." That's for the Westerners. For the Asians, it's bitter. (Laughter) That's right. The Asians understand true sweetness. But, if you know only sweetness, you don't know what to do with bitterness. Which are more numerous? Those who want to work hard all their lives or those who don't want to work hard all their lives? Which ones? Do you prefer to live without work or with work? [Live with work]
You know the story of the grasshopper and the ant? Which one do you admire more? The grasshopper that lives off the dew drops while singing and dancing his life away in the warm sun, or the ant that works all day and all evening without rest ... Would you really want to be the ant, disfigured and darkened from overwork, not the grasshopper? (Laughter) The grasshopper only has a big mouth, just a big mouth.
When you raise your children, do you want them to be grasshoppers or ants? Which ones? [Ants] But why? Is it so that we can while away our youth as grasshoppers and then work like ants in middle age? Or, is it the other way around, working like ants while young and resting like grasshoppers later in life? Which way? [Working like ants while young] Really? [Yes] Could you enjoy singing when you are too old? (Laughter) You can enjoy just as much hearing and watching someone else sing.
4. Often Force Is Necessary
We run into obstacles whenever we expect to do everything we want or live the way we want. Why? Because this only leads to a certain ruination. The more truthful one's way of life, the more obstacles are thrown in the way. It's because we have fallen. God throws in obstacles all the way whenever we try something. That's the only way he can save mankind. We as fallen creatures cannot find our own ways of salvation. Only God can.
How does God find them? Not by abandoning mankind to their own devices, but by dragging us into a fortress to teach us a lesson. It's a form of kidnapping. It is evil to kidnap a good person in order to make him a bad one. But is it good or evil to kidnap a bad one to make him a good one through subjecting him to all sorts of trials? It is good to kidnap a bad one and, if he is stubborn, subject him to beating, leg bending, nose pulling, and so on, until he realizes, "Oh, I am a good person." It is evil to subject a good person to such trials to make him evil. But how would the evil-turned-good person feet toward his tormentor? Would he feel thankful or resentful? What's your answer? Resentful or thankful? Of course, he is thankful.
Some of you have dealt with a farm ox. During rainy days you might want to skip feeding him. The ox tail sometimes whipped me when I was young. Some of you have obviously experienced it because you are laughing. It's not just me. When you are told to take the ox out to the pasture and feed him by a certain hour of the day, but there is no grass in the pasture, what do you do? Then you say, "Well, there is a spot with good grass up on the hill. Let's go there," and take the ox up the steep hill. But on the way, the ox finds some grass, quite meager by comparison, and wants to settle there. But, you have to whip him and kick him without pity. Have you ever done that? Would the ox's feelings be hurt and refuse to eat once you finally get to the place with abundant grass? No, the ox would be ear-to-ear in gratitude and would really go to town on the good grass.
Reverend Moon understands this and has been whipping and kicking you, but you don't understand this. You don't know that there is a pasture with good grass out there. But if you knew that, you would want to be whipped and kicked to get there. Do you understand what I am saying? Once during the Korean War, I witnessed the following among the refugees. A mother was carrying her five-year-old child on her back but the fellow, not knowing anything about the war around him, was singing and having a good time. Then the mother got tired and told him to walk, and the boy refused, whining, "I don't like you, Mom. I don't want to go any more unless you carry me. Carry me, carry me." (Laughter)
What do you think the loving parents should do to the child? They must carry the child. That's the correct way. But, under the circumstances, trying to carry the child would result in both of them dying. So, what to do? You must make the boy walk. You might have to threaten him, slap him in the face, to make him walk, until you reach safety. If you were the parents, what would you do? Abandon the child? Kill the child? Or use force to take him? Which is the best method? Abandon? Kill? What to do if neither is possible? You must drag him by all means, even if you have to pull him by the nose or by the ear.
This is true love. If you dragged him by force like that he would be absolutely grateful afterward, saying, "Oh, boy, thank you, Mother for saving me, while all of my friends are dead." One would be struck by lightning if one complained about the matchmaking harm that the pulled ear or dragged nose would cause in the future. Rather, the child would renew his appreciation whenever he sees his deformed ear: "How great is my mother's love, how awesome is my mother's love," he would say this over and over as long as he lives.
Some of you say, "Our teacher lives to torture us." Don't you? I have no sympathy for you when I put you to work. I feel sympathy only when we are together. I feel like pulling you by the nose when I need to put you to work. I feet like whipping you, kicking you whenever you refuse to go. This is the correct way. Why do we have to do that? Because we want to enter the highest sphere of God's love. We want to monopolize God's love in a way that no religious teacher before, no organization before, no nation before were ever able to attain, by surpassing all that they tried to do before in history. This is the correct education, this is the correct strategy. (32-255)
5. The Love Rod
All Korean customs are like that, aren't they? When the children of wealthy families in the past didn't study, they were hit with a willow switch. The daily routine has to be followed according to strict orders. If this is not done, then people can fall. (126-24)
Education cannot happen if you say nice things all the time. The grandfather tries to educate his grandson by hitting with a willow switch saying, "Pay attention, boy!" Doesn't he? That is the method of education. Have you forgotten, when you were young, being hit and punished by your parents ... ? Especially the teachers.
I attended a private school when I was young, and our teacher usually made us write down several pages from things like the Analects of Confucius or Mencius. The next day we had to give a lecture on it. If we couldn't do it we were beaten with willow switches. Anyway I remember being beaten. I remember I hoped that the teacher's raised hand would freeze in mid air. (Laughter) I wanted him to just stand there, shaking with his hand in the air and then throw away the stick. All sorts of things raced through my mind. (101-168)
There are two types of people, those who shout "Hey!" and strike like a bolt of lightening as though the sky was breaking and there is the kind that just shouts, "Hey!" The sound of a loving "Hey!" and a furious "Hey!" may sound the same, but the two worlds are divided. One is heaven and the other is hell. Isn't that so? The rod is the same.
There are two types of beating. There is a love rod. Do you agree? A love rod. During the course of one's married life, the wife often criticizes and nags her husband. If a man friend did the same thing, there would probably be a fight. He would say, "You son of a bitch! Why are you criticizing and nagging me?" But if his wife criticizes him he just giggles. (Laughter) The fact that she tears him to pieces is because of her deep love for him. Isn't that so? There are two types of rod. (170-81)
The love rod immediately forgets. Look at my children. Because I have so many children to raise there are times when I have to punish them. The next day, everything is forgotten. Your children are very precious. You don't remember all their mistakes, saying, "I remember you did this." The rod of love forgets. (141-46)
Blessing will follow after the love rod. Do you understand? [Yes] Does a thief follow? [Blessings will follow] What! [Blessings] You like blessings, don't you? [Yes!] It is true. If the parents hit their child when he has done no wrong, then the very foundation of their fortune all melts away. The parents that like hitting their children should stand in front of their children with bowed heads, shedding tears of repentance. As far as love is concerned, there can be no king who wields his power openly and no authoritarian parent.
6. You Should Guide Your Children with Tears of Love
The words you have spoken until now have been false. They have been words that have not been spoken on the foundation of heart. From now, you have to speak words that stand on the foundation of heart. You have to speak centering on True Parents and God's thought. You must not swear as you please. You should not say to your children, "You sons of b..." You should not swear, and you should not hit them just as you please. You children are your second God. And children should not resist their parents. The parents are their first God. And their grandfather and grandmother are the God above that. (136-296)
In the field of emotions, if you feel more pity for the other person than you feel for yourself, then the way to become one will arise naturally. What do you think about parents who hit their child in anger? They should immediately repent. If a mother doesn't hit her child but rather sheds streams of tears out of pity and love for her child, it is much more effective. Isn't that so? If the mother does this, then the mother won't surrender. She will always be victorious and be able to bring her children to surrender. Actually, she will get less result if she hits them.
The older brother might be really annoyed at his younger brothers and sisters but if his mother persuades him in this way he is the one who will end up surrendering. Do you think this is possible? [Yes] So what do you need for unification? You need an emotional side. The same applies to my family. Mother has to receive my permission to hit the children. If she says, "I think I will have to punish them this once," I say, "Go ahead" and then she punishes them. When there is no other option than to punish the children, she does it in this way. I would not stand for it if she raised her hand towards the children for no reason. You must not do that. The question is with how much love did you treat your children? You have to know about these kinds of things. Do you understand? Now you know how you should live your private lives, don't you? (44-156)
7. Raise Your Children To Be One With The Will
If you give God's words without responsibility, you will lose power. If you have received God's words in your heart, then you should believe them. You have to act after having drawn the line of goodness that you have. That is why, when the noble families of long ago educated their children, they always taught their children not to speak lightly in the morning if possible. They taught them that in the morning, if possible, they should listen rather than speak. This kind of attitude is needed in one's life of faith as well. (40-73)
Blessed family members should not try to achieve God's sovereignty, God's people, or God's domain (territory) conceptually; they have to achieve it substantially, always thinking about it. It is the time to act with responsibility. So even when you take one step, it should be a step to realize your goal. When you educate your children as well, you have to think about how you can educate them to become people who can fulfill their mission in front of the Will. Even when you are breast-feeding your child, you have to breast-feed him or her having this kind of thought. (12-134)
You should become a husband and wife that the Messiah needs. You should have children that the Messiah needs. Become sons and daughters who have the tradition of the country. Follow the tradition of the sovereign. You must become parents who teach your children to do this. You must become people of love. The attitude of love is not just to say, "How cute. How cute." You have to be able to say, "Heavenly Father, how impatiently you have waited, through the thousands of years of the course of restoration, for sons and daughters whom you could love." You have to think, "Children with that kind of heart and love have to exist in order for the true country and the true world to appear." You have to think and teach your children, "Even when you are sleeping, steep in the right way."
Therefore you have to become parents who don't express your last wish when you are about to die, but who teach your children while you are alive. You have to become people who can die with thanks that you have taught your children well. You should not be parents who, when are about to express your last dying words, busily say, "Oh, don't do this or that." It is a parent's job when they die, to look back on the secrets they have shared and the deeds that they have accomplished together with joy, asking their children to do even better than the parents have done. (55-87)
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