Unification News for April and May 2000
How to be a Successful Spouse
Jung Ro Yoon
July 2, 1999
Notes by Bill Selig
In the summer of 1999 (June 7-July 17), my family attended the 40-day workshop in Jardim, Brazil. By now everyone has heard about the Hoon Dok Hae sessions, the pilgrimages, and the fishing, but I wanted to focus on another activity. Everyday we had the good fortune to receive internal guidance from the elder Korean members, in particular, Mr. Jung Ro Yoon, Vice President and Director of New Hope East Garden. Recently, I was rummaging through my papers and came across what I consider a real gem of a talk. I found it to be especially sound advice, both useful and practical. What follows are my rough notes from an evening talk given July 2, translated by Peter Kim, on husband-wife relationsónever an easy topic, but woefully needed and universally appreciated.
God is the cause and we are resultant beings. Before I was born, my gender, country of birth, and parents were already determined. I had no choice in the matter. If I had been born in a royal family, then I wouldíve been a prince. If Iíd been born in the countryside, then I mightíve been a farmer. My fate had already been decided to a great degree. However, gender, nationality, and parents are not the only factors deciding whether my life will be happy or not. Can we say that being born in a rich family would make us better off? Are those born in the countryside bound to live in poverty? No. It may be true to say that until we are married, our life is mostly controlled by the environment and our parents, but afterwards, the quality of our lives and degree of happiness are essentially determined by our own actions.
If we have good parents, then we tend to recall our childhood as happy. Consequently, if the children are good, then the parents did their job well. The deciding factor is love. The quality of our life is greatly determined by our parentsí love. If we donít receive proper love as children, then our hearts are not fully developed. Generally speaking, those who can give and receive love had a good childhood.
The value of the Blessing
After the Blessing, if you feel your spouse is cold toward you and canít receive love, then perhaps their childhood was not good. In other words, ironically, one could say that my happiness is determined by my spouseís childhood. Our quality of life is determined not by money or knowledge, but the love we received during infancy.
All religions have made a great mistake. They teach that we have to perfect ourselves. The True Parents are the only ones to have declared that it is my spouse who perfects me. We need our partner in order to perfect the four Great Realms of Heart.
Who is the enlightened one? The enlightened one realizes my spouseís heart is more important than I am. Without my spouse, I cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the crux of the Divine Principle.
Five attributes of a husbandís love are interest, responsibility, understanding, respect, and giving first. Dear brothers, it is very important that we check ourselves regularly in these areas in relationship to your wife.
(1) Pay attention.
The fact that you wake up in the morning is a miracle. Everyday should be looked upon as a gift from God. Look at each otherís eyes. If they are bloodshot, then this may indicate some medical problem. Donít hesitate to seek professional care. If necessary, take her to the doctor or even the hospital. We should help each other. If your husband is ill, then the wife must bear some responsibility. After all, there mustíve been some sign or indication before the actual sickness appeared. If you donít love your husband/wife to this degree, you cannot possibly prepare the conditions for your eternal life.
Our spouse is so precious. Check his/her eyes for health. The eyes are the window to the condition of the body, mind, and heart. If there is no love, always check the eyes. If the husband/wife doesnít want to look at you, then something may be wrong. It is our original mind trying to tell us something. Paying attention to our spouseís every gesture, act, and word is a habit of love that we all need to develop. It doesnít cost us a penny but can generate an invaluable return investment.
(2) Love means to take responsibility.
We should take responsibility for our mission/jobs. The perfection of our character comes through a life of faith. The goal of a life of faith is to perfect our character and to take responsibility for our family and job. The worst character trait for a person is to be irresponsible. Husbands should work hard in their missions/jobs and offer everything up to Heavenly Father, but we must also take care of our families. Husbands must learn how to proportion each day so both family and mission receive your full ability, talents, and love.
(3) Love comes from understanding.
Even a small misunderstanding has the potential to separate the husband and wife. How can we increase understanding? Dialogue and communication. Don't chastise or judge your spouse. Instead, take time and report to each other. At the end of the day tell each other everything. Your spouse is your best friend. Understanding entails forgiveness. This is why the messiah comes. Without forgiveness, you are not husband and wife, but just "companions." Your spouse is not just a roommate. She is your personal channel to eternal life. If there is no forgiveness, then we may miss the possibility to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
(4) Love comes from respect.
The critical factor is language. We must train ourselves to use beautiful words. One simple word spoken in haste or insensitivity can destroy a relationship and lead to separation and even divorce. Words can be very powerful. If wrongly used itís like being kicked in the stomach. Be thoughtful and charitable toward one another in word and deed.
(5) Love is giving, not receiving.
Those who only want to receive are failures. Husbands have a tendency to act as boys, always wanting to receive more love, but originally, man was to give love. If you give, then forget about it, then sooner or later, it will be returned to you many times over.
Itís now time for the test. Letís test each other. Wives, please grade your husband: 20 points for attention, 20 points for responsibility, 20 points for understanding, 20 points for respect, and 20 points for love. 70 points are needed to pass this test.
On a more practical level, there are three categories to pay particular attention to:
(1) clothing. I suggest you buy at least four outfits per year for your wife. The marriage vow you made to your spouseís parents was to clothe and feed their daughter. How many shoes did your parents-in-law provide before you married their daughter? So if youíve been married 17 years, then you shouldíve bought her 68 outfits!
You must learn how to praise your wife and any new clothing. For example, "Honey, that color really suits you, in fact, it makes you look slimmer!" Husbands, donít take your wifeís clothing and her appearance for granted. Compliment her. "Sweetheart, you look beautiful today."
(2) Food. Brothers, you should take your wife out to dinner frequently. And at the end of the day, never, never forget to ask if she had lunch. This shows that youíve thought about her during the day and that youíre concerned about her well-being and health. Going out to dinner gives her a break from her daily routine and makes her feel special. It also gives the two of you some quality time away from the constant demands of the children.
(3) Bedtime manners. Everyday be able to say "good night" and "good morning" with a clear conscience. Whatever differences or spats you mayíve had during the day, try to resolve everything before you go to sleep. If you canít say good night to her face and kiss her because of some internal friction or misunderstanding, then you have a problem that is unresolved. It should be dealt with as forthrightly and as quickly as possible, otherwise it will fester and almost certainly carry over to the next day. Sooner or later, it will come out in another emotion.
The Blessed wife
(1) Set up order among the children and establish the family norm. The tradition in Asia is for the wife and children to welcome the husband with a bow each night. In the West, of course, the culture is different, but wives should find some means to imitate the spirit behind that gesture. The husband has worked hard in the job/mission and deserves to be welcomed home.
In Korea, we call the mother, "educator." The mother is the primary influence for children to learn how to walk, language, dialect, and mannerisms. Children must learn how to act properly and follow heavenly tradition.
(2) Smile. By looking at the wifeís face you can know if the family is happy with a good future or gloomy. In Seoul, there are more than 5,000 divorces per day. Wives should be diligent and do service activities for the family and, if possible, serve the community. There are many ways that the wife can be involved in community activities.
(3) Have good relations with neighbors. Praise people. Those who are successful figured out how to praise others. Are you a success or a failure? As a personal example, I had two aunts when I was growing up. When I was only 8 years old, I made a decision not to spend time with one of them. One of my aunts would always praise me, while the other aunt always criticized me. She said my head was shaped like a potato! The other aunt said that I would grow up to be a famous military general! The same head but with two distinct futures, so naturally I found ways to avoid the aunt who criticized me. Learn how to praise and be positive and you will be successful and more likely to be appreciated by others.
The final judgment will come from your children. When they grow up and are old enough to receive the Blessing, the test will be if the son says he doesnít want the Blessing for fear of receiving a wife like you, then that means you failed as a mother. But if he says, "yes, I want to be Blessed and want a wife like you," then that means you have had a successful marriage. This is one reason why True Parents encourage children to come to Jardim and learn how valuable their parents are. The entire family should be educated together. "The ideal family," says Father, "is three generations (grandparents, parents, and children)."
Letís test the wife. Husband can grade using the following criteria: 30 points whether she successfully can establish order, 30 points for smiling, 30 points if she builds good community relations, and add 10 bonus points per child. Father gave an award to those with more than seven children.
These are my thoughts on this topic. I hope they may be of use to you and your families. Please donít take every word as literal truth, but understand the spirit behind it. Some of the ideas come from my own culture and customs, and do not necessarily translate precisely, but the bottom line truth is that men and women Blessed by our True Parents are more precious than we realize, and that we have to take steps to guard and nourish our blessings. God bless you.
Bill and Donna Selig were blessed at MSG. They live in Rockville, MD with their 12 year old daughter, Hannah.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents