Unification News for June 1998
Reward And Punishment In The Family??!!
by Cecilia Cullen-NYC
When we speak of blessed families, what comes to our mind?
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the Three Blessings. Knowing that Adam and Eve were at the growth stage, God gave them the commandment of ‘not eating the fruit’. This shows that Adam and Eve had a responsibility to fulfill before receiving the Blessings.
We are taught that man, due to fall, became ignorant of God and of His heart. But what really happened at the fall that caused this ignorance?
"The basic motivation that thus caused the original nature of the fall lay in the jealousy the archangel felt toward Adam." (p.90, Divine Principle, 1977)
The Divine Principle teaches us to seek to overcome both the internal and external ignorance of man and offer him internal and external knowledge. That knowledge is our shield and armor to eliminate the contradiction within ourselves being receptive to both good and evil.
In plain simple term, blessed family means three things combined: knowledge, responsibility and blessing.
The Heavenly Law and Us
There is a saying that obedience to Heavenly Laws will ‘make’ us and keep us on our way to reach our goal of heavenly peace and happiness. Opposite to that, disobey the Heavenly Laws and they will ‘break’ us. Therefore, ‘punishment’ comes as a result of disobedience. It is not something to be given or imposed upon. It is more of a consequence, an end result, rather than being given.
Take the case of True Father when he was in Hung Nam Prison. There was a man who was robbing others of their share of food. Everyone knowing about it thought that True Father would ‘punish’ him. Contrary to their thinking, True Father gave the thief more and more food until his heart gave in to guilt feelings.
Analyzing the strategy, True Father did not ‘punish’ him. On the other hand, the thief received his own share of the law-the feeling of guilt for stealing the food.
In the Old Testament Era, people received the ‘fair’ treatment with ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’. Why? It is because the foundation to receive the Messiah was still being set up. Perhaps we may call that time the ‘dark ages’. Even during Jesus’ time, the concept of an eye for an eye was dramatically changed by Jesus with the introduction of the "Golden Rule". At this time that the Messiah is declared the True Parent of Mankind and the Completed Testament Era has been established, the Golden Rule was expounded. Today, it is the True Love concept that we follow. True Father speaks about True Love, True Parents and True Children.
True Love, True Parents?
What is True Love? In the speech "True Family and True Universe Centering on True Love", True Father mentioned that the center of all loves is God’s True Love. This True Love exists in the family when the family becomes one body, that is, parents and children become one, husband and wife become one, and brothers and sisters become one. Therefore, the unity of the whole family centering on God is God’s True Love expressed.
Then, what is the ideal family or a united family centering on God’s True Love? It is a family where true parents teach children of filial piety to sacrifice their family by following the way of a loyal citizen in service to the nation, and to sacrifice the nation to fulfill the way of saints in service to the world. And then, parents teach their children to sacrifice the world in service to Heaven and Earth, and to sacrifice Heaven and Earth to come to God.
But who are true parents? Those who live more for the sake of their children are true parents.
But how do we live for the sake of our children? If a child is behaving badly, teach him/her through True Love. Remember, True Father gave as much food as he can to the thief in prison. He practically showed love and not punishment. The thief was ‘drowned’ with the love of True Father that his conscience started bothering him and ended up in him voluntarily confessing his wrong action. We may notice the constancy of the use of True Love by our model parent, True Father.
Reward for good actions of our children? We were created to enjoy the love of God and return the same to Him. Therefore, our ultimate goal, in this fallen world, is to return to the bosom of God, our Eternal Parent and enjoy His Love. Is that a reward or the main goal as we get out of our fallen condition?
Heavenly Kingdom is where we belong. That is not a reward for doing good, rather, it is our ultimate goal, our destiny. We live to achieve this goal. So, how do we teach children through True Love?
Children of Filial Piety
Now, let us look at what is happening in actual life among blessed families. In analyzing the punishment and reward system, what kind of children are we raising up? The role of parents is such a tremendous job that we need to go deeper to understand True Parents’ heart. It is not simply a matter of punishment and reward. It is True Parents’ heart that matters.
Remember that the basic motivation that caused the original nature of the fall was jealousy. Therefore, will I let my son seek for ‘fairness’ or will I teach him ‘sacrifice’ and True Love? Will I let my son impose ‘justice’ or will I teach him to ‘become a child of filial piety’.
In the fallen world, parents teach and practice ‘justice’ and ‘fairness’. But, what is just and fair might not be the case with our Eternal Parent. Remember the killing of an Egyptian by Moses? For the Israelites, Moses’ action was murder. For God, it was ‘just’ and needed for the restoration process.
Another example is the Biblical story about the Parable of the Vineyard Worker. He came late in the day, and yet, he was given same wage as those who started earlier. For Jesus, this example is a heavenly decision. But one might say, this is not ‘fair’ and ‘just’, as did the people in Jesus’ time.
Raising children is more than what meets the eye. Deduce from the previous discourse, we have to always put into practice, or at least, strive to put into practice the teachings of our True Parents. Besides, who are our model parents? Only our True Parents and Heavenly Father! Let us pause for a moment. How does True Father ‘scolds’ us? How does he ‘enjoy’ any work one has done?
True Parents as Role Model
We say we are one big family. True Parents sacrificed his own family (Abel-type) to embrace his Cain-type children-us! This is an example of filial piety. But how do we return True Parents’ love to our Abely-type brothers and sisters? We should embrace them! Our care, our devotion, must be there no matter what. Is not this what True Parents are doing to us in the first place? We are considered filthy before God’s eyes due to the fall. But True Parents show filial piety by caring for us even before his very own physical family. True Parents love all of us very much, no doubt!
If we know how to take care of our Abel-type brothers and sisters (True Parents’ children), then we know how to teach our own children the same thing, too. Should it not be that way?
Following True Parents example, can we not show filial piety constantly? Can we not tell our elder sons and daughters to learn how to give more to the younger siblings?
Can we not teach our younger children to respect their elder brothers and sisters and listen to what they are telling them? Can children not bow their heads before each other’s presence in full respect and sincerety? Can we not enjoy each other’s presence without bickering and fighting? Can a mother ask a son to run for an errand quickly without any incentive given? Can the family be one in love and real harmony? Can we not teach our children the word ‘true sacrifice’ so we can leave them with a piece of cake without thinking of any kind of trouble to ensue? Can one serve the other sincerely and vice versa without expecting anything in return? Can the elder take care of the younger and the younger love the elder?
Therefore, can we make a clear distinction (in appearance, speech, character, wisdom and knowledge) between a Blessed Child and a child of this fallen world, in how he/she lives? Can we take this kind of challenge as a Blessed Family? Can we truly say, "Father, here is my son, your son, in living and in truth?
When we speak of blessed family, what comes to our mind? Filial Piety!!!
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