Building A Principled Family Life - A Study in Seven Sessions for Small Groups - Henri Schauffler
If you could have ___________ (one of your children) grow up to become any sort of person, what would you most want them to become? Why?
Describe your experience with the goal you set from our last meeting. Did you come closer to God through pursuing it? How?
Moses said to them: “Lay to heart all the words which I
enjoin upon you this day, that you may command them to your children,
that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. It is no
trifle for you, but it is your life, and thereby you shall live long
in the land which you are going over the Jordan to
(Deuteronomy 32: 44–47)
Parents are the primary source of love for children. The
parent-child relationship is vertical, and the husband-wife
relationship is horizontal. The lines of these two relationships
should cross at right angles. The relationship among siblings forms a
third dimension, a front-to-back axis. In the God-centered family,
vertical and horizontal loves are united as one.
(Rev. Sun Myung Moon, November 20, 1999)
Centering on true love, we can reach oneness between parent and child, between husband and wife, and between brothers and sisters. A parent becomes the owner or master of love through his child. A husband becomes the owner of love through his wife. An elder child becomes the owner of love through his younger brothers and sisters.
In order to develop a loving character, we must serve and honor
our parents, our brothers and sisters, and our spouse. By doing so,
we will attain mind-body unity as individuals, fraternal unity as
brother and sister, and conjugal unity as husband and wife.
(Rev. Sun Myung Moon, November 20, 1999)
The love of parents is the basis for children's pride and
happiness. They would wish to be born through the total and
harmonious unity of their parents in true love, and they would wish
to be raised in that kind of love. The most precious responsibility
of parents is not only to rear their children externally, but also to
offer them life elements of true love that can perfect their
(Rev. Sun Myung Moon, April 16, 1996)
God is in a parental relationship to His children. As a parent, He
invests and forgets. If you want to secure a love relationship
between God, yourself, and your spouse, you can offer true love to
God. There is only one way to reach God: through the practice of true
love. The practice of true love means investing yourselves over and
over again, whole-heartedly.
(Rev. Sun Myung Moon, November 19, 1998)
In the 1950s in the United States, the average child watched little or no TV, and what he did see on television was stable, two-parent families who generally interacted with respect. Today, the average child watches seven hours of television per day. By the end of grade school, he’s seen over eight thousand murders and one hundred thousand acts of violence, as well as ten thousand alluded to sexual acts and hundreds of thousands of discussions and jokes about sexuality. During this time he’s spent an average of five minutes a day with his father and twenty minutes with his mother, and most of that time was spent either eating or watching TV!
Just think about it: seven hours of TV a day and five minutes with Dad. Unbelievable!
Do you know how a child spells “Love”?
(Steven Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families)
Our reading from the Bible says that a child’s primary source of values and traditions comes from his parents. In your childhood, or in your family now, how have you seen this to be true?
In the readings, Rev. Moon says, “God is in a parental relationship with His children.” This suggests that one of the key purposes of life might be to have and raise children, in order to resemble God. What do you think of this?
The readings mention frequently that the harmonious relationship between husband and wife is the necessary foundation for a good relationship with children.
1. In your childhood, did you grow up in such an environment? Explain.
2. Remember a time when you saw this dynamic take place in your family, either with your parents or now, with your children. Describe how you have seen this dynamic of parents’ unity positively affect children firsthand.
From the readings, several ideas are suggested as to what a “true parent” is. From the readings, and from your own experience, list some of the attributes of a true parent. Explain.
Consider the reading from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families
1. What does this say about modern culture’s effect on families?
2. How can we as parents counteract some of these influences?
3. Remember a time when one of your parents spent quality time with you, or when you spent quality time with one of your children.
* ACTION STEP:
Choose one of your children with whom you want to improve your relationship (__________________________). From our study tonight, choose one thing you will do to improve that relationship. _______________________________________________