Unification News for November 2000

Enriching Our Marriage

Chris Antal

On Saturday, October 16 my wife and I joined a Marriage and Family Enrichment Seminar at Unification Theological Seminary. As an international, inter-racial couple, we recognize the special challenges we face on our path to building a strong marriage and mutually fulfilling relationship. We speak different languages: she speaks Japanese with broken English and I speak English with (very) broken Japanese; we have different cultures and different preferences. Recently God blessed us with a beautiful son and we realize more than ever that husband and wife must have excellent communication skills to make a successful family. Although we rarely fight or argue, we both know our relationship could be better, so we attended the seminar.

Dr. and Mrs. Seidel hosted the seminar. Dr. Seidel teaches graduate courses on Marriage and Family. The couple together operates Life Enrichment Enterprises, which sponsors many events to develop and strengthen individuals and families. They are also proud parents of a teenage son and daughter: Both are now attending college and their son recently participated in the marriage blessing. Thus their seminars come on a foundation of personal experience, which is evident in the program.

The seminar lasted a full day. There were presentations, discussions as a group, and some time for couples to go off together and practice various lessons and activities. We received a lot of important content, but I wish the seminar could have been longer.

One important lesson I learned from the Seidels was that our marriage is our most important mission. If we build a successful marriage, then every other mission we undertake will benefit. Another practical lesson I learned was about communication: a husband and wife must communicate feelings and needs. We must get away from expressing only thoughts and opinions, which tend to cause conflict, and consciously communicate this more internal dimension of heart.

Although Unificationist couples are blessed, we are not perfect. However good our marriage is, our relationship with our spouse can always get better. Our responsibility to True Parents is to realize the maximum potential of the blessing. Form my experience, the Marriage and Family Enrichment Seminar is one way to help realize that potential. The Seidels will be offering the next seminar on February 24. More details will be announced in an upcoming Unification News.

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