Comments from Around the Country
Matching the Second Generation
|From Laura Taylor Hayashi - Hialeah FL March
Many thanks for your DC ministry long needed. I am sure part of
the reason fewer and fewer of us "old timers" are responding in ways of
donation, etc. has to do with various needs which community traditionally
offers, but ours does not at this point offer. With a heart for God
& siblings - it has always seemed to me not that difficult, and quite
rewarding, personally and
Regarding the matching of our own kids...
We have home schooled for the past 8 years, and it has it's rewards. It seems to me the mandate is to build a family, a unity, for God ( and of course, man). In exploring this tool, we fellowship with committed and often fundamental Christians. Most in my support group are pastors' wives, which is both positive and challenging.
These people have taught me a lot about sincerity, investment in one's marriage and children. Many of these are what I would deem "professional parents." Many are also. unfortunately, rather narrow minded religiously which has led to some distance with some, as it is hard for them to understand how I really love Jesus and Rev. & Mrs. Moon too. Yet, we have still felt called to continue and inherit the good which is possible, and testify through our life in our support group.
In these circles, the concept of courtship is well developed. I highly recommend "Why I kissed dating Goodbye" by Josh Harris. I have heard his sequel books are also quite good. This is not "just say no", but rather defining what we are saying yes to. And helping our growing children assume responsibility for themselves, with our guidance and cooperation.
It seems group reading of such resources might facilitate your group there. There would be something around which to comment. How does this fit our new mode? What is different? Which points are personally elective, and which are Biblical and God inspired?
We have introduced courtship as our pattern here, because I knew Father was going this way of parental matching. We also have emphasized matching, but the courtship model offers participation, getting to know the potential beloved in a friendly atmosphere, extended authority of the parent (see Jethro's continued guidance to Mosses) and a way out without undue embarrassment and /or shame. None of our kids are anywhere ready, but it seems right to prepare early.
The model I envisioned has included early preparation. Remember the Hope Chest? Well, we need to put spiritual objects in it as well as physical ones. In the old days, it was very important to gather quilts and other household good, as often they might not be available at the time of marriage. For us, these things may be given, bought, made as remembrances of spiritual victories and things of our spirit which are being laid up as a wedding gift for the future beloved. For example, a child and parent need to think what do I need to be able to give to a spouse? Perhaps honesty. My eldest recently made an honest mistake on a running time for the President's Physical Fitness Challenge. To correct this meant that he would not receive the prestigious President's award, but only the National level award. He chose to correct the mistake, even when his coach offered him the chance to keep his original time. This is a spiritual victory. We might award him with a special time piece for his "hope chest."
Then we also must think, what will my mission be? Many cannot
know, of course. Often, however, there are certain things which are
really part of our God given nature. For example, a real animal lover
who loves to cuddle all kinds of critters may not really be able to work
things out with an avid hunter. These are externals, but when we
offer our character and
What do I need from a spouse? Another important question. Often our children will get surprisingly internal, and come up with things we might not choose. A good learning tool for us to help them.
One model which seems good to us involves a boy (or girl) who feels prepared to marry speaks with his parents. Then either partner, parent or child, can search and decide if such a person is suitable and then the parents of the intended one can be contacted. If it is well received, they can begin socializing within the family of the other.
Another incredible reading is in "Emile" by Rousseau. The part on The Courtship of Emile moved me to tears! So pure and full of the hope of youth.
Of course, approvals, workshop qualifications, etc. are all part of this, naturally. But we seem quite weak in the individual responsibility part, as our virtue has been in simple obedience up to now.
So here are some thoughts on this subject.
You may note the review of a book, "Wing to Wing, Oar to Oar" I read which may be helpful. It is written by a lovely couple who teach at University of Chicago, and explore classic literature for models of "True, Lasting Love" as well as great touchstones for discussion. See review.
all the best,
"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." -Les Brown