Christian pastor Rick Warren wrote, “Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took 40 days.” Your purpose is perfection. In the Divine Principle, the fulfillment of 40 accomplishes this purpose. The number 40 combines 10, which signifies unity and oneness in the direct dominion of God, with 4, the completion of the four-position foundation. A period of 40 days represents, sacramentally, completing your growing period and realizing the purpose of creation.
“A period of 40 days leads to a new beginning.”
Adam and Eve were to obey the Commandment in preparation for conjugal life, and we too have a challenging path. True Father counsels, “in order to be victorious on this difficult road, you should absolutely refrain from a man-woman relationship and from talking or thinking about it until you complete the indemnity period.”
The 40-day flood was a period of separation from the fallen world and, according to rabbinic tradition, of sexual abstinence for Noah’s family. It led to a new Garden of Eden. Moses fasted for 40 days. It led to the Ten Commandments. Jonah preached to Ninevah for 40 days, and it led to the city’s deliverance. Jesus fasted for 40 days, and it led to the beginning of his ministry. The resurrected Jesus ministered for 40 days, and it led to the advent of the Holy Spirit and creation of the church.
The 40 days is a vertical offering, a foundation with God. Make the most of it. Offer time to God each day. Read Holy Scriptures about marriage and spiritual discipline. Attend a couples’ workshop. Focus on forgiveness, purity, simplicity. Pray about facing temptations, especially sexual temptations. Meet with your pastor or mentor couple. Warren suggests keeping a journal: “a journey deserves a journal.”
For 40 years, the Israelites followed the pillars of fire and cloud, signifying Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This teaches that the Father and Mother God guide your marriage, even when you are wandering in a waterless desert. The Lord may visit trials and temptations, but by obedience to the Commandment you will fulfill your purpose.
“Let the Father and Mother God guide your marriage.”
Research shows that new habits require two to eight months to establish. It takes time to reach perfection. This 40-day period is the foundation of faith. Your blessed marriage is the foundation of substance. The Promised Land is in sight.
(References: The Purpose-Driven Life: What On Earth Am I Here For? p. 10; Exposition of Divine Principle p. 200, 297-98; Blessing and Ideal Family 1993 p. 323; The Purpose-Driven Life Journal, Preface; Exposition of Divine Principle p. 243. To prepare for and succeed in your 40 days, I recommend a contemporary book on spiritual discipline, Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster, as well as our Pure Mind Online ministry, at http://puremind.online/.)