The family is the school of heart. It is the environment in which each person learns to live for the higher purpose, to love those who are not like ourselves. John Ortberg wrote, “everyone is normal, until you get to know them,” and the family is where one gets to know everything. Thus, family life is the path toward individual maturity and completion.
Paul made responsible family life the condition for public leadership.
In First Timothy, the apostle Paul linked family life to godliness. He wrote, “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Paul made responsible family life the condition for public leadership. The qualification to be a bishop was not a seminary education. Rather, “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” In other words, the family—not the church—is where we learn to live for others.
Christianity has viewed the family and household as the little church. Christian parents are to explain and expand upon the teachings to their children. For traditional Protestants, deacons would visit homes to help parents teach the Bible to their children and entire household. Traditional Catholics viewed celibate priests and nuns as having parental roles.
Christians knew full well that the family was the only institution God designed into the Garden. They were aware that, in True Parents’ words, “Human beings were meant to form true conjugal relationships centering upon God’s love, and to establish families, tribes, peoples, nations and a world of true love.”
So why is the world suffering? The young Sun Myung Moon, a devoted Christian, a Sunday school teacher, wrestled with heaven and earth to find the answer.
The young Sun Myung Moon discovered that Adam and Eve never formed true conjugal relationships.
He discovered that Adam and Eve never formed “true conjugal relationships centering upon God’s love.” He discovered that they case aside their purity and entered adulthood without true parental guidance. Their adultery adulterated adulthood. Their self-centeredness turned “naked and not ashamed” into “cover-up and shame.” Selfishness invaded human sexual desire and corrupted marriage and family life.
But Sun Myung Moon did not conclude, as many Christians do, that sex is sinful. He said no; the problem is not sex—it is selfishness.
And where do we learn to overcome selfishness? As children, from our parents.
(References: John Ortberg, Everyone Is Normal, Until You Get to Know Them; Mt 5:48; 1 Tim 5:8; 1 Tim 3:4-5; Rom 7:21; “Second Message of Peace.”)