The True Meaning of Marriage

International and intercultural marriages are the quickest way to bring about an ideal world of peace. Things that would take longer than can even be calculated can be accomplished like miracles through these types of marriages in just two or three generations. People should marry across national and cultural boundaries with people from countries they consider to be their enemies so that the world of peace can come that much more quickly. A person may hate people from a certain country or culture and think they never even want to set eyes on them. But if someone from that country becomes their husband, or their wife, then the person is halfway to becoming a person of that country. All the hatred melts away. If this is repeated for two or three generations, the roots of hatred can be completely eliminated.

I am not just referring to marriages across international boundaries. Marrying with people from other religions or denominations is just as important. In fact, marriages between people of different religions are even more difficult than international marriages. Even if two religious groups have been fighting each other for centuries, it is possible to bring

harmony between them by having their followers marry each other. In such a marriage, one spouse will not close himself off from the other just because she was raised in a different tradition. White and black people will marry each other, Japanese will marry Koreans and people from Africa. Millions and tens of millions have entered into such international and intercultural marriages already. A completely new lineage is being created as a result. A new kind of human being that transcends white, black and yellow is being born.

It is most important to teach young people about the sanctity and value of marriage. Korea today has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Not to have children is dangerous. There is no future for a country that has no descendants. I teach young people that they should remain sexually pure during their youth, receive the marriage blessing, and then have at least three children. Children are blessings given to us by God. When we bear children and raise them, we are raising citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. So it is a great sin for people to spend their youth in immorality and aborting any fetuses that may be created during this period.

We marry not for ourselves but for the sake of our partners. When looking for a spouse, it is wrong to look only for the person living well, or a beautiful person. Human beings must live for the sake of another. We should apply this principle to marriage, too. No matter how uneducated or homely your prospective spouse may be, you should marry with a heart that you will love him or her even more than if the spouse were the most beautiful person. God's love is the most precious of all blessings. In marriage, we receive that blessing of love, and put it into practice in our own lives. We must understand this precious meaning of marriage,

As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen conduct our lives in marriage in the context of true love, and bring about true families.

World peace is not such a huge undertaking. It takes peaceful families to create peaceful societies and to eliminate conflict among countries. This will lead to world peace. This shows the importance of families that are intact and the immense responsibility that families must bear. The

thinking that says "It's enough that I live well and that my family live

well" is completely alien to me. Marriage is not something that involves just the bride and groom.

Marriage creates a relationship between two families, and it brings reconciliation between two clans and two countries. Each accepts the other's different culture and the two overcome the resentment and hatred that has built up through history and become one. When a Korean and Japanese marry, it contributes to reconciliation between the two countries, and when a White and Black person marry, it contributes to reconciliation between the two races. The children of such marriages represent harmony, because they inherit the lineage of two races. They represent a new beginning for humanity that transcends white and black races. When this has continued for a few generations, the division and hostility between nations and races will disappear, and humankind will become one family capable of building a world of peace.

In recent years, more and more Koreans are marrying foreigners, and we see more and more families composed of people with different nationalities and religions. Koreans even have a phrase for it now: "multicultural families." It is not easy for a man and woman who have been raised in different cultures to create a family and live with love for each other. Particularly in Korea, which has traditionally had a

homogeneous culture, the partners in such marriages need to make extra

effort to understand each other and care for each other. The reason our members who enter into international and intercultural marriages are able to be successful in their marriages is that they are brought together

centering on God.

Various social welfare groups in Korea try to encourage the success of

multicultural families by operating programs that teach Korean language and culture. Such efforts will be useless, however, unless our concept of marriage changes. "Why did I marry this man? If I hadn't married this man, I would have had a better life." For a spouse who is thinking such thoughts, marriage will be hell. Coming to a correct understanding of marriage is more important than learning Korean language and culture.

Marriage is not a simple matter of a man and woman of marriageable age coming together and combining their two lives. Marriage is something built on the basis of sacrifice. The man must live for the sake of the woman, and the woman for the sake of the man. Until your selfish mind disappears completely, you must continue to live for the sake of your spouse. The heart that seeks to sacrifice this way is love. Love is not a man and woman meeting each other and having a good time. Love is to oner up your life. If you marry, you must do so based of a determination that you will offer up your life to your spouse.