The family is the only institution created by God. It is the school of love where people can learn how to love each other and live together in peace, and it is the training center where we practice how to build a palace of peace in the world. It is where we learn how to become a husband or wife who will live for the sake of our spouse and how to become a husband and wife that will travel on the eternal path of love. The family is the base camp for world peace, and it must be that the children will say, "We have never seen our mother and father fight."
We come up against all sorts of things in life. Even the most loving couple can have times when they may bicker with each other, become angry and raise their voices. When the children come into the room, however, it all must stop immediately. No matter how angry a spouse may be, he must relate to his spouse in peace when the children are present. The children must grow up thinking that their family is filled with joy and that their parents always love each other.
Parents are like a second God to their children. If you ask your young children, "Who do you like better — God or Mommy and Daddy?" and they say they like mom and dad better, then that means that they also like God. The most precious education takes place in the family. You won't find happiness and peace in some other place. The family is intended to be the Kingdom of Heaven. It would not matter if a person possessed incredible wealth and fame, or even possessed the whole world. If all is not right with that person's family, then he cannot be happy. The Kingdom of Heaven begins in the family. If a husband and wife are bound together in true love and they build an ideal family, this will connect directly with the world.
I saw something interesting when I was in Danbury prison. We were using a bulldozer to level a slope and make a tennis court. When it rained, we would wait for it to stop, and start up again when the sun came out. This process of starting and stopping went on for months. We had a stretch of rain for one period, and we couldn't work for 20 consecutive days. When the rain cleared and we went out start the work again, we found that some kind of water fowl had created a nest where there were some water weeds. It was a place not more than a few meters from where the prisoners would walk for exercise.
At first, we didn't even realize that the birds were there. Their camouflage was so perfect that the bird's feathers could easily be mistaken for the water weeds. Once the bird laid its eggs, though, we could see that there was a bird in among the grass. The bird was sitting on some eggs that looked like pieces of black gravel. Once the chicks hatched, the mother would go find some food, bring it back to the nest and put it in the beaks of the chicks. When the mother was returning to the nest with food, however, she never flew directly to the nest. She would land a little ways away from the nest, and then walk the rest of the way. Each time, she approached the nest from a different direction. This was her wisdom to make it more difficult for others to find out the location of the nest where the chicks were.
The chicks ate the food that their mother brought them, and grew larger. Sometimes, when a prisoner would walk near the nest, the mother would fly out and chase him away with her sharp beak. She was afraid the prisoner might harm her chicks.
The water bird understood the true love of parents. True love is willing to give up its own life, and there is no calculation there. The heart of the bird that was willing to sacrifice its life, if necessary, to protect its offspring was true love. Parents go the path of love, no matter how difficult it becomes. A parent is prepared, if needed, to bury their life for the sake of love, and this is true love.
The essence of love is to cast aside any thought of having others live for one's self and to live for the sake of others and give for the whole. Love gives, but then forgets even the fact that it has given and continues to give without ceasing. This is a love that gives in joy. It is the heart that a mother feels when she takes her infant in her arms and lets it feed from her breast.
A parent will suffer for their child until it seems their bones are going to melt away, yet never feel that the work is difficult That is how much they love their children. True love begins with God and comes to us from God. So when the parents say to their children, "When you like each other, it is because of the grace of your parents," the children must be able to respond, "If you had not found such a spouse for me, I don't know what I would have done."
The family is a bundle of love. When we go to the Kingdom of Heaven unpack that bundle, a wonderful father and mother will jump out. Beautiful children will jump out A benevolent grandfather and grandmother will jump out This is the bundle of love. The family is the space in which God's ideal is realized and the place where we can see the completion of God's work. God's will is to bring about a world in which' l0VC is made real, and the family is the place where God's love overflows We only need to hear the word family" for us to begin smiling. This is because the family is overflowing with true love that truly lives for my sake. True love gives love, and then forgets even the fact that it gave. The love that has parents living for their children and grandparents for the grand children is true love. The love that lets a person give up his or her life for the country is true love.