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The first love we experience is the love from our parents, and the love we feel for them. This parent-child love is a vertical love, which originates in God.

The vertical love between parent and child is the foundation of all other human experiences. Father Moon calls it the axis of the universe.

A perfect parental love presupposes true parents. Parental love is self-sacrificing and unconditional and revolves around living for others. It also means that you are proud of what your child is able to achieve. Good parents want their children to accomplish more than mum and dad.

If we are able to develop an unconditional love for our children, and our fellow human beings, we can also begin to feel what God feels for us humans. The parent-child relationship is the relationship that most closely resembles the relationship between God and human beings.

When father and mother bring children into the world, they experience some of the same feelings that God did when he created the first humans. By creating a child together and raising it in parental love, a couple experiences an incredibly deep joy. Parental love strengthens marital love.

Here is how Father Moon describes parental love,

“What is the original motivation of parental love? While conjugal love is changeable, why is parental love toward the children born of that conjugal love unchanging? Parental love does not originate from conjugal love. Unchang­ing love does not originate from the horizontal conjugal relationship, but is surely related to the origin of a vertical flow. Who would such a vertical subject be? He is known as God. Vertical love is not the kind of love that a husband and wife can enjoy as they please. In the case of vertical love, it is impossible to say that you will love, when you want to, and not, when you don’t want to. It can­not be severed. It cannot be severed by man who is in the horizontal position. Thus, the love parents have toward their children never changes.” (From a speech Sun Myung Moon gave 12th Sept. 1971, quoted from the 2005 version of Cheon Seong Gyeong, a collection of extracts from Father Moon’s speeches, p 492)

“Parents want to sacrifice everything for the sake of their children. This is like God. What does this mean? God does not invest Himself for His own sake. Likewise, parents want to live for the sake of others rather than for their own sake; they want to stand in the position of God, who lives for the sake of others. If God were to say that He only exists for Himself, this would not be true love. Love, life, and hope are realized when parents sacrifice themselves complete­ly for the sake of their children and are bound together with them.” (From a speech Sun Myung Moon gave 10th Sept. 1973, quoted from the 2005 version of Cheon Seong Gyeong, a collection of extracts from Father Moon’s speeches, p 494)