Love between parents and children – vertical like love between God and us
The first love we experience is the love from our parents, and the love we feel for them. This love between parents and children is a vertical love, which originates in God.
The vertical love between parents and children 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 relationship between parents and children 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)
“If we analyze the essence of love, there is no need to revolutionize love. When parents love their children, this is part of true love. This is why the heart with which people loved their children from the time of the first ancestors, is the same heart with which we descendants several millennia later love our own children.
Moreover, the heart with which our descendants several millennia later will love their children, will also be the same. Love is eternal. True love is something pure that does not need to be revolutionized.” (From a speech Father Moon gave 14th May 1967, quoted from the 2005 version of Cheon Seong Gyeong, a collection of extracts from Father Moon’s speeches, p 493)
“Parents and Children” is part of the Family Values section