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L. Walsh: Address to International Leadership Conference 2018

Address to International Leadership Conference 2018, Seoul, Korea, February 18-22, 2018

Ms. McLackland has explained UPF’s World Peace Blessing ceremonies. Some may say this is just an ideal. Yes, it is the ideal, and we all fall short. To be honest, if I knew now about making a marriage work when I first got married, my husband would have a lot more hair on his head!

Also some people feel uncomfortable when we talk of the ideal of a married mother and father raising their children. Some say, “Maybe we should not talk about the ideal, then.” Yes, we need to appreciate the heroic job and real love that single parents give their children. Many succeed.

But, the research is so clear that the challenges single parents face increase the risk of poverty for the women and children. Children of single parents are five times more likely to live in poverty and have an increased risk of dropping out of school, emotional and behavioral problems, and alcohol and drug use. Global studies from Dr. Brad Wilcox show that single parenthood increases the rates of stunted growth and child mortality.

The other reality is that mothers and fathers have different strengths as parents. Research affirms that children raised by their mother and father do better on many levels. Girls raised without a father experience more depression, poor self-esteem, and earlier sexual activity.

Commitment made in marriage makes a difference. Cohabiting couples break up twice as often as do married couples, leaving children in greater instability and emotional upheaval. Furthermore, without marital commitment, it is very difficult to find the emotional safety and security needed to trust and live for the sake of the other. Without this emotional security, it is difficult to build and share genuine love.

So, how did we get off track, and how do we get back on track?

Let me ask, “Did you ever try to use a gadget while not knowing what is for?” Can we use something if we do not know its purpose? Do we just make up the identity and purpose based on what we want it to be? I think in a confused, self-centered world, this is how many are treating our identity, sex, marriage and the family.

Our Creator knows the purpose of sex, marriage, family and the principles that we need to follow create true love. All religions see marriage as having a divine purpose. No matter if you are religious or an atheist, you cannot be successful when denying natural laws.

We need to reclaim God’s purpose and principles as our own. I would say that this is what large World Peace Blessings are doing. Are they radical? I would say that what is radical is understanding God’s ideal and purpose for sex, marriage and family. What he wants to give us is so much more than what we can even imagine. Yes, we need character and relationship education centered on God’s principles, and we need serious study of Scripture and spiritual disciplines. Thank you, religious leaders. We need laws to protect and promote the family, dear political leaders.

God wants to dwell in us through the family. The holiest place is our sexual relationship, where the divine masculinity and femininity, of husband and wife, are spiritually and physically joined in self-giving. It is within the family that human interdependence is best modelled. The stable family ensures the optimal human and societal development and leads to mutual prosperity for all.



To go to the International Leadership Conference Schedule 2018, click here.