Cheon Seong Gyeong 2135
Consequently, we cannot reject the idea of becoming true children, spouses, and parents. Doing so would be to violate a fundamental principle of the universe, thus destroying our own existence. Hence, each of us must participate in building a true family consisting of true parents, spouses, and children, which is the model for the ideal existence.
People need to fully experience true parental love, true conjugal love, and true filial love in their families. Money, knowledge, power, or physical force cannot perfect such human relationships; only God’s true love, which balances everything, can do this.
Cheon Seong Gyeong 1113
Humankind must participate in the great undertaking of God’s creation. Even if human beings had not fallen, there would still have been such a responsibility. The human portion of responsibility was not established due to the Fall. Whether the Fall occurred or not, people would still have responsibility. Even if ninety-five percent of God’s ideal of creation, through which we can perfect ourselves as human beings, was prepared, we would still have to fulfill our five percent portion of responsibility. God does not make an individual perfect. We must additionally fulfill our own portion of responsibility to achieve perfection. This would hold true even if humankind had not fallen. (115-65, 1981.11.4)
THE BASIC FORM OF LIFE
Ethics of Married Life
3. The Good and the Bad in Husbands and Wives
A good wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She is like the ships of the merchant,
she brings her food from afar.
She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and tasks for her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
She girds her loins with strength
and makes her arms strong.
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle…
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her,
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
Socrates’ wife Xanthippe would first abuse him and then throw water at him. He once joked, “Did I not say that Xanthippe was thundering now, and would soon rain?” When Alcibiades said to him, “The abusive temper of Xanthippe is intolerable,” he replied, “But I am used to it, just as I should be if I were always hearing the noise of a pulley, and you yourself endure to hear geese cackling.” To which Alcibiades answered, “Yes, but they bring me eggs and goslings.” “Well,” rejoined Socrates, “and Xanthippe brings me children.” Once, she attacked him in the market-place and tore his cloak off; his friends advised him to fight her off with his hands. “Yes?” said he, “And while we are boxing, you may all cry out, ‘Well done, Socrates! Well done, Xanthippe!’?” Socrates used to say, “A man ought to live with a restive woman. A horseman who can handle violent-tempered horses is easily able to handle all the others. Likewise, after handling Xanthippe, I can live easily with anyone.”
Sujata, the young wife of an eldest son of a rich merchant, Anathapindika, was arrogant, did not respect others and did not listen to the instruction of her husband and his parents. Consequently, some discord arose in the family. One day the Blessed One came to visit Anathapindika and noticed this state of affairs. He called the young wife, Sujata, to Him and spoke to her kindly, saying, “Sujata, there are seven types of wives:
A wife who is pitiless, corrupt in mind,
Neglecting husband and unamiable,
Inflamed by other men, a prostitute bent on murder,
Call that wife a slayer!
A wife who would rob her husband of his gains—
Though little be the profit that he makes,
Whether by craftsmanship, or from his trade, or by the plough—
Call that wife a robber!
The slothful glutton, bent on doing nothing,
A gossip and a shrew with strident voice,
Who brings to low account her husband’s zeal and industry—
Call that wife a master!
Who with loving sympathy,
Just as a mother for her only son,
For husband cares, and over his stored-up wealth keeps watch and ward—
Call that wife a mother!
Who holds her husband in the same regard
As younger sister holds the elder born,
The meek in heart, who in his every wish her husband serves—
Call that wife a sister!
And she who is as glad her lord to see
As boon companions long apart to meet,
A gracious character of gentle birth, a fond helpmate—
Call that wife a friend!
If fearless of the lash and stick, unmoved,
All things enduring, calm, and pure in heart,
She bear obedience to her husband’s word, from anger free—
Call that wife a handmaid!
Now she who’s called: a mistress, slayer, thief,
Who’s harsh, immoral, lacking in respect, when death comes—
Will wander in the miseries of hell.
But mother, sister or companion, slave,
In precept long established and restrained, when death comes—
Will wander in the happy heaven world.
These, Sujata, are the seven kinds of wives a man may have; and which of them are you?” “Lord,” said Sujata, “let the Exalted One think of me as a handmaid from this day forth.”
Anguttara Nikaya 4.91, Sujata Sutta (Buddhism)
If you marry a man and you want to be certain of always retaining him, work for him. With work you will always be able to retain your hold on men. If you do your work to the satisfaction of your husband, he will never leave you. Remain faithful to your husband. Do not act as though you are married to a number of men at the same time. Lead a chaste life. If you do not listen to what I am telling you and you are unfaithful to your husband, all the men will jeer at you. They will say whatever they wish [and no one will interfere]. Do not act haughty to your husband. Whatever he tells you to do, do it. Kindness will be returned to you if you obey your husband, for he will treat you in the same manner.
A Winnebago Elder’s Instructions (Native American Religions)