Principles of Matching
By Jim and Hiromi Stephens
Copyright December, 2015
The matching candidate’s Portion of Responsibility
Requires 100% effort
It may seem like the matching candidate has very little to do in the whole process. However, their responsibility is to fulfill the First Great Blessing, i.e. full maturity and oneness with God. This will require 100% of their effort.
If a candidate is that mature, then he or she is fully ready to enter into marriage.
If not, then the other candidate is being asked to accept someone who is still immature. They, of course, have the right to decline the marriage. So it is a huge responsibility for any candidate to (a) fully prepare themselves in maturity and (b) also prepare themselves to decide whether or not to accept someone else who might have limitations.
The marriage decision is forever
This is the bottom line of the decision. Marriage is meant to be forever. Can someone 21 years old or maybe even a few years older be able to make a decision that will last for eternity?
You are never fully adult and never fully mature and responsible unless you can make an eternal commitment. Isn’t that one of the natures of God? Can you be unchanging?
Preparing for loving a spouse can begin as young as childhood. Educating yourself on every aspect of masculinity and femininity and connecting yourself with God is a vital part of fulfilling the First Great Blessing.
Probably the biggest decision you will ever have to make in your life is “Do you take this man/woman as your spouse for all eternity?”
Is your preparation enough?
Most young people don’t prepare enough. So when they get to the moment when they have to face the decision, they don’t know how to decide. Or possibly they use some criteria from the fallen world like looks or feelings.
How many years have the parents prayed for the future spouse of their child? How many years has the child prayed about making this decision and commitment? How much has the child prepared to be able to keep that commitment?
My personal testimony (Jim) is that when I heard the announcement that there was going to be a matching, I knew in my heart that I was not ready. I made a condition of 40 days of praying and studying for 40 minutes a day. When the condition was over, I felt in my heart that I was still not ready. So I repeated the condition. Near the end of the 40 days, I had a deep experience in prayer. The Divine Principle says that a husband and wife are destined to be the image of God. This was a tremendous relief for me because I did have faith in True Father’s matching already. But now I realized that whoever he matched me to would have to be someone that I could make oneness with in the image of God. Otherwise, God would be violating His own nature with a different match centered on punishing me for my sins for example. My fears were gone.
Candidate must take full responsibility
Even if the parents totally believe that one particular candidate is sent by God for their son or daughter, the full and final decision on accepting the match, full subjectivity and responsibility over accepting the match must be placed into the candidate’s portion of responsibility.
Parents cannot interfere with this decision. As much as they may desire it, they should back off. It is not their responsibility at this point.
If parents interfere in a young adult’s portion of responsibility at the very essence of the love relationship, then the young adult can never become mature and responsible. According to Divine Principle, parents cannot take over the candidate’s Portion of Responsibility. In the section about “Why God did not intervene in the Fall”, we learn that interfering would be destroying the possibility for perfection.
The best parents can do is educate and model how to make the right decision. Guide them on the God centered path so they can fulfill the ideal on their own.
Each person is unique in their preparation
Each person is totally unique and will therefore have a totally unique way of preparing for matching. Their prayers, reading, writings, and questions are all different. Help them feed their mind, heart, and will with resources uniquely fitting to their nature and character.
Books and resources can help
There are many good books on understanding ourselves and our unique strengths and weaknesses, books on what makes good relationships, books on making marriage work. Check out Appendix 1 at the end of the Matching Handbook which lists some of them. Also the website is an ever-growing resource.
When are you ready?
“Being ready for matching” is as unique as each individual. Some may be ready before their older siblings. There is no birth order requirement to being matched.
Parents can provide a really valuable service to their child with this kind of statement. “We believe that you are fully mature enough and ready to be married. And here is why .”
Parents may think it’s a good idea to want to wait until their child says, “I’m ready to be matched.” But seriously, how do they know? They have never been married.
Importance of communication around matching age
Many parents lose touch with the lives of their children who go off to college. It is really important to have regular interactions with them about their spiritual growth and thoughts about marriage.
Children need to keep up the communication with their parents centered on matching. Keep it regular and keep it private. Even prodding your parents, if necessary, is important.
How is a parent supposed to find a good prospective match if they don’t know their own child well enough? Parents obviously want to find someone their child will want to be matched to. They do love their child and want for his or her eternal happiness.