Principles of Matching
By Jim and Hiromi Stephens
Copyright December, 2015
Maybe we can help you.
This booklet is to assist you in getting started in the process of matching your children.
We had five children and all of them had arranged marriages and the Blessing from True Parents in the Divine Principle tradition. Each of our children is very unique. We believe that God worked in each of those matching cases, but each one was as unique as the child or more so. From our experience we can practically guarantee you that there is no simple, magic formula for your children. We do not even recommend bothering on trying to find one.
That is why this booklet is going to focus on sharing some Principles of Matching. We believe that by understanding the principles of the process, you will be much more likely to be successful and less likely to get discouraged or hurt in the process.
We will be sharing some of the special insights and inspirations that we have gained in the processes that we have gone through. Feel free to jump around when you are reading this booklet. The information does not have to be read sequentially since you probably are already familiar with the Divine Principle which is the basis for most of what we will be sharing.
In addition to our experiences with our own children, we have been involved with helping other families matching their children. We have been actively involved with organizing programs for matching and as individual matching advisors for over 10 years.
Also back in 2001 when True Father (Rev. Sun Myung Moon) inherited the matching responsibility to parents, I (Jim) developed a website to assist families. That resulted in about 23 couples being formed.
Having a baby is easier.
We have found that there are a lot of analogies between giving birth and arranging a marriage. One time I (Jim) had a spiritual experience that when a man and a woman come together in marriage that in God’s eyes it is like the sperm meeting up with the egg. United together, they will create a whole new being which is their relationship and family.
As was mentioned, each of our children is totally unique. However, we really have to testify that the marriages they have are vastly even more unique and different from their siblings’ marriages. As they say, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Clearly God’s design for marriage is that He can accomplish so much, much more through a couple than an individual.
Very likely, matching won’t be easy.
Are you looking for the easy way? We don’t recommend it. We experienced this as the hardest thing, heartistically, that we have ever done. You might want to prepare for the hardest thing you will ever have to do.
Giving birth to a baby has a due date in nine months. It’s coming whether you like it or not, whether you are ready or not. Arranging a marriage has no due date. And likely it won’t happen unless you are ready.
In the case of one of our children, it took 14 years. Seriously, we went through some of the lowest lows and highest highs we have ever been through. Our children’s lives and their happiness is more important to us than our own. If they suffer, we experience great pain too.
Giving birth involves pain.
Having a baby for almost every woman involves pain. But you know the pain will end in a relatively short time and then be replaced by joy. Physical pain will usually be forgotten. Matching has no such guarantees and it’s a different kind of pain, pain of the heart. Matches that are successful bring great joy. Sometimes disasters happen and you have a whole different set of experiences to deal with and pieces to pick up.
If men had to endure the pain of childbirth, there would probably be way less children in the world, if we didn’t die out as a species. Surely God has given women a special grace of love for what they go through that allows them to go back again for each new child.
Back story of our family.
Most people don’t know the back story of our family. Out of the five children, only one was a successful matching and Blessing on the first try. Two of our children had their first matching broken, so we know that pain. One of those took about ten years and seven different attempts before we had success. Every process has highs and lows.
One of our children was matched and Blessed by True Father, only to have that turn into a disaster. After surviving that and returning for a picture matching, which itself went a long course, success came.
Another child had three different matchings, one of which was a Blessing. All of those broke and were accompanied with great heartache, helplessness, hopelessness, and lots of other emotions.
Grateful and blessed.
Today we feel totally blessed by God and grateful that all five of our children are happily married. But we know that this is not the end. It takes a lot of hard work continually to succeed in any marriage relationship. And then there is financial success and of course parenting. Grandparenting has proved to be an extra special, and unexpected type, of joy. We look forward to many years of that and all it will bring.
God’s original design is truly remarkable as it unfolds. It keeps getting better and better. Each new stage has challenges but also new and deeper joys. And many deeper realizations in our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father, together and individually. The design was perfect. The greatest tragedy, that few ever realize, is the incredible joy that was to come from love in an extended family. Because of the Fall of Man, most people don’t know even the joy of the First of the Three Great Blessings.
That God is faithful to His ideal and therefore faithful to us to reach that ideal is a great comfort and hope to us as we struggle through this restoration process.