Before and during the Il Shim ceremony, parents and participants have the opportunity to grow and (re)discover their faith and love for Heavenly Parent, understand their values better, and learn about the importance of True Parents’ tradition together. As a result, participants may set out personal goals in order to become the person they want to be, while parents may pledge in their hearts to support their children in their growth.
However, no matter how strong a determination, without continuous investment and support, it gradually fades away. Therefore, we strongly believe that the Il Shim ceremony isn’t an end goal, but rather a stepping stone for a journey of spiritual growth. That’s why we encourage you, as parents or supporters, to help the participants nurture the determination, realisations or goals they set during their Il Shim course.
Some ideas on how you could encourage them:
- Encourage the habit of communication between generations within the family, by regularly taking time to have honest sharings with your children. This does not always have to be a purity sharing, as a family, one could talk about difficulties, feelings, the moments when one felt close to Heavenly Parent, etc.
- Regularly organise workshops or youth services on the topic of purity, reminding the youth about the pledge they made. Revise the material that you provided during the Il Shim program, and have the participants reflect on where they are at with their relationship with Heavenly Parent, their goals etc.
- Going through the material with your teens regularly.
- If possible, encourage participants to take part in the Il Shim Program again, so that they can deepen their faith and relationship with their parents.
- Encourage friendships amongst participants: Having peers who hold the same values can be a great source of support. Encourage your children to reach out to other participants or help them plan activities together.
- Make sure your teenager has an opportunity to reach out to an elder if needed. Sometimes teenagers prefer talking to elders besides their parents about certain topics (e.g. pornography, masturbation, addictions, issues with the other gender). If your child feels like they want to talk to an elder about a specific topic, help them get in touch with a BFD representative or an elder in the community whom they trust.
- If there are problems with parent-child conversation, the parents should be encouraged and able to reach out to other parents, or an Abel-figure, who can give them guidance.