Do you know how to listen to God’s voice and welcome the Lord?
In Malaysia, every year during the Lantern Festival, many places have the event “throwing of mandarin oranges.” On that day, many single girls will write their telephone numbers or contact information on mandarin oranges and then throw them into the rivers, in hopes of finding a good husband. If some young man picks one up, then both sides will have a date and gossip over tea, or they will meet each other on the spot and leave their contact information to each other. And it was in this way that I got acquainted with my wife.
Not long after we got to know each other and took to each other, we married. After getting married, I decided to give my wife a happy family and make her no longer feel lonely.
However, things were far from being as simple as I had imagined. Just after our marriage, all kinds of conflicts began to occur between us. In order to have my family live a happy life, I contracted one mu (0.16 acre) of land to grow vegetables. At four o’clock every morning I would leave home to sell vegetables and only at around seven o’clock in the evening was I back home. My wife was also out from dawn till dusk. Because I was tired out after working all day long, I only said a few words to her when she came back home, and then I went to sleep. As for the problems and troubles she encountered during her work, I was less concerned about them. Apart from holidays, we seldom had heart to heart talks with each other at ordinary times. Later, there were some misunderstandings between us, so we often quarreled with each other over some tiny matters. She complained that I didn’t look after her or care about her feelings. Realizing my own mistakes and also thinking of my promise to her in the beginning, I tried to care for and understand her.
Afterward, each time she came back from work, I, seeing her unhappy or worried about something, would actively show concern for her. But every time my wife would fretfully say, “Even if I tell you, you don’t understand. No more questions.” Whenever hearing her say this, I felt very uncomfortable within, and thought: “If I don’t ask, you will say I don’t care about you; I ask but you say it is none of my business. What do you want me to do?” Having hit a wall several times, I no longer asked anything when seeing her unhappy or worried. And when I saw her unhappy, I kept away from her to avoid provoking her.
Gradually, there were more and more estrangements between us. We often quarreled about some tiny matters and it was becoming more and more frequent. For example, sometimes, while I was working, if she asked me about something but I didn’t answer, then we would quarrel; sometimes when I was driving, she would suddenly put forward a question, but because I didn’t react instantly and give her a response, she would quarrel with me. She complained about my paying no attention to her. Accordingly, she would then throw her bag, or other things, and so on. In the beginning I showed patience, but when she quarreled with me unceasingly, I couldn’t help but have a bitter quarrel with her. Consequently we quarreled more bitterly. In the end I was out of options and all I could do was keep quiet and wait for her to recover her temper. Sometimes, we would give each other the silent treatment for two or three days, sometimes for as long as a week.
After every quarrel, she would go to her friend’s place to have a chat and not until early in the morning would she return home. Once, after getting home from work and finishing my housework, my wife still hadn’t come back. So, I called her but the call couldn’t go through. It was after two o’clock in the morning when she came back. At that moment, I was filled with anger. Following that, we started quarreling. She was so angry that she wanted to leave with our marriage certificate. During the process of quarreling, I carelessly hurt her wrist, causing her to suffer a hairline fracture in her wrist. When seeing her in pain, I was deeply remorseful and uncomfortable. I would often think to myself: “Why are we always squabbling? Can’t we live well?” After that, our quarrels were patched up for a while. However, the estrangements between us remained unresolved.
In April, 2016, my wife accepted the’ gospel. In order to have a common topic with her and increase communication between us, I believed in the Lord together with her. In a gathering, hearing a pastor talk about how the Lord Jesus loved man and was even crucified for man, until His last drop of blood was drained away, I was shocked by the Lord’s great love and determined to believe in Him properly. Later on, in , I saw the Lord’s teachings—to love others as ourselves, and forgive others seventy times seven times; I felt the Lord’s mercy is great. So, I followed the example of the Lord Jesus to live out His love. I tried to tolerate my wife; after each quarrel, no matter who did wrong, I took the initiative to apologize to her and coax her into happiness. However, I gradually found that what I had done didn’t work and that my wife had no change. After some time, I felt very unbalanced in my heart, thinking: “I am a man. I also have dignity. I cannot keep doing this.” From then on, no matter how angry she was, I no longer coaxed her into happiness.
Living in such a situation, I was extremely pained, so I prayed to the Lord, “Lord, only You are tolerant of and have pity on man. I am really unable to do it. I beg You to lead me to find a way to solve the conflict between my wife and me.” After my prayer, I went to listen to some pastors’ preaching about marriage on Facebook. After listening to it, I felt that I understood the way they talked about: Never be angry after a quarrel, put ourselves aside and abide by the Lord’s teachings, just as the Bible says that if a person slaps the left side of your face, you should also show your right side for them to slap, and you should forgive others seventy times seven times. However, I thought that way wouldn’t help me at all. I thought it should be good enough that I could forgive my wife three times. If I was always forgiving her but she had no transformation, how long should I forgive her? Although my wife also strived to practice forgiveness and patience, on facing things, she would still burst out, quarreling uncontrollably. Seeing that the religious pastors and elders could not provide me with the real way to solve the problem, I sank into deep distress: Can my wife and I ever get along well with each other?
In January, 2017, I came across a sister from Hong Kong on Facebook. The truth the sister fellowshiped about was very beneficial to me and solved many problems which confused me in believing in God. Nevertheless, when the sister asked me to attend a meeting with her and other brothers and sisters, I refused because I thought they couldn’t solve the problem between my wife and me. Two months later, I contacted the sister again. She advised that I should not be a person like a frog in a well, but instead should understand more of God’s work. The sister’s word “you should not be a person like a frog in a well” made me have an awakening: “Right, the external world is so big and I should go out to explore. Perhaps there are some ways that can solve the problem between my wife and me.” Therefore, I began attending the meetings.
One day, in a meeting, my brothers and sisters talked about how to be free from sins. Brother Chen said, “We have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus, but why can’t we break free from the bondage of sin?” I was very interested in this topic and very eager to know the answer to it. Following that, Brother Chen let us read several passages of, “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”).
“Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (“Preface”).
Then the brother communicated: “Though the Lord Jesus bore and forgave our sins by Him being nailed to the cross, in the Age of Grace the Lord Jesus only did the work of redemption. That is, our nature of committing sins hasn’t been solved, so we still sin and often resist God. From when we were corrupted by Satan, Satan’s poisons had already been planted within us, and thus we have satanic nature. Controlled by the nature of Satan, we have become crafty, arrogant, and consider ourselves to be the most honorable. We have no tolerance and patience toward others, being unable to get along in harmony. What we live out are all corrupt dispositions. The Bible says, ‘For the wages of sin is death’ (Rom 6:23). Thus, in order to rid us of these satanic corrupt dispositions and make us break away from the binding of sin, God has expressed His words to do His work of judgment and chastisement in His second incarnation.”
At that time, I came to realize that the reason I cannot overcome the bondage of sin is actually because I have satanic corrupt dispositions and Satan’s toxins within me and these natures of Satan have become my life. Without God’s judgment and chastisement, my satanic dispositions cannot be cleansed and my life disposition cannot be transformed. Only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can I truly break away from the fetters of sin and live out the likeness of a true human. I had benefited enormously from such a fellowship. However, I still did not understand how God does His work of judgment. As a result, I wanted to gain a further knowledge of it.