When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
By Zhuiqiu, South Korea
“What woman did you send such an explicit text message to? So this is how you treat me, doing this kind of thing behind my back?”
Expressionless, my husband responded, “So what? Everyone’s doing that sort of thing these days. Just like they say, ‘Despising poverty but not prostitution.’ Having a mistress is normal….”
I suddenly felt that this man standing in front of me—my husband—was a stranger. I simply couldn’t believe that he, who had been so loving toward me, would betray me this way and without even a shred of guilt. I was so angry I couldn’t even speak, and I was trembling from head to toe. I sank down limply to the ground. My vision was blurred with tears and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it—how could my husband have become like that in just a few short years?
My husband was the village chief as well as a carpenter—he was hard-working and capable, and great with people. He was always helping other villagers out with things they needed done, plus he was very filial, treating my mom and dad as if they were his own flesh-and-blood parents. Particularly toward me, he was incredibly caring and he really doted on me. If I had even the slightest headache or fever, he’d rush me to the hospital, and sometimes when I came home from a business trip he wouldn’t let me do any of the housework as he didn’t want me to get exhausted, and just had me rest. And whenever he saw other men betraying their wives and seeing someone on the side he’d be incensed and would criticize them for having no conscience or morals; he swore to me that he would never do anything to betray me. When I heard him make that promise to me and saw how wonderful he was to my parents, I really felt that I’d be able to trust him and rely on him for the rest of my life. I thought I was so fortunate for having married him! Everyone else really envied us too, and I thought I was the happiest woman on earth. I also thought that as long as we both worked hard for each other and were loving and understanding with each other, we would certainly grow old together, hand-in-hand.
My husband later developed cirrhosis from overworking himself and was no longer able to perform heavy labor. My heart ached for him—I went to South Korea on my own to work so that I could support the family and pay for my husband’s medical expenses. A friend of mine in Korea saw that I was alone there and working too hard, and she said that she could help find a male companion for me so that I would not only have someone I could rely on, but he could help out with my financial difficulties as well. She also advised me not to be too conservative, saying that in today’s society, everyone was very pragmatic in that way. I thought to myself, “Even though I’m working by myself in Korea, and it’s both lonely and arduous, I don’t care how difficult it gets, I would never do something like that to my husband. As long as his cirrhosis can be treated, we’ll be very happy in the future. I’m more than willing to bear a little suffering and exhaustion.” I firmly turned down my friend’s suggestion. Five years later, my husband’s health had improved somewhat, and I brought him over to South Korea with me so that I could better care for him. I didn’t care how much money he’d be able to earn, as long as he was with me, I would be able to feel at ease and feel comforted. After he came to Korea, a family member called me and told me that, while my husband was still in China, he had seen all sorts of other people finding new flames while their husband or wife wasn’t there; he had been unable to resist the temptation and had gotten together with a widowed woman. I didn’t believe what my relative was saying—I felt that my husband had been so loving toward me and the children for two decades and I hadn’t noticed any strange behavior, so how could he have done something to betray me? But then one day, I inadvertently caught sight of an illicit text message my husband was sending to another woman and I realized that what I’d been told really was true.
I learned that my husband was seeing another woman, and I simply could not accept it. I cried nearly every day, and I tried and tried to convince him to change his ways, but he still maintained his relationship with that woman, and before long he went back to China with the excuse that he wasn’t feeling well. Not long after that, some things came up and I had to go back to China as well; I thought that once I went back we could be a whole, happy family again. To my surprise, my husband stayed with that woman and even helped her rent out a place. Suppressing the anger in my heart, I continued to exhort him, but he remained totally nonchalant and simply would not listen to me. Even worse, sometimes he wouldn’t come home for several days at a time. Exasperated, I told him I wanted a divorce, but he said to me brazenly, “In today’s society, the popular saying is ‘The red flag at home does not fall, the colored flags outside flutter in the breeze.’ Isn’t so-and-so doing this, too? Why is it so terrible for you? Don’t worry, I won’t divorce you, but I don’t want to give up what I have with her either. Isn’t it a nice way to live? You’re just too rigid—you’ll get used to it after a while.” Hearing him say this so shamelessly, I was so enraged that I felt like my head was about to burst. I never could have imagined that the husband who had been so caring and so considerate would do something so cold, so heartless. Was he even the same man I had married? Seeing that he had no intention of changing his ways, for a moment I felt like the sky was about to come crashing down on me. I really couldn’t handle such a heavy blow and wanted death to bring an end to this painful life. Although I attempted suicide several times, I was always saved, and I was left covered in wounds. In spite of all this, I still wasn’t able to get my husband to reverse his course. Our children tried many times to persuade my husband to stop seeing his other woman and even went to talk to her to get her to leave him, but nothing came of it. In the end, I had no choice but to divorce him. Our friends and neighbors were all sad to see our marriage in that state, and said, “We used to think that even if everyone else’s feelings change, your husband’s feelings would never change. Who would have thought…?” Hearing this, I could just smile bitterly. The times are changing, and so are the people. The husband I had at that point wasn’t worth holding on to.
After getting divorced I suddenly lost my focus in life. I spent every day in pain, unable to eat or sleep. My weight plummeted; I was so thin that I looked awful. I blamed my husband and that woman for all of my suffering and my heart was full of hate for them. Two months later, my ex-husband called me and said that they were constantly arguing, that it was annoying and difficult, and that he wanted to marry me again. I found it comical but I also felt angry—I thought of how decisive he had been before, and so I firmly turned down his request. Six months later, the woman could no longer bear all the things people were saying about them and hanged herself, leaving my ex-husband very depressed. He later brought up the suggestion of us remarrying once again, but when I thought of how he had hurt me, I couldn’t let go of my hatred for him, and I refused him again.
People often say that everything fades with time, but that betrayal was imprinted upon my heart and was a wound I never dared touch. It was constantly welling up to the surface—I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Several years later I came back to South Korea for work, and during this time, fortunately I accepted God’s work of the last days. Through the watering and sustenance of, I gradually came to understand some of the mysteries of human life, knew that God is the source of human life, and that our destinies are all in God’s hands, subject to His rule and arrangements. When attending gatherings with brothers and sisters, I saw that everyone was sincere and loving to each other; whatever difficulties or problems I had, they would patiently share fellowship on God’s words with me, allowing me to understand and requirements and providing me with a path of practice and entry. Through this, I felt God’s love and my wounded spirit was comforted. I had something to lean on, and I felt at peace and joyful in my heart. I once again gained confidence in my future life, and I felt like a lost little boat that had found a new course in life.
In a gathering one day, I shared my painful story of being betrayed in my marriage with another sister. She then read this passage of God’s words to me: “One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, causing them to continually lose conscience, humanity and reason, and that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”).
After reading God’s words, she said in fellowship: “Why is it that, in today’s society, there’s more and more filth and debauchery, and people are becoming more and more evil and depraved? God’s words reveal the root of this—it’s because Satan has given rise to all sorts of evil trends to lure people in and corrupt them. Satan is the root of all things filthy and evil, and for thousands of years it has always used the impact of social contagion, and the people, things, and events around us as well as all sorts of films and TV, and romantic novels to steep us in evil thoughts such as ‘The red flag at home does not fall, the colored flags outside flutter in the breeze,’ ‘Seize the day for pleasure, for life is short,’ ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,’ ‘Despising poverty but not prostitution,’ and ‘Only with something on the side does a man keep his drive.’ This leads to our perspectives on life and our values becoming gradually distorted, and our words and deeds all become filled with the stench of evil. At first, people have some sense of shame and know that they should take on some responsibility for their spouse and their home, but as they continue to be inculcated with evil, satanic trends, over time they become fine with these immoral behaviors. A lot of people even think that having a mistress, keeping another woman is a sign of prowess, of being capable. This is why more and more people go along with evil trends, casting their families aside and shirking their responsibilities. Just to satisfy their carnal desires, they wantonly pursue romantic entanglements and greedily bask in the pleasures of sin. They put conscience, morals, and the principles of being a good person to the back of their minds, entirely losing hold of the conscience, reason, integrity and dignity that normal people should possess. Not only that, but by following these trends, once happy families end up being destroyed and endless suffering is caused to people’s loved ones. Some are even driven to suicide or murder because of those affairs. These facts show us that these evil trends are just one of the means Satan employs to toy with people and devour us—it corrupts people’s thinking and corrodes our souls. Living by these evil thoughts can only lead people astray, ultimately to be completely swallowed up by Satan. Sister, your ex-husband has been influenced by these evil trends. He has been manipulated and corrupted by Satan to the point that he has lost his humanity and morals—that’s the only reason he’s been so hurtful to you. When we as humans lack the truth, we can’t see through Satan’s methods of harming people and we particularly can’t discern between positive and negative things. Then it is also very difficult to overcome the allure and the corruption of these evil trends. Our suffering is therefore brought about by the corruption and harm of evil satanic trends.”
What is revealed in God’s words and the fellowship of this sister gave me a great awakening. I realized that society is so debased and partners are betraying each other more and more because of the temptation and corruption of the evil trends given rise to by Satan. Then I suddenly remembered that when I first went to South Korea, a friend had wanted to help me find a male companion and told me not to be so conservative, and after my ex-husband had found a girlfriend, he said brazenly, “Everyone’s doing this these days.” Didn’t my friend and my ex-husband behave that way entirely because they were steeped in and assimilated by the trends of society? I thought of how my ex-husband used to really care for the family and frown upon those who stepped outside of their marriages, but he ended up impacted as well and followed the evil trends, betraying our marriage and deeply wounding me. I pleaded with him over and over, but he wouldn’t turn back. Even though I attempted suicide multiple times because of his betrayal and was tormented to the point that my soul felt battered and bruised, I couldn’t get his heart back. Ultimately, our once whole and happy family was shattered. Even sadder, once he was living with that woman they just fought constantly and couldn’t be happy together; she killed herself over that. Isn’t that proof of Satan harming people and swallowing them up? Weren’t my ex-husband and that woman victims of these trends in society? Looking at it that way, I saw that the evil trends from Satan bring us nothing but disaster—they bring a bottomless pit of suffering and wounds! I gave thanks for the guidance of God’s words that gave me discernment over these evil trends, and my heart brightened considerably.
Afterward, I read another passage of God’s words: “All of you are familiar with the word ‘betrayal’ because most people have done something to betray others before, such as a husband betraying his wife, a wife betraying her husband, a son betraying his father, a daughter betraying her mother, a slave betraying his master, friends betraying each other, relatives betraying each other, sellers betraying buyers, and so forth. All of these examples contain the essence of betrayal. In short, betrayal is a form of behavior in which one breaks a promise, violates moral principles, or goes against human ethics, and which demonstrates a loss of humanity. As a human being, no matter if you remember you have ever done something to betray another or if you have already betrayed others many times, generally speaking, if you are born in this world then you have done something to betray the truth. … This is why I have summarized it in the following statement: Betrayal is man’s nature” (“A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (1)”). “Why does a husband love his wife? And why does a wife love her husband? … Is it not in order to satisfy one’s own plans and selfish desires?” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together”). Pondering God’s words, I understood that when He created Adam and Eve, they heard His words and obeyed Him; they managed all things on earth in accordance with God’s command, but after being tempted by the serpent and eating the fruit of the tree of good and evil that God had ordered them not to eat from, they became distant from God and betrayed Him. Subsequently, betrayal became part of human nature, and as long as there is the right environment and context, we may do something to betray God or other people at any time, and any place. And after we’ve been corrupted by Satan we become full of selfish and self-serving satanic dispositions, and our interactions with others are established on the basis of protecting our own personal interests. We are full of deceit, transactional intentions, and demands, devoid of any genuine feelings or love. In our lives, between husband and wife, between parents and children, between brothers and sisters, or friends and coworkers, there are interpersonal struggles, calculations, and intolerance for the sake of upholding our personal interests. Some even betray and turn against each other without the slightest bit of emotion. After understanding this, I saw that the marriage I had hoped for, to “grow old together, hand-in-hand,” and “help each other through thick and thin,” was nothing but a delusion, a dream—it wasn’t realistic at all. I thought of how my ex-husband had disregarded the feelings from our two decades of marriage to satisfy a fleeting carnal desire, betraying me and our family. That woman had also acted on her own interests, setting aside any morals or conscience and destroying the home of others. I then thought of how I was also selfish, and my love for my ex-husband couldn’t count as true love. When he was good to me, I was willing to do anything for him, but when he hurt me and he wouldn’t take my advice no matter what, my love for him turned into hate. Once I realized all of this, I acknowledged from my heart that we are all people corrupted by Satan, and it is Satan who has corrupted us so deeply, causing us to lose hold of proper humanity. My hatred for my ex-husband abated significantly at that point, and I was no longer brooding over his betrayal of our marriage so much.
I later heard that my ex-husband had started seeing another woman who was pretty well off, but was really domineering. He was as servile as a slave in front of her and gave her every penny he earned—he didn’t have any freedom whatsoever. When I heard this, I didn’t feel any derision for him, just more compassion. I thought to myself that if we humans don’t come before God, we won’t have any happiness to speak of.
One day, I saw God’s words saying, “Because the essence of God is holy, that means that only through God can you walk the bright, right road through life; only through God can you know the meaning of life, only through God can you live out a real life, possess the truth, know the truth, and only through God can you obtain life from the truth. Only God Himself can help you shun evil and deliver you from the harm and control of Satan. Besides God, no one and nothing can save you from the sea of suffering so that you suffer no longer: This is determined by the essence of God. Only God Himself saves you so selflessly, only God is ultimately responsible for your future, for your destiny and for your life, and He arranges all things for you. This is something that nothing created or non-created can achieve. Because nothing created or non-created possesses an essence of God such as this, no person or thing has the ability to save you or to lead you. This is the importance of God’s essence to man” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”).
God’s words felt like a warm current wafting over my heart. I realized that God’s essence is love, and everything He does is for mankind’s salvation. In this society taken over by Satan’s evil trends, people are tightly controlled by all sorts of Satan’s evil thoughts and are toyed with to the point of unbearable suffering—there’s no happiness or light to be found. However, God has not given up on saving us. God in the flesh of the last days expresses the truth and is working to save humanity, bringing light and hope to us, as well as a chance at salvation. If we come before God, read God’s words and understand the truth, gain discernment over good and evil as well as beauty and ugliness, we will be able to distance ourselves from Satan’s harms and live within God’s care and protection. Then our souls will be at peace and we will have a support to lean on. I thought of how I had fallen into the haze of my husband’s betrayal and had nowhere to go from there when I encountered God’s gospel. I saw the light through His words and regained hope and confidence to go on living, as well as a support for my soul. It was the guidance of God’s words that allowed me to find the root of my pain while also gaining some discernment over Satan’s tactics to corrupt and harm people. This also allowed me to escape from Satan’s manipulations and damage, and to let go of my resentment of my ex-husband. Then I thought of how I had been taken in by Satan’s lie of “grow old together, hand-in-hand” before becoming a believer and had put my happiness entirely in my husband’s hands. Of course, he’s just another person who’s been corrupted by Satan, and couldn’t even manage his own happiness, so how could he manage mine? Now I truly understand that only coming before God to worship Him and pursue the truth is the right path in life. By tailoring our practice to God’s words, our souls can be truly at peace and on steady footing, and only this is true happiness. I firmly set my resolve to practice my faith and follow God for the rest of my days, and to perform my duty to repay God’s love.
Even though I’m now single, I’m not at all lonely because I have the guidance and sustenance of God’s words as well as the accompaniment of my brothers and sisters. I’m also performing the duty of a created being in the church, so my soul is full of peace and joy. I know that this spiritual fulfillment has come from God’s love which is so genuine and so real—I feel a happiness I’ve never felt before. I give thanks to God for His salvation of me!