Editor’s Note: In the 1980s when China’s reform and opening-up were beginning, many people, influenced by the evil social trends, began to worship money and no longer respected marriage, which resulted in a rising divorce rate and a lot of intractable domestic and social problems. Growing up in such kind of social environment, Sister Jiaoxin witnessed many family breakdowns caused by extramarital affairs. She therefore believed that if someone didn’t have a happy family and a loving relationship with their spouse, then they wouldn’t have any happiness to speak of, and their life would be without value and meaning. As a result, after she got married, she was always handling her marriage with kid gloves. Yet not only did her efforts not bring her any happiness, but instead made her life tiring and bitter. Later, she finally found the way to maintain a happy marriage and gain spiritual release, thus thoroughly breaking free from her pain. The following article gives an account of her experiences.
I was raised in 1980s when China was implementing the reform and opening-up policy. Against this backdrop, many people began to worship money and no longer respected marriage. Among my relatives, classmates and friends, some began keeping mistresses after getting rich and divorced their wives; some found rich sponsors and left their husbands; some stayed married but treated their spouses coldly like enemies, causing both parties to live in pain and helplessness. Having seen these unhappy marriages, I thought: “If someone doesn’t have a peaceful family and a loving relationship with their spouse, then they won’t have any happiness to speak of, and their life will be without value and meaning. After I get married, I must try my best to manage my marriage and family to avoid the suffering of family splitting apart.” Therefore, when I was looking for a partner later, I didn’t look at whether he was rich or poor, but only asked that he was kind, honest and of good character.
Later, I found a husband who wasn’t rich but who was honest and well-mannered. My husband interacted with many people in his work unit, among whom many were female, and thus I was really concerned that he would fall in love with someone else. In order to maintain our marriage, aside from taking care of his living, I would follow his wishes in almost everything, fearing that he would ignore me if I made him unhappy. I also paid close attention to the people my husband associated with, especially his female colleagues and friends, and I kept a close eye on his actions to nip the abnormalities in the bud. Despite this, I still couldn’t let go of my worries. In particular, when I went out to work, I would become even more afraid that my husband would cheat on me. Such concerns often left me feeling deeply unsettled.
There was a period of time when my husband would often interact with a girl. Whenever I saw them laughing together, I would feel very jealous and indescribable discomfort. One day, I saw that girl happily playing with my son. Out of jealousy and hatred, I walked over with a darkened face, pulled over my son and then left. Because of this, I had been upset for a few days. One time, my husband lost his temper with me over some trivial things and then slammed the door and left. This left me heartbroken and I thought: “Oh, great. He will give me the silent treatment for days. This really sucks!” At that time, I suddenly came to appreciate what other people said, “Marriage is the tomb of love,” no longer feeling any sweetness of love we had had before.
Several years after our marriage, my husband gained some weight and became more handsome and mature. While feeling happy about this, the worry in my heart grew more intense, and I was always afraid that he would have an affair one day. Not long afterward, my husband was sent by his work unit to the city to learn appliances repair. One month later when he came home for the holidays, there was a joy of reunion after long separation between us, but the next month when he came back, he looked depressed and was cold to me, and even lost his temper for no reason. This left my heart somewhat heavy: “What is wrong with my husband? Is he dissatisfied with me? Will he look down on me when he gets promoted in the future?” Although our marriage was still fine, it didn’t give me any security. Instead, I felt very disconsolate. One week later, a friend saw my waxy yellow complexion and suspected that I had contracted hepatitis. Her suspicion was later confirmed after my diagnosis. Astonished, I asked, “I’ve always been in good health, so how come I got hepatitis?” The doctor replied, “Depression could also impair liver.” Hearing what the doctor said, I recalled that I’d been very depressed and upset over those days because of my husband’s bad attitude toward me, and I then realized that this might have caused damage to my liver.
After that, I also wanted to be optimistic, but I just couldn’t. Especially when I saw a couple that had been admired by everyone get divorced after just a few years of marriage, I had an even stronger feeling that the dream of conjugal affection and family peace I had been pursuing would be destroyed at any time, and so, in spite of myself, I put more effort into maintaining my marriage. On the nights when my husband was out playing mahjong, I would be up all night worried whether he would come home. When he was lukewarm toward me, I would feel lost and have no interest in doing anything. My husband seemed to have become my life—I felt happy because he was happy, felt sad because he was sad, felt joyful because he showed love to me, and felt distressed because he complained about me. It felt as if I had fallen into an abyss of pain and depression. Over and over, I asked myself: For whom should I live? Is my husband really my everything? If family is a harbor where we can find happiness, then why do I feel so tired as if I were tightly bound by shackles? I really wanted to throw off these shackles, but I was too powerless to do that. All I could do was steel myself to hold on, day after day, year after year.
Just when I was feeling totally exhausted, I started believing in God with my parents. From, I came to know that God created us mankind and made us establish families and multiply one generation after another. His will in doing so is not only for us to fulfill our duties as husbands or wives and pursue marital love and family happiness, but is even more for us to experience His sovereignty, know His deeds, worship Him, manifest Him and glorify Him on earth. After we were corrupted by Satan, God became flesh for the first time as the to save us and was nailed to the cross as the sin offering for us mankind. Today, God has again come to earth and expressed many truths to save mankind. To me, who was struggling in despair, this came as incredibly inspiring news, so with a heart of yearning, I came before God. God’s words nourished my heart, resolved my confusion and also released the shackles of my spirit. God’s words say: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who have suffered deeply; at the same time, He is fed up with these people who lack consciousness, as He has had to wait too long for an answer from humanity. He wishes to seek, to seek your heart and your spirit, to bring you water and food and to awaken you, that you may no longer be thirsty and hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel something of the bleak desolation of this world, do not be lost, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time. He is keeping watch by your side, waiting for you to turn back around. He is waiting for the day you suddenly recover your memory: when you realize that you came from God, that, at some unknown time you lost your direction, at some unknown time you lost consciousness on the road, and at some unknown time acquired a ‘father’; when you realize, furthermore, that the Almighty has always been keeping watch, waiting there a very, very long time for your return.” Over and over, I read this passage of God’s words, feeling they are so kind and warm. God’s nurturing words caused tears to run down my face, allowing me to see that I was actually not alone and that He had always been at my side, waiting for me to return to His side and gain His love and protection. Since then, my burdened and depressed heart felt somewhat released.
I saw more of God’s words: “Humans, it would seem, are living in a terrorist world of darkness, which none among them seeks to transcend, and none among them thinks of moving on to an ideal world; rather, they are content with their lot in life, to spend their days bearing and raising children, striving, sweating, going about their chores, dreaming of a comfortable and happy family, of conjugal affection, of filial children, of joy in their twilight years as they peacefully live out their lives…. For tens, thousands, tens of thousands of years until now, people have been squandering their time in this way, with no one creating a perfect life….” “In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters.”
After reading God’s words, I came to understand that I’d been pursuing to have a happy family, a loving relationship with my husband and obedient children because I had been controlled by the erroneous thoughts and perspectives Satan had steeped us mankind. Satan was just using these thoughts that seemed right to deceive us, corrupt and control our thoughts and minds, and make us blindly pursue these things and regard them as life and as everything. When these things come under threat, we suffer from anxiety about loss and gain, and once we lose them, we no longer have the courage to live on. I thought of how I’d been living for these things since I got married, fearing that my husband would fall in love with someone else and that our marriage would fail and our family would be shattered. For half of my life, my heart had been occupied by these things and I’d always believed that without my husband’s love and care, I wouldn’t be able to have an intact family or a happy life, and my life would be devoid of value and meaning. In order to maintain a blissful marriage and a happy family, I’d led a very tiring life for more than ten years, exhausted both physically and mentally. I then thought of my relatives, friends and classmates—none of them knew what sort of life man should live, but instead all regarded having a happy marriage, conjugal affection and filial children as the happiness of life. In order to keep their husbands from leaving them, many women put a great deal of effort into working on their appearance, and they cared for and accommodated their husbands. But still, their families ended up broken. After that, some of them became pessimistic and disappointed, some was in pain and no longer wanted to live, and some chose to live debased lives. All this was the consequence brought about by us not knowing the meaning behind God creating mankind and being corrupted and toyed with by Satan. Thanks be to God for bringing me back to Him so that I could gain His provision of the water of life and no longer feel pessimistic about my life. My heart was released as if a tremendous weight had been lifted off me. From then on, I often read God’s words and gathered together with my brothers and sisters in the church, and gradually, I was able to treat my husband and family affairs calmly, no longer caring about his whereabouts or how his attitude was toward me. I decided to change my way of living and live to perform my duties as a created being.
Not long afterward, I went to spread the gospel to those who were afflicted by Satan just as me and brought them before God. As my life became busy and fulfilling, I was no longer brooding over my husband’s bad attitude to me, and I no longer felt happy because of his love or felt depressed because of his complaints. With God as my support, I didn’t feel empty anymore and my spirit found immense release. On the nights when my husband was out playing cards, I would be reading God’s words at home. I saw these words of God: “Since the creation of the world I have begun to predestine and select this group of people, namely, you today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly.” From God’s words I came to understand that all things in our lives, including our families and marriages, are under God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and that no matter how hard we try, none of us are able to change God’s mastery and predestination. After reading these words, my heart became even more brightened and I had the faith to entrust my husband into God’s hands. Whether or not my husband would cheat on me was not determined by me, and without God’s permission, it wouldn’t happen to me no matter what. I felt so relaxed and at ease to let God take charge of and dominate my life.
Afterward, I often prayed to God and expressed my willingness to bring my husband before Him. Because of the authority of God’s words, my husband later also came before God. Since then, both of us began to accept God’s scrutiny and no longer pursued evil trends or suspected and guarded against each other. I finally emerged from the tomb that had imprisoned me and cast off the shackles that had restrained my heart. There was a period of time when we often went out to perform our duties and were barely together. We would encourage each other when we parted and support and supply each other when we were together. The love between us is no longer established on the flesh, but on the foundation of God’s love. I feel a kind of happiness and joy I never experienced before, and more importantly, my life is now valuable and meaningful. I no longer live for myself, but for fulfilling my duties as a created being—I’ve finally embarked on the right path of life.
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