By Jiaoxin, China
Liu Meng bought some daily necessities at the supermarket, and as she was walking home, she passed an open-air restaurant, a place she used to come often. As she watched the busy waiter shuttling between the tables, she couldn’t help but think of that night a few years ago … The city’s neon-lit streets, the open-air table in the corner, the dishes and wine glasses on the table, and the young gathered around it chatting and drinking beer. One of them, her colleague Xue’er, caringly said to her, “Liu Meng, we’ve been friends for many years. If you’re having any problems, just tell me, and we’ll try our best to help you.”
The care of her colleagues made Liu Meng feel even more sad. She wanted to cry, to sob, but her sense of pride forced her to swallow her tears. She felt as if there was a thousand pound stone lodged in her heart, weighing down on her and causing her agony. It was something hard to say, and the accusation rose of its own accord in her heart: Look at Xue’er’s and Xiaojin’s husbands, they have decent jobs and good incomes, and her friends and classmates all seemed to also have husbands who are capable and competent, all seemed to be picture-perfect couples wherever they went. But, Liu Meng’s husband didn’t have anything. He quit his job, and didn’t want to go into the city to find a new one. He insisted on staying in the countryside to work on some sort of aquaculture, and never made any money no matter how hard he worked. Her husband’s inaction made Liu Meng feel embarrassed in front of relatives and colleagues, as if she was a rung lower than them on the ladder of life. Ugh! It was infuriating to have a husband like this. She knew she wasn’t a bad catch, but she put up with such a worthless husband …
The depressing thought made Liu Meng finish off her beer in one gulp, after which she said with a slight drunken slur, “I really envy all of you, your husbands are all capable men, but not mine. I can’t rely on him, and he always makes me worry….” Her colleague Qiqi gulped down half the beer in her glass, and then in the same drunken slur, said, “You know, Liu Meng, you shouldn’t let yourself get stuck on him. As the saying goes, ‘People struggle to go upward, but water flows downward.’ Everyone these days wants to climb the ladder and see what’s out there. Even if you have to be someone’s mistress, there’s nothing wrong with that. With your looks, if you divorced your husband, it would be easy to find someone better than him …”
Qiqi’s words touched Liu Meng’s heart, because she had been struggling with precisely this. On a recent trip, she met a man, and despite the fact that he was married, he was perfect in every other respect, exactly the type Liu Meng liked, and he seemed to like her just as much. He went out of his way to show his fondness for her, and Liu Meng couldn’t help but fall for him. She had fantasized more than once: If she was with him, she not only would live a luxurious, pampered life, she would also be respected wherever she went, and that would be a happy marriage. But would she really sacrifice the family she had spent ten years building for that? If she divorced, she couldn’t bear to leave her child, and she would certainly still miss her home and husband, but if she didn’t, her life now was too frustrating and too hopeless, and it wasn’t the one she wanted. And she and this man both had their own families, so what would happen if they really were together? Extramarital affairs aren’t anything respectable, and if her husband found out, there would definitely be a fight, and she would be scorned and mocked forever as the “other woman,” losing all honor in the community and in her own conscience. Liu Meng struggled with the contradiction, and didn’t know what to do. Many times, she came to this restaurant alone and drank quietly to numb herself, but the alcohol in the strong liquor only made her more aware of her feelings, making her even more miserable. She sometimes heard news of her colleagues and friends divorcing and remarrying. She was very confused. She didn’t know whether to continue this unsatisfactory marriage or divorce and fight for the partner she really wanted. She asked herself if she should stay in touch with that man. As she suffered, the days seemed to drag on …
One day, Liu Meng went to her parents’ home, where two sisters testified to her parents about God’s work in the last days, so Liu Meng had the fortune to accept God’s work. After that, Liu Meng began her life in the church, often having meetings with her brothers and sisters to fellowship on God’s word. When she saw that her brothers and sisters could open their hearts and fellowship about their own corrupt dispositions without others belittling or disliking them, and that everyone helped and supported each other, she decided to confide her own pain with her sisters. A sister then read a passage of God’s word for her: “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.” Her sister then fellowshiped, “God’s word tells us that our marriage, family, work, and our life and fate have all been arranged and ordained by God. We cannot choose what kind of husband and family we have by ourselves, so if we complain that our marriage is unsatisfactory and rely on our own efforts to change things and struggle to break free, isn’t this creating trouble for ourselves and going against the will of Heaven? God is the Creator, and the wisest choice as created beings is to obey the Creator’s plans and arrangements. We can only leave our family and marriage in God’s hands, and let God rule and manage things, if we want a life of ease and release.”
God’s words and her sister’s fellowship touched Liu Meng. It turned out that the person we marry is preordained by God. She recalled how she had left her husband many times, but they still ended up together. It was truly a matter ruled by God, and not her own choice. No wonder people always say that everything is “fate.” Now, she understood that “fate” is what is ruled and preordained by God. After realizing this, Liu Meng was willing to obey God’s arrangement for her marriage, but she was still confused. Although she had originally separated with her husband many times, she finally chose to stay with him. But now, why did she dislike him so much, to the point of wanting to divorce him, and find a new husband?
One day, during her spiritual devotions, Liu Meng read God’s words that say, “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.”
After reading God’s word, Liu Meng understood that the influence of evil satanic trends had twisted her views on life and values. She realized that every time she was with her friends and colleagues, she heard all of them brag about how rich and capable their husbands were and how comfortable their lives were. Meanwhile, her own husband had nothing, not even an official job, so she felt as if she was lower than others. Because her vanity wasn’t satisfied, and she had been influenced by the satanic philosophy “wealthy husbands make distinguished wives,” she began to despise her husband and complain that he was incapable and couldn’t win her respect in society. The more she looked at him, the more she felt that living with him was humiliation, and she even thought of ending the marriage. After she met the other man, she felt that someone like him, with money and talent, was her ideal partner, that being with someone like him would make her respected and distinguished, and that she would only be happy if she had those things. To gain them, she started considering abandoning her husband, betraying her marriage, becoming the “other woman,” and ruining someone else’s family to satisfy her vanity, and so she unconsciously began to follow the evil trend of “prostitution is better than poverty.” She saw how many people unsatisfied with their own marriages put morality and responsibility behind satisfying their own desires and found new lovers. Some divorced, remarried, and divorced again, as if marriage was a child’s game. Others didn’t divorce, but there were countless examples people who followed the evil trend of “the red flag at home does not fall, the colored flags outside flutter in the breeze,” by finding lovers, becoming mistresses, and having affairs. These evil satanic trends cause people to lose their personality and dignity and forget shame and morality, pushing the divorce rate higher and higher, and making divorce a sort of fashion to pursue in love rather than something to be morally condemned and scorned. Liu Meng thought that she had also been corrupted by these evil satanic trends. To achieve her own desires, she wanted to betray her husband of many years, divorce him, and try to climb higher, but she was afraid of the scorn she would face as the “other woman,” that her own conscience would condemn her, and that her soul would never find peace. She struggled helplessly in her torment, and was entirely unable to extricate herself. It was agony! After recognizing this, Liu Meng realized that she couldn’t see through the essence of these evil trends and was tempted and corrupted by Satan. She would not only lose her personality and dignity, she would also disturb and destroy another’s family. If she continued down this path, the harm she could do to her own family and other families was unimaginable.
Liu Meng saw more of God’s word, “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives.” From God’s word, Liu Meng understood that everyone’s marriage is preordained by God. If you arbitrarily change your marriage and oppose God’s mastery through your own effort, you will only end up suffering more. She thought that even if she did divorce her husband and marry the other man, she would momentarily satisfy her vanity, but there was no guarantee she would live happily. When she looked at some of her friends, although their husbands were capable, could make money, could give them material enjoyment, and gave them social respectability, they weren’t happy. They spent all day worrying about whether their husbands would have an affair or find a lover, so in order to hold on to their husbands’ hearts, they dressed up beautifully and looked for ways to track and ask about their husbands’ whereabouts, husband and wife were constantly suspicious and guarded with each other, and life became very tiring and exhausting. But now, Liu Meng knew how to treat her own marriage. She chose to obey God’s mastery and arrangements and no longer follow evil trends. A few days later, Liu Meng broke things off with the other man, cut off her entanglement with him, escaped the spiderweb, and completely cut off contact.
When Liu Meng let go of the mistaken view that “wealthy husbands make distinguished wives” and decided to obey God’s mastery and arrangement of her marriage, she slowly discovered that her husband had many advantages. Although he didn’t make a great deal of money, he was sincere, and although he wasn’t very fond of talking, he was kind, courteous, patient with their child, and treated her and her parents well. She no longer disliked her husband as in the past. Later, Liu Meng bore witness to God’s work of the last days for her husband, and he accepted it. Because of their belief in God, Liu Meng and her husband had a common language. They often read God’s words, opened up their hearts with each other, and practiced everything according to God’s word. When things happened, they both reflected on themselves, they never cast accusing eyes on their partner, and they understood and forgave one another. Over time, their relationship grew ever more harmonious. Although life was ordinary, the family got along well, and together pursued the truth and walked the correct path in life. This is when Liu Meng realized what true happiness is. No amount of money or material wealth could ever be exchanged for this! She thanked God for His salvation of her from the bottom of her heart. If God had not saved her from the wrong path, she didn’t know how far she might have fallen, nor would she have a happy life today.
When she faced her coworkers and classmates in the past, Liu Meng always felt unsatisfied with her marriage and that she was lower than others because of her husband, to the point that she often didn’t even want to go to parties or dinners with her classmates. Now, she no longer suffered the restrictions and bondage of the evil view that “wealthy husbands make distinguished wives.” Instead, she was able to proudly raise her head and say, “I have a good life! I am very happy with my marriage!” It was a feeling that came from deep within her, just as it is written in the word of God: “When you truly come to recognize that God has sovereignty over human fate, when you truly understand that everything God has planned for and decided for you is a great benefit, and is a great protection, then you feel your pain gradually lighten, and the whole of you become relaxed, free, liberated.”
Without realizing it, Liu Meng had already come to her doorstep. She put away her memories, opened the door, put down her goods, rolled up her sleeves, and began to make dinner. Her husband was almost done at work, so she wanted to finish making dinner and wait for him to come home, and then share her experience and what she learned today with him. There was a glowing, happy smile on her face.