By Zhuiqiu, Taiwan
Twenty years ago, my wife and I had been in a long-distance relationship for six years and finally decided to walk down the aisle. After getting married, she took responsibility for the home, not only taking care of my aging parents, but every time I got sick or came home late, she really showed concern and care for me. It was really heartwarming for me. I started a business in seafood so I could give her a stable life, and even though every day was really difficult, getting up early and working late into the night, I felt it was all worth it. A few years later we had bought a house and a car, and our standard of living was getting better and better. I handled our marriage with kid gloves so that we could hold on to our happy home life—I never wronged her at all. We did argue from time to time, but every time I was really forgiving and patient with her. In an effort to be a good husband, I took on all of the housework and helping our child with homework. My wife and I became a loving couple that all of our friends and relatives admired. I thought to myself: I don’t need anything else in life. As long as we can always be there for each other, a happy home is enough.
Seven years prior my wife had started to become obsessed with going out to bars and singing, and I figured as long as she was happy, let her go! At first she’d go once a week and would often want me to go with her. I felt that I wasn’t a very good singer and didn’t really like the chaotic atmosphere, so I always refused. Over the last three years she started going more and more frequently—five or six times a week, and even the wind and rain wouldn’t stop her. She came back later and later. I started to notice that she was constantly staring at her cellphone and when I would walk over, she’d be panic-stricken, and sometimes she’d hide out in the bathroom to take a call in order to avoid me. Things became really tense between us; she would frequently start fights with me over some small things. Seeing how she had changed, I became suspicious that she was no longer loyal to me, but then I’d think: Our love of 20-odd years is solid. I’m sure she treasures what we have and the family is important to her. She wouldn’t do anything unethical. A few times she brought a man back to the house and said he was just a buddy she sang karaoke with, and even though I had a lot of questions in my heart, I was willing to believe my wife.
Then one day, I found a card with two love handprints inside, each with a name signed. There was also a small notebook with a sweet conversation between my wife and another man. Seeing these nauseating things, I still couldn’t believe that my wife had actually betrayed me—in that moment I just felt like the world was spinning and was about to stop breathing. I was in so much pain I couldn’t even form words. I pointed at her with a trembling hand and asked her: “I’ve always been single-mindedly devoted to you. Why would you betray me? We’ve been married for over 20 years, have I really not treated you well enough? Have I really not given enough for this family?” Although she still didn’t acknowledge her betrayal, thinking about everything that had happened, I knew she had gone outside the marriage.
After that I followed her a few times and I went to speak to that man’s wife. She said she’d known about their relationship for a while. Trying to salvage my family, I went to my wife’s family and had them advise her to stop and tried to get that man to break up with her, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t get my wife’s heart back. She didn’t care about my feelings and no longer had a moral compass—she wouldn’t even hide it from me when she was going to see him. I was so angry I couldn’t eat or sleep. Every day was bitterly painful. In just a few short months I lost over 20 kilograms. I had become haggard and had aged a lot. I retired early because I didn’t have the heart to run the business anymore. My wife’s betrayal and deception turned me into a silent person. I shut myself up at home and didn’t want to talk about the matter with anyone. Pain and hatred haunted me like a ghost. I had thought of getting my revenge on him—if he wouldn’t allow me to have a good life, I wouldn’t allow him to have a good life, either. However, reason told me I shouldn’t do that. Hatred and reason were in a tug-of-war and I was incredibly miserable. Over the following two years, my wife brought up the idea of divorce over and over again and every time she mentioned it was painful for me. I thought of our wedding vows, that we would grow old together, hand-in-hand, and I felt even worse. I didn’t want to get divorced even though our marriage had become an empty shell. I didn’t want our once-happy home to fall apart that way.
There was a light rain falling pattering on the window. It was a quiet night, and it made me feel very empty and sad. One day, I met a Christian on Facebook, and while chatting I learned that that sister had had the same experience as me, but through reading God’s words she gradually came out from her pain and also experienced God’s love and compassion for mankind. Hearing about her experience was very moving, and I thought: There really are a lot of people who have been betrayed by their spouse, but how many of them have been able to come back out from that haze? It seemed I had found a potential lifeline through that sister’s experience.
A few days later that sister told me that in order to escape from suffering we had to understand the truth so that we could see the root of the issue. She then shared a passage of God’s words with 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. … 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.”
She shared fellowship with me: “God’s words reveal the truth of the darkness and evil of the world as well as humans’ corruption by Satan. Satan tempts and corrupts us through evil trends in society so that we live underneath its power, as if we’re in a drunken stupor. We live in this evil, corrupting environment and become more and more depraved and corrupted. Some people follow these evil trends and lead lives of debauchery and don’t have any proper work. Their families are shattered, their children live in a single-parent home and suffer great harm. Some people admire evil and lose their selves, betraying their own character, dignity, and flesh, living in the corruption of licentiousness. All of mankind is now living within sin and our moral standards are getting lower and lower. People are all having sex, reveling in sin, and treating things like finding a mistress, having an affair, or a one-night stand as symbols of being fashionable and capable. People are all admiring evil and following evil trends of the world, indulging their flesh, and being promiscuous. They’ve given up their ethics, their sense of shame, character, and dignity and have lost the root of being a good person. They’ve become more and more filthy, corrupt, and evil in the abyss of sin and don’t even feel shame at having an affair. All of this is the result of societal trends’ corruption of people.”
After hearing my sister’s fellowship I understood that it’s the world that is dark and evil, and it’s because we follow Satan’s evil trends. I thought of how my wife was a good wife and mother at first, how she was diligent and responsible at home, but after she became obsessed with bars and karaoke venues, she followed the evil trends of the world, indulged her carnal desires and no longer cared about the home or her partner’s feelings. She actually developed a relationship with another man and did unethical things. I finally understood that people who betray their marriages and families are just the corrupt byproducts of trends in society, and they are also victims. After realizing all of that my hatred toward my wife and that man faded a bit.
After that I frequently attended gatherings with my brothers and sisters, had fellowship on God’s words and sang hymns. I gradually came to understand some truths and a smile came back to my face. I once again developed hope in life and the future. I give thanks to God—if it hadn’t been for Him during my most painful time, taking me into the house of God, I really can’t dare imagine how I would have gone on living.
The Chinese New Year came up in the blink of an eye, and homes everywhere were brimming with a celebratory atmosphere, but all was not calm in my home. My wife once again brought up divorce and started a huge argument with me. In a fit of rage, I carried out the divorce. But with the divorce papers in hand, walking out of the Civil Affairs Bureau, I felt at a loss about my future life. My family used to be my sole source of motivation, but now that was gone. How could I face life going forward? Lost in pain, I shared my wounds and suffering after the divorce with that sister, who read a passage of God’s words for me: “Pernicious influences that thousands of years of ‘the lofty spirit of nationalism’ have left deep in the human heart as well as the feudal thinking by which people are bound and chained, without an iota of freedom, with no will to aspire or persevere, no desire to make progress, remaining instead passive and regressive, entrenched in a slave mentality. And so on. These objective factors have imparted an indelibly filthy and ugly cast to the ideological outlook, ideals, morality, and disposition of humanity. 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, all intent only on mutual slaughter in this dark world, on the race for fame and fortune, and on intriguing against one another. Who has ever sought after? Has anyone ever heeded the work of God?”
Reading this, I found the root of my suffering. Wasn’t I living in so much pain because I was seeking a so-called happy family and a good marriage? I had completely depleted myself for the sake of a wonderful home and a happy marriage, but what I got back in the end was my wife’s deception and betrayal. I thought back on all the years I had worked hard without complaint so that my wife would have a peaceful and smooth life, getting up early and working into the night, toiling for the family. For the sake of our family I never allowed her to feel wronged, and even when we had arguments I would be patient and forgiving of her. After learning about her unfaithfulness, I set aside my dignity as a man and forgave her so that she would have a change of heart. To hold on to our broken home, I let go of my dignity and sought that man out to get him to break up with my wife, and tried everything to get her back. When she had fully betrayed the home, I was in pain and no longer wanted to live, even thinking of ways to take revenge on that man, living every day within my hatred and losing all desire to work. I was tortured to the point that it wasn’t even worth living. Isn’t all of that harm done by Satan? I thought of how, after being corrupted by Satan, there’s no real love between people. There are very few homes and marriages that are happy. Either the husband betrays his wife or the wife betrays her husband, or they’re strange bedfellows, or they’re constantly arguing for the sake of their own personal interests. The so-called beautiful family and happy marriage is sad and empty. God’s words undid the knots in my heart. It’s true: Working so hard to pursue all of that is meaningless and empty. It’s not a life with meaning. Only having faith and following God is meaningful.
Afterward, I read another passage of God’s words: “As a created being, you should of course worship God and pursue a meaningful life. If you don’t worship God and live in the filthy flesh, then aren’t you just a beast in human attire? As a human being, you should expend for God and endure all suffering. You should gladly and assuredly accept the little suffering you are subjected to today and live a meaningful life, like Job, like Peter. … You are people who pursue the right path, those who seek improvement. You are people who rise up in the nation of the great red dragon, those whom God calls righteous. Isn’t that the most meaningful life?” God’s words provided me with a way forward. Only living for God and to carry out His will is a valuable and meaningful life. In my worldly life I had my fill of Satan’s harms—it was God’s grace that gave me the good fortune of coming into the house of God. Today, I have enjoyed so much of God’s love, and I should seek the truth, expend myself for God, and fulfill the duty of a creature. I should live to seek God’s love and fully cast off the empty, depraved life of the flesh, live out a life with true meaning and value.
As the sun slowly appeared above the horizon and I heard the cheerful sound of the birds’ songs outside, I heard a hymn of life experience: “God’s Love Brings Us Close Together.” I was really moved. It’s true—only having God is having love, and only through love is there family. When I was in the most pain and despair it was God who led me out of my suffering over the failure of my marriage. Now I have found a truly happy harbor for my soul and I have found a true home. Thank Almighty God. Amen!