Conflict Caused by Staying Out All Night
“Xiaoxi, look at the time. Where are you? How come you don’t go home? You can just learn to do ill outside …” Chenxi’s mother, who was experiencing menopause, was nagging her on the phone. Chenxi really couldn’t bear it, so she removed her cellphone far away from her ear to show her dislike. Seeing this scene, her boyfriend beside her could only smile helplessly. After hanging up, Chenxi thought moodily: It seems that my mother becomes more and more boring during her menopause. She just easily loses her temper over trifles that are unsatisfied with her wishes. I finally got my day off and went out to play for one day. It’s only 4:00 p.m. and she urged me home. She is so excessive! In addition, relatives and friends all praised me for being sensible since I was a child. Now I have reached marriage age. How is it that, on the contrary, I become a bad child in my mother’s eyes? The more she thought, the more she became angry. So she made a wilful decision and then said angrily to her boyfriend, “I’m not going home tonight. Let’s go out!” Seeing Chenxi’s anger, her boyfriend didn’t dare to ask more.
It’s not even 6:00 the next morning, Chenxi’s cellphone rang again, and came her mother’s voice, “If you don’t come back this morning, you won’t need to come back in future!” “I …” Before Chenxi could explain, her mother had hung up. She, who had been drowsy, lost her sleepiness in an instant. Seeing the ceiling, Chenxi thought petulantly on the bed: Can’t you speak kindly if you want me to come back early? Must you shout and scream? I will just go back this afternoon. I’ll see what you can do to me.
After lunch, on the way home, Chenxi thought: I’ll think of a way to let my mother admit her fault; otherwise, if she always interferes with my business, I will be annoyed.
When Chenxi arrived home, she opened the door stealthily, finding only her sister-in-law was at home. From her sister-in-law, she knew that nothing unusual happened. Her sister-in-law said, “You should consider your mother more and communicate more with her. She just worries about you. And she is not unreasonable …” The moment Chenxi heard these words, she interrupted at once and said in a high voice, “Don’t mention it. If she was reasonable, the world would be peaceful.” As she was speaking, her mother came into the house. So Chenxi intentionally pretended to be depressed and said, “Well, because my respected mother always hurries me home, I quarreled and broke up with my boyfriend.” Saying this, she stroked her hair and said again, “I’m too tired. I’ll have a sleep.” Then she ignored her mother and went to her bedroom.
At supper, from her mother’s worried face, Chenxi knew that her mother must believe that her boyfriend and she broke up and felt guilty for this. Chenxi couldn’t help being secretly pleased. However, after supper, when she saw her mother went to the kitchen and washed the dishes alone, somehow, she felt uncomfortable after going back to her bedroom. Suddenly, she saw the book of God’s word on the table, and then she opened it and read: “What kind of condition is this brashness and arrogance of young people? What kind of disposition is it? (They don’t listen to what other people say. They always think that they are the best.) (They don’t want to listen to others.) They don’t want to listen to others…. What word can we use to describe the disposition this kind of person has? Arrogant. This is a kind of disposition and expression that all young people in this age group have. They are all the same. No matter what their living environment or background is like and no matter to what generation they belong, this is a representative disposition of the people in that age group. … Not being able to know what is good for them, not knowing what is positive or what is negative and not being able to tell good from bad. Because they are young, brash and arrogant, they don’t listen to anything anyone says. ‘Anything anyone else says is wrong, what I say is right. Don’t anyone try to say anything to me, I won’t take anything in. I know I’m right. Even if I am wrong, I’ll still stick to my guns. Though I know perfectly well that I’m wrong, I’ll still persist with my opinions.’ They have this kind of disposition, of not being able to tell a four from a six. From the outside it is hard to tell whether the child is being clever or stupid; they can put forward ordered arguments. When arguing something, they know better than anyone and they understand more than anyone else, so how come they always do things in such a befuddled way? Though they know perfectly well that a certain way of doing something is right, they don’t listen, they do as they wish and do things however they want—they are willful and muddled” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World”).
Chenxi closed the book and thought a while: What God’s words reveal is my actual manifestations. Since I went to college, I was unwilling to be controlled by my mother. Every time she asked me to sleep early and rise early to form normal living habits and go home early from work, I had my own reasons: Few young people nowadays go to bed before 11:00 at night. What’s more, why does it matter that I occasionally went home late after getting together with my friends? My classmates went out all night, but their parents didn’t nag them. So I quarreled with my mother frequently, which often took away her appetite for a whole day. At the thought of this, Chenxi felt somewhat guilty and uneasy. In reality, she knew in her heart: My mother nagged me for fear that I would be immersed in the evil trends of the world, and thus keep away from God and learn to do ill. But I not only didn’t understand her kindness, but instead went against her. I was too willful!
The night darkened, and the tick of the clock echoed in the empty drawing room. Chenxi couldn’t fall asleep, so she quietly got up and read another passage of God’s words: “So your parents are the ones that nurture you, but they’re also your helpers. What’s best is when you can make them your friends, intimates, and confidants. They help you, you help them, you support each other, and make up for one another’s shortcomings, and in this way the relationship between you becomes normal. When your relationship is at this level, could you still have nothing to say to each other? In this, what issue are people incapable of breaking through, so that they live in such circumstances and their lives are so tiring? In fact, the two are inseparable. When parents meet their children they keep nagging and feel annoyed, saying to themselves, ‘He annoyed me yet again—when I’m not with him, there’s nothing I have to nag about and I feel pretty relaxed. Every time I meet him, I always have to nag, I can’t just let him do as he pleases.’ When the children meet their parents, they’re also annoyed, and think, ‘They always go on and on. They’ve talked about nothing else for decades, they nag and nag.’ But when they’re apart, the two keep thinking about each other, and miss each other. The parents worry about their children: ‘Is he eating well? Is he going hungry? How’s his health? It’s cold—is he wearing warm clothing? Is anyone taking care of his problems? It makes me worry!’ And when the parents leave their children, the children also miss them, and think: ‘My Mom’s old, and my Dad’s not in good health. How are they now?’ But when the two are together, they can’t get on, yes? And what causes this? Some people say, ‘It’s caused by people having a corrupt disposition, and being without the truth.’ Is this right? This is empty talk. The root cause is certainly not those two major doctrines. What is the most practical root cause? (Being incapable of interacting on an equal footing, trying to constrain each other.) Trying to constrain each other—it is true, and that’s the practical way of putting it. This is the most prominent aspect of a corrupt disposition” (“What Should One Possess, at the Very Least, to Have Normal Humanity”).
Having seen God’s words, Chenxi suddenly felt her heart bright and clear. She thought: This time I had gone too far. To escape my mother’s control, I intentionally cheated her by saying that my boyfriend and I broke up to make her guilty. I want to use this way to force her not to control me anymore. My lying like this is really not the likeness of a Christian; I have no respect for my mother, either. I just care for giving relief to my own feelings but don’t understand how she worries about me as a mother.
The more Chenxi thought, the more she felt awful. Not knowing when the door was open, she saw her mother stand at the door with her eyes red and swollen. Chenxi felt sad and said softly, “Why are you standing at the door? Come in.” Her mother came in and sat beside Chenxi, asking softly, “What are you reading?” Chenxi said, “God’s latest fellowship. About the relationship between parents and children.” Her mother said, whose eyes were shining with tears, “I have also read it just now and reflected on myself. You have grown up, but I always treat you like a child, wanting you to listen to me in everything and saying that what I did was all for your own good. Not until I saw God’s words today did I realize that: I thought that no matter how I controlled you, it was for the sake of you; in fact, I just wanted you to listen to me absolutely and do as I said. I just did things by my arrogant nature of Satan that you felt upset.” Hearing her mother’s words, Chenxi said with guilt, “Mom, it’s partly my fault too. Every time I encountered problems, as long as one word you said was at odds with my will, I would not want to listen; I also irrationally argued that it’s OK to sleep late and rise late; I thought that I’m an adult and I can think and do things independently, so I didn’t bother to communicate with you. Now from God’s words, I know that I’m too arrogant without any normal humanity.” Hearing Chenxi say this, her mother shed tears again. When Chenxi helped her mother wipe the tears, she found there was another tiny wrinkle around her mother’s eyes. Then her mother said, “Well, let’s read one more passage of God’s words.” Chenxi said, “OK. I’ll read it to you.”
“When you fellowship the truth and speak the words in your heart, and describe something clearly and understandably, so that it can edify and benefit others, make them understand, and help them escape misunderstandings and fallacies, is there any need to stand on high? Is there any need to use a lecturing tone? You don’t need to scold them, you don’t need to speak loudly, or shout at them, much less use words, or a tone, or an intonation that are blunt. You just need to learn to use a normal tone, commune from the position and status of an ordinary person, speak calmly, speak the words in your heart, endeavor to pour out what you understand, what other people need to understand, and speak clearly and understandably. When what you say is understandable, other people will understand, your burden will be released, they will cease to have misunderstandings, and you will see what you say more clearly; isn’t this edifying both of you? … Tell them this: ‘It’s actually very simple. You don’t always think of yourselves as my parents, and I won’t think of myself as your child. The relationship between us will be that of ordinary brothers and sisters. If something’s up with you, tell me. Don’t suppress it or hide it. I won’t laugh at you. If you see something wrong with me, you can point it out to me. Tell me what you understand, so that I can put it into practice and not walk the wrong path.’ What’s it called when two people confer in this way? It’s called speaking heart-to-heart. And what is the purpose of speaking heart-to-heart? Is it to maintain a proper relationship between parents and children? Let Me tell you, narrowly speaking, the purpose of speaking heart-to-heart is for there to be normal human communication, having an exchange of minds. That’s narrowly speaking. Broadly speaking, it is for people to understand each other’s state, learn from each other, support each other, and help one another—that’s the effect” (“What Should One Possess, at the Very Least, to Have Normal Humanity”).
Having seen God’s words, Chenxi and her mother looked at each other. Although they didn’t say anything, Chenxi knew that there was no need to say more. With the guidance of God’s words, they found the path of practice to get along with each other harmoniously. At this time, their hearts were not estranged from each other anymore, but were approaching gradually because they understood God’s will.
After a while, Chenxi said mischievously, “Mom, your eyes are swollen; it’s unsightly. Tell you the truth, my boyfriend and I didn’t quarrel nor broke up. I just intentionally annoyed you.” Her mother glared at her and said, “I knew what you did is intentional.” “Look, you again speak loudly. We must practice God’s words. We should be clam …”
The moonlight outside the window was bright. Chenxi and her mother cuddled up together as they continued to chat and laugh. Chenxi embraced her mother and asked, “Mom, what will we eat tomorrow morning?” Her mother didn’t say anything but a happy smile spread over her face.