By Shunfu, America
When I was a child, I always heard people say: “A husband with prestige brings honor to his wife.” “Follow the man you marry, be he a cock or dog.” (A Chinese idiom which means a girl has no choice but to live obediently with the man she marries, whether he is good or bad, for the rest of her life.) At that time, I always thought that when I grew up, I must marry a successful husband who would come from a great family and would earn big bucks and protect me and my child. I also believed that the first incarnation of a woman was not up to her, but the second incarnation of a woman was marriage, and it was up to her to decide. This was the biggest goal for my life.
When I came to America in 1997, I studied English and worked towards a master’s degree in computer science while I still searched for the ideal husband. A lot of my peers introduced me to decently-educated men with stable income, but it didn’t work out for numerous reasons. By the fourth year in America I met my husband. He is an American with a great family. Because I was pregnant, so we got married quickly. Soon I learned that my husband was very mediocre and was not highly educated either, resulting in him struggling with jobs. He also had no ambition and was lazy. He only worked 3-4 hours a day, and then came home. Therefore, he couldn’t earn enough money and could not support me and my newborn. We depended on his mom and dad to give us 1-2k dollars a month to pay mortgage and life expenses.
My dream of a successful husband was completely shattered. I blamed myself for blindly finding a husband, and I had ruined my chance of a second incarnation. Therefore, I was disgusted with my husband, and whatever he did and said every day, I opposed him. No matter how much I scolded him, he still treated my son and me nicely like always. However, I was not satisfied with him, and I do not remember how many times I wanted to divorce him, but my seven-year-old son said: “Mom, without my father, there is no me, and if you had found a husband that met your standards, you would not have necessarily had a son like me, so you cannot divorce, because no matter what, he is my dad. I do not want to be like our neighbor who moved frequently between mom’s and dad’s house.” Whenever I thought of my son’s words, I immediately dropped the idea of a divorce, but deep down I still could not resign myself to living with this husband. In particular, what I could not understand the most was that he even lost the job that made him barely any money. In a fit of anger, I began working as a real estate agent that day, and asked him to take care of my son and stay home. I believed that I could make several times more money than he did.
Later, as my income increased, my husband was even less useful in my eyes. Finally, I submitted an application for divorce to the court (effective within six months) and I decided to find a good man that could meet my standards. But in the next two or three years, although I came into contact with some men who pursued me, I found that every one of them had shortcomings, and that there was no good man who could meet my standards. Finally, I gave up the idea of a divorce. However, I was still dissatisfied with this unhappy marriage. I felt a lot of pain and helplessness in my heart. Such a life was simply torture to me, but I had to endure it for my son.
Because I believed there was a God since I was a little girl. In order to find the solution to the pain of my marriage, I went to various churches to look for God, and I thought God would be able to solve my pain. But I went to nearly 20 churches and did not find the answer I wanted, so I kept looking. Unexpectedly, I met the return of the Lord.
In November 2016, I met a sister named Xiaoxin in astudy class. Two weeks later, she introduced me to Sister Winne and Sister Chen Jing. They gave witness to God’s work in the last days and communicated many truths to me, and they gave me a book of God’s words. The book is published for the words of of the last days. In these words, God helps us understand His thoughts and intentions behind the things God once did as recorded in the Bible. It also talks about the holy essence and righteous disposition of God, how God is the source of life for all things, how God manages and supplies all things, and how God dominates people’s destiny, and so on. And after reading it, I could confirm that this is the voice of God. Every day I had to read otherwise I felt empty inside. Sometimes I read His word several times. Every time I read it, I gained something new. In particular, I was full in my spirit. What made me happy the most was that I finally found a solution in the words of God to the marital problems that had plagued me for more than 10 years …
It was at a fellowship where I opened up my deepest pain—about my dislike of my husband over the years and my own desire to end the tangle of this marriage and the pain of continuing my marriage. A sister read two passages of God’s words to me: “Marriage is a key event in any person’s life; it is the time when one starts truly to assume various kinds of responsibilities, begins gradually to fulfill various kinds of missions. People harbor many illusions about marriage before they experience it themselves, and all these illusions are beautiful. Women imagine that their other halves will be Prince Charming, and men imagine that they will marry Snow White. These fantasies go to show that every person has certain requirements for marriage, their own set of demands and standards. Though in this evil age people are constantly bombarded with distorted messages about marriage, which create even more additional requirements and give people all sorts of baggage and strange attitudes, any person who has experienced marriage knows that no matter how one understands it, no matter what one’s attitude toward it is, marriage is not a matter of individual choice.
“One encounters many people in one’s life, but no one knows who will become one’s partner in marriage. Though everyone has their own ideas and personal stances on the subject of marriage, no one can foresee who will finally become their true other half, and one’s own notions count for little. After meeting a person you like, you can pursue that person; but whether he or she is interested in you, whether he or she is able to become your partner, is not yours to decide. The object of your affections is not necessarily the person with whom you will be able to share your life; and meanwhile someone you never expected quietly enters your life and becomes your partner, becomes the most important element in your fate, your other half, to whom your fate is inextricably bound. And so, though there are millions of marriages in the world, every one is different…. In these myriad marriages, humans reveal loyalty and lifelong commitment toward marriage, or love, attachment, and inseparability, or resignation and incomprehension, or betrayal of it, even hatred. Whether marriage itself brings happiness or pain, everyone’s mission in marriage is predestined by the Creator and will not change; everyone must fulfill it. And the individual fate that lies behind every marriage is unchanging; it was determined long in advance by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
Then the sister said: “From the word of God we can see that our fate and the people we marry have been long destined by God; we have no choice about it, and we cannot change it. As God said: ‘Though everyone has their own ideas and personal stances on the subject of marriage, no one can foresee who will finally become their true other half, and one’s own notions count for little’” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). She continued, “Does that sound true to you? Before you were married, you met a lot of people who pursued you, and you liked a few of them back, but you did not end up marrying them, and your marriage with your husband was so sudden. Also you wanted to divorce him so many times, and you even submitted a divorce application, but after everything, you are still inseparable from him, but why? Because all of this is under God’s dominion and with God’s permission. On the other hand, each person in their own marriages has their own missions. If you want to achieve happiness in marriage, both the husband and wife have a responsibility and an obligation to complete; it is not just the responsibility of one or the other, nor is it one demanding the other with unfair blind requests. In addition, if we can think about it from another perspective, your marriage also contains the love of God! Let’s take it back a step, was it not the fact that your dissatisfaction with your marriage was the reason you came to seek for God? If your marriage and life had met your standards, would you accept theof God from brothers and sisters? The whole of humanity is deeply corrupted, everyone loves personal desires, not God, and almost no one seeks God in a comfortable environment. Although your marriage may seem unpleasant, it is a gift from God in order for you to come to God, and if you understand God’s heart, you will not always think of breaking free of His sovereignty, and you will no longer feel pain from your marriage.” God’s words and the sister’s fellowship made me understand that it was not up to me whom I married, and that because my fate and my husband’s are closely related, we came together. Moreover, because my life goal was to marry a perfect husband since childhood, if I had indeed found one, I would have worshiped my husband instead of God, and I would have never thought of seeking God.
Then the sister read to me another passage 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. … There is a simplest way to free oneself from this state: to bid farewell to one’s former way of living, to say goodbye to one’s previous goals in life, to summarize and analyze one’s previous lifestyle, philosophy, pursuits, desires, and ideals, and then to compare them withand demands for man, and see whether any of them is consistent with God’s will and demands, whether any of them delivers the right values of life, leads one to a greater understanding of the truth, and allows one to live with humanity and human likeness. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals of life that people pursue and their various different ways of living, you will find that not one of them fits the Creator’s original intention when He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all pits into which humanity falls, and which lead them to hell. After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
The sister told me after reading God’s word: “When we face the unpleasant things in our life, the reason we are so painful is because we do not know God’s sovereignty and do not understand that God rules everything, and all this is God’s care and protection for us. Therefore, we are always defiant and want to break free of God’s sovereignty and control ourselves when we face God’s dominion, but we are unable to get away from the arrangements of God, so we live in the pain of this struggle. To break away from this kind of anguish, on the one hand, we should submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God; on the other hand, we have to dissect if our aspirations and our goals are in line with the truth and God’s requirements. If the view of “a husband with prestige brings honor to his wife” is in accordance with truth and is a positive thing, then why do you bear the pain by holding to it? How can you be displeased with your husband? In fact, all these views come from Satan and are negative things. Looking at it from another perspective, when you hold this view, will your marriage with your husband be pure? Even if you really find a ‘good man’ who is good at making a lot of money, the relationship between you and him will always be materialistic, without real love. Once he is defeated, your marriage will be broken, and even if you sustain your marriage, you still will be painful, because your husband cannot bring honor to you. In fact, when we use our heart to seek to experience, we will discover that God arranges everything for us in a good way. If our viewpoint is changed, and we practice according to the way God pointed out to us, ‘lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God,’ we will obtain liberation and freedom.”
Through God’s word and the sister’s fellowship, I understood that the true joy and release can only be achieved by obeying the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangement, and fighting destiny can only bring me untold suffering. At the same time, I also saw that this evil social trend makes most of us set high expectations on marriage; the erroneous ideas Satan taught me, “a husband with prestige brings honor to his wife” and “marriage is the second reincarnation of women” prevented me from submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangement, but instead I wanted to dominate my own destiny, which resulted in me living in pain. Now, I know through the word of God that my marriage has been predestined by God. I am willing to follow God’s word and lay aside my old view of life and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement.
When I put aside those unrealistic fantasies and expectations about marriage and when I am willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement, I no longer complain about this marriage, only to find out that my husband is quite good. So I have a better attitude toward my husband now. For example: I used to scold him whenever I saw him not do things according to my will, and I wanted to divorce him at every moment, but now I seldom scold him, and I never mentioned divorcing him ever again. In the past, no matter what he had done for me, I never said thank you to him, and even if something is done right by him, I have never praised him, and I wasn’t able to see his goodness. But now I say thank you to him. When He does something well, I will praise him; before I never cared for him, but now I will take the initiative to cook for him and take concern for him; there is more communication between us. Because of my change, my husband is very happy, our family also becomes calmer, more harmonious, and I feel liberated. I am very grateful for God’s salvation and guidance, because I no longer live in the pain of marriage. It is God’s word that puts me out of this “unhappy marriage.”
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