Bible Reading Made Easy

Offspring’s Marriage Is Not in Parents’ Control

By Yutong

Every time I saw the parents of my age labored for their children’s marriage, I would worry about my daughter’s: She had already reached the age to get married. But in today’s society, it is difficult for a man to marry a good wife, and more so for a girl. As parents we all hope that our children can marry a satisfactory partner, and live an easy and worry-free life. However, children today don’t listen to their parents. They advocate what is called free love, and consider things in a very simple way. There was a girl in our village who found herself a partner but their courtship met with her parents’ disapproval. She did not take their advice and ran away from home. For years there being no news from her, her mother cried all day long, and the villagers relished idle gossips about them. Another girl used to live next to my house. The boy she was fond of lived in a poor family in the rural area. To separate them, her father beat her hard and her mother scolded her severely, but their attempt was in vain. Now, the girl had a hatred for her parents and no mutual contact with them. A third girl is my sister’s daughter: my niece. My sister did not think well of her boyfriend. She used both the carrot and the stick toward her, but without success. After my niece got married, she was often beaten black and blue by her husband, even to the point that she had to flee to my home to avoid his husband. For this, my sister always complained and wept bitterly. At last, her daughter had to get divorced …

Seeing the occurrences around me, I was full of worries for my daughter’s marriage: What if her boyfriend did not accord with my will? Anyhow, I thought, it would be better for us parents to have the last say in her marriage. Because we had much experience, and we looked at things in practical ways and from long-term perspectives. Conversely, my daughter was young and lacking in life experience, and considered things simply.

Later, I heard by accident that my daughter had a partner. I could not help but begin to worry: What kind of person is her boyfriend? After some inquiries, I came to know that the boy was born in the countryside; his parents got divorced, his mother was a mahjong addict while his father a lazy good-for-nothing; he had a brother; his home was a three-room bungalow. Knowing this, I was like an ant on a hot pan. I thought: To make a living, my husband and I have struggled very hard over these years. So we have been hoping that our daughter can marry into a better-off family and suffer less hardships in the future. But considering her boyfriend’s family conditions, I heartily disapproved of their dating. But later, I comforted myself, thinking: They are still young. After several years, they will be mature and older. Perhaps they will finally meet their respective partner.

A year later, one day, my daughter returned home saying that her boyfriend’s hometown would expropriate land, so for his family to be allocated two houses, they had to apply for a marriage certificate in advance and asked for my permission. The sudden news gave me quite a start. I thought: If I disagree, I’m afraid she is serious and will elope with her partner. If so, then where can I hide my face? If I agree, it really concerns me that her partner has a particular family background. She is too young to know much about life or what she’s doing. But marriage is greatly related to the happiness for her whole life. If she is miserable, how can the latter part of my life be spent in peace? And even if I want to help her, I have no spare money. I can’t agree! As her mother, I must give her some guidance. I absolutely cannot allow her to apply for a marriage certificate. Young people are apt to be ruled by emotion and can’t take much into consideration. Even if she can’t understand my heart now, I think she will come to know it in the future. Thus, I must guard a pass on the matter of her marriage.

One day, her boyfriend’s father came to ask for my daughter’s household register. I told him, “According to the normal procedure, only after they’re engaged can they apply for the marriage certificate.” Knowing well that he was in the wrong, he no longer asked for it. But since then, my daughter had sulked and started a cold war with me: She did not talk to me and pretended to be not hearing me when I talked to her. I was living in refinement: On the one hand, I was afraid that she would get upset and commit a suicide; on the other hand, I thought she didn’t understand my heart as a mother, but even misunderstood and complained against me. I felt extremely painful and could not sleep well for nights on end. I thought hard to guide her mind with various ways: telling her what I had seen and experienced, even mobilizing my mother and my husband and my relatives to cooperate with me to prevent her marriage. It was really that I had used all my wits. But all of this did not beat my daughter’s one word, “I would rather marry him, even if it means suffering.” She seemed to be dead set on it, and I was devastated. Afraid that I would be sad to death, my mother and husband came to guide me with their concern that it would be too late if my daughter was driven to extremes. In the end, for fear that she would do silly things, I was reluctant to give in.

Several days later, my daughter brought her boyfriend to visit us. I was unwilling, but for the sake of saving face, I still got up early to prepare ingredients to entertain him well. When I heard the door opening, I smoothed my hair, adjusted my feeling, and left the kitchen post-haste to meet him and then, I was more disheartened: He was 1.8 meters tall, rather thin, with a face of pimples, a slight stoop, a peaked cap, black trousers in the shape of chicken legs, and long pointed leather shoes. I started to think: My daughter is too blind though having eyes. They are not a perfect match judging from appearance. My daughter is 1.58 meters tall, and they together are like a high-low cabinet, becoming the object of ridicule. My daughter is good-looking while the boy is plain-looking, so strangely dressed. Besides, he has a poor family and has no job and no advantage. If I agreed with their marriage, I would push my daughter into the fiery pit. Although my family is not well-off, my daughter is not stupid or dull-witted. If we had such a son-in-law, we would go crazy or be blind-eyed. If so, how would our relatives and friends see us? Would we not be their laughingstock? When I thought of this, I was so furious that I just could not utter even one single word and my mind went blank. I could only feel every nerve in my body was shivering. I dragged my dazed body back to the kitchen and was ready to start a fire, but the gas lighter did not work no matter how I tried. About a dozen minutes later, the boy came to the kitchen to greet me, but I even forgot how I responded to him. Seeing that I was so angry, my husband persuaded me to let nature take its course and to let our daughter have her own choice since she was old. Because I would not loosen my hold on my daughter’s marriage, the conflicts between us became greater again, causing us each to sink into pain. Thinking back, I had suffered so much for her, but when she grew up and became fully fledged, she did not listen to my persuasion even on the great matter of her marriage. During that period, as if there were a stone on my chest, I was in no mood to do anything …

Just when the knot in my mind was not able to be untied and I was upset and concerned about her marriage, my husband and I believed in God. We saw God’s words say, “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.” Only after I read these words did the light suddenly dawn: It turns out that God has long since arranged us each’s appearance, family, and marriage, which are neither decided by the parents nor by the children. Parents can participate in their children’s marriage and offer some suggestions, but they do not have the final say on its outcome. Is my experience not like this? My daughter’s marriage has been arranged by God long before. My worries will not help, because I cannot decide her marriage, much less control her future fate. Before, I did not know that each marriage is predestinated by God, and always thought that as her parents, we could make the best, most correct decision for her, because we had much experience of life and we considered things thoughtfully. It seemed that only if my daughter had the partner I chose for her would her marriage be happy. As a consequence, I wanted to rule over her fate, and we both were in great pain. Now it seems that all this is caused because I had no knowledge of God’s sovereignty. Thinking more, I found that even though some parents were able to find a rich partner for their daughter, her marriage would not necessarily be happy. Cases were never rare where the young couple quarreled and got divorced due to disputes or marital infidelity. Just because I didn’t know who it is that rules over marriage, I was used to scolding my daughter once speaking of her marriage. As a result, she was embarrassed, I received no thanks, our feelings hurt and we both living in pain.

Having read God’s words, I was much assured in my mind and was willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Then I brought this matter to God and prayed, “O God! I don’t think well of my daughter’s boyfriend, but she has determined to marry him. O God, although I’m unsatisfied with their marriage, I can’t see it through. If it’s Your sovereignty and arrangement, I’m willing to submit.” After I prayed to God for my daughter’s marriage several times, I was not that concerned with it gradually. Instead, I was willing to put aside my own thoughts and leave it to herself. Thus the pain in my heart lessened a lot.

Another several months later, my daughter said she had broken up with her boyfriend. I was clear in my mind that this boyfriend of hers was not the one God has predestinated for her. As it turned out, how far one should walk on his path and what one should experience before he gets married is also under God’s prearrangement. My daughter’s experience could also toughen her. Thank God! I had seen His sovereignty.

One day, my friend came to introduce a partner to my daughter, saying that the boy’s conditions were far better than her former boyfriend. I immediately had no place for God in my heart and made a decision for my daughter: As soon as I heard that the boy’s conditions were not bad, I agreed steadily and called my daughter back urgently. However, after the two met, neither of them was satisfied. And I had to quit. But every time I saw anyone else’s daughter had a good partner, I was full of envy toward them, and couldn’t help thinking: If only my daughter could have a partner with good family conditions! Nevertheless, no one came to find a partner for my daughter ever since then.

One day, I saw God’s words say, “I will constantly appease all those who perceive My will and I will not allow them to suffer or come to harm. The crucial thing now is that you are able to take action in accordance with My will…. Why don’t you commit them into My hands? Do you not believe in Me enough? Or is it that you’re afraid I will make inappropriate arrangements for you? Why do you always miss your home? And miss other people! Do I occupy a certain position in your heart? And you still talk about letting Me have dominion within you and occupy your whole being—these are all deceptive lies! How many of you are for the church with all your hearts? And who among you think not of yourselves, but are for the kingdom of today? Think very carefully about this.” Reading God’s words, I was much humiliated. God’s words spoke truly about me and God knows all the thoughts in my mind. My mouth said that my daughter’s marriage was predestinated by God, but my heart still planned and arranged for her, hoping to find her a partner with good conditions. My doing this was not an obedient attitude to God’s sovereignty and arrangement. Was my prayer to God—that may God arrange for my daughter and I’m willing to submit—a lie that cheated God? Now that I believe in God, I should honor God as great, and let God sovereign in my family. God’s words reminded me that what I should do was read and experience more of God’s words, have true faith in God and true obedience to God. If I always wanted to have the last say myself, I wouldn’t see God’s sovereignty. Thinking back, I had used various ways to hinder my daughter’s marriage, only to find they didn’t work, that I was full of anger, and that my brain addled. Whether my daughter’s future partner in marriage was poor or rich, or what would become of her marriage, they were not decided by my will. If I still relied on my own will to decide for her, then I was resisting God. Everyone wanted to find a good partner in marriage, but how many people could fulfill their wills? Our fates are all in God’s hands, so I should let go of my daughter’s marriage and entrust it into God’s hands. In the meantime, I should seize the once-in-a-life-time opportunity of God coming to save us mankind to live church life with brothers and sisters wholeheartedly, reading God’s words and pursuing the truth diligently.

When I set myself aside, relied on God and believed in God with honesty, several months later, my daughter had a partner under the introduction of her friend. And all conditions of her partner were beyond my expectation. His parents had arranged their marriage in perfect order, needless for my husband and me to bother. The matchmaker said that he had lived for several scores of years, but he had never met such approachable people as us. Both my husband and I were very clear that all this was because God’s wondrous deeds had changed us. Seeing that my daughter had a satisfying family, I had nothing more to care. I often read God’s words together with my daughter, and our conflicts and grievance all vanished like mist and smoke.

Thank God for changing me, and for letting me know: I am only a created being and my duty as a parent was to fulfill my obligation and responsibility to my daughter. As for her marriage and her future, they are in God’s sovereignty and arrangement. I cannot accompany my child all her life and have no control over many things, because God alone is the only reliance of each of us. All the glory be to God!

Parent-Child Relationships

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