By Milan, South Korea
My Expectation of a Happy Marriage
I was born into a happy Christian family. Since I was little, I has believed in the Lord with my family. When I was young, my aunt often took me toto attend services. Whenever I saw brothers and sisters having their wedding in the church, with happy and sweet smiles on their faces, I would dream that God would also bestow a happy and good marriage upon me when I grew up.
My First Failed Relationship
When I was a sophomore in university, I met Zong online. We chatted very congenially and he would call me up every night. He told me that his parents favored his younger brother over him and he didn’t feel the love from his family. I thus sympathized with him very much, and often read theto him and used the Lord’s words to comfort and encourage him. Unknowingly, I took to him. At that time, my idea of love was very simple: As long as two persons had an affinity for each other and truly loved each other, they could become boyfriend and girlfriend and join their lives together in holy matrimony.
However, I didn’t expect that when I told Zong’s family background and his situation to brothers and sisters and my family, they all didn’t look favorably on our relationship. My parents urged me to find a like-minded life partner, because only in this way could my married life be happy. Brothers and sisters also advised me not to make a hasty decision on my marriage, and advised that I should pray to the Lord more and deliver my marriage into the Lord’s hands, asking Him to reveal whether Zong was my other half that the Lord had prepared for me. Hearing their words, I felt very sad in my heart, but I still decided to reconsider my relationship with Zong. So, I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to lead me to make the right decision.
Not long after, I was told by my friend that when in a relationship with me, Zong was seeing several other girls as well. When I heard this matter, I felt shocked and disappointed, but even more, I was grateful to the Lord, for He listened to myand, through the fact, made me know that Zong and I were not suitable to be boyfriend and girlfriend. However, during my contact with him, I had come to have an affection for him, so when I needed to break up with him, I could not but feel a tinge of sadness in my heart and was somewhat unwilling to make such decision. Later, brothers and sisters fellowshiped with me: “As a Christian, if you want to have a successful marriage, the most important thing is to find a partner who cherishes the same ideals and follows the same path as you. If your other half doesn’t believe in the Lord, he will probably affect your belief in the Lord. There are quite a few cases of failed marriages happened in the church. Take for example, after marrying non-Christians, some brothers and sisters were hindered from believing in the Lord and attending gatherings, and even their reading the Bible and worshiping God at home were limited. Marriage is the most important event in our life. We can’t make our decision blindly. We must pray to the Lord more about this matter because only the one that the Lord has prepared for us is the most suitable for us.” Their fellowship was very beneficial and helpful to me. I felt greatly relieved in my heart, no longer screwed up with my emotional problems. So, I decided to make a new choice of my marriage partner.
My Second Failed Relationship
One day, I saw it said in the Bible: “But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah” (Joshua 24:15). Right! Since I believe in the Lord, my family should also worship the Lord as great. So I should find a like-minded partner so that we could walk the path oftogether, and only in this way could we love and support each other and serve the Lord together. After understanding the Lord’s will, I decided to find a boyfriend who believed in the Lord, so we could serve and worship the Lord with one heart.
One year later, a sister introduced Li Kemu, a seminary student, to me. I had always thought that seminary students were all very familiar with the Bible and they also dedicated themselves to the Lord and spent their whole life serving Him, so they were the most devout Christians. I thought to myself: If I can marry a dignified seminary student in the future, I am sure to gain great support and help in spirit and to walk the right path of faith in God. At the thought of these things, I felt thrilled, thinking that I had finally found someone after my own heart.
But the reality didn’t turn out what I imagined. In the course of our interaction, I found that he didn’t like to talk with me about the Bible and about faith in God. At first, I felt a little unhappy in my heart, but out of admiration for him, I didn’t take it to heart. But what was inconceivable to me was that once he suddenly told me that he wanted to cohabit with me. His words really disgusted me. I thought: He is a seminary student as well as a Christian, how can he make such a request? I seek a boyfriend for the purpose of getting married to him; what’s more, living together before marriage is detested by God. For this reason, I resolutely refused. But he said to me carelessly: “In our school, quite a number of students cohabit outside the campus: Some rent a place, some stay at a hotel….” Hearing these words, I found this incredible, saying: “Your college is a seminary, and you all are theological students, who will serve as pastors in the future! How can you do these things?! It’s displeasing to God!” “What’s wrong with it? Now, the whole world is dark and evil. It’s true that we are students of the seminary, but we are also ordinary people, who will naturally be influenced by social trends.” He answered lightly. Listening to these words, I grew very angry in my heart. What kind of a theological student is this? He has no reverence for God at all! His words and actions are no different from that of unbelievers! If I get married to someone like this, who doesn’t even like talking about faith in God, how could I gain support and help in spirit from him and serve the Lord together with him? Were all of these not illusions. At the thought of this, I split up with him decidedly.
When We Meet Our Life Partner Is Ordained by God
Having been through the two failed relationships, I felt somewhat discouraged and disheartened. I wondered what on earth my other half God had prepared for me was like and when I could meet him? I was puzzled by these questions until one day when I saw these verses in Ruth: “And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you: for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge: your people shall be my people, and your God my God: Where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried: Jehovah do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part you and me” (Ruth 1:16–17). “Then Naomi her mother in law said to her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for you, that it may be well with you?” (Ruth 3:1). Although Ruth had suffered frustration in marriage, she didn’t remarry after her husband died; rather, she continued following her mother-in-law decidedly in believing in God. Afterward, under God’s wonderful arrangements and orchestrations, she ran into her other half—Boaz. Through Ruth’s experience, I understood that God is arranging all things in the unseen world. When I grasped this, I felt no longer disturbed by my previous unsuccessful romances but felt much more liberated. I believed that when the time was right, God would allow me to make the acquaintance of my partner.
I Met Him, My Life Partner
After two years, the sisters from the church introduced Tao to me. I was 25 that year.
When I first saw him, he wore a pair of glasses, looking silly and fairly honest. Afterward, we frequently attended the meetings together. At that time, we had a Bible study meeting once a week, at which we would read the Lord’s words and share our knowledge of His words together. Every time when it came to his turn to share, he could always communicate some new enlightenment and illumination, which benefited me a lot and made me feel very bright in my heart. Gradually, we started a relationship. But I was unsure whether he was my other half that God had prepared for me. So, I prayed over this matter and put my heart into seeking, ready to obey His arrangement and orchestration.
Once, Tao shared the following verses with me: “And Jehovah God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). “And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). Then he fellowshiped with me, “The marriage of each person is ordained by God long ago. For example, back then, God made Eve so that she could keep Adam company, and so that they could help each other and manage the Garden of Eden together.” His fellowship made me understand better that God has long before prepared our other halves for us.
Later on, during the time we spent together, when I encountered difficulties, he was often able to fellowship with me about the words of the Lord to make me understand the Lord’s will and to help me get out of difficulties. Brothers and sisters and our families all quite approved of our relationship, so I further confirmed in my heart that he was my other half God had prepared for me. In 2007, Tao and I, amidst the good wishes of our families and brothers and sisters, joined our lives together in holy matrimony.
Up to now, we have been married for 11 years. During these years, when confronting problems and difficulties, whether in daily life or in spirit, we could pray to God with one heart and find the path to practice from, and then dealt with and solved these difficulties and problems together. When there were friction and conflict between us, through praying to and seeking God, we both humbled ourselves rather than haggling over every penny, so that we could understand and tolerate each other. In this way, the conflicts between us were capable of being settled soon and we were able to live in peace with one another again.
Marriage Is Determined by the Fates of Two Partners
One day, I saw God’s words say: “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.” “Marriage is an important juncture in a person’s life. It is the product of a person’s fate, a crucial link in one’s fate; it is not founded on any person’s individual volition or preferences, and is not influenced by any external factors, but is completely determined by the fates of the two parties, by the Creator’s arrangements and predeterminations regarding the fates of the couple.”
God’s words enabled me to understand better how God dictates our marriage. He arranges it according to the fates of the two parties. No matter what choice and preference we have, it will never change the marriage God has determined for us. And what God arranges for us is for the best. Thinking back to when I first looked for a boyfriend, I hoped to find one who was good-looking and after my own heart according to my own standard. My first boyfriend, though meeting these conditions, was of lowly character: While in a relationship with me, he was seeing several other girls as well. He didn’t even possess the morality that normal people should have at the very least. Although he listened to me read the Bible, he didn’t believe in the Lord. We didn’t have a common faith and walked different paths in life, so he was unsuitable to be my partner. Later, I met a seemingly like-minded person. I had thought that we could help and support each other in spirit and walk the path of faith in God together. But it turned out that he was a false believer. At last, under God’s arrangements, I met Tao and then we got married. This made me see that my marriage is indeed not decided by myself but is totally ruled and arranged by God. My choosing my other half according to my own like was wrong and incompatible with God’s will. And the marriage God bestowed upon me is for the best. My husband and I are one in mind and purpose, and we together worship God and fulfill our duties as created beings. We live very happily. I thank God from the bottom of my heart for what He prepared for me.
Through my experience, I truly feel that our partner on our life journey has been prepared by the Creator long before. In marriage, we should maintain a heart of waiting and seeking, obeying the sovereignty and arrangements of God.
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