By Chen Jing, Italy
I wore the pants in family, so I couldn’t get on well with my husband.
When I was young, I was spoiled by my parents and my brothers and sisters also indulged me very much. I neither did any hard work in my family nor suffered any injustice. Growing up in such an environment, I became insolent, willful, and self-righteous. I was self-centered in doing everything and refused to accept others’ different ideas. It was as if my whole body were covered in thorns that no one could blame or touch me.
My husband was gentle. After marriage, he indulged me very much and I wore the trousers in our family. So, my words were just like imperial edicts. As long as I dictated something to him, he must do as I told him and didn’t dare to argue with me; if he dared to have another idea, I would keep arguing with him until he made a compromise.
In 2007, when we wanted to build our house, I thought it would be beautiful if we built two rooms plus a pergola on the third floor, but my husband considered the pergola not functional, and said it would be better to build another room. Hearing he had a different opinion, I got mad, so at that moment, no matter what he said, I stuck to my own thoughts and didn’t accept his opinion at all and complained about his lack of appreciation. When he told his thought to the builder, I got angry very much and kept a stiff face, being full of complaints in my heart. But for the sake of saving my face, I didn’t get mad immediately. I forced myself to hold back my temper and left these words: “Well, build this house as you like. From now on I will back off from all the things about our family.” And then I walked away. On seeing me getting angry, he gently tried to talk it over with me. Not a little could I listen to him, I said angrily: “Who exactly has the final say in our family, you or me?” He explained it to me, but I interrupted him at once and dressed him down. Seeing I insisted on my own opinion all the time, he finally made a compromise with me helplessly. Only then did I feel a little comfortable.
My husband liked playing cards, but he dared not play without my permission. One time I heard he was playing cards in our neighbor’s house, I thought to myself: “You dare to play behind my back! You really ignore me. Today I’ll teach you a lesson.” On my arrival at our neighbor’s, I shouted at him: “Stop playing and go home with me, now!” After that, I went home to pack my clothes up and wanted to divorce him. After a little while, he returned home. He saw I was about to leave home and so apologized to me immediately. I coldly said, “Let’s get divorced! I can’t live such a life. You go to marry a woman who likes gambling like you!” Aware of the unfavorable situation, he pressed his suit and swore that he would not play any longer, so I forgave him at last. From then on, he rarely went to play cards.
Because I was often disgruntled with my husband about trifles and threatened him with divorce frequently, before he spoke or acted, he had to watch my expressions and often sighed. Sometimes after I got mad at him, he was very helpless. In order to keep our family in harmony, he could only swallow his anger. Sometimes he kept smoking with his head down; sometimes he felt so hurt and resentful that he lost his temper at our child. Seeing this, I also felt uncomfortable in my heart. To tell the truth, I didn’t want to get mad, nor did I want to make him embarrassed. Every time after I argued with him and gained the upper hand, I wasn’t happy at all; on the contrary, I felt that I owed my husband too much and my heart was condemned, but I was unable to control my mood.
Led by God’s word, I had achieved initial changes.
Afterward, I was fortunate that I accepted the kingdom gospel of God. One time I read a paragraph of God’s words: “Did you ever realize what you are doing today— … considering yourselves as always right and better than others, being arrogant, and acting savagely like wild animals in mountains and rough like the king of the beasts—is this the likeness of a human being? You are rude and unreasonable.” After reading God’s words, I felt distressed in my heart. My behaviors were exactly the same as the revelations of God’s words. When I was a child, I was self-centered at home and asked my family to revolve round me. Once their doings weren’t agreeable to me, I would get mad. After marriage, I asked my husband to obey me in all things and to do as I told him. If he did it obediently, I would be happy and pleased; once he was disobedient to me or put forward different opinions, I would quarrel with him endlessly until he gave in. I thought carefully: He worked hard every day to provide for our family; however, not only did I not care for him, I also always lost my temper with him because his words and deeds were not after my heart. I always wouldn’t let it go until he made a compromise, and even turned my fury on him. I vented my emotions and revealed my naturalness in a willful way, so he felt especially restrained. He spoke or acted in front of me very carefully for fear that I was annoyed. He wasn’t as happy as before and sometimes he even would grumble a little. Because of my conduct, my husband and I couldn’t get on well with each other and our life wasn’t happy or blessed at all. Alas, everything was caused by my arrogant disposition. Did my living out have any likeness of a Christian?
God requires us neither to care for our own feelings nor to impose our ideas on others in our interactions of others. We should consider and tolerate others more. And then, I prayed to God and asked Him to lead me and give me the faith and courage to practice the truth. After that, when my husband’s speaking or acting wasn’t in line with my will, I prayed to God for guiding me to calm down and not to do things according to my flesh; after I cooled down, I talked things over with him. In daily life, I consciously cared for him. Before he returned home in the evening, I cooked meals and waited for him to eat together, showing great care for him and caring about his living. In addition, I would actively do more housework, lest he worry about it. Gradually, there were fewer quarrels between us and our relationship became a little more harmonious.
We were at odds again, and I learned the root of the problem.
One day, when my husband came back from his elder sister’s, he said to me: “Our brother-in-law wants to borrow some money from us.” Hearing that, I quickly asked him: “You’ve promised to lend them money, haven’t you?” He explained, “Yes, I have. But I didn’t say how much money we’ll lend them. I want to talk it over with you now.” On hearing his words, I flew into a fury, “You act first and report afterward. You’ve promised them already. Is there any need to talk with me? I can only agree. All right, you decide everything of our family from now on, and I won’t take care of anything.” On seeing me get angry again, he said, “Last time you said you would change yourself from then on, but I think you can still easily lose your temper as before and you haven’t achieved any change at all. Our sister and brother-in-law are always good to us. They often help us. Now they encounter difficulties and want to borrow some money from us, if I don’t agree to it, I will go against my conscience. Why are you always self-willed like a child? Don’t make a scene, will you?” Hearing his words, I realized my action wasn’t in line with God’s intentions, nor could I bear witness to God. But on thinking that my husband had decided for himself instead of talking it over with me in advance, I felt very uncomfortable in my heart. I worried that later he would do things according to his will without restriction, and then I wouldn’t have the final say. I really wasn’t reconciled to bowing my head to him. But I felt I wasn’t in line with God’s will if I got angry with him. I had conflict in my heart. In pain, I came before God to pray to Him for leading me to understand the truth and know His will.
Later on, I read another passage of God’s words: “Cruel, brutal mankind! The conniving and intrigue, the jostling with each other, the scramble for reputation and fortune, the mutual slaughter—when will it ever end? God has spoken hundreds of thousands of words, yet no one has come to their senses. … How many do not act for the sake of their own interests? How many do not oppress and discriminate against others for the sake of maintaining their own status?” And then I read these words in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “They still stick to their old self, and want to establish their image and be the boss. They consider themselves to be the most honorable in their heart and let others submit to them. Isn’t this kind of people the most arrogant? Their dispositions of Satan are too severe. What is the core and essence of satanic dispositions and nature? That is arrogance, self-rightness, self-importance and self-righteousness.”
Through God’s words, I learned that I couldn’t get on well with my husband because I lived by the satanic laws of survival of “I am my own Lord throughout heaven and earth.” I always wanted to control others, govern them and let them obey me. In my real life, I always used the word “I” first when I spoke, and I placed my own will first. I asked my husband to do things according to my will and didn’t give him any right to explain his ideas. Either on the big thing of building a pergola, or on the small thing of playing cards, I controlled him and forced him to listen to me. If he didn’t, I would argue with him and wanted to get divorced. Wasn’t what I expressed the revelation of my arrogant nature? I governed and controlled him in all things. I really brought him trouble and hurt, and even I myself felt tortured and in pain because I often got mad. At this rate, how could my husband and I get on well with each other? How could our life be happy? Wasn’t this all because of the harm of Satan’s corrupt nature and satanic toxins? I had been too deeply corrupted by Satan. At this moment, I despised my conduct from my heart and hated Satan even more. I wanted to resolve my arrogant disposition and act according to God’s word.
I found the way and saw light again.
Following that, I read a passage of Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: “In your home life, if people used to be in charge of your family, then you must remove them from their position. You must dispel all idols, make God’s words the master of your home, and allow Christ to rule. … And so, who really wields power in your home life? Is it you, your husband (or wife), or is it your children, or parents? Do you dare to write the words ‘Christ Is the Lord of My Home’ in your house? Do you dare to say to your husband (or wife), children, and parents, ‘Our family worships God. God’s words have begun to wield power, and from now onward, regardless of what problems we have, we shall solve them through prayer, and eating and drinking the words of God’? If you do it, and bring a complete end to a life of being ruled and reigned by the flesh….”
God requires us to do things according to His word and the truth in real life. Whoever speaks in accordance with the truth is who we should obey. We should let God’s word be the master and decision-maker and let the truth rule in our family. Because we are not truth and don’t have truth, how could we be qualified to force others to listen to ourselves? I always controlled my husband and forced him to listen to me. Didn’t I stand in God’s position? This offended God’s disposition. I had done things in this way for such a long time and thought I could protect my absolute authority in my family. I was truly offending and displeasing God. The consequence was so severe. From now on, I couldn’t consider myself to be the most honorable and be the master of all things in my family anymore. I must remove myself from the position. I need to let God and His word be in charge of my family. If my husband says something conforming to God’s word and the truth, I will listen to him. Only by doing things this way can I conform to God’s intentions. This is what a Christian should do.
At the time, I thought that regarding the matter of lending our elder sister money, my husband’s words were reasonable. Our elder sister helped us and was kind to our family. Even if she hadn’t helped us before, now she had difficulties, as her younger brother and sister-in-law, we also should do her a favor. It was appropriate that my husband promised to lend them some money. I shouldn’t stop him from doing that or even more find fault with him unreasonably just because he didn’t talk it over with me beforehand. Realizing that, I completely forgot my anger and began to talk it over with him calmly. Finally, we decided to lend 3000 yuan to our elder sister first.
With the word of god leading the way, I felt released in my heart.
At the noon of the Dragon Boat Festival in 2012, while I was cooking the meal, my husband went out. Before long he came back on a new motorbike and said to me: “This is the new motorbike I bought. What do you think of it?” When I saw the new motorbike, my heart felt stirred: “You are too hasty. Why did you buy it without talking it over with me? Did you think anything of me?” But then I thought that I shouldn’t suppress him in all things or impose my desires on him as before. He had his own thought and he could make the decision of what to buy according to his own requirements. I shouldn’t find fault with him unreasonably just in order to compete with him for superiority again. After thinking like this, I felt much more peaceful and released in my heart. I didn’t blame him, and changed the subject: “Why do you stand here? Wash your hands and get ready for lunch.”
Having found I was in tacit agreement with this matter, during the lunch, he smiled to me and said: “On my way home just now, I was thinking that you would surely get angry with me and brush me off for many days after you saw me riding the motorbike back. But, to my surprise, you didn’t get mad. It seems the God you believe in can really change people. Believing in God is so good! You are quite a different person. You are so good now.” Hearing his words, I knew this was a testament to the work of God. I kept thanking God for Him changing me.
After that, my husband also accepted the work of God in the last days and fulfilled his duty. We both began to lay great emphasis on pursuing the truth and enjoying God’s word every day. Our relationship was more and more harmonious and I had the feeling of sureness and joy in my heart. Afterward, regardless of whether big or small things of our family, I will actively talk them over with my husband, and we solve the difficulties and problems that we encounter according to God’s word and the truth in our life. We love and respect each other. No matter who speaks in line with the truth, we will obey the other, so the matters we face will be soon dealt with properly. Under the leading of God’s word, I have finally acted a little like a human and truly experienced it is God who saved and changed me. I offer my sincerest thanks and praise to God. To God be the glory!