By Qianbei, Malaysia
In Malaysia, every year during the Lantern Festival, many places have the event “throwing of mandarin oranges.” On that day, many single girls will write their telephone numbers or contact information on mandarin oranges and then throw them into the rivers, in hopes of finding a good husband. If some young man picks one up, then both sides will have a date and gossip over tea, or they will meet each other on the spot and leave their contact information to each other. And it was in this way that I got acquainted with my wife.
Not long after we got to know each other and took to each other, we married. After getting married, I decided to give my wife a happy family and make her no longer feel lonely.
Fights After Marriage
However, things were far from being as simple as I had imagined. Just after our marriage, all kinds of conflicts began to occur between us. In order to have my family live a happy life, I contracted one mu (0.16 acre) of land to grow vegetables. At four o’clock every morning I would leave home to sell vegetables and only at around seven o’clock in the evening was I back home. My wife was also out from dawn till dusk. Because I was tired out after working all day long, I only said a few words to her when she came back home, and then I went to sleep. As for the problems and troubles she encountered during her work, I was less concerned about them. Apart from holidays, we seldom had heart to heart talks with each other at ordinary times. Later, there were some misunderstandings between us, so we often quarreled with each other over some tiny matters. She complained that I didn’t look after her or care about her feelings. Realizing my own mistakes and also thinking of my promise to her in the beginning, I tried to care for and understand her.
Afterward, each time she came back from work, I, seeing her unhappy or worried about something, would actively show concern for her. But every time my wife would fretfully say, “Even if I tell you, you don’t understand. No more questions.” Whenever hearing her say this, I felt very uncomfortable within, and thought: “If I don’t ask, you will say I don’t care about you; I ask but you say it is none of my business. What do you want me to do?” Having hit a wall several times, I no longer asked anything when seeing her unhappy or worried. And when I saw her unhappy, I kept away from her to avoid provoking her.
Gradually, there were more and more estrangements between us. We often quarreled about some tiny matters and it was becoming more and more frequent. For example, sometimes, while I was working, if she asked me about something but I didn’t answer, then we would quarrel; sometimes when I was driving, she would suddenly put forward a question, but because I didn’t react instantly and give her a response, she would quarrel with me. She complained about my paying no attention to her. Accordingly, she would then throw her bag, or other things, and so on. In the beginning I showed patience, but when she quarreled with me unceasingly, I couldn’t help but have a bitter quarrel with her. Consequently we quarreled more bitterly. In the end I was out of options and all I could do was keep quiet and wait for her to recover her temper. Sometimes, we would give each other the silent treatment for two or three days, sometimes for as long as a week.
After every quarrel, she would go to her friend’s place to have a chat and not until early in the morning would she return home. Once, after getting home from work and finishing my housework, my wife still hadn’t come back. So, I called her but the call couldn’t go through. It was after two o’clock in the morning when she came back. At that moment, I was filled with anger. Following that, we started quarreling. She was so angry that she wanted to leave with our marriage certificate. During the process of quarreling, I carelessly hurt her wrist, causing her to suffer a hairline fracture in her wrist. When seeing her in pain, I was deeply remorseful and uncomfortable. I would often think to myself: “Why are we always squabbling? Can’t we live well?” After that, our quarrels were patched up for a while. However, the estrangements between us remained unresolved.
Bitterly Looking for the Good Medicine
In April, 2016, my wife accepted the Lord Jesus’ gospel. In order to have a common topic with her and increase communication between us, I believed in the Lord together with her. In a gathering, hearing a pastor talk about how the Lord Jesus loved man and was even crucified for man, until His last drop of blood was drained away, I was shocked by the Lord’s great love and determined to believe in Him properly. Later on, in the Bible, I saw the Lord’s teachings—to love others as ourselves, and forgive others seventy times seven times; I felt the Lord’s mercy is great. So, I followed the example of the Lord Jesus to live out His love. I tried to tolerate my wife; after each quarrel, no matter who did wrong, I took the initiative to apologize to her and coax her into happiness. However, I gradually found that what I had done didn’t work and that my wife had no change. After some time, I felt very unbalanced in my heart, thinking: “I am a man. I also have dignity. I cannot keep doing this.” From then on, no matter how angry she was, I no longer coaxed her into happiness.
Living in such a situation, I was extremely pained, so I prayed to the Lord, “Lord, only You are tolerant of and have pity on man. I am really unable to do it. I beg You to lead me to find a way to solve the conflict between my wife and me.” After my prayer, I went to listen to some pastors’ preaching about marriage on Facebook. After listening to it, I felt that I understood the way they talked about: Never be angry after a quarrel, put ourselves aside and abide by the Lord’s teachings, just as the Bible says that if a person slaps the left side of your face, you should also show your right side for them to slap, and you should forgive others seventy times seven times. However, I thought that way wouldn’t help me at all. I thought it should be good enough that I could forgive my wife three times. If I was always forgiving her but she had no transformation, how long should I forgive her? Although my wife also strived to practice forgiveness and patience, on facing things, she would still burst out, quarreling uncontrollably. Seeing that the religious pastors and elders could not provide me with the real way to solve the problem, I sank into deep distress: Can my wife and I ever get along well with each other?
The Appearance of the Light
In January, 2017, I came across a sister from Hong Kong on Facebook. The truth the sister fellowshiped about was very beneficial to me and solved many problems which confused me in believing in God. Nevertheless, when the sister asked me to attend a meeting with her and other brothers and sisters, I refused because I thought they couldn’t solve the problem between my wife and me. Two months later, I contacted the sister again. She advised that I should not be a person like a frog in a well, but instead should understand more of God’s work. The sister’s word “you should not be a person like a frog in a well” made me have an awakening: “Right, the external world is so big and I should go out to explore. Perhaps there are some ways that can solve the problem between my wife and me.” Therefore, I began attending the meetings.
One day, in a meeting, my brothers and sisters talked about how to be free from sins. Brother Chen said, “We have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus, but why can’t we break free from the bondage of sin?” I was very interested in this topic and very eager to know the answer to it. Following that, Brother Chen let us read several passages of God’s words, “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt essence within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”).
“Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (“What It Means to Truly Believe in God”).
Then the brother communicated: “Though the Lord Jesus bore and forgave our sins by Him being nailed to the cross, in the Age of Grace the Lord Jesus only did the work of redemption. That is, our nature of committing sins hasn’t been solved, so we still sin and often resist God. From when we were corrupted by Satan, Satan’s poisons had already been planted within us, and thus we have satanic nature. Controlled by the nature of Satan, we have become crafty, arrogant, and consider ourselves to be the most honorable. We have no tolerance and patience toward others, being unable to get along in harmony. What we live out are all corrupt dispositions. The Bible says, ‘For the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Thus, in order to rid us of these satanic corrupt dispositions and make us break away from the binding of sin, God has expressed His words to do His work of judgment and chastisement in His second incarnation.”
At that time, I came to realize that the reason I cannot overcome the bondage of sin is actually because I have satanic corrupt dispositions and Satan’s toxins within me and these natures of Satan have become my life. Without God’s judgment and chastisement, my satanic dispositions cannot be cleansed and my life disposition cannot be transformed. Only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can I truly break away from the fetters of sin and live out the likeness of a true human. I had benefited enormously from such a fellowship. However, I still did not understand how God does His work of judgment. As a result, I wanted to gain a further knowledge of it.
Later, we read another passage of God’s words, “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the substance of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. … What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt essence and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the essence of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”).
In the fellowship, my brothers and sisters said that during God’s work of judgment in the last days, God uses various truths to judge and cleanse man. Through the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, God wants us to have a true knowledge of our own corrupt nature and see the fact that we have been corrupted by Satan. At the same time, God also reveals to us His unoffendable, righteous and holy disposition to make us have reverence for Him. Only in God’s words of judgment can we detest and hate our own disposition of Satan, and thus have the resolve to pursue the truth. Meanwhile, we will be willing to pursue practicing God’s words and live out the likeness of a genuine man in accordance with the requirements of God’s words; also, we will be willing to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words so as to break away from the bondage of sins and be saved and cleansed by God. All these results are achieved by undergoing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words.
Through this fellowship, it became obvious to me: The root cause of my being unable to get along well with my wife is that we have been corrupted by Satan, and controlled by our satanic nature and that what we have lived out are all corrupt dispositions. If I really want to solve our problem, I must accept God’s judgment and chastisement, through which I will know myself, change myself, and live out the likeness of a genuine human. I was very excited within that I saw the hope of settling the conflicts between my wife and me. Afterward, I testified to my wife about the work of Almighty God in the last days. Beyond my expectations, after hearing it, she felt it was rather reasonable. She wanted to know more and asked me to hurriedly contact the church for her. Through a period of investigation, my wife also accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days.
The Genuine Peace
When we had just accepted the work of Almighty God, we still had disputes. Subsequently, a sister found for us a passage of sermons and fellowship: “Presently, everybody’s interpersonal relationships are abnormal. The main reason for this is that people have been corrupted by Satan very deeply and their integrity is extremely flawed. Men seek nothing but profit and try to benefit at other people’s expense in everything that they do. They are guided by their own individual intentions and goals in all matters. People live for themselves and for their flesh. They are absolutely not concerned at all about others and they do not even have the loving emotions that they should possess. Men fight and scheme against each other and they do so both openly and covertly. There is no way for mankind to get along with one another in a normal fashion. The conscience and rationality that man should possess has vanished from the face of the earth. There is no spirit of cooperation amongst mankind. Without a little bit of patience, people would be enemies with one another. Man’s heart is filled with evil, conflict, hostility and irreconcilable differences. It’s as if man does not have the image of human being at all. He is completely possessed by Satan and his inner heart is filled with Satan’s philosophy. All of this has been revealed by God’s words and there is absolutely nothing wrong about it. These real situations exist in everybody. … In order for people to interact normally with one another, they must possess a few principles of practice. These principles should not only include not taking advantage of others, not harming others, but having some love. They further include having a conscience and rationality, helping one another, showing tolerance to one another, caring for others, letting others benefit in all situations, considering others, not just caring about yourself, showing compassion for others’ weaknesses, and forgiving the transgressions of others. If we have these few principles, we will be able to build a normal relationship with others and we will be able to live in harmony with each other” (“The Fellowship From the Above”).
Through reading the fellowship, we realized that after being corrupted by Satan, our natures are the same—arrogant, selfish, and deceitful. When things happen, all that we consider are our own interests, all that we see are other people’s problems but we seldom examine ourselves. Therefore, we have no normal interpersonal relationships with others. Accordingly, both my wife and I tried to lower ourselves, not asking the other to act according to our own ideas. We learned to understand and show much empathy for the difficulties of each other.
Gradually, we had less and less disputes. Even though there were arguments occasionally, we would sit together in communion and lay bare what we had thought and why we would get angry with each other. By openly communicating, I sensed my extreme arrogance. I never examined and knew myself when things happened, but fixated my eyes on her, always finding fault with her. In the past, I always assumed that the reason for our quarreling was because of the high requirements and bad temper of my wife, but I didn’t realize that I had shown no sincere empathy and consideration for her. At the same time, my wife also became aware that she liked imagining and harboring suspicion when things happened, without any trust in me. Understanding these suspicions were from Satan, she was determined to forsake her own suspicions and imaginations. After that, when she, faced with things, wanted to harbor suspicions, she would pray to God and penetrate Satan’s schemes under the leadership of God’s words, and she would not suspect me or lose her temper with me. At the sight of the fact that she finally relied on God and defeated Satan under the guidance of God’s words, I was full of gratitude to God within.
Nowadays, we communicate with each other more frequently. We have also learned to evaluate situations according to God’s words, respect God above all others and let Him reign in our family; we know that we cannot ask each other to obey ourselves because none of our viewpoints are the truth. When facing issues, we look for relevant words of God to see how God sees them, and then put God’s words into practice. When we do so, our relationship becomes more and more harmonious. This makes me see that Almighty God’s work of the last days actually can change us and recover our normal humanity. Thank Almighty God for His salvation of me and of my family!