When I was a child, I often heard people say: “A husband with prestige brings honor to his wife.” and “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 from a great family who earned big bucks and could protect me and my child. I also believed that second incarnation of a woman was marriage. The first incarnation of a woman—her birth—was not up to her to decide, but marriage was up to her to decide. So finding a good husband became the biggest goal in my life.
When I came to America in 1997, I studied English and worked toward 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 incomes, but it didn’t work out with them, for numerous reasons. But in my fourth year in America I met my husband. He is an American, and because I soon got pregnant we got married quickly. Soon I learned that my husband was very mediocre, with a lowly job and not highly educated either. He also had no ambition and was lazy; he only ever worked 3-4 hours a day, and then came home. Therefore, he couldn’t earn enough money to support me and our newborn. We depended on his mom and dad to give us 1-2k dollars a month to pay our mortgage and living expenses.
My dream of finding a successful husband was completely shattered. I hated myself for blindly marrying him, as I had ruined my chance of a good “second incarnation.” Therefore, I was disgusted with my husband, and whatever he did or said every day never sat well with me. But 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 many, many times I wanted to divorce him, but my seven-year-old son once said: “Mom, without my father, there would be no me. And if you had found a husband who met your standards, you would not have necessarily had a son like me. So you cannot divorce him, because no matter what, he is my dad. I do not want to be like our neighbor’s kid who has to frequently move between his mom’s and dad’s houses.” 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 my 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 stay home and take care of our son. I believed that I could make several times more money than he did.
Sure enough, my income increased, and my husband became 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 who could match 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 man who was completely up to scratch. Finally, I gave up the idea of a divorce. However, I was still dissatisfied with my 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 have believed there is 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 as I thought God would be able to resolve my suffering. But I went to nearly 20 churches and did not find the answer I wanted, so I kept looking. Then, unexpectedly, I met the return of the Lord.
In November 2016, I met a sister named Xiaoxin in a Bible study 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 contains the words of Christ of the last days. In these words, God helps us understand His thoughts and the intentions behind the things He 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 rules people’s destiny, and so on. After reading it, I felt sure that this is the voice of God. Every day I had to read God’s words otherwise I felt empty inside. Sometimes I read His words several times. Every time I read it, I gained something new. In particular, my spirit felt full. What made me happy the most was that I’d 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 when I revealed 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, and gradually to complete various kinds of missions. People harbor many illusions about marriage before they experience it themselves, and all these illusions are quite 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 truly, finally become their other half, and one’s own ideas on the matter count for little. After meeting someone you like, you can pursue that person; but whether they are interested in you, whether they are able to become your partner—that 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 may quietly enter your life and become your partner, 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, each and every one is different: So many marriages are unsatisfactory, so many are happy; so many span East and West, so many North and South; so many are perfect matches, so many are of equal social rank; so many are happy and harmonious, so many painful and sorrowful; so many arouse the envy of others, so many are misunderstood and frowned upon; so many are full of joy, so many are awash with tears and bring despair…. In these myriad types of marriage, humans reveal loyalty and lifelong commitment toward marriage; they reveal love, attachment, and inseparability, or resignation and incomprehension. Some betray their marriage, or even feel hatred toward it. Whether marriage itself brings happiness or pain, everyone’s mission in marriage is predestined by the Creator and will not change; this mission is something that everyone must complete. The fate of each person that lies behind every marriage is unchanging, determined long in advance by the Creator” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
Then the sister said: “From the words 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 truly, finally become their other half, and one’s own ideas on the matter 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 men 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 with him, but why? Because all of this is under God’s dominion and is with God’s permission. On the other hand, each person in their own marriages has their own mission. 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 requests. In addition, if we 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 God? If your marriage and life had met your standards, would you have accepted the gospel of God from brothers and sisters? The whole of humanity is deeply corrupted, everyone loves personal desires, not God, and almost no one seeks God when they are 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 because of 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 since childhood was to marry a perfect husband, 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 words: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly and with a rebellious attitude, and they 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 and are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, brings profound pain of the sort that carves itself into one’s bones, as one fritters away their life all the while. 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 caused by the paths people take, the ways they choose to live their lives. … But there is an exceedingly simple way to free oneself from this state, which is 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, view of life, pursuits, desires, and ideals; and then to compare them with God’s will and 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 the likeness of a human being. When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals that people pursue in life and their myriad ways of living, you will find not one of them conforms to the Creator’s original intention with which He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all traps which cause people to become depraved, 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; it is to try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to live without individual choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
The sister told me this after reading God’s words: “When we face the unpleasant things in life, the reason we feel so much pain 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 our aspirations and our goals to see if they 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 how could your holding to it be painful? How could you be displeased with your husband? In fact, all these views come from Satan and are negative things. Looking at it from another perspective, if 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 money, the relationship between you and him will always be materialistic, without real love. And if his career fails, your marriage will be broken, and even if you manage to sustain your marriage, you will still suffer 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; it is to try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to live without individual choice, and to become a person who worships God,’ we will obtain liberation and freedom.”
Through God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I understood that true joy and liberation can only be achieved by obeying the Creator’s sovereignty and arrangements, and fighting destiny can only bring me untold suffering. At the same time, I also saw that evil social trends 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 arrangements. Instead, I wanted to control my own destiny, which resulted in me living in pain. Now I know through the words of God that my marriage has been predestined by God. I am willing to follow God’s words and lay aside my old view of life and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements.
When I put aside those unrealistic fantasies and expectations about marriage, and when I became willing to submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, I no longer complained about my marriage. In fact, I found 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 doing things according to my way, and I wanted to divorce him at every moment, but now I seldom scold him, and I never mention divorcing him again. In the past, no matter what he did for me, I never said thank you to him, and even if something was done right by him, I never praised him. I wasn’t able to see his goodness. But now I say thank you to him, and 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 show concern for him, and there is more communication between us. Because I’ve changed, my husband is now very happy, our family has become calmer, more harmonious, and I feel liberated. I am very grateful for God’s salvation and guidance, because I no longer live in a painful marriage. It was God’s words that lifted me out of this “unhappy marriage.”