By Nuli, China
I’m writing this letter to confess something. This is the first time I’ve said this after marrying you so many years ago, and it feels embarrassing to say. I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll begin with my childhood.
When I was young, I often heard the grownups around me say that marriage is a woman’s second birth, and that in this society, where worship of wealth and materialism runs rampant, if you want to be free from worry about food and clothing and have a good life, you can only do so by marrying a wealthy, capable man. From that moment on, finding a capable man who could earn money became my standard for choosing a husband.
After I grew up, to realize my desire, I carefully screened my potential other halves. But, my aunt introduced me to a potential husband, a man who didn’t have a mouth full of flowery words, who was simple and honest, and who came from a poor family—you. You came suddenly into my life, and we broke up just as suddenly. I was entranced by the idea that “Money comes first,” and only wanted to find a wealthy, capable man. After you, I met a man who seemed to be the ideal I wanted to fall in love with, but he thought little of me, and in the end we went our separate ways, which was very distressing for me.
That day, you and your parents came to see me and persuaded me to change my mind, and I reluctantly agreed. But did you know that I still regretted it? I saw you as having nothing, as someone who couldn’t give me the happiness I desired. I didn’t care about your feelings. I split up and reunited with you three times, all in pursuit of my own happiness. You tolerated my selfishness and waited for me, and that touched me, but I still wasn’t satisfied. This was also the moment I fell ill with a strange, painful condition that could only be controlled with medicine and for which the root cause couldn’t be treated. I was heartbroken and dejected, and I wondered why my life was so difficult. But this was also the moment you took up the burden and proposed to me. I didn’t know if you were trying to strike while the iron was hot or had another reason, but in my helpless state, I reluctantly agreed to marry you.
After we married, I found out just how poor your family was. I remember once, when we wanted to buy 3 pounds of soy beans, you had to borrow money to buy it. When they came to ask for their money, I felt deeply humiliated. How could I have found such a husband? The feeling that I had suffered the greatest outrage imaginable made me shout and berate you, “I can’t live such a poor life anymore! I don’t know what I was thinking when I married you …” But each time you simply sat there without saying a word.
The next year, our son was born, and you were very happy. In the following days you were so busy taking care of me, and you again borrowed money to buy oil to help me recover. That year, your younger brother’s wife had also just had her baby, but because he was able to earn money, he was able to buy her whatever she wanted to eat as she recovered. The thought was utter torment for me. I felt that our lives were so impoverished and miserable, while her family had money, and they were happy, and I wondered why our family couldn’t be like theirs. Realizing that our newborn son would have to endure the same poverty made me even more miserable. I didn’t know when my misery would end. The more I thought about it, the deeper my pain grew, and the more I wanted to sob. I sobbed until I was exhausted, but then I would look at our son in bed as he wailed endlessly from hunger, and the anguish I felt in my heart as I picked him up would again bring tears to my eyes.
Afterward, when you started studying business, I was happy, and I hoped you could earn more money and change our family’s difficult circumstances. But after several years, your business hadn’t earned any money, and sometimes even lost money. In my mind, you were someone who lacked skills with people and competence in business, and that made me despise you even more. I knew you were good to me, that you were very considerate, but I still couldn’t bear the poverty our family lived with. So, I was never happy around you, and the moment things didn’t go exactly as I desired, I fought with you and called you useless to alleviate the crushing pain I felt inside. I even threatened divorce to provoke you. I could see it hurt you, and I didn’t want to treat you like this, but I couldn’t stop myself. The next day, you left home to seek work outside the village.
In the days you were away, I was always depressed. My parents, relatives, and friends came to persuade me to see that you were good to me, and that I shouldn’t divorce you. I remembered your love and affection for me, how you were always considerate and tried to care for me, and then I looked at our lovely son. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving, and finally, I gave up the idea of divorcing you.
Many times the unhappiness in our marriage made me cry into the night as my tears wet the pillow. But do you realize that I thought I would always despise you and live in pain because of our poverty of the family…. Until one day, my mother-in-law told me about God’s kingdom . The word of God drove the darkness from my life, freed me from my pain, and eliminated my dislike of you.
God says, “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.” s shocked me. There is a ruler of all things in heaven and on earth. He not only created everything in heaven and on earth, and He also rules over the fate of every person. Only then did I realize that when I was born, who I married, and my family was preordained by God long ago. No wonder I chose to leave you so many times, but we still ended up together. After we got married, no matter how unsatisfied I was with your family, how much I despised you, and that I even threatened divorce, in the end, I let go of the idea because I didn’t want to lose my son. I realized that because I didn’t know that God rules all, I had too many demands in life, complained and was dissatisfied far too often, and lived in such torment. Once I understood this, I prayed to God, became willing to obey God’s plans and arrangements, and asked God to guide me to the root of my pain.
Later, I read in the word of God: “When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist.”
God’s words were a sudden awakening. All along, Satan has used evil ideas and notions such as “Money comes first,” “A marriage without bread never lasts,” and “Only disaster awaits poor couples” to deceive and mislead people, and it used these to twist my views on life and values. Marriage is meant to be two willing and like-minded people building a family together, but evil satanic trends have attached too many extra conditions to marriage, turning the relationship between husband and wife into one of exchange. If one partner can meet the demands of the other’s material and vanity, then the marriage can more or less be maintained, but otherwise there is only mutual dislike, complaints, and hurt, or else collapse and separation. Wasn’t I the same? The influence of evil satanic trends had made me think I would only be truly happy if I married a capable, high-earning man, was free from material worries, and enjoyed the best material luxuries. After I married you, because of our poverty and my desire to live a wealthy lifestyle, when you couldn’t satisfy me, I was miserable, so I complained to you, despised you for not being capable, often fought with you over little things, and even threatened to divorce you. I made you miserable as well. But it was all Satan toying with me and harming me. Now that I think about it, even if I really did find a rich husband, I wouldn’t necessarily be happy. Our neighbor is a rich executive with plenty of money, and he found a mistress and didn’t come home for months at a time. Even though his wife is draped in silver and gold and has no material worries, her husband’s heartlessness and betrayal make her miserable all the time. There is also a rich man in the city with a car, home, and savings who has dozens of affairs, tormenting his wife until she is driven to divorce. There are more examples of that than anyone can count. And then I thought of my own marriage: Even though you can’t make a fortune or give me the best material life, you treat me well, you never leave me, and you care for me in every way. When my illness was at its most serious, you cried so many times when I wasn’t looking, and you said to my mother, “As long as there’s a breath of life in her, I won’t give up trying to cure her. Even if I have to borrow money for her treatment, I will, until the last bit of life leaves her.” The whole time I had been living in happiness and never realized it. I finally understood that God arranging for you to be at my side was for me, but Satan had twisted my views, making me pursue a materialistic life and struggle to escape from God’s arrangements. This was the root of my pain.
Later, I saw in God’s word: “When you repeatedly investigate and carefully dissect the various goals of life that people pursue and their various different ways of living, you will find that not one of them fits the Creator’s original intention when He created humanity. All of them draw people away from the Creator’s sovereignty and care; they are all pits into which humanity falls, 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, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God.” God’s words gave me direction, and I was willing to practice God’s word, obey God’s plans and arrangements, let go of my old, mistaken pursuits and views, and stop pursuing a luxurious material lifestyle. I wanted only to peacefully live my life with you, and no matter whether you could make money, I decided to stop fighting with you.
Before Spring Festival that year, when you came back, I learned that you had only earned enough money to sustain yourself, and I again felt the urge in my heart. As I watched your brow furrow, thinking that I would curse you again, I begged God to keep my heart steady. I remembered all the painful experiences in the past, I understood now that how much money we earn is preordained by God, and I knew that we should be content to have clothes and food to eat. I felt release in my heart, and no longer fought with you as I used to. I saw your frown relax and a smile appear on your face. I didn’t mention divorce to you anymore, and I no longer despised you.
That day, you complimented me in front of our son, saying that I became gentle and understanding after believing in God, and that it was good to have a happy family. You also said that you supported my belief in God. Do you know how touched I was when I saw that? I want to tell you that God has changed me, and God has given us a peaceful home.
Your wife: A’yue
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