How to Pursue the Truth (18) Part Three

Everything that parents do to realize their expectations for their children before they reach adulthood is contrary to conscience, reason, and natural laws. Even more so, it is contrary to God’s ordination and sovereignty. Though children do not have the ability to discern between right and wrong, or to think independently, their fates are still under God’s sovereignty, they are not ruled over by their parents. Therefore, aside from having expectations for their children within their consciousness, foolish parents also carry out more actions, sacrifices, and price-paying in terms of their behavior, doing everything they want and are willing to do for their children, regardless of whether this is expending money, time, energy, or other things. Though parents do those things voluntarily, they are inhumane, and they are not the responsibilities that parents should fulfill; they have already exceeded the scope of their abilities and their proper responsibilities. Why do I say this? Because parents begin attempting to plan and control their children’s futures before they reach adulthood, and also try to determine their children’s futures. Isn’t that foolish? (Yes.) For example, say that God has ordained that a man will be an ordinary worker, and in this life, he will only be able to earn some basic wages to feed and clothe himself, but his parents insist on him becoming a celebrity, a wealthy person, a high official, planning and arranging things for his future before he reaches adulthood, paying various kinds of so-called prices, attempting to control his life and future. Isn’t that foolish? (It is.) Though their child gets quite good grades, goes to university, learns various skills after he reaches adulthood, and has some skills, when he ultimately goes to look for work, no matter how he searches, he still ends up being an ordinary worker. At most, he gets lucky and becomes a foreman, which is already good. Ultimately, he only earns a basic salary, and he is never able to earn the salary of a high official or a wealthy person like his parents have demanded. His parents always want him to rise up in the world, to earn a lot of money, to become a high official, so that they can bask in the light along with him. They never expected that, though he performed so well at school and was so obedient, though they paid so many prices for him, and though he attended university after he grew up, in this life he’d still be fated to be an ordinary worker. If they were able to anticipate this, they wouldn’t have tormented themselves so much at the time. But can parents avoid tormenting themselves? (No.) Parents sell their houses, their land, their family possessions, and some even sell a kidney so that their children can go to famous universities. When the child doesn’t agree with this, the mother says: “I have two kidneys. If I lose one, I’ll still have another. I’m already old, I only need one kidney.” What does her child feel after hearing this? “Even if it means that I won’t go to university, I can’t let you sell your kidney.” And the mother says: “You won’t go? You are a disobedient, unfilial child! Why am I selling my kidney? Isn’t it so that you can succeed in the future?” The child feels moved after hearing this, and thinks, “Mom can go ahead and sell her kidney then. I won’t let her down.” In the end, the mother really does it—she trades a kidney for her child’s future—and in the end, her child only becomes a worker, and does not end up succeeding. So, the mother sold a kidney, and all she got in exchange was a worker—is that appropriate? (No.) In the end, the mother sees this and says: “You’re just fated to be a worker. If I’d known that earlier, I wouldn’t have sold a kidney to send you to university. You could have just gone ahead and become a worker, right? What was the point of you attending university?” It’s too late! Who made her act so foolishly back then? Who made her enjoy the idea of her child becoming a high official and earning a lot of money? She was blinded by greed, she deserved this! She paid so many prices for her child, but does her child owe her anything? No. She paid those prices willingly, and she got what she deserved! Even if she’d sold two kidneys it would have been voluntary. To send their children to prestigious universities, some people sell their corneas, some people sell their blood, some people sacrifice everything they have and sell their family possessions, and is it worth it? It’s as though they think that selling a little blood or an organ can decide a person’s future and change their fate. Can it? (No.) People are so foolish! They are looking for fast returns, they are blinded by prestige and profit. They always think, “Well, this is just the way my life is,” so they pin their hopes on their children. Does that mean that their children’s fates will definitely be better than theirs? That their children will be able to rise up in the world? That they’ll be different? How could people be so foolish? Do they think that just because they have high expectations for their children, their children will definitely be superior to others and live up to their expectations? People’s fates are not decided by their parents, they are decided by God. Of course, no parent wishes to see their children become beggars. But even so, they don’t have to insist that their children rise up in the world and become high officials or prominent people in the upper class of society. What’s good about being in the upper class of society? What’s good about rising up in the world? Those are quagmires, they are not good things. Is it a good thing to become a celebrity, a great figure, a superman, or a person with position and status? Life is the most comfortable as an ordinary person. What’s wrong with living a slightly poorer, harder, tiring life, with slightly worse food and clothes? At the very least, one thing is guaranteed, since you do not live among the social trends of society’s upper class, you will, at least, sin less and do fewer things to resist God. As an ordinary person, you won’t face such great or frequent temptation. Though your life will be a bit tougher, at least you won’t be tired in your spirit. Think about it, as a worker, all you need to worry about is making sure that you can eat three meals a day. It’s different when you’re an official. You have to fight, and you won’t know when the day will come that your position is no longer secure. And that won’t be the end of it, the people you’ve offended will seek you out to settle scores, and you will be punished by them. Life is very tiring for celebrities, great people, and wealthy people. Wealthy people are always afraid that they won’t be so wealthy in the future, and that they won’t be able to go on if that happens. Celebrities always worry that their halos will disappear, and they always want to protect their halos, fearing that they will be cast out by this era and the trends. Their lives are so tiring! Parents never see through to these things, and always want to push their children into the heart of this struggle, sending them into these lion’s dens and quagmires. Do parents really have good intentions? If I say that they don’t have good intentions, you won’t be willing to hear it. If I say that your parents’ expectations affect you negatively in many ways, are you willing to acknowledge this? (Yes.) They harm you quite deeply, don’t they? Some of you aren’t willing to acknowledge this, you say: “My parents want what’s good for me.” You say that your parents want what’s good for you—well, where are those good things? Your parents want what’s good for you, but how many positive things have they enabled you to understand? Your parents want what’s good for you, but how many of your incorrect and undesirable thoughts and views have they corrected? (None.) So, can you see through to these things now? You can feel that parental expectations are unrealistic, right?

Through dissecting the essence of parents’ expectations for their children, we can see that these expectations are selfish, that they go against humanity, and that they furthermore have nothing to do with the responsibilities of parents. When parents impose various expectations and requirements on their children, they are not fulfilling their responsibilities. So, what are their “responsibilities”? The most basic responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill are teaching their children to speak, instructing them to be kindhearted and to not be bad people, and guiding them in a positive direction. These are their most basic responsibilities. In addition, they should assist their children in studying any kinds of knowledge, talents, and so on, that suit them, based on their ages, how much they can handle, and their caliber and interests. Slightly better parents will help their children understand that people are created by God and that God exists in this universe, leading their children to pray and read God’s words, telling them some stories from the Bible, and hoping that they will follow God and perform the duty of a created being after they grow up, rather than chasing worldly trends, getting trapped within various complicated interpersonal relationships, and being devastated by the various trends of this world and society. The responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill have nothing to do with their expectations. The responsibilities they should fulfill in their role as parents are to provide their children with positive guidance and appropriate assistance before they reach adulthood, as well as to promptly care for them in their fleshly lives with regard to food, clothing, housing, or at times when they fall ill. If their children become sick, parents should treat whatever illness needs to be treated; they should not neglect their children or tell them, “Keep going to school, keep studying—you can’t fall behind in your classes. If you fall too far behind, you won’t be able to catch up.” When their children need to rest, parents should let them rest; when their children are sick, parents must help them to recuperate. These are the responsibilities of parents. In one respect, they must care for the physical health of their children; in another respect, they must assist, educate, and aid their children in terms of their mental health. These are the responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill, rather than imposing any unrealistic expectations or requirements on their children. Parents must fulfill their responsibilities when it comes to both their children’s mental needs and the things that their children need in their physical lives. Parents shouldn’t let their children freeze in the winter, they should teach them some general life knowledge, like under what circumstances they’ll catch a cold, that they should eat warm foods, that their stomachs will hurt if they eat cold foods, and that they shouldn’t casually expose themselves to the wind or undress in draughty places when the weather is cold, helping them learn to take care of their own health. In addition, when some childish, immature ideas about their futures, or some extreme thoughts arise in their children’s young minds, parents must promptly provide them with correct guidance as soon as they discover this, rather than forcibly suppressing them; they should get their children to express and vent their ideas, so that the problem can truly be resolved. This is fulfilling their responsibilities. Fulfilling the responsibilities of a parent means, in one respect, caring for their children, and in another respect, directing and correcting their children, and giving them guidance regarding the correct thoughts and views. The responsibilities that parents should fulfill actually have nothing to do with their expectations for their offspring. You can hope that your children will be physically healthy and possess humanity, conscience, and reason after they grow up, or you can hope that your children will show you filial piety, but you shouldn’t hope that your children will become such-and-such kind of celebrity or great person after growing up, and even less should you frequently tell your children: “Look at how obedient Xiaoming from next door is!” Your children are your children—the responsibility you ought to fulfill is not to tell your children how great their neighbor Xiaoming is, or to get them to learn from their neighbor Xiaoming. This is not something that a parent should do. Every person is different. People differ in terms of their thoughts, views, interests, hobbies, caliber, personalities, and whether their humanity essence is good or vicious. Some people are born chatterboxes, while others are innately introverted, and won’t feel upset if they go an entire day without saying a single word. Therefore, if parents wish to fulfill their responsibilities, they should try to understand their children’s personalities, dispositions, interests, caliber, and the needs of their humanity, rather than turning their own adult pursuits of the world, prestige, and profit into expectations for their children, imposing these things of prestige, profit, and the world that come from society onto their children. Parents call these things by the pleasant-sounding name of “expectations for their children,” but in reality, that is not what they are. It is clear that they are trying to push their children into the fire pit and send them into the arms of devils. If you really are an adequate parent, you should fulfill your responsibilities regarding your children’s physical and mental health, rather than imposing your will on them before they reach adulthood, forcing their young minds to bear things that they should not have to bear. If you really love and cherish them and you really want to fulfill your responsibilities to them, then you should take care of their physical bodies and make sure that they are physically healthy. Of course, some children are born frail and in poor health. If their parents really have the conditions to do so, they can give them some more nutritional supplements, or inquire with a traditional Chinese medicine doctor or a nutritionist, showing a little bit of extra care to these children. In addition, at each age before their children reach adulthood, from infancy and childhood to adolescence, parents should pay a bit more attention to changes in their children’s personalities and interests, and their needs with regard to their exploration of their humanity, showing them a bit more concern. They should also give their children some positive and humane guidance, assistance, and provision when it comes to their psychological changes and misconceptions, and some unknown things concerning the needs of their humanity, using the practical insight, experience, and lessons that they themselves gained by going through the same things. Parents should then help their children to grow up smoothly at each age, and to avoid taking roundabout paths or wrong turns, or veering to extremes. When their young, confused minds are hurt or suffer a blow, they should receive prompt treatment, as well as concern, affection, care, and guidance from their parents. These are the responsibilities that parents should fulfill. As for whatever plans their children have for their own futures, whether they wish to be teachers, artists, or officials, and so on, if their plans are reasonable, parents can encourage them, and give them a certain amount of help and assistance based on their own circumstances, education, caliber, humanity, their family circumstances, and so on. However, parents should not go beyond the scope of their own abilities, they should not sell their cars, their houses, their kidneys, or their blood. There is no need to do this, right? (Right.) They should just give their children a certain amount of help to the best of their abilities as parents. If their children say, “I want to go to college,” parents can say, “If you want to go to college, I’ll support you, and I won’t oppose you, but our family’s not very well off. From now on, I will have to save some money each day in order to pay for a year of your college tuition. If, when the time comes, I’ve saved enough, you can go to college. If I haven’t saved enough, you’ll have to find your own solution.” Parents should reach this kind of agreement with their children, agreeing and reaching a consensus together, and then resolving the problem of the needs their children have regarding their futures. Of course, if parents cannot realize the plans and intentions that their children have for their futures, they do not need to feel guilty, thinking: “I’ve let down my children, I’m not capable, and my children have had to suffer because of it. Other people’s children eat well, wear famous brands, and drive around in cars at college, and when they go home, they travel by plane. My children have to travel by train on the hard seats—I can’t even afford to send them in the sleeper cars. I’ve let my children down!” They do not need to feel guilty, these are their circumstances, and even if they sold a kidney, they wouldn’t be able to provide those things, so they should accept their fate. God orchestrated this kind of environment for them, so these parents do not need to feel guilty toward their children in any way, saying: “I’ve let you down. If you don’t show us filial piety in the future, I won’t complain. We’re incompetent, and we haven’t provided you with a good living environment.” There’s no need for them to say this. Parents just need to fulfill their responsibilities with clear consciences, doing everything they can, and enabling their children to be healthy in both body and mind. That’s enough. “Health” here just means parents doing their utmost to make sure their children have positive thoughts, as well as active, upward-facing, and optimistic thoughts and attitudes toward their daily lives and existences. When something upsets them, children should not throw tantrums, attempt suicide, cause trouble for their parents, or scold their parents for being incapable good-for-nothings who aren’t able to earn money, saying: “Look at other people’s parents. They drive nice cars, live in mansions, they go on luxury cruise ships, and take trips to Europe. Now look at us, we’ve never even left our hometown or taken the high-speed rail!” If they do throw tantrums like this, how should you respond? You should say: “You’re right, that’s how incompetent we are. You were born into this family, and you should accept your fate. If you’re capable, then you can earn money yourself in the future. Don’t be rude to us, and don’t demand that we do things for you. We have already fulfilled our responsibilities to you, and we don’t owe you anything. One day in the future, you’ll become a parent, and you’ll have to do this too.” When they have children of their own, they’ll learn that it’s not so easy for parents to earn money to support themselves and everyone in their family, both young and old. In sum, you should teach them some principles about how to comport themselves. If your children can accept it, you should fellowship with them on believing in God and walking the path of pursuing the truth to achieve salvation, as well as some of the correct thoughts and views that you have understood from God. If your children are willing to accept God’s work and believe in God along with you, that’s even better. If your children don’t have this kind of need, then it’s enough for you to just fulfill your responsibilities to them; you don’t need to keep rambling on about or bringing up some words and doctrines concerning belief in God to preach to them. There is no need to do this. Even if your children don’t believe, as long as they support you, you can still be good friends, and talk about and discuss anything together. You should not become enemies, or feel resentment toward them. There is a blood tie between you, after all. If your children are willing to fulfill their responsibilities toward you, to show you filial piety, and to obey you, then you can maintain your family relationship with them, and interact with them normally. You do not need to constantly curse or scold your children because they have different opinions and views from yours regarding faith. There is no need to do that. You do not need to become hotheaded, or think that your children not believing in God is a huge matter, as if you’ve lost your life and soul. It’s not that serious. If they don’t believe, then naturally they have their own paths that they have chosen to walk. You also have a path that you should walk and a duty you should perform, and these things have nothing to do with your children. If your children don’t believe, you do not need to insist on it. It may be that the right time hasn’t come, or that God has simply not chosen them. If God has simply not chosen them, and you insist on forcing them to believe, then you are ignorant and rebellious. Of course, if God has chosen them, but the right time hasn’t arrived, and you demand that they believe now, it’ll be a little too soon. If God wishes to act, no person can escape His sovereignty. If God has arranged for your children to believe, then He can achieve this in a word or in a thought. If God hasn’t arranged for them to believe, they will not be moved, and if they are not moved, then no matter how much you talk, it will be of no use. If your children do not believe, you are not indebted to them; if your children do believe, this is not a credit to you. Isn’t that the case? (It is.) Regardless of whether you have common goals with your children regarding faith or if you are like-minded in this regard, in any case, you just need to fulfill your responsibilities to them. If you have fulfilled these responsibilities, this doesn’t mean that you have shown them a kindness, and if your children do not believe, this does not mean that you are indebted to them, because you have fulfilled your responsibilities, and that’s the end of that. Your relationship remains unchanged, and you can continue interacting with your children as you did before. When your children encounter difficulties, you should help them as much as you are able to. If you have the material conditions to help your children, you should; if you are able to correct your children’s thoughts and views on a psychological or mental level, and give them a certain amount of guidance and help, enabling them to emerge from their dilemmas, then that is quite good. In sum, what parents should do before their children reach adulthood is to fulfill the responsibilities of parents, learning about what their children want to do, and what their children’s interests and aspirations are. If their children want to kill people, to set fire to things, and to commit crimes, then their parents should seriously discipline them or even punish them. But if they are obedient children, and no different from any other ordinary children, and they behave themselves at school, doing whatever their parents tell them to, then their parents just need to fulfill their responsibilities to them. Aside from fulfilling their responsibilities, those so-called expectations, requirements, and thinking about their futures are all superfluous. Why do I say that they are superfluous? Every person’s fate is ordained by God, and it cannot be decided by their parents. Whatever expectations parents have for their children, it is impossible that they will all be realized in the future. These expectations cannot determine their children’s futures or their lives. No matter how great parents’ expectations for their children are, or how big the sacrifices or prices they offer up for those expectations are, all of it is in vain; these things cannot influence their children’s futures or lives. Therefore, parents shouldn’t do foolish things. They should not make needless sacrifices for their children before they reach adulthood, and naturally they shouldn’t feel so stressed about this. Raising children is about a parent learning while also gaining various kinds of experience by going through different environments, and then gradually enabling their children to reap benefits from them. That’s all parents need to do. As for children’s futures and future life paths, these things have nothing to do with their parents’ expectations. That is to say, your parents’ expectations cannot decide your future. It is not as if your parents having high expectations for you, or expecting great things from you means that you will be able to prosper and live well, and it is not as if your parents not having expectations for you means that you’ll become a beggar. There is no necessary relationship between these things. Tell Me, are these topics that I’ve fellowshipped on easy to understand? Is it easy for people to accomplish these things? Are they difficult? Parents just need to fulfill their responsibilities to their children, bring them up, and raise them into adults. They don’t need to raise their children into talented individuals. Is this easy to achieve? (It is.) This is an easy thing to do—you do not need to bear any responsibility for your children’s futures or lives, or develop any plans for them, or presuppose what kind of people they’ll become, what kind of lives they’ll have in the future, what social circles they’ll be found in later on, how their quality of life will be in this world in the future, or what kind of status they’ll have among people. You don’t have to presuppose or control these things; you just have to simply fulfill your responsibilities as a parent. It’s as easy as that. When your children reach school-age, you should find a school and enroll them there, pay for their tuition when it is needed, and pay for whatever they need in school. It’s enough to just fulfill these responsibilities. When it comes to what they eat and wear throughout the year, you just need to take care of their physical bodies based on the circumstances. Don’t allow an uncured illness to remain within them during the period before they reach adulthood, when they don’t understand how to care for their own bodies. Promptly correct their flaws and bad habits, help them to develop good life habits, and then counsel and guide their minds, and ensure that they do not veer to extremes. If they like some evil things in the world, but you can see that they are good children, and that they have just been influenced by the evil trends of the world, you should promptly correct them, and help them to fix their flaws and bad habits. These are the responsibilities that parents ought to fulfill and the functions that they ought to serve. Parents should not push their children toward the trends of society, and they should not make their children bear various kinds of pressure too early on, that only adults need to bear, when they still haven’t reached adulthood. Parents should not do these things. These are such simple things to achieve, but some people cannot accomplish them. Because those people cannot let go of their pursuit of worldly prestige and profit, or the world’s evil trends, and because they are afraid of being cast out by the world, before their children reach adulthood, they make them assimilate into society very early and adapt to society very quickly on a mental level. If children have parents like these, they’re out of luck. No matter the methods or pretexts by which their parents love, cherish, and pay prices for them, for children of families like these, those are not necessarily good things—it could even be said that they are kinds of disasters. This is because, behind their parental expectations, what those parents bring upon their children’s young minds is devastation. Or, in other words, the expectations of those parents are not, in fact, really about their children having healthy minds and bodies, they are just expectations that their children will be able to establish themselves in society, and avoid being cast out by society. The aim of their expectations is for their children to live the good life, or to be superior to other people, to avoid becoming beggars, to avoid being discriminated against or bullied by other people, and to assimilate into evil trends and evil groups of people. Are these good things? (No.) Therefore, you do not need to take these kinds of parental expectations to heart. If your parents once held these kinds of expectations for you, or if they paid many prices to realize their expectations for you, so you feel indebted to them, and intend to use your whole life to repay the prices they’ve paid for you—if you have this kind of idea and desire, you should let go of it today. You do not owe them anything, rather, it is your parents who have devastated and crippled you. Not only have they failed to fulfill their responsibilities as parents, on the contrary, they have hurt you, inflicted various injuries on your young mind, and left behind a wide range of negative memories and imprints. In short, parents like these are not good parents. If, before you reached adulthood, in the way they educated, impacted, and spoke to you, your parents were always hoping that you’d study hard, succeed, and not end up being a laborer, that you’d definitely have good prospects in the future, become their pride and joy, and bring honor and glory to them, then as of today, you ought to make a break from their so-called kindnesses, and you no longer need to take them to heart. Isn’t that right? (Yes.) These are the expectations that parents have for their offspring before they reach adulthood.

The nature of parents’ expectations for their children remains the same after their children become adults. Though their adult children can think independently, and communicate, speak, and discuss things with them from the status and perspective of an adult, parents still harbor the same expectations for their children from the perspective of a parent. Their expectations turn from expectations for a child who has not reached adulthood to expectations for an adult. Though parental expectations for adults differ from those for children who haven’t reached adulthood, as ordinary, corrupt people, and members of society and the world, parents still harbor the same kinds of expectations for their children. They hope that things will go smoothly for their children at work, that they’ll have happy marriages and perfect families, receive salary increases and promotions, gain the recognition of their bosses, and that everything will go particularly well for them in their jobs, without them encountering any difficulties. What’s the use of these expectations? (They’re useless.) They’re useless, they’re redundant. Parents think that they can read your mind because they brought you up and supported you, and consequently they believe that they know everything about what you’re thinking, what you want, and what your personality is like, even though you’re an adult now. And even though you’re an independent adult, and you can make money to support yourself, they feel that they can still control you, and that they still have a right to speak, get involved, decide, interfere, or even dominate when it comes to anything about you. That is, they think that they can have the final say. For example, when it comes to marriage, if you are dating someone, your parents will immediately say: “That’s no good, she doesn’t have the same level of education as you, she’s not very good looking, and her family lives in the countryside. After you marry her, her relatives from the countryside will come in a big group, they won’t know how to use the bathroom, and they’ll make everything filthy. That definitely won’t be a good life for you. It’s no good, I don’t consent to you marrying her!” Is this not interfering? (Yes.) Isn’t it redundant and disgusting? (It’s redundant.) Sons and daughters still have to get their parents’ consent when they look for partners. Consequently, there are some children now who don’t even tell their parents that they’ve found partners, just to avoid their interference. When their parents ask, “Do you have a partner?” they just say, “No, it’s still early, I’m still young, there’s no rush,” but in fact they’ve had partners for two or three years already, they just haven’t told their parents about this. And why don’t they tell their parents about it? Because their parents want to interfere in everything; they’re very fussy, so they don’t tell them about their partners. When they’re ready to get married, they just bring their partners directly to their parents’ homes and ask, “Do you give your consent? I’m getting married tomorrow. This is how I’m handling this matter, whether you consent or not. If you withhold your consent, we’ll still go ahead and have children.” These parents interfere too much with their children, even interfering with their marriages. As long as the partners their children find are not what they hope for, if they don’t get along well with them, or if they don’t like them, they’ll try to break them up. If their children don’t agree to this, they’ll weep, make a fuss, and threaten to kill themselves, to the point that their children won’t know whether to cry or laugh—they won’t know what to do. There are also some sons and daughters who say they’re old and don’t want to get married, and their parents tell them: “That’s no good. I hoped that you’d grow up, get married, and have kids. I’ve seen you grow up, and now I want to see you get married and have kids. Then I can die in peace. If you don’t get married, I’ll never be able to fulfill this wish. I won’t be able to die, and if I do, I won’t die in peace. You must get married, hurry up and find a partner. It’s even alright if you just find a temporary partner, and let me have a look at them.” Isn’t this interfering? (It is.) When it comes to their adult children choosing marriage partners, parents can give suitable advice, they can prompt their children, or help to check their partners out, but they should not interfere, they should not help their children decide. Their children have their own feelings about whether they like their partners, whether they get along well, whether they have similar interests, and whether they will be happy together in the future. Parents do not necessarily know these things, and even if they do, they can only make suggestions, they must not flagrantly obstruct or seriously interfere with this. There are even some parents who say: “When my son or daughter finds a partner, they must be of equal social standing to my family. If they are not, and they have some motives regarding my son or daughter, then I won’t let them marry, I’ll have to disrupt their plans. If they want to enter my house, I won’t let them!” Is this expectation appropriate? Is it rational? (It’s not rational.) This is a significant matter in their children’s lives, it’s irrational for parents to interfere in it. But from these parents’ perspective, there is even more cause to interfere in the significant matters of their children’s lives. If their children casually find friends of the opposite sex to talk to, they won’t interfere, but if it has to do with the great matter of marriage, they’ll think that they must interfere. There are even parents who put a lot of effort into spying on their children, looking at which members of the opposite gender they have contact details and information for on their phones and computers, interfering and stalking their children, to the point that their children have no recourse, where they cannot fight, argue back, or evade this hurdle. Is this an appropriate way for a parent to act? (No.) If parents make their children feel sick of them, this is called being troublesome, isn’t it? What parents should do for their adult children is still to perform their responsibilities and obligations as parents, to help them in their future life paths, and to give them some reasonable and valuable advice, prompting, and admonishment, so that they can avoid being deceived at work or when they come into contact with various kinds of people, events, and things, and avoid taking roundabout paths, meeting with unnecessary trouble, or even getting sued. Parents should stand from the perspective of a person with experience, and give their children some useful and valuable advice and points of reference. As for whether their children listen to them or not, that’s their own business. What parents ought to do is just to fulfill their responsibilities. Parents cannot influence how much suffering their children will experience, how much pain they will endure, or how many blessings they will enjoy. If their children must endure some tribulations in this life, and they already teach them the things they need to be taught, but when something happens to them, they are still very willful, then they are supposed to suffer, that is their fate, and they do not need to blame themselves, isn’t that right? (Yes.) In some cases, people’s marriages don’t go well, they’re not on good terms with their spouses, and they decide to get divorced, and after they get divorced, there are disputes over who will raise their children. The parents of those people hoped that everything would go well for them at their jobs, that they’d have happy, blissful marriages, and that no rifts or problems would emerge, but in the end, nothing went the way they wanted it to. Consequently, these parents worry about their children, crying, complaining to their neighbors about it, and helping their sons or daughters to find lawyers to fight for custody of their own children. There are even some parents who see that their daughters have been wronged, and stand up to fight on their behalf, going to their husbands’ houses and shouting, “Why did you wrong my daughter like this? I’m not going to let this insult slide!” They even bring their extended families with them to vent anger on their daughters’ behalf, and this comes to blows. As a result, they cause a huge scene. If the whole family hadn’t come to make a fuss, and the tensions between the husband and wife had slowly defused, then after they had calmed down, they probably wouldn’t have gotten divorced. But, because these parents made a fuss, it turned into a huge thing; their broken marriage couldn’t be fixed, and a rift formed. In the end, they made so much of a fuss that their children’s marriages didn’t go smoothly, and these parents had to worry about this too. Tell Me, was this worth the trouble? What was the use of them getting involved in those things? Whether it has to do with their children’s marriages or work, parents all think that they have a great responsibility: “I have to get involved, I need to track and observe this matter closely.” They observe whether their children’s marriages are happy or not, whether there are any problems in terms of their affections, and whether their sons or sons-in-law are having affairs. Some parents meddle with, criticize, or even come up with schemes regarding various aspects of their children’s lives in order to satisfy an expectation they have for their children’s marriages or various other things, and this seriously impacts the normal order of their children’s lives and work. Aren’t parents like this detestable? (Yes.) There are even some parents who get involved in their children’s lifestyles and life habits, and when they have nothing to do, they go to their children’s houses to see how their daughters-in-law are doing, to check whether they’re secretly sending gifts or money to their own families, or if they’re hooking up with other men. Their children find these actions really repulsive and loathsome. If parents go on like this, their children will feel that it is loathsome and repulsive, so it is very clear that these actions are irrational. Of course, if we look at this from another perspective, these actions are also immoral and lacking in humanity. No matter what kind of expectations parents have for their children, after they reach adulthood parents should not get involved in their living or work circles, or their families, and even less should they try to interfere with or control the different aspects of their lives. There are even some parents who really love money, and they say to their children: “To make more money quickly, you’ll need to scale up your business. Look at so-and-so’s kid, they expanded their business—they turned their little shop into a big one, and they turned that big shop into a franchise, and now their parents get to eat and drink well along with them. You have to earn more money. Earn more money and open more shops, then we can bask in your glory together.” Regardless of their children’s difficulties or wishes, they just want to satisfy their own preferences and selfish desires; they just want to use their children to earn a lot of money in order to achieve their goal of enjoying fleshly pleasures. These are all things that parents shouldn’t do. These things are immoral and lacking in humanity, and such parents are not fulfilling their responsibilities. This is not the attitude that parents should have toward their adult children. Instead, these parents are taking advantage of their seniority, interfering with their adult children’s lives, work, marriages, and so on, under the guise of showing responsibility toward their children. Regardless of how capable one’s adult children are, what their caliber is like, what kind of status they have in society, or what their income may be, this is the fate that God has set for them—it is under God’s sovereignty. Parents should not interfere with what kind of lives their children live, unless they are not walking the right path, or they are breaking the law, in which case parents should discipline them strictly. But, under normal circumstances, where these adults are in their right minds, and have the ability to live and survive independently, their parents should back off, because their children are already adults. If their children have just become adults, and they are 20 or 21 years old, and they still don’t know about the various complex situations in society, or how to conduct themselves in life, and they don’t understand how to socialize, and they have poor survival skills, then these parents should give them some appropriate assistance, enabling them to gradually transition to the point where they can live independently. This is called fulfilling their responsibility. But as soon as they have put their children on the right track, and their children have the ability to survive independently, these parents should withdraw. They shouldn’t continue to treat their children as though they are not yet adults, or as though they are mentally deficient. They shouldn’t have any unrealistic expectations of their children, or interfere with their children’s private lives or their attitudes, viewpoints, and actions regarding work, family, marriage, people, and events, under the guise of having any expectations for them. If they do any of those things, they are not fulfilling their responsibilities.

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