How to Pursue the Truth (9) Part Four

Let us read on. God said: “Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” What does “rule over” mean? To govern with a rod, to make women into slaves, is that what it means? (No.) So what does it mean? (To take care of her and be responsible for her.) This idea of “responsibility” is a little closer. This ruling over is related to the matter of the woman enticing the man to sin. Because the woman first violated the words of God and was tempted by the serpent, and then led the man to be enticed the same as she, to betray God, God was a little angry with her, and therefore required her to refrain from taking the initiative, to counsel with the man in everything she did; it would be best for her to allow the man to be the master. So are women given the opportunity to be the master? Such may be given to them. A woman can counsel with her man, and can also be the master, but it is best for her not to make decisions on her own; she must counsel with her husband, with her man. It is best for her to counsel with her man in big matters. As a woman, you not only need to accompany your husband, you also need to help your husband handle household duties. More importantly, the role your husband should fill in the family and in your marriage is as the master, so you should counsel with your husband in whatever you do. Because of differences between the sexes, women do not have an advantage over men in their thoughts, their forbearance, their perspectives, or in any kind of external matters; on the contrary, men hold the advantage over women. So, based on this difference between the sexes, God has given men unique authority—in the family, the man is the master, and the woman is auxiliary. The woman needs to assist her husband, or accompany her husband in managing matters large and small. But when God said “he shall rule over you,” He did not mean that males are higher in status than females, or that males should dominate all of society. That is not the case. In saying this, God was only speaking with regard to marriage; He was only speaking of families, and of trivial household matters that are handled by men and women. When it comes to trivial household matters, God does not require the man to control or coerce the woman in everything; rather, the man needs to actively take up the burdens and responsibilities of his family, and at the same time, he needs to attend to the woman, who is relatively weak, and he needs to provide correct guidance. As one can see from this point, men have been given some unique responsibilities. For example, the man should take the initiative in taking up the responsibility for major matters of right and wrong; he should not thrust the woman into the fiery pit, nor should he allow her to suffer social indignity, bullying, and trampling. The man should take the initiative in taking up this responsibility. It does not mean that because of the words of God which say “he shall rule over you” that he can drive the woman with a stick, or that he can control her, or make her into a slave to treat as he will. Under the preconditions and framework of marriage, male and female are equal before God; it is just that the man is the husband, and God has given him this right and responsibility. This is just a kind of responsibility, not a unique power, and not a reason to treat a woman as something other than a person. The two of you are equal. The male and female are both created by God, it is just that there is a unique requirement made of the male, which is that for one thing, he must bear the burdens and responsibilities of the family, and for another, when big matters appear, the man must step forward boldly and bear the responsibilities and obligations that he ought to in the role of a male, of a husband—to protect the woman, to work his hardest to prevent his woman from doing things a woman ought not to, or to speak colloquially, to keep her from having a hard time, to keep her from suffering as a woman ought not to. For example, in order to elevate their position, to live well and get rich, to pursue fame, profit, and status, and to make others think highly of them, some men give their wives to their bosses as concubines or lovers, prostituting their wives’ flesh. After selling out their wives, when their goals are accomplished, they stop valuing their woman, and they do not want her. What kind of man is this? Do such men not exist? (They do.) Is this man not devilish? (It is.) The point of ruling over a woman is for you to fulfill your responsibilities and protect her. This is because, from a physiological gender standpoint, males have an advantage over women in the various ideas, viewpoints, levels, and insights they have toward things; this is a fact, which no one can deny. So, seeing as God has given women to men, saying “he shall rule over you,” the responsibility that a male ought to fulfill is to bear the burdens of the family, or when serious things happen, to protect and cherish his woman, to sympathize with and understand her; not to thrust her into temptation, but to bear the responsibilities that a husband and a man ought to. This way, in the family and under the framework of marriage, you will fulfill the responsibilities and obligations that you ought to, and you will make your woman feel like you are worth her entrustment, that you are the person she will spend her life with, that you are trustworthy, and that your shoulders are reliable. When your woman relies on you, when she needs you, her husband, to make a decision to deal with some serious matters, you do not want to be off sleeping, or drinking, or gambling, or wandering the streets. This is all unacceptable; this is cowardly. You are not a good man; you have not fulfilled the responsibilities you ought to. If you as a man always need your woman to come forward in every major matter, and if you are pushing her, who has a role more delicate than a man, toward the fiery pit, pushing her to where the wind and waves are highest, pushing her toward the whirlpool of diverse kinds of complicated matters, then this is not something a good man ought to do, nor is it the way a good husband ought to behave. Your responsibility is not merely to make your woman desire you, accompany you, and assist you in living well; that is not all it is, you also have the responsibility you ought to take on. She has fulfilled her responsibilities toward you—have you fulfilled your responsibilities toward her? It is not enough to give her good food, warm clothes to wear, and to set her heart at ease; what’s more important is that in various big matters and disputes over right and wrong, you should be able to accurately, correctly, and appropriately help her deal with everything, to keep her from having any worries, to enable her to receive real benefits from you, and to see that you fulfill the responsibilities you ought to as a husband. This is the source of a woman’s happiness in marriage. Is this not the case? (It is.) No matter how honeyed your words are, or how you charm her, or how much you accompany her, in big matters, if your woman cannot rely on you or trust you, if you do not bear the responsibilities you ought to, and instead allow a delicate woman to come forward and endure humiliation, or to endure any pain, then such a woman will be unable to feel happiness or joy, and she will see no hope in you. So, any woman who married such a man would feel unlucky in her marriage, and that her future days and life were without hope and without light, because she married an unreliable man, a man who does not fulfill his responsibilities, a chicken-heart, a good-for-nothing, and a coward; she would feel no happiness. So, males need to bear their own responsibilities. For one thing, this is a requirement of humanity, and for another—and more importantly—they need to understand this from God’s perspective. This is the responsibility and obligation that God has given to every man in marriage. So, speaking to the women: if you want to get married and find your other half, then at the very least, you must first look at whether or not the man is reliable. His looks, his height, his diploma, whether he is rich, and whether he makes a lot of money is all secondary. The key is to see whether or not this person has humanity and a sense of responsibility, whether or not their shoulders are broad and thick, and when you rely on him, whether he will fall or be able to hold you up, and whether he is reliable. To speak accurately, whether or not he can fulfill a husband’s responsibilities as God has said, whether or not that is the kind of person he is; to say nothing of walking in God’s ways, at the very least, he should be someone who has humanity in God’s eyes. When two people live together, it does not matter whether they are rich or poor, what their quality of life is, what is in their house, or whether they are of compatible character or not; at the very least, the man you marry needs to fulfill his obligations and responsibilities toward you, to have a sense of responsibility for you, to have you in his heart. Whether he is fond of you or loves you, at the very least, he needs to have you in his heart, to fulfill the responsibilities and obligations that he ought to in the framework of marriage. Then your life will be joyful, your days will be happy, and your future path will not be hazy. If the man a woman marries is always unreliable, and runs away and hides the moment anything happens, and he brags and boasts when nothing is wrong, as if he has great skill and is manly and virile, but then he turns into tofu when something happens, do you think that woman would be upset? (Yes.) Would she be happy? (No.) A decent, good woman would think: “I’m always taking care of him and cherishing him, I’m willing to suffer anything, to fulfill my responsibilities as a wife, but I cannot see a future with this man.” Is such a marriage not painful? Is this pain the woman feels not related to the male, her other half? (It is.) Is this the male’s responsibility? (It is.) The male should self-reflect. He cannot always complain that the woman is nitpicky, that she likes to nag and split hairs. Both parties must mutually reflect on whether or not they are fulfilling their obligations and responsibilities, and whether they are doing so according to God’s words after hearing them. If they are not fulfilling them, they need to quickly turn around, quickly put themselves right and remedy the situation; it is not too late. Is this a good way to conduct oneself? (Yes.)

Let us now read on. After this is another command of God to Adam, the first of mankind’s ancestors. God said: “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return” (Genesis 3:17–19). This passage is primarily God’s command to males. No matter the circumstances, seeing as God has given a command to males, His command is the obligations and tasks they need to fulfill in the framework of marriage and in the family. God requires males to uphold the family’s livelihood after marriage, which is that they must work hard their whole lives to maintain their livelihood. Males need to maintain their livelihood, so they must labor; using modern language, they need to go get a job and work to make money, or they need to grow grain out of the ground, and harvest it to maintain the family’s livelihood. Males need to toil and labor to support the whole family, to maintain their livelihood. This is God’s command for husbands, for males; this is their responsibility. So under the framework of marriage, males cannot emphasize: “Ah, my health is bad!” “Ah, work is hard to find in today’s society, I’m so stressed!” “I was pampered by my parents growing up, I can’t do any job!” If you can’t do any job at all, why did you get married? If you cannot support a family, and you do not have the ability to labor to take upon yourself the livelihood of a whole family, then why did you get married? This is an irresponsible thing to say. For one thing, God requires men to work diligently, and for another, He requires them to labor in order to get food from the earth. Of course, these days He does not insist that you get food from the earth, but labor is a necessity. That’s why man’s physique is so thick and strong, while the woman’s is comparatively weak; they are different. God created different physiques for men and women. By nature, the man should labor and work to maintain his family’s livelihood, to support the family; that is his role, he is the family’s main strength. The woman, on the other hand, is not thus commanded by God. So can the woman reap where she has not sown, waiting to eat ready-made meals without doing anything? That is also not right. Although God has not commanded the woman to uphold the family’s livelihood, she cannot just sit idle. Do not think that because God has not commanded women that they can just stand off to the side in this matter. That is not the case. Women also need to fulfill their responsibilities; they should assist their husbands in maintaining the family’s livelihood. A woman does not only need to be a partner—at the same time, she needs to help her man fulfill his responsibilities and mission in the family. She cannot just stand off to the side, looking on and making fun of her husband, nor can she wait for ready-made food. The two of them need to be in harmony. This way, the obligations and responsibilities that men and women ought to fulfill will all be fulfilled, and will be done well.

Let us read on. God said: “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field.” You see, on top of the labor God has given to men, there are additional burdens; it is not enough that you labor, the fields also grow weeds that you must pull. This means that if you are a farmer, you have additional work to do beyond planting. You must also pull weeds, and you cannot sit idle; you must labor hard enough to maintain the livelihood of your family, just as God said: “In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread.” What does this phrase mean? It means that there is further weight given to men on top of their labor. Until when? “Till you return to the ground.” Until you breathe your last, when you finish the journey of life; then you will no longer need to act this way, and your responsibilities will be fulfilled. This is the instruction given to men by God and it is the commandment of God to men, as well as a responsibility and burden He has given them. Whether you are willing or not, this is ordained of God, and you cannot escape it. So, in all society or all mankind, whether one looks at it from a subjective or an objective viewpoint, men have greater stress in their survival on earth compared to women, which unavoidably must be said to be the result of God’s ordination and orchestration. In this matter, men need to understand it from God’s perspective and bear the responsibilities and obligations they ought to; in particular, those people in the framework of marriage who have families and spouses should not try to escape or reject the fulfillment of their responsibilities because life is too hard, bitter, or tiring. If you say, “I don’t want to do this responsibility, and I don’t want to labor,” then you can choose to back out of marriage or reject marriage. So, before you get married, you must first think it out, think and understand clearly about what the responsibilities are that God requires a married man to take upon himself, whether or not you can fulfill them, whether or not you can do them well, whether or not you can play your role properly, God’s commands to you, and whether or not you can bear the burdens of family that God will give you. If you feel that you lack the faith to do all this well, or if you lack the willingness to do so—if you don’t want to do it—if you refuse this responsibility and obligation, refuse to bear a burden within the household and within the framework of marriage, then you should not get married. To both male and female, marriage implies responsibilities and burdens; it is not a trifling matter. Although it is not sacred, by My understanding, marriage is at the very least solemn, and people should rectify their attitudes toward it. Marriage is not for playing around with carnal lusts, nor is it for satisfying one’s own momentary emotional needs, much less is it for satisfying one’s curiosity. It is a responsibility and an obligation; and of course, even more so, it is a confirmation and verification of whether or not a man or woman has the ability and faith to bear the responsibilities of marriage. If you do not know whether or not you have the ability to bear the responsibilities and obligations of marriage, if these are totally unknown quantities to you, or if you do not want to get married—or if you are even sick of the very idea—if you do not want to bear the responsibilities and obligations of family life, be they trivial or bigger matters, and you want to be single—“God said it is not good to be alone, but I think being alone is pretty nice”—then you can reject marriage, or even leave your marriage. This varies from individual to individual, and each person can choose freely. But, no matter what you say, if you look at what’s recorded in the Bible about the sayings and ordinations given by God with regard to mankind’s earliest marriage, you will see that marriage is not a game, nor a trifling matter; of course it is much less the grave which people describe it as. Marriage is arranged and ordained by God. From the beginning of man, God ordained and arranged it. So those worldly sayings—“Marriage is a grave,” “Marriage is a city under siege,” “Marriage is a tragedy,” “Marriage is a disaster,” and so on—do they hold any water? (No.) They do not. This is just the understanding that corrupt mankind has toward marriage after warping, corrupting, and stigmatizing it. After warping, corrupting, and stigmatizing proper marriage, they criticize it as well, spouting a few inappropriate falsehoods, releasing fallacies, and as a result, those who believe in God also become misled, so they also have incorrect and abnormal views on marriage. Have you also been misled and corrupted? (Yes.) Then through our fellowship, after you have an accurate and correct understanding of marriage, when someone again asks, “Do you know what marriage is?” will you still say, “Marriage is a grave”? (No.) Is this statement correct? (No.) Should you say that? (No.) Why not? Seeing as marriage is arranged and ordained by God, humans should treat marriage correctly. If people act wantonly and indulge their lusts, messing around with promiscuity and bringing about evil consequences, saying that marriage is a grave, then I can only say that they are digging their own grave and are making trouble for themselves; they cannot complain. It has nothing to do with God. Is this not the case? Saying that marriage is a grave is Satan’s warping and condemnation of marriage and of a positive matter. The more positive a thing is, the more Satan and corrupt mankind warp it into something wicked. Is this not evil? If a person lives in sin, engaging in promiscuity and love triangles, why do people not say that? If a person fornicates, why do people not say so? Proper marriage is not fornication, nor promiscuity, it is not the satisfaction of carnal lusts, nor is it a trifling matter; of course much less is it a grave. It is something positive. God has ordained and arranged human marriage, and He has given entrustment and commands regarding it; of course, even more so, He has given responsibilities and obligations to both parties in marriage by way of command, as well as His sayings about what constitutes marriage. Marriage can only be comprised of one man and one woman. In the Bible, did God create a man, then create another man, and then marry them? No, there is no homosexual marriage between two men or between two women. There is only the marriage of one man and one woman. Marriage is comprised of one man and one woman, who are not only partners, but also helpers, who accompany one another, take care of one another, and mutually fulfill their responsibilities, living well and accompanying each other properly on the paths of their lives, accompanying each other through every difficult period of life, every different and unique period; and of course, they also get through the ordinary times. This is the responsibility that both parties in marriage ought to take on themselves, and it is also God’s entrustment to them. What is God’s entrustment? It is the principles that people ought to keep and practice. So, for everyone who gets married, marriage is meaningful. It has a supplementary effect on your personal experience and knowledge, as well as the growth, maturity, and perfection of your humanity. And on the contrary, if you are not married, and just live with your parents, or live alone all your life, or if you have an abnormal marriage, a marriage which is immoral and not ordained of God, then what you experience will not be the life experience, knowledge, or encounters, nor the growth, maturity, and perfection of humanity that you would obtain from a proper marriage. In marriage, beyond the two people experiencing mutual company and support, they of course also experience the disagreements, disputes, and contradictions that come up in life. At the same time, they experience together the pain of bearing children, and the experience of educating and raising children, and providing for their elders, watching the next generation grow up, watching the next generation get married and have children just like them, repeating their same course. In this way, the experience, knowledge, or encounters of people’s lives is quite rich and varied, is it not? (It is.) If you had had such life experience before you believed in God, before you accepted God’s work, words, judgment and chastisement, and in addition, if you could worship God and follow God after you came to believe in Him, then your life would be a bit more abundant than most people; your experience and personal understanding would be a bit greater. Of course, all of this I’m speaking about is based on the premise that, under the framework of marriage as ordained by God, you should earnestly carry out your own responsibilities and obligations, the responsibilities and obligations of men and women, and the responsibilities and obligations of husbands and wives. These are things that should be done. If you do not carry out your responsibilities and obligations, then your marriage will be a mess, and it will fail, and in the end, your marriage will break apart. You will experience a broken, failed marriage, as well as the troubles, entanglements, pains, and turbulence that marriage will bring to you. If the two parties who enter into marriage together cannot take the initiative and personally carry out their responsibilities and obligations, then they will argue and contradict one another. As time goes on, they will argue more and more, their contradictions will grow deeper and deeper, and cracks will start to appear in their marriage; as the cracks are around longer, they will be unable to repair the broken mirror of their marriage, and such a marriage will certainly be headed toward breaking apart, toward destruction—such a marriage is certainly failed. So from your perspective, the marriage God has ordained is not according to your wishes, and you think it unsuitable. Why do you think that way? Because in the framework of marriage, you do not do anything according to God’s requirements and commands; you selfishly pursue the satisfaction of your own requirements, the satisfaction of your own preferences and wishes, and the satisfaction of your imagination. You do not restrain yourself or change on your partner’s behalf, nor endure any pain; rather, you just emphasize your own excuses, your own profit and preferences, and you do not ever think about your counterpart. What will happen in the end? Your marriage will break apart. The source of this breakage is people’s corrupt dispositions. People are too selfish, so even husband and wife, who should be as one, are unable to live together in harmony, unable to sympathize with, understand, comfort, and accept one another, or change and give things up for each other. You can see how corrupt mankind has become. Marriage cannot restrain people’s conduct, nor can it make people give up their selfish desires, so there are no moral principles or good practices that come from society that can make people better, or that can maintain their conscience and reason. So when it comes to marriage, people should come to know it from the way God first ordained marriage for man. Of course, they should also understand this matter from the perspective of God. Understanding all this from God’s perspective is pure, and when people are able to understand all this, the angle and viewpoint from which they see marriage will be correct. The reason their angle and viewpoint on marriage needs to be correct is not merely to make them know the concept and correct definition of marriage; it is also to enable people to have a proper, correct, accurate, appropriate, and reasonable method of practice when they encounter marriage, so they will not be misled by Satan or the various ideas of the wicked trends of the world in the way they treat marriage. When you choose marriage on the basis of God’s words, those of you who are women need to clearly see whether or not your counterpart is the kind of person who is able to fulfill a man’s responsibilities and obligations as God has said, whether or not he is worth entrusting your whole life to. Those of you who are men need to clearly see whether or not a woman is the kind of person who is able to set aside her own profit for the sake of family life and her husband, to change her shortcomings and flaws. You must consider all these things and more. Do not rely on your imagination, or on momentary interests or hobbies; much less should you rely on the mistaken ideas of love and romanticism that Satan instills in you to blindly choose marriage. With this fellowship, is everyone clear on the ideas, viewpoints, angles, and standpoints people should have on marriage, as well as the practice they ought to choose and principles they ought to hold to with regard to marriage? (Yes.)

Today, we’ve not yet spoken about letting go of the pursuits, ideals, and desires of marriage; we have only clarified the definition and concept of marriage. Have I not spoken clearly on the subject? (You have.) I have spoken clearly. Do you have still any complaints about marriage? (No.) And the one you were once married to, the one you left, do you have any enmity for them? (No.) Do your abnormal, biased understandings and views of marriage, or even your childish fantasies which were out of line with the facts, still exist? (No.) You should be more realistic now. But marriage is not a simple matter of daily necessities. It touches on the lives of people with normal humanity, and on people’s responsibilities and obligations, and moreover, there are the more practical standards and principles that God has warned people about, required of them, and commanded them of. These are the responsibilities and obligations that people should complete, and are the responsibilities and obligations that they ought to take on themselves. This is the concrete definition of marriage and the significance of the concrete existence of marriage, which people with normal humanity ought to possess. All right, this is where we’ll end for today. Goodbye!

January 7, 2023

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