145. The Principles of How to Treat Love and Marriage
(1) People have the freedom to marry whomever they choose, and none has the right to interfere—but it must not have repercussions on your belief in God or the performance of your duty;
(2) To give up marriage in favor of pursuing the truth and performing one’s duty well is a special testimony that accords with God’s will. People who do so are brilliant, and they meet with His approval;
(3) If one wishes to marry, they should choose an appropriate person. The match should, at the very least, be of benefit to one’s faith and life, and not be meant to satisfy the flesh to the detriment of the decent business of believing in God;
(4) Respect proper love and marriage. Multiple marriages are a violation of the truth and morality, and those to whom marriage is a game are evil spirits and filthy demons.
Relevant Words of God:
Marriage is an important juncture in a person’s life. It is the product of a person’s fate and a crucial link in one’s fate; it is not founded on any person’s individual volition or preferences, and is not influenced by any external factors, but completely determined by the fates of the two parties, by the Creator’s arrangements and predeterminations for the fates of both members of the couple. On the surface, the purpose of marriage is to continue the human race, but in truth, marriage is nothing but a ritual that one undergoes in the process of completing one’s mission. In marriage, people do not merely play the role of rearing the next generation; they adopt all the various roles involved in maintaining a marriage and the missions those roles require one to complete. Since one’s birth influences the changes undergone by the people, events, and things that surround it, one’s marriage will also inevitably affect these people, events, and things, and furthermore, will transform them all in various ways.
When one becomes independent, one begins one’s own journey in life, which leads one, step by step, toward the people, events, and things that have a connection to one’s marriage. At the same time, the other person who will be in that marriage is approaching, step by step, toward those same people, events, and things. Under the Creator’s sovereignty, two unrelated people with related fates gradually enter into a single marriage and become, miraculously, a family: “two locusts clinging to the same rope.” So, when one enters into a marriage, one’s journey in life will influence and touch upon one’s other half, and likewise one’s partner’s journey in life will influence and touch upon one’s own fate in life. In other words, human fates are interconnected, and no one can complete one’s mission in life or perform one’s role in complete independence from others. One’s birth has a bearing on a huge chain of relationships; growing up also involves a complex chain of relationships; and similarly, a marriage inevitably exists and is maintained within a vast and complex web of human connections, involving every member of that web and influencing the fate of everyone who is a part of it. A marriage is not the product of both members’ families, the circumstances in which they grew up, their appearances, their ages, their qualities, their talents, or any other factors; rather, it arises from a shared mission and a related fate. This is the origin of marriage, a product of human fate orchestrated and arranged by the Creator.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
Excerpted from “God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The words I speak now make demands of people based on their real circumstances, and I work in accordance with their needs and the things inside them. The practical God has come to earth to do practical work, to work according to people’s real circumstances and needs. He is not unreasonable. When God acts, He does not coerce people. Whether or not you get married, for example, should be based on the reality of your circumstances; the truth has been clearly spoken to you, and I do not restrain you. Some people’s families oppress them so that they are unable to believe in God unless they get married. In this way, marriage, conversely, is helpful for them. For others, marriage brings no benefits, but costs them what they once had. Your own case must be determined by your actual circumstances and by your own resolve. I am not here to invent rules and regulations with which to make demands of you.
Excerpted from “Practice (7)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The great matters of life are not merely marriage, work, your future prospects, settling down and living peacefully, and scrambling to find your place in society. These are not the most important things. What are the most important things? You now believe in God and perform your duty, so your lives have set off in the right direction. The next important thing is to find firm footing on the path of pursuit of the truth, to ascertain the goal and direction of your life, to allow the truth to lay foundations in your heart—in this way, you will be someone whom God has truly chosen and preordained. Your foundations now are not yet stable. Never mind a storm—a breeze could shake you at any moment. This shows that you have not yet laid foundations, and this is very dangerous, indeed! Establish your life goal and the direction in which you seek, and establish the path you are to walk in this life. Once you have established your goal and what is most important in your life, settle down over the years for the sake of that goal and that important matter. Work hard, expend of yourself, exert efforts, and pay the price for them. Pay no mind to anything else for the time being. If you continue to think about those other things, the matter at hand will be delayed. You will have finding a job, making a lot of money, becoming wealthy, gaining a firm foothold in society, and finding a position for yourself on your mind; you will think of getting married, too, and acquiring skills and abilities in the future, and how to be an outstanding person; and you will want to support and raise a family and give your parents a good life. Is all of that not tiring? How big is your heart? How much energy does someone have in a lifetime? The most exuberant and simplest period of a person’s life—the best period of a person’s life—begins at twenty and ends, at the latest, at forty years of age. During this time, you must grasp hold of the truths that should be understood to believe in God, then enter into the reality of the truth, accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and accept His trials and refinement, so that you will not deny God under any circumstances. This is most fundamental; beside this, no matter who tries to tempt or seduce you with marriage or romantic love, no matter how much fame or status they give you, or how much they may benefit you, you will not give up on your duties, nor give up on the things a created being is supposed to do. If, at some point in the future, God does not want you, you will still be able to pursue the truth and to walk the way of fearing God and shunning evil. You must work hard on this; if you do, these years of expending yourself for God will not be lived in vain.
Excerpted from God’s Fellowship
You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!
Excerpted from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh