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A Happy Marriage Starts With Accepting God’s Salvation

11

By Zhui Qiu, Malaysia

I’m a beautician and my husband is a farmer; we met in Malaysia at an orange throwing event, a traditional activity for women trying to find love. Our wedding, witnessed by a pastor, was held in a church a year later. I was very deeply moved by the pastor’s prayer for our marriage and though I wasn’t religious, I silently implored God: “May this man unswervingly cherish and care for me, and be my companion throughout the rest of my life.”

After starting married life, the conflicts between me and my husband emerged one by one. He would leave the house by 4 a.m. every morning to sell vegetables and wouldn’t get back until after 7 p.m., but I didn’t get off of work until after 10 p.m. We had very little time together. Every time I was dragging my exhausted body back home, I was very much hoping to be on the receiving end of some of my husband’s solicitude, care, and understanding; I wanted him to ask me how work had gone, whether I was happy or not. But to my disappointment, practically every time I came home from work, if he wasn’t watching TV he was messing around on his phone, and sometimes he wouldn’t even bother to greet me. It was just as if I didn’t even exist. This left me really dejected and I gradually grew dissatisfied with my husband.

A Happy Marriage Starts With Accepting God’s Salvation

Once I had a disagreement with a customer and was feeling really irritated and really wronged. After getting home I vented about it to my husband hoping that he would comfort me, but to my surprise, while playing on his phone he just barely acknowledged me, hardly paying any attention. He then put his head down and went straight back to his phone. His complete indifference toward me was really upsetting, so I came at him and yelled, “Are you made of stone? You can’t even have a chat? Do you care about anybody?” Seeing me so angry, he refused to respond. The more of the silent treatment I got, the more my anger built up. I nagged and nagged him, absolutely determined to get him to say something. Unexpectedly, he suddenly yelled back at me, “Haven’t you said enough already?” This made me feel even angrier, and even more wronged, so I continued trying to reason with him. Finally, he just refused to say anything at all, so our argument was pretty much over. There was another time I complained to my husband about something that upset me at work thinking that he would try to make me feel better, but instead he responded abruptly, cold as ice, “It takes two to tango. All you see is other people’s problems—why don’t you take a look at yourself?” My temper flared up instantly and I couldn’t stop myself from giving him a piece of my mind. Filled with resentment, I thought, “What sort of person is he? Why did I get married to someone like him? He has absolutely no consideration for my feelings—he doesn’t have a single word of consolation for me!” From then on I almost entirely stopped sharing what happened at work with him. At some point later he tried to ask me about my job, but I never felt like paying him any mind. He gradually stopped asking me about anything. We came to have fewer and fewer common topics of conversation and whenever something frustrating happened I’d just go find a friend to lend me an ear. Sometimes I’d stay out late talking to someone and wouldn’t get home until after midnight. Even when I came home so late, he still didn’t seem to care but just said I was treating our home like a hotel. I felt really put out, and my dissatisfaction with my husband grew, leading us to bicker and argue really frequently. Both of us were suffering. I didn’t want things to continue on that way, so I decided to find a chance to have a good talk with him.

One day after dinner, I asked him, “You really can’t stand me, can you? Why don’t you ever pay any attention to me? If you have a problem with me, just tell me directly.” When he didn’t say a word in response, I just kept after him. Surprisingly, he yelled at me with irritation, “Stop asking me all these questions! Everything’s a problem with you—I’m sick of it!” Getting that kind of response from him stirred up my own anger, and we started arguing again, going back and forth with each other. This went on for a while until he got up and gave me a shove; I lost my footing and landed on the sofa. Seeing that my husband would raise a hand against me was absolutely heartbreaking. I thought, “This is the husband I chose so carefully? This is the marriage I had such hopes for? How could he treat me this way?” From that point I no longer placed any hopes in him.

In April 2016, by fortuitous chance, a sister shared the gospel of the Lord Jesus with me. She said that the Lord loves us and was nailed to the cross in order to save us. I was really moved by His love, and so I accepted the gospel of the Lord. When I spoke to my pastor later on about the problems in my marriage, he told me, “We can’t change anyone else unless we first change ourselves. We should follow the example of the Lord Jesus and practice tolerance and patience for others.” So, I started trying to change myself. I’d go home as soon as I got off work and clean up the house, and sometimes when my husband ignored me and I was about to lose my temper, I’d pray to the Lord, asking Him to bestow tolerance and patience upon me. At the times that I couldn’t control myself and got into an argument with my husband, after the fact I’d try to make the initial effort to smooth things over. Seeing the changes that had taken place in me, my husband also began believing in the Lord. Once we were both believers, we argued less frequently and communicated more. I was full of gratitude to the Lord after seeing His personal salvation for us.

But more and more time passed, and we still remained unable to control our own moods. Domestic disputes would still erupt sometimes, and particularly when the other person was in a bad mood neither one of us was able to practice tolerance and patience, so as a result our fights became fiercer and fiercer. My heart was burdened with pain after every argument, and I would pray to the Lord, “Lord, You teach us to be tolerant and patient, but I just can’t seem to do that. When I see my husband do something that I don’t like I feel really disgruntled with him. Lord, what should I do?” I later started going to every single class organized by the church hoping to find a path of practice, but I didn’t get what I was hoping for out of it. I asked our group leader for help, who just said, “My wife and I argue frequently too. Even Paul said, ‘For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not’ (Romans 7:18). No one has a solution to the problem we face of the cycle of constantly sinning and confessing. All we can do is pray to the Lord and ask for His mercy.” Hearing him say this left me feeling at a loss: Could it be that we were doomed to spend the rest of our lives mired in conflict?

In March 2017, my husband, who had always been taciturn, suddenly turned into a lively conversationalist. Plus he’d often share fellowship with me on his understanding of the scriptures, and what amazed me even more was that what he shared in fellowship was really full of light. I was puzzled; it was like he had suddenly become a different person, and the things he was saying were really insightful. I really wanted to figure out what was going on. One day I accidentally discovered that he was a member of a group in a social media app, and without delay asked him what he was chatting with them about. With a very serious look on his face, he told me that he was considering Almighty God’s work of the last days, that the Lord Jesus had already returned and His name was Almighty God. He said that Almighty God had already uttered millions of words and was doing the work of judgment and cleansing of mankind in the last days. He also said that that fulfilled this biblical prophecy: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). My husband told me that when we seek God’s appearance and work, we have to focus on hearing the voice of God instead of just blindly clinging to our notions and imaginings. If we don’t seek the truth but just passively wait for God’s revelation, we’ll be unable to welcome the Lord’s return. Hearing this stunned me and it seemed inconceivable. It later occurred to me that I had heard an Indian pastor once say that if we ever heard anything about the Lord’s return, we should seek with an open heart and investigate it earnestly; we couldn’t rely on our notions and imaginings and just blindly pass judgment. So I said a prayer to the Lord: “Lord, if Almighty God really is Your return, please lead and guide me so that I can seek the truth and investigate this with an open heart. Otherwise, please protect my heart so that I don’t stray from You. Amen!”

I opened up the Bible after this prayer and saw this in Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” I had a sudden moment of inspiration and felt that it was the Lord speaking to me, telling me that when He returned, He would knock at my door; I felt this was Him commanding me to listen for His voice and open the door. It was just like the wise virgins in the Bible who rushed to welcome the groom when they heard his voice. I then thought of John 16:12–13: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.” As I pondered these Scripture verses, a sense of excitement welled up within me. I realized that the Lord had long ago told us that upon His return He would utter more words and bestow the truth upon us. And Almighty God’s work of the last days is the work of expressing words to judge and cleanse mankind—could it be that Almighty God really is the Lord Jesus returned? If the Lord really has returned and has expressed truths to resolve all of humanity’s difficulties, then there is hope for us to escape from the bonds of sin. Then couldn’t the problems between me and my husband be resolved? I lost no time asking my husband to put me in touch with brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God; I wanted to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days as well.

Almighty God’s work of the last days

While in a gathering, some brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God selected some Bible verses to fellowship with me on various aspects of the truth such as the manner of the Lord’s return, the Lord’s new name, and what work He will do. Their fellowship was incredibly convincing and completely new for me. I really wanted to know more about the Lord’s work of the last days, so I prayed to God over and over again, asking Him to enlighten me so that I could understand God’s words. By reading God’s words and listening to the fellowship of the brothers and sisters I gradually gained an understanding of God’s objective in His management of mankind, His three stages of work to save mankind, and humanity’s outcome and destination. While looking into Almighty God’s work of the last days, I still couldn’t help but bicker with my husband over some petty little things. After the fact, I would feel really guilty and upset, and I’d ask myself, “Why is it that I can never put God’s words into practice?” This left me perplexed. In a gathering one time, I asked a sister, “Why is it that my husband and I are always arguing? Why can’t we get along peacefully?” She found a couple of passages of God’s words for me. “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).

She then shared this fellowship: “In the beginning, Adam and Eve lived happily before God in the Garden of Eden. There were no arguments; there was no suffering. But after they listened to the serpent and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they grew distant from God and betrayed Him, losing God’s care and protection and living under Satan’s power. The days of sadness and suffering then began. It has been this way until now, and we’ve become more and more deeply corrupted by Satan. We’re full of corrupt, satanic dispositions; we’re all incredibly arrogant, selfish, deceitful, and willful. We’re self-centered in all things, always wanting others to listen to us. That’s why people fight with each other and murder each other. Even parents and children and husbands and wives have no tolerance and patience for each other and aren’t able to get along harmoniously with each other—we’re lacking even the most basic conscience and reason. Although we’ve been redeemed by the Lord Jesus, although we pray to the Lord, confess, and repent, and we work hard to adhere to the Lord’s teachings, we still just can’t help but sin and resist God. That’s because the Lord Jesus only performed the work of redeeming mankind; He did not do the work of fully saving and cleansing mankind. Accepting the salvation of the Lord Jesus just means that we are no longer of sin and we have the opportunity to come before the Lord in prayer, to receive His mercy, and have our sins forgiven. However, we have not been cleansed of our corrupt dispositions. Our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us; we still need God to return in the last days and do the stage of work to cleanse and transform mankind, thus resolving the problem of our sinful nature. And now God has once again become flesh, expressing the words to do the work of judgment and cleansing to completely save us from our corrupt dispositions and allow us to escape from Satan’s influence and be fully saved. As long as we keep up with God’s new work, accept the judgment and chastisement of His words, pursue the truth, and put God’s words into practice, our corrupt dispositions will gradually be transformed. That’s the only way we’ll be able to live out a true human likeness, and only then will we be able to achieve harmony in our interactions with others.”

I finally realized from God’s words and this sister’s fellowship that the reason we were always living within this state of sinning and then confessing was because though the Lord Jesus had done the work of redeeming mankind, our sins as believers were merely forgiven; our inner sinful nature, however, was still very deeply entrenched and our satanic disposition had not yet been cleansed. A perfect example is how I intended to practice patience and tolerance in accordance with the Lord’s teaching, but as soon as my husband said or did something that I didn’t like, I couldn’t stop myself from losing my temper. I just couldn’t rein myself in no matter what. Without God’s work to save us, it’s impossible for us to cast off our satanic, corrupt dispositions relying on our own efforts. And now, God has incarnated once again, coming to do the work of judging and cleansing mankind. By accepting God’s new work and really pursuing the truth, we have the opportunity to achieve dispositional transformation. I felt really moved and incredibly grateful for the Lord’s mercy which had allowed me to hear His voice. But I still wasn’t entirely clear—I knew that God had come this time to utter words to purify and transform us, but how can words judge and cleanse our corrupt disposition? So, I explained my confusion.

The sister read another passage of God’s words for me. “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

She went on to share more fellowship with me. “God’s words clearly explain for us how He does the work of judgment. He uses words to judge and purify mankind; He primarily uses words to directly reveal and dissect our corrupt nature and essence and our satanic disposition. He has also clearly told us how we should submit to and worship God, how to live out proper humanity, how to pursue the truth to achieve dispositional change, how to be an honest person, and what God’s will for and requirements of people are. He has told us what kind of people He likes and what kind of people He eliminates, and more. He also sets up people, events, things, and environments to prune and deal with us, to test and refine us. This exposes our corrupt dispositions and forces us to come before God and seek the truth, to accept the judgment and chastisement of His words, and to reflect on and know ourselves. When we accept God’s words of judgment and chastisement, we feel like He is speaking with us, face to face, vividly, fully revealing our rebelliousness and resistance to Him, our incorrect motives, and our notions and imaginings. Only then can we see that our natures and essences are full of arrogance, conceit, deceit, crookedness, selfishness, and despicableness. We see that we are entirely lacking hearts of reverence for God and that we live entirely based on our satanic, corrupt natures, that everything we reveal is our satanic disposition, and that we are utterly lacking a human likeness. We begin to hate ourselves and be disgusted by ourselves from within our hearts and wish to no longer live under Satan’s influence, and be toyed with and hurt by Satan. On top of that, through God’s judgment and chastisement we see God’s holy essence and His righteous disposition that tolerates no offense. A heart of reverence for God develops within us and we become willing to put the truth into practice to satisfy God. Once we start practicing the truth, God’s benevolent and merciful disposition appears to us. By continually reading God’s words and experiencing His judgment and chastisement, we gain a deeper understanding of our own corrupt natures, we better understand the truths expressed by God, and become even more willing to accept and submit to His judgment and chastisement, and to forsake the flesh, put the truth into practice, and satisfy God. We reveal less and less corruption, practicing the truth becomes easier and easier, and we gradually step onto the path of fearing God and shunning evil. By experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, all of us are able to confirm from within our hearts that this is the panacea that saves us and cures us of our corrupt dispositions. This is God’s truest love for us corrupt humans, and without experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, we will never be able to live out a true human likeness.”

God’s words and the sister’s fellowship had a huge impact on me. I felt that God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days really is very practical, and that if we want our corrupt dispositions to be transformed, we have to experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. Otherwise, we will live in the cycle of sinning and then confessing forever, and we’ll never escape the bonds of sin. So I said a prayer to God within my heart, asking Him to water and feed me with His words, and to set up environments to judge and chastise me so that I could know myself, my corrupt disposition could be transformed someday soon, and I could live out a true human likeness.

After accepting God’s work of the last days I also gained a new understanding of the marriage that God had arranged for me. At one point a sister read a few passages of God’s words for me. “People harbor many illusions about marriage before they experience it themselves, and all these illusions are 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” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Marriage is an important juncture in a person’s life. It is the product of a person’s fate, 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 is completely determined by the fates of the two parties, by the Creator’s arrangements and predeterminations regarding the fates of the couple” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “[W]hen 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 fate in life. In other words, human fates are interconnected, and no one can fulfill one’s mission in life or perform one’s role completely independently 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 maintains in a vast and complex web of human connections, involving every member 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” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). She then shared her fellowship with me. “Every single one of our marriages has been predestined by God, and God long ago determined who we would start a family with—this is all arranged through God’s own wisdom. The marriage that He chooses for us doesn’t depend on our social status, our outward appearance, or our caliber, but it’s determined by both people’s missions in life. However, we’re controlled by our corrupt dispositions, so we constantly have many requirements of our other half, always wanting them to do things our way. When they don’t, we refuse to accept this and feel dissatisfied; we argue with them and get angry, or even complain, and we blame and misunderstand God. This leads to both people living in pain. That kind of pain isn’t brought about by anyone else, nor is it brought about by God’s rule and arrangements, but it occurs because we live by our arrogant and conceited corrupt dispositions. That sort of corrupt disposition puts us at odds with God’s rule; we’re unable to submit to His orchestrations and arrangements.”

A Happy Marriage Starts With Accepting God’s Salvation

Hearing this sister’s fellowship, I thought back over the course of my relationship with my husband. I was always expressing dissatisfaction with him and always demanding that he do things my way—if he didn’t keep me in mind, show consideration and caring for me, if he didn’t inquire after my well-being, I’d grumble about him and think that he was no good. I would look down on him in all sorts of ways and wage a cold war with him, refusing to acknowledge him. I finally saw that I really was an arrogant, conceited, selfish, and despicable person. I was someone who only thought of my own interests and gave no thought to other people’s feelings. Giving it careful thought, I saw that it wasn’t at all true that my husband didn’t care about me, it’s just that he was more introverted and wasn’t very emotionally expressive. He also had his own thoughts and preferences, but I insisted on forcing him to do things that he didn’t like doing. I always wanted everything he did to revolve around me, and that was what had led to so much conflict developing between us. I then couldn’t help but feel regret over my past behavior. I also thought about what my husband said, that in the past, I had been the one to share the gospel of the Lord with him, but now he had shared God’s gospel of the last days with me. This was God’s great grace for us and His wondrous arrangement. We’re both extremely blessed people, but I hadn’t known any sort of gratitude. Instead, I was unwilling to submit to the marriage that God had arranged for me, constantly blaming God. I saw that I was so arrogant, so devoid of reason! Thank God for guiding me with His words. I had found the root of all the suffering in my marriage—I gained a sense of ease and release in my heart. I also became willing to lean on God and look to God in my life from then on, to forsake my arrogant, conceited corrupt disposition, and to interact harmoniously with my husband.

Since then, my husband and I have read God’s words and fellowshiped on the truth together frequently, and we perform the duty of a created being to the best of our abilities. We are also fed and watered by God’s words every day; when we encounter an issue we seek His will according to His words. If we do reveal corruption or get into an argument, both of us come before God, and reflect upon and know ourselves. When we put this into practice we gain more understanding and forgiveness of each other. Our arguments are less and less frequent, our home life has become harmonious, and our lives have grown fuller and fuller. What has been most moving for me is that my husband’s understanding of the truth is better than mine. He frequently shares fellowship with me on his understanding of God’s words, and when he sees me reveal a corrupt disposition, he shares fellowship on the truth and God’s will with me. I have really felt his care and love for me—I’m happy from within my heart. Looking back over our path, I’m still who I am, and he’s still who he is; it’s just that because we’ve accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days and have understood some truths, absolutely everything has changed. I give thanks to Almighty God for saving us!

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