My High Expectations Harmed My Son

May 22, 2024

By Xiaoxiu, China

When I was young, there were five siblings in the house, and I was the eldest. My father worked away from home for many years, and the chores around the house all fell on my mother. I saw that my mother was overworked and endured hardship, so in third grade I dropped out of school and helped my mother do farmwork at home. I was often so tired that my core ached and my back hurt, and I thought that this kind of life was just too hard. Later, my cousin tested into college, and the whole family was especially happy. My parents often praised him for making a name for himself. At that time, I had an idea: My whole life I had never gotten a good education or had a chance to make something of myself, but later, when I had children, I would definitely cultivate them into great talents, so that we might escape this bitter life of sweat and toil and win the admiration and esteem of relatives and neighbors, bringing honor to the family.

After getting married, I had two children. When they were in primary school, my mother put her faith in God. Sometimes she would gather and pray together with them, and they even taught my mom to read. But at that time, I wanted with all my heart for my children to study, so when I saw this I told my mother, “Believe what you want, but don’t hold gatherings with my children and interrupt their studies.” Later, I also accepted God’s work in the last days, but I laid particular emphasis on my children’s studies and grades, and even when I occasionally attended gatherings, I would just be going through the motions. In order to earn some more money and let my children get a good education, I journeyed all over with my husband gathering recyclables. Every day I would work from dawn to dusk, and I was so tired that my whole body ached, but I didn’t let myself rest. I only had one idea in my head: No matter the struggle, I had to let them get a good education so that in the future they might test into a distinguished college and have good prospects. For this even if I was exhausted it would be worth it!

One time, I went back home to visit my children, and when my mother told me that my son’s grades had declined, I got so angry and reproached my son for a good while, saying, “You think it’s easy for me to go out and earn money? Everybody looks down on those of us who collect scraps—aren’t I enduring all this for you two? If you don’t study hard, what are you going to do?” My son started bawling and said, “Mom, I was wrong.” Later, I was afraid that my mother couldn’t manage my two children, and I worried that their studies and grades would decline, so I rented a place next to my children’s school and operated a little business there, taking the opportunity to monitor my two children’s education, on to the day they tested into high school. In those years, I focused all my thoughts on my children: In order for my children to test into college, I maintained a tight grip on their studies, and they didn’t have a second of free time. If they took a little too long in the bathroom I told them to hurry up; sometimes when they wanted to go out and play or watch TV and relax, I scolded them, saying, “Look at your uncle: He tested into a name-brand college, and the job he found is respectable. His relatives and neighbors all admire him. You should learn from your uncle. If you don’t suffer now and acquire more knowledge, how can you have a good life afterward? As the saying goes, ‘You have to endure great suffering in order to come out on top.’” Sometimes I would even tell them classical stories of people approaching their studies with diligence, to encourage them to study hard. The two children said helplessly, “Mom, stop talking. We’ve already memorized all of what you said. Relax, we’ll definitely test into college for you!” At that time, I got up every day at 5 AM to make breakfast, and in order to save my children time, in the evening I would prepare their dinner and deliver it to the school for them to eat. When they finished self-study at school late into the evening, they came back home and kept studying. I was afraid they might get lazy, so I often accompanied them until midnight. In their daily lives, I also thought of every way to regulate their meals: I heard that crucian carp soup was good for the brain, so I often prepared it for them to eat, and I even bought them special milk for students’ brains and brain tonic. Every day they had to eat a free-range egg. Whatever I heard was good for a child’s body, that’s what I would buy. I did it to make my son smarter so that he could get better test grades. Both children really worked hard, and their grades kept going up. My daughter finally tested into college, and my son’s mock exam grades put him among the top few students. I was extremely happy, and I thought, “If we keep going like this, it shouldn’t be a problem for my son to test into a key university.” Later, I kept an even closer watch on my son.

As the college entrance exams were getting closer, my son’s nerves were very tense on account of the pressure, and he had a hard time sleeping at night. In the end, he got sick, running a fever and coughing. Taking medicine and getting shots didn’t have any effect, and his grades were in free fall. What I saw pained me to my core. I was afraid that if he continued studying his body wouldn’t be able to take it, but the crucial moment was about to arrive. My son’s sickness still didn’t improve, and his grades declined—how could he have good prospects in the future? If he tested poorly, wouldn’t my efforts of the last few years be in vain? Unacceptable. In order for my son to get a good score and have good prospects in his future, I had to keep making him study overtime. After that, every day I sat at the head of the bed and watched my son studying. When my son saw me staring at him, he said helplessly, “If I have children in the future, I certainly won’t educate them like you did. I ought to give them some freedom and let them play basketball or ping pong.” When I heard my son say this, it pained my heart, but in order to make him stand out and have a good life in the future, I had to do this. When I saw that my son’s sickness still didn’t improve, I grew really anxious, thinking, “If my son’s ailment still hasn’t improved by the time of the college entrance exam, it will definitely affect his performance. If by chance he tests poorly, won’t all my previous efforts go to waste? Our relatives and neighbors will inevitably make me into a laughingstock. I put in so much effort and paid such a huge price, but in the end I’m left with nothing. What will become of my reputation?” In order to heal my son’s sickness as soon as possible, I appealed to doctors everywhere for medicine, but my son’s ailment still didn’t improve. Every day my face was contorted with worry, and I breathed heavy sighs, thinking only of when my son’s sickness would improve. Just when I had reached a dead end, I remembered that I was a Christian, and that I should entrust these difficulties to God and look to Him. Then, I came before God in prayer, saying, “Oh God! My son has taken medicine and gotten shots for his sickness, but it still hasn’t improved. The college entrance exam is almost here, and I don’t know what to do. Oh God, please guarantee that my son’s sickness may quickly improve.” One night, I met a sister while I was out walking. She asked me how my state had been recently. I told the sister about my suffering and she fellowshipped with me, saying, “We are believers in God. You should entrust God with your son’s studies and his condition—let God take care of it.” The sister even read me a passage of God’s words: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite man always rushing and busying himself on his own behalf, he remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a created being? … And so, regardless of how God chastises and judges man, it is all for the sake of man’s salvation. Even though He strips man of his fleshly hopes, it is for the sake of purifying man, and the purification of man is done so that he may survive. The destination of man is in the hands of the Creator, so how could man control himself?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination). After hearing God’s words, I understood that for a created being, God has ordained how much suffering one ought to endure and how many blessings they ought to enjoy in this life—no one can change that. People think of everything for the sake of their fate and future prospects, they rush around and busy themselves for fame and gain, but no matter how much money they make or how high their education is, they can’t change their own or other people’s fates. I thought of how, for the sake of pursuing being outstanding and bringing honor to my family name, to live an elevated life, I took the dreams that I hadn’t realized myself and put them on my children, expending so much effort on them. In order to give them a good education, my husband and I fought to work and make money, and even when our bodies collapsed from exhaustion we kept working. As long as our children stood out, all the suffering and exhaustion was worth it. In order for my children to test into prestigious colleges, I didn’t give them any freedom. My son’s nerves were severely strained and he didn’t dare say anything even though he slept poorly. I watched him study even while he was coughing and sick. All that I gave my son was pressure on his nerves, and I tormented him unspeakably. I controlled him and had ambitions to change his fate—this wasn’t submitting to God’s sovereignty and arrangements; it was rebelling against God! Realizing this, I prayed to God, saying that I was willing to entrust my son’s future prospects to Him, that no matter whether he tested into college or not, come what might, I wouldn’t ever pressure my son like that again. After this, my heart found some release, too. After only a few days, I heard that a boy on the third floor of our building was suddenly not in his right mind due to the pressure of his third-year studies; night and day he screamed at his parents, “You are the ones who messed me up! You are the ones who messed me up!” At that time, I felt very scared, and every scene of me once forcing my son to study rose before my eyes like a movie. I worried that if I kept on forcing my son to study like this, would my son turn out just like that boy? I thought to myself, “I can’t keep forcing my child like this.” From that point on, I started regular gatherings and eating and drinking God’s words, never again forcing my son to study.

Later, my son unexpectedly tested into a key university. I was very happy, but after the happiness passed, my heart felt unsteady. Because through reading God’s words I also understood that knowledge contains many atheistic thoughts and viewpoints. The more knowledge one acquires, the more of Satan’s poisons are injected into them. These things cause people to distance themselves from God and deny Him, finally losing His salvation. If my son went to college for a few years and was instilled with many of Satan’s fallacies, it would be difficult for him to come before God, so I thought that when he came back I would gather with him and have him eat and drink God’s words, not letting him distance himself from God too much. I thought about how when my children were younger they believed in God, and even prayed and gathered with my mother, but during that time I wholeheartedly wished for them to get a good education, and I didn’t want to bring them before God. Now, I saw disaster looming larger and larger. My children didn’t believe in God, nor did they have God’s care and protection—perhaps one day they would meet with disaster and die. I wanted to spread the gospel to my children and bring them before God. So, when they came back to spend the holidays, I would read God’s words to them. When I read God’s words to them, they listened, but as soon as I mentioned arranging a gathering, my son wasn’t willing. He kept shooing me away, saying, “I’m too busy! It wasn’t easy for me to get where I am today; if I don’t study hard how will I have a good life? The competition is extremely fierce right now, and it isn’t easy to find a respectable job. I don’t understand: I already got my Master’s and am studying for my Ph.D. degree—isn’t this what you always wanted? I’m about to achieve success and recognition, and finally have a good life—you should be happy for me. Why does it seem like you’ve become a different person, telling me to back out at the last minute?” When I heard what my son said, I felt an indescribable grief. Every word he said consisted of what I used to inject into his ears every day. Especially now that my son was busy with his dissertation, every night he stayed up past one o’clock. He was already balding in his twenties. When I saw how exhausted my son was, I felt anxious and saddened, hating only myself for how I used to educate my child back then. Now I had cultivated my child into a talent, but he was distant from God.

Later, I pondered: I had done my very best to make my children pursue knowledge, fame, and profit, single-mindedly raising them into talents, but what did I give my children in the end? Did I give them true happiness? One day during spiritual devotion, I read a passage of God’s words: “When it comes to burdens from the family, we can discuss it from two aspects. One aspect is parental expectations. Every parent or elder has varying expectations, large and small, for their children. They hope their children will study hard, act well-behaved, excel in school, and be straight-A students, and not slack off. They want their children to be respected by teachers and classmates, and for their grades to regularly be above 80. If the child scores a 60, they will be beaten, and if they score below 60, they must face the wall and think about their mistakes, or are made to stand still as punishment. They will not be allowed to eat, sleep, watch TV, or play on the computer, and the nice clothes and toys that were promised before will no longer be bought for them. Every set of parents has various expectations for their children and places great hopes on them. They hope their children will be successful in life, make rapid advances in their careers, and bring honor and glory to their ancestors and family. … So what do these desires from parents inadvertently create for their children? (Pressure.) They create pressure, and what else? (Burdens.) They become pressure and they also become shackles. Since parents have expectations for their children, they will discipline, guide, and educate their children according to those expectations; they will even invest in their children to fulfill their expectations, or pay any price for them. For example, parents hope that their children will excel in school, be at the top of the class, score above 90 on every test, always be number one—or, at the very worst, never rank below fifth place. After expressing these expectations, aren’t parents also making certain sacrifices at the same time to help their children reach these goals? (Yes.) In order for their children to achieve these goals, the children will wake up early in the morning to review lessons and memorize texts, and their parents will also get up early to accompany them. On hot days they will help fan their children, make them cold drinks, or buy ice cream for them to eat. They will get up first thing in the morning to prepare soy milk, fried dough sticks, and eggs for their children. Especially during exams, parents will have their children eat a fried dough stick and two eggs, hoping that this will help them score a 100. If you say, ‘I can’t eat all this, just one egg is enough,’ they’ll say, ‘Silly child, you’ll only score ten points if you eat one egg. Eat another one for Mommy. Try your best; if you manage to eat this one, you’ll score a hundred points.’ The child says, ‘I just got up, I can’t eat yet.’ ‘No, you have to eat! Be good and listen to your mother. Mommy is doing this for your own good, so go ahead and eat it for your mother.’ The child contemplates, ‘Mom cares so much. Everything she does is for my own good, so I’ll eat it.’ What is eaten is an egg, but what is actually swallowed? It’s pressure; it’s reluctance and unwillingness. The eating is good and their mother’s expectations are high, and from the standpoint of humanity and conscience one should accept them, but based on reason, one should resist this kind of love and not accept this way of doing things. … In particular, some parents place some special expectations on their children, hoping that their children can surpass them, even more hoping that their children can fulfill a wish that they were unable to complete. For example, some parents may have wanted to become dancers themselves, but due to various reasons—such as the era they grew up in or family circumstances—they were unable to fulfill that wish in the end. So, they project that wish onto you. On top of already requiring you to be among the best in your studies and get into a prestigious university, they also enroll you in dance classes. They make you learn various dance styles outside of school, learn more in dance class, practice more at home, and be the absolute best in your class. In the end, not only do they demand that you get admitted to a prestigious university, but they also demand that you become a dancer. Your choices are either to become a dancer or go to a prestigious university, followed by going to graduate school and then getting a Ph.D. You only have these two paths to choose from. In their expectations, in one aspect, they hope you will study hard in school, get into a prestigious university, stand out among your peers, and have a prosperous and glorious future. In another, they project their unfulfilled wishes onto you, hoping that you can fulfill them on their behalf. In this way, in terms of academics or your future career, you bear two burdens at the same time. In one sense, you have to live up to their expectations and repay them for everything they have done for you, striving to eventually stand out among your peers so they can enjoy a good life. In another sense, you have to fulfill the dreams that they couldn’t accomplish in their youth and help them realize their wishes. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? (Yes.) Either one of these burdens is already more than enough for you to bear; either one would weigh on you and have you gasping for air. Especially in today’s era of extremely fierce competition, the variety of demands parents place on their children are simply unbearable and inhuman; they’re downright unreasonable. What do unbelievers call this? Emotional blackmail. No matter what unbelievers call it, they cannot solve this problem, and they cannot clearly explain the essence of this problem. They call it emotional blackmail, but what do we call it? (Shackles and burdens.) We call it burdens. When it comes to burdens, is it something a person should carry? (No.) It is something additional, something extra that you take up. It is not a part of you. It is not something that your body, heart, and soul have or need, but something added on. It comes from the outside, not from within yourself(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (16)). When I read this passage of God’s words, I felt stricken in my heart. This was how I had educated my children. I had believed that from a young age I had to do farmwork and suffer immensely all because I hadn’t studied thoroughly or gotten a good education when I was young. So I took my unrealized desires and forced them on my children, wishing for them to study hard and test into a prestigious college, so that in the future they might have good prospects, they might stand out and bring honor to our family. In order to achieve this goal, while my children were still small I put pressure on them. When they were small, they were willing to pray and gather, but I was afraid that this would affect their studies, so I didn’t let my mother gather with them. When they should have been playing, I didn’t let them play, and when their grades fell a little, I rebuked them, instilling some wrong thoughts into them and putting pressure on them. My son got sick because of all the pressure of his college entrance exams; I was afraid that this would affect his grades, so every day I watched him lest he become lazy. I worried that if he tested poorly, all of our efforts would truly go to waste. The pressure I put on my son was really too great. On the outside, it seemed that I was doing all this for my son, but in reality, I just wanted him to go to a prestigious university and stand out from the rest, blowing my own trumpet and realizing my ideals and wishes. Without noticing it, I gave my son a heavy burden and pressure, as if I were clapping invisible shackles onto him. Now, my son had tested into the ideal top institution, and my wishes had been fulfilled, my face shone with honor, and my vanity had been satisfied, yet my son had grown further away from God. Now, when I talked about matters of faith with him, he kept evading and making excuses, and he wasn’t in the mood to read God’s words. Every day, he was led on a leash by fame and gain. He racked his brains for the sake of fame and gain, and exhausted his thinking with managing personal relationships—his life was particularly miserable and exhausting. I was the one who made my son become what he was.

Later, I read more of God’s words: “For instance, when they were young, you constantly educated them, saying, ‘Study hard, go to college, pursue postgraduate studies or a Ph.D., find a good job, find a good match to marry and start a family with, and then life will be good.’ Through your education, encouragement, and various forms of pressure, they lived and pursued the course you set for them and achieved what you expected, just as you wished, and now they are unable to turn back. If, having come to understand certain truths and the will of God because of your faith, and having gained possession of correct thoughts and viewpoints, now you try to tell them not to pursue those things anymore, they’re likely to counter instead, ‘Aren’t I doing exactly what you wanted? Didn’t you teach me these things when I was young? Didn’t you demand this of me? Why are you stopping me now? Is what I’m doing wrong? I’ve achieved these things and I’m able to enjoy them now; you should feel happy, satisfied, and proud of me, shouldn’t you?’ How would you feel upon hearing this? Should you be happy or in tears? Wouldn’t you feel regret? (Yes.) You can’t win them back now. If you hadn’t educated them this way when they were young, if you had given them a happy childhood without any pressure, without teaching them to be a cut above the rest, to hold a high office or make a lot of money, or to pursue fame, profit, and status, if you had simply let them be good, ordinary people, without demanding that they earn a lot of money, enjoy so much, or return so much to you, merely asking that they be healthy and happy, to be a simple and happy individual, perhaps they would have been receptive to some of the thoughts and viewpoints you hold after believing in God. Then, their lives might be happy now, with less pressure from life and society. Although they didn’t gain fame and profit, at least their hearts would have felt happy, quiet, and peaceful. But during their developmental years, due to your repeated instigation and urging, under your pressure, they relentlessly pursued knowledge, money, fame, and profit. In the end, they gained fame, profit, and status, their lives improved, they enjoyed more, and they earned more money, but their lives are exhausting. Every time you see them, they have a tired look on their face. Only when they return home, back to you, do they dare to take off their masks and admit they’re tired and want to rest. But as soon as they step outside, they’re not the same anymore—they put on the mask again. You look at their tired and pitiful expression, and you feel sorry for them, but you have no power to make them turn back. They can’t anymore. How did this happen? Isn’t it related to your parenting? (Yes.) None of this was something they naturally knew or pursued from a young age; it has a definite relation to your parenting. When you see their face, when you see their life in this state, don’t you feel upset? (Yes.) But you are powerless; all that remains is regret and sorrow. You may feel that your child has been taken completely away by Satan, that they are unable to return, and you have no power to rescue them. This is because you did not fulfill your responsibility as parents. You are the ones who harmed them, who led them astray with your flawed ideological education and guidance. They can never return, and in the end you are left only with regret. You look on helplessly while your child suffers, corrupted by this evil society, burdened by life’s pressures, and you have no way to help them. All you can say is, ‘Come home more often, and I’ll cook you something delicious.’ What problems can a meal resolve? It can’t solve anything. Their thoughts have already matured and taken shape, and they’re not willing to let go of the fame and status they’ve attained. They can only forge ahead and never turn back. This is the pernicious result of parents providing the wrong guidance and instilling wrong ideas into their children during their formative years(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (19)). I read this passage in God’s words a few times, and every time it struck me to my core, and I felt so sad I shed tears of regret. I thought about how when my son was young, he was innocent and believed in God, and he was willing to attend gatherings with his grandmother. But influenced by satanic viewpoints such as “Knowledge can change your fate,” “To be a scholar is to be at the top of society,” “Those who toil with their minds govern others, and those who toil with their hands are governed by others,” and “One’s destiny is in his own hand,” I pursued being outstanding and bringing honor to my family, and I instilled these thoughts into my son and pushed him into a quagmire of knowledge, so that he wholeheartedly pursued fame, profit, and status, until he could no longer extricate himself. I especially noticed where God’s words say: “You may feel that your child has been taken completely away by Satan, that they are unable to return, and you have no power to rescue them. This is because you did not fulfill your responsibility as parents. You are the ones who harmed them, who led them astray with your flawed ideological education and guidance. They can never return, and in the end you are left only with regret.” God was fellowshipping on the exact mood that I was feeling at that very moment. Every time my son came home, I read God’s words to him, but my son always refuted them and found every means to decline them—he even said I was holding him back, which pierced my heart. I saw my son running around and laboring every day for fame and gain: He was starting to lose hair at such a young age, and every day he dragged his tired body to his studies until late at night; he even racked his brains to contemplate his advisors’ thoughts and hobbies, and catered his approach to go along with whatever they liked; he was walking on eggshells before his leaders’ eyes, afraid that he would say or do the wrong thing and they might make life hard for him, affecting his career prospects. I watched my son live every day with a mask on his face, horribly exhausted. It was my fault that my son became what he was; it was I who encouraged my son to pursue knowledge and harmed my child. Now I understood that this wasn’t loving my son; it was harming him, making him into a sacrifice for my own pursuit of fame and gain. I saw certain brothers and sisters of a similar age as my son in the church. They believed in God and pursued the truth, doing their duty in the church; they were not bound by Satan’s poisons, and they led relaxed and happy lives, with freedom and release. This made me feel more regret. If I hadn’t instilled these thoughts and viewpoints into my son, perhaps he wouldn’t have turned out like he did, leading such a painful and helpless life for the sake of pursuing fame and gain, rising through the ranks and making money. When I thought of these things, I felt especially remorseful, and I hated myself. I reflected: Why was I so single-minded about wishing for my children to test into college, and so adamant? Where did the root of the problem lie?

One day, I read these words of God: “Satan uses fame and gain to control man’s thoughts, until all people can think of is fame and gain. They struggle for fame and gain, suffer hardships for fame and gain, endure humiliation for fame and gain, sacrifice everything they have for fame and gain, and they will make any judgment or decision for the sake of fame and gain. In this way, Satan binds people with invisible shackles, and they have neither the strength nor the courage to throw them off. They unknowingly bear these shackles and trudge ever onward with great difficulty. For the sake of this fame and gain, mankind shuns God and betrays Him and becomes increasingly wicked. In this way, therefore, one generation after another is destroyed in the midst of Satan’s fame and gain. Looking now at Satan’s actions, are its sinister motives not utterly detestable? Maybe today you still cannot see through Satan’s sinister motives because you think one cannot live without fame and gain. You think that if people leave fame and gain behind, they will no longer be able to see the way ahead, no longer be able to see their goals, that their futures will become dark, dim and gloomy(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique VI). From God’s words, I understood that Satan used fame and gain to corrupt, mislead, and harm people, making people pursue only fame and gain. I remembered that because I didn’t get a good education when I was young, I suffered quite a lot when I went out to earn money, and often endured the prejudice of others. When I saw that people with a lot of knowledge and with prestige were admired by others wherever they went, I envied them and believed that I couldn’t win the esteem of others only because I didn’t have knowledge, so I placed my hopes on my children, wishing for them to realize the dreams that I personally wasn’t able to fulfill. For this, I spent all my time and paid the total price, leading a bitter and exhausting life, and I gave my son pain and torment. Later, although my son gained fame and profit, he drew further away from God and lost God’s salvation of the last days. Now I understood that my pursuit of fame and gain was a kind of invisible shackles placed by Satan on myself and my son. Satan used fame and gain to entice and mislead us, making us strive single-mindedly for fame and gain, without any thought for pursuing the truth; we were led on a leash step by step by Satan—we were willing to suffer for it, growing farther from God as a result, to the point of denying God and being consumed by Satan. This was Satan’s sinister intention and scheme. I thought about those around me: My uncle’s son tested into college, but his parents disdained him for choosing an inferior major, so they used their connections and found someone to help him change his major. As a result, the child felt too much pressure and couldn’t follow along with the lessons, and later he had a nervous breakdown. Now, he couldn’t even regulate his own life. There were also many other children who drank pesticides or jumped off a building because they performed poorly at their studies. All of these tragic lessons gave me a reminder and an admonishment. In reality, whether people are rich or poor in life is all in God’s hands. Fame and gain cannot let us break out of pain; they can only bring us into an abyss of suffering. It is so odious to see how Satan harms people. At the same time, thank God that through His enlightenment, leading, and guiding, I found the root of my suffering and saw the dangerous consequences of pursuing fame and gain. Otherwise, I would still be caught within it, unable to extricate myself. It also made me understand God’s earnest intention to save people. I couldn’t continue to be fooled and harmed by Satan—I wanted to break out of the shackles of fame and gain, and walk the path of pursuing the truth and attaining salvation.

Later, I found the correct path of educating one’s children in God’s words. Almighty God says: “If you hadn’t educated them this way when they were young, if you had given them a happy childhood without any pressure, without teaching them to be a cut above the rest, to hold a high office or make a lot of money, or to pursue fame, profit, and status, if you had simply let them be good, ordinary people, without demanding that they earn a lot of money, enjoy so much, or return so much to you, merely asking that they be healthy and happy, to be a simple and happy individual, perhaps they would have been receptive to some of the thoughts and viewpoints you hold after believing in God. Then, their lives might be happy now, with less pressure from life and society. Although they didn’t gain fame and profit, at least their hearts would have felt happy, quiet, and peaceful(The Word, Vol. 6. On the Pursuit of the Truth I. How to Pursue the Truth (19)). God’s words point out the correct path of educating one’s children: In educating one’s children, one must not demand that they pursue knowledge, status, fame, profit, rising through the ranks, or making money; they should hope that their children lead happy and healthy lives, free of pressure, free and released. From God’s words, I also understood God’s will. My children and I are all created beings, and our fate is in God’s hands. The fate of our lives and what path we should take are under God’s sovereignty and arrangement; it isn’t something we can control ourselves—nor can I change their fate. All that I can do is pray for my children, and when they come back I can read God’s words to them. As for whether they can come before God in the end, that is up to Him. I only need to fulfill my own duty and responsibility and do what I ought to do well. My viewpoint toward things has changed somewhat—this is the result achieved by God’s words. Now, I want only to pursue the truth and live by God’s words, fulfilling my own duty. This is the only life with meaning and value. Thank God!

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