Family Life: Saying Goodbye to Cold Wars
When I got married, my family advised me that “All lay loads on the willing horse,” that after marriage, I must be in charge so that I’m not taken advantage of, so that my life will be fulfilled and happy. So, after marriage, I always wanted to be in charge and that whatever I said would go. In the beginning, my husband would consult me for all matters big and small in our home. But as time went on, he would often not consult with me, but do things according to his will. Because of this, I felt rather unhappy. I felt that my husband didn’t take me seriously. I thought, “If things continue like this, I wouldn’t have a place to stand on in this family.” In order that I could be in charge, I would often sulk and ignore my husband until he softened and said nice things to me, and things only ended when I was satisfied.
One year, during the Spring Festival, my husband consulted with me to kill the pig we had at home. I said we’d feed it for a few more days. At the time, he agreed with me completely. But I didn’t expect that the next morning the pig butcher came. At the time, I pretended as if nothing was wrong and greeted him until the pig was killed, but then I complained to my husband that he didn’t consult with me beforehand. My husband kept explaining to me the reason the butcher had to come earlier, but I couldn’t listen to him at all. No matter how he explained, I ignored him. In order to get on my good side, when I was doing work, he purposefully came over to help me, but I kept my unpleasant expression. In the end, he had to leave dejectedly. Looking at him leaving helplessly, I felt very miserable too. Why are we suffering like this? Why couldn’t I have given him a way out without embarrassing him? But then I thought that there is still a long way ahead of us. If I relent easily now, then he wouldn’t take notice of me at all. How could I be in charge of the house then? No, I cannot relent so easily. So, even though I really wanted to make up with my husband and didn’t want to continue our stalemate, I still held on sternly. No matter how he apologized, I didn’t speak to him until he pleaded me and promised that next time he would definitely consult with me. Only then did I condescend to speak to him.
But in daily life, these kinds of trivial things were too many to count. Because of this, there were rarely happiness and joy in our life. Most of the time was spent waging a cold war. Seeing my cold face every day, my child spoke very carefully. My husband would sigh and groan every day, and I would feel wronged. I thought that my husband didn’t understand me and my child didn’t obey me, and because of this, I would often cry by myself until midnight…. I also felt that this life of waging a cold war is too miserable and too tiring, but I could not control my own heart.
In 2003, I believed in God. Through the fellowship of brothers and sisters and reading God’s word, I realized that these things I was doing, such as often being angry toward my husband and ignoring him because of my temper, were the corrupt disposition of Satan and the result of Satan’s poison planted deep within my heart. If I wanted to stop being controlled by these corrupt dispositions, I had to achieve transformation through reading God’s word, experiencing God’s word, and practicing God’s word. Therefore, I enthusiastically read God’s word and partook in church life, hoping that my corrupt disposition could be transformed.
One morning, my fourth big brother-in-law said to me: “Some time ago, I borrowed some money from my brother (my husband), but I’ve come to repay it today.” Saying that, he handed me the money. After he left, I thought, holding the money, that my husband had dared to lend the money to somebody else without consulting me, and my anger rose immediately. I wanted nothing more than to reason with him right then. In the evening, when he got home, I asked him sternly: “Do you even care about me anymore? You’ve lent money to somebody else without even telling me. Who do you take me for in this house? Am I invisible to you? ...” I got angrier and angrier, and no matter how he explained, I would not listen to him. The following day, my husband approached me and spoke to me. I glared at him and ignored him, and he felt very awkward. Looking at his awkward expression, I felt guilty inside. I thought: This isn’t actually something too serious. Besides, the brother-in-law has already returned the money, and I am a bit overdoing it by not relenting at all. Moreover, I am a believer in God. God asks us to live out normal humanity, to have the likeness of a Christian. What I am doing do not have the likeness of a Christian. But when I thought that my husband did things without consulting me and that he didn’t care about me, I felt frustrated in my heart. I thought that if I don’t let him suffer a little this time, then he’ll ignore me more and more in the future. So, although I felt miserable, I still hardened my heart and didn’t relent.
Later, I saw God’s word say: “Cruel, brutal mankind! The conniving and intrigue, the jostling with each other, the scramble for reputation and fortune, the mutual slaughter—when will it ever end? God has spoken hundreds of thousands of words, yet no one has come to their senses. … How many do not act for the sake of their own interests? How many do not oppress and discriminate against others for the sake of maintaining their own status?” (“The Wicked Must Be Punished” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Isn’t God’s word referring to me? I recalled that, since I started this family, I always wanted to be in charge and in control. In every situation, I demanded that my husband must listen to me. Whatever he did must go through my approval. If he doesn’t do as I want him to, I treat him with the cold shoulder, and become short with him, using a “cold war” method to assert my authority and repress him, so that he submits to me and I achieve the goal of establishing myself. After reading God’s word, I had some knowledge and came to ask myself: Aren’t those my expressions of battling for power and position with my husband? Aren’t I repressing and pushing away my husband for the purpose of protecting my own position? I force my husband to submit to me by waging cold wars just to have him listen to me, so that I could be in charge in this household…. For more than ten years, I often had cold wars with my husband and we are miserable and tired, but it has all been caused by me. They are the bitter results brought about by fighting with my husband for position and power in order to be in charge. If I didn’t fight for my position, then I wouldn’t often have cold wars with my husband, and our family life wouldn’t be this painful. All of this is caused by my pursuit of position and power! The revelation in God’s word allowed me to discover the root of cold wars in our house and brought me a path to practice. Therefore, I decided to change my faulty pursuit and lower myself to make up with my husband.
In the evening, when my husband came home, I wanted to take the initiative and talk to him. But then I thought: If I relent like this, then would he still have a place for me in his heart in the future? Would he just ignore me even more? But if I don’t practice the truth, I feel my humanity is too bad, and God would be displeased…. After turning the thought over and over in my mind, in the end I still ignored him. Because my heart had hardened and I did not practice the truth, I was very tormented inside, so I came before God and prayed: “God, I wish to practice the truth and release from the bindings of Satan’s influence, but I cannot succeed in putting this into practice. I am always concerned about my position in my home. God, I hope that You would guide me and help me so that I can practice the truth.” After praying, I felt I had a bit of confidence and will to practice the truth. During dinner, I summoned up my courage and said to my husband, red-faced, “This time it’s my fault. You already explained things properly, but I’m still unrelenting….” After he listened to me, he let out a long sigh, and said: “This is so surprising. I thought that this cold war would stale for a long time. I really didn’t think it would be over so quickly.” Hearing his words, in my heart I couldn’t stop thanking God’s guidance, because without His guidance I could not have practiced this at all.
I’ve tasted the sweetness of practicing the truth and seen God’s guidance and blessing, and I have recognized that God asks us to live out normal humanity, have the conscience and reason of normal humans, conduct ourselves according to God’s word and put down our own desire for status so that we can shake off Satan’s bindings and control. So, I decided not to let the family “cold war” continue. When I encountered things, I wanted to put down my own desire for status and take the initiative in making up with my husband. In my subsequent relationship with my husband, I began to practice implementing God’s word. From then on, our house was full of laughter and joy.
One day in January 2008, I heard my husband on the phone where somebody asked him about a loan. I asked him about it casually, and he stuttered for a moment and said: “Um, it’s from the bank.” Seeing him stutter as he spoke, I asked him what he did with the loan. He said a bit impatiently: “Last July I did business together with somebody else, and because we didn’t have enough capital we took out a loan…. Stop being bothered about this.” When I heard that he didn’t want me to bother about it, an anger welled up inside me. I said: “Do you still treat me as a member of this family? You didn’t even talk to me about such a serious situation, and when I found out you told me not to interfere. Do you still care about me at all?” Seeing that I was getting angrier and angrier, he didn’t say anything. I got so angry that I ignored him again. Seeing me like this, my husband didn’t talk to me and simply turned his head and left. I sat down angrily on the chair and thought: Haven’t I done enough for this home? I worry over everything in this house, great and small, and you’re really taking me for granted…. As I was thinking, wounded tears began to flow down my cheeks. At this point, I suddenly realized that I was living in Satan’s deception, so I began to silently pray to God inside my heart: “God! I am now living under Satan’s influence again. I hope You can help me walk out from Satan’s influence….” After praying, I felt a bit calmer. I opened the book of God’s word and saw that God said: “Your heart and your spirit have been taken away by the evil one. … You have lost everything that should have belonged to you and everything that the Almighty bestowed upon you. You have entered an endless sea of bitterness, with no strength of a rescue, no hope of survival, left only to struggle and to bustle about…. The evil one steers your heart in every matter and becomes your life. You no longer fear him, no longer avoid him, no longer doubt him. Instead, you treat him as the God in your heart. You begin to enshrine him, worship him, be inseparable like a shadow of his, and mutually commit to each other in life and death” (“The Sighing of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Those whose belief in God is always for their own gains, who are self-righteous and haughty, who show themselves off, and protect their own status are those who love Satan and oppose the truth. They resist God and belong completely to Satan” (“Escape From the Influence of Darkness, and You Will Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words’ revelation and judgment let me feel deeply that God is worried and pained about me, as I could not practice the truth or forsake Satan. Now, I remembered Adam and Eve, whom God had created in the beginning. They originally listened to God’s word and obeyed God, they had God’s care and protection, and lived happily in the Garden of Eden. Later, because they listened to Satan’s lies that lured and confused them, they betrayed God, lost God’s guidance and blessing, and fell into Satan’s corruption and affliction. I thought about why I lived so tiredly. Why did I always get angry and have cold wars with my husband over little things in the household? Isn’t it because of the satanic poisons that my family instilled in me, “All lay loads on the willing horse,” “Only I am the ruler,” and “Be in charge of the household” that have controlled me? Under the control of these satanic principles of living and life philosophy, I always wanted a position at home where whatever I said would go, I always wanted to have the advantage, so that my husband listened to me on every matter. If there was just one thing he didn’t listen to me about or didn’t consult me on, I would repress him at every step until he submitted to me, leading both of us to live in Satan’s deception, making me cry, wipe my tears, and feel wronged very often. My husband complained and sighed, and even our child did things carefully every day while reading my expression…. I’ve been fooled by Satan and I’m living so miserably and tiredly! At this point, I came to understand this: Only when people live in God’s word do they have God’s care and protection and they can live happily. Once people leave God’s word and live by Satan’s life philosophy and rules of living, they do not have God’s care and protection, and can only be prosecuted and trampled on by Satan. This is the source of my painful life. At the same time I hated Satan in my heart, I hated my own incompetence. I had God’s word yet I did not practice it. Instead, I held on to Satan’s lies and didn’t let go of them. Isn’t this bringing about my own suffering? So, I determined to toss away Satan’s lies and live by God’s word. I saw God’s word again: “What testimony will you be asked to give? You live in a land of filth but are able to become holy, and no longer be filthy and impure, you live under the domain of Satan but divest yourself of Satan’s influence, and not possessed or harassed by Satan, and you live in the hands of the Almighty. This is the testimony, and the proof of victory in the battle with Satan” (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Seeing God’s word, I understood God’s will is that I can bear a witness for God before Satan. Although there is still Satan’s life philosophy in me as well as desire for status, today God has established this situation so that I could practically forsake these satanic poisons and be victorious over Satan’s dark influence through practicing God’s word. This is practically witnessing God. I have to look at things according to God’s word and practice His word. I cannot let Satan lead me by the nose again. When I had a will to practice the truth, I felt especially released in my heart, and I had the confidence and strength to practice God’s word.
Soon, my husband came back, and I promptly asked him: “Do you have enough money? I still have some money here, take it and use it.” After hearing it, my husband happily said, “You’ve changed. You’re not like before, when I had to submit to you before you would relent.” I said happily: “Thank God! It’s God’s word that changed me.”
One day, I cooked while humming hymns of God’s word. When the meal was ready, I called my son and husband to eat. Seeing that I was smiling, my son said happily: “In our house, as long as mom is smiling, the house is full of happiness.” Hearing this, I said smiling: “Mom’s happiness was brought about by God. Only by living by God’s word do we have true happiness.” My husband chimed in: “Now mom’s face is so bright and less gloomy.” Hearing their words, I kept thanking God in my heart, because the happy life we have at home now was brought about by God.
Recalling these few years that I’ve walked alongside God, although I used to deeply suffer from the affliction of satanic poisons such as “Be in charge of the household,” “All lay loads on the willing horse,” “Only I am the ruler,” which made our house full of misery and sighs, yet now, because of God’s selection and grace, I could have the fortune to return before God and experience the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. I can distinguish between positive and negative things, and I have a new understanding regarding what true life is. Because of the guidance of God’s word, not only did I turn around my previous, false perspective and found the correct life direction and goal, I can also discern Satan’s evil substance, and I can live while no longer being reliant on Satan’s poison and have a happy, joyful life. Now, I can proudly say bye bye to family “cold wars”!