I, who was over 20, set feet on the work-life road and began to find my better half. I always heard my female colleagues said, “If I wish to get a husband, I’ll find such a nice man as Master Zhang, who plays first fiddle either at home or in the company. He is not only a money-earner who has great skill, but also an amiable person who has a good temper. In the company, he is highly spoken of by others, and at home, he is considerate of and takes good care of his wife and undertakes the housework. One who gets such a husband will enjoy the blessing all this life.” I ever heard my friends who had gotten married said, “If you find the right man, you will be happy in the rest of life. If not, then just wait to be subject to suffering.” Hearing these hearty words of those who had come away from marriage, I hoped that I could find a model husband who had all the strengths. Meanwhile, I set a standard of choosing a spouse for myself: He must be capable, talkative, honest and dutiful as well as success in making money.
In that year, through the introduction of my classmate, I met my husband. He was engaged in the technical installation work and his pay was great. Besides, he was a veteran and was highly spoken of within the company. The very mention of his name made everyone give him a thumbs-up. Furthermore, in the course of our dating, I also found he was good, kind, careful, honest, and considerate, and I was certain that he was the perfect man whom I wanted to find and who had all the strengths. After our marriage, he helped with whatever jobs there were inside and outside our home. My colleagues and my acquaintances all made a compliment to him and envied my good luck. In the beginning, I felt happy to find such a perfect man as my husband. But during our life, I gradually discovered that he had a lot of shortcomings which made me feel dissatisfied. And thus I started to look down on him and tell him off, which often caused us to get into the cold-war.
Once, he installed a pipe. His leader inspected the work and said it didn’t meet the standard. When I heard this, I looked more closely to find what the reason was on earth. The leader said to him, “The blueprint is not in accord with the construction site. So, you can’t be so rigid. You should apply flexibly. Make a detour and install a corner joint.” Hearing these words, I immediately thought my husband was so foolish. Then I told him off, saying, “You have been doing the work for two or three years. But when encountering the emergency, you still base on the blueprint. You can’t let the construction company demolish the concrete pillars. There are discrepancies between the blueprint and construction site. You’re so stubborn …” After this matter, my husband didn’t bicker with me and he still undertook all the work inside and outside our home as before. But he was no more perfect in my heart. Though he took on everything, yet whatever he did always did not fit my liking.
Hardly had I soaked the clothes he had washed in water when many soap bubbles floated on water. Though the meals he cooked were not only pleasant to eat, but quite wholesome, yet the kitchen was always turned upside down by him. On seeing these, I would get very angry. I often told him off and complained that he was falling down on the work. In the beginning, he just grinned at me. But in the end, he couldn’t stand my telling-off and quarreled with me. Once, after he finished cooking, I saw the kitchen was another mess. Therefore I told him off as I cleared up, “Though you undertake and know everything, yet you are proficient at nothing.” Immediately, he got angry, saying, “I find you are too difficult to deal with. You always pick at me. If you think I’m bad, why did you marry me originally?” I couldn’t stand that he said this to me. Thereafter we just did our own things and took no notice of each other for days on end.
In the midst of the unceasing frictions, I discovered that my husband was farther and farther from my standard, and quarrels and cold wars became commonplace in our family. I often thought bitterly: How can my perfect husband who has all the strengths become like this? I always complained about him before my colleagues, but they all said, “He is a model husband. He not only washes the clothes, but also cooks the meals. In addition, every month he will hand the salary to you on time. Don’t knock it! Be content.” I thought what my colleague said was the fact. I shouldn’t treat my husband too harshly, and instead, I should be tolerant and patient toward him. But I was unable to do it, which made me very annoyed.
One day, my friend came to preach the gospel to me, letting me. My friend said in real life, no matter what difficulties and problems we encountered, we could find the path of practice in God’s words, and then we could obtain freedom and liberation. Hearing these words, I thought the problem between my husband and I would become manageable. Thus, I told my friend my sufferings which resulted from my requiring my husband to be perfect.
My friend said, “If we wish to achieve a harmonious relationship between husband and wife, we not only should be patient and tolerant, but also need to correct the absurd and misguided way of thinking and to know God’s sovereignty. Let’s see what God’s words say about it.” Then my friend read a paragraph offor 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. 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” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
My friend continued saying, “Everyone’s marriage is ordained and planned by God. Only if we submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement can we be exempted from these troubles and sufferings and obtain true freedom and liberation. However, Satan takes advantage of the evil trends to deceive us and instills all kinds of additional requirements for marriage into us, making us always have our own demands and standards. That’s why we live in pain. What God bestows upon us is the most suitable, while what Satan instills into us are all fallacies, which aren’t realistic at all. It uses these unreal and beautiful dreams to entice us, in order that we always want to escape God’s sovereignty and are stuck in its net.”
Until then I understood the reason why my husband and I couldn’t get along well with each other. It was because I had already accepted the poison the evil trends brought to me before I searched for my partner. I required that my husband must have all the strengths. Therefore, though my husband was capable and treated me well, yet I still required that he should be able to do everything and do everything well. I had high standards and strict demands for him, wanting him to do things in accordance with my demands and standards. It was these evil trends that brought me a beautiful prospect for my marriage and made me despise him at every turn. As a result, the relationship between us was strained at one time and both of us lived in pain. I realized that I couldn’t follow Satan’s ideas and viewpoints any more, and instead, I must obey the Creator’s domination and assume a shared responsibility with my husband.
Afterward, I read God’s word, “Does a perfect person like that exist in this world? He doesn’t exist, does he? This type of person absolutely does not exist in this world, unless they were to live in a vacuum” (“God Himself, the Unique V”). In fact, the so-called perfection I pursued was nothing less than a measure in my heart. I thought the one who was better than my husband was perfect and the standard that everyone accepted was good. There were my own preferences and impurities in this standard, which was not consistent with truth. Only God is perfect. We cannot possibly reach perfection regardless of how we do. God doesn’t require us to reach the outward perfection, but requires us to live out proper humanity. God says, “Normal humanity includes these aspects: insight, sense, conscience, and character. If you can achieve normality in each of these respects, your humanity is up to standard. You should have the likeness of a normal human being and behave like a believer in God. You don’t have to achieve great heights or engage in diplomacy. You just have to be a normal human being, with a normal person’s sense, be able to see through things, and at least look like a normal human being. That will be enough” (“Improving Caliber Is for Receiving”). God wills us to live out proper humanity and to be the people who are of conscience and reason. My husband is a creation, so do I. We are all not perfect, so I should respect, understand, and consider him instead of asking too much of him. My husband always worked without complaint despite hardships and he scrambled to take on all the work. But I was still not content. I was too fastidious, arrogant, domineering and narrow-minded. Though I had so many shortcomings, yet he never asked me for anything. On the contrary, he always forbore with me in all things. What qualifications did I have to demand that he should be perfect? I was too irrational. I was living in corrupt satanic disposition; however I didn’t even know it but still considered that I was good. How shameless I was! I saw that I was deeply poisoned by the mistaken viewpoint of pursuing perfection. I thought: I have believed in God, so I should obey God and rely on God to change myself and no longer pursue perfection and ask too much of my husband according to my standard.
Soon after, my younger brother was decorating his new house and needed to fit the plumbing from the kitchen to the washroom. I said, “Ask your brother-in-law to do it and you needn’t to spend money.” When my husband heard this, he was very pleased to help. Not for a while, he finished and then he packed up his things and left. In that evening, my brother complained to me, “Sister, look at the work my brother-in-law did. The pipe isn’t set properly and the entire pipeline is awry. If I had known this, I would have hired a workman …” Hearing these, I felt a little ashamed and wanted to tell my husband off. But I thought of Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, “Being able to treat people correctly and do not think too highly of others or belittle others … When doing things, we should take account not only of our own interests, but also of others’. Besides, we should learn to be more considerate to others, and to benefit them, and to listen to others’ opinions more. If someone has some shortcomings or does something wrong that jeopardizes our interests, we should treat it properly. Don’t get a hold on, attack or retaliate others … If you have an accurate assessment of others, then you will no more come across difficulties while interacting with others. Don’t require much of others … (“Principles of Practice That We Should Have in Establishing Normal Interpersonal Relationships”). Then I comforted my brother with a smile, “Your brother-in-law wants to do it well, but his capability is only this great. So don’t demand him too high. In addition, he also has his merits. Every time he goes to our parents’ home, he actively scrambles to take on the work. You are unable to do it, are you?” On hearing this, my brother didn’t say any words, and my husband was moved, saying, “You aren’t the same as before. You can see my strengths. In fact, when I was working, my colleague called me and let me go back to attend a meeting that I didn’t get on the ball.”
When I was no more aggressively blamed and demanded my husband, I was joyful and at ease in my heart and had no more of the unsatisfied and fretful feelings. I knew it was the result of God’s work for me. When I truly obeyed God’s sovereignty and arrangements and lived out normal humanity according to God’s words, I thought everything God gives me is absolutely good, and what God arranges for me is suitable.
Now, when encountering matters, I can communicate with my husband calmly and learn to consider his shortcomings and tolerate his mistakes. I apologized to him for the things I did wrongly before, saying, “In the past, I was too bigoted in many things and I always thought I was right. Therefore, I made great demands of you and often told you off. If God hadn’t saved me and led me to discern Satan’s absurd notion, I would still be tormented and persecuted by Satan. Now I know I’m wrong. Pardon me!” When my husband saw that not only did I consider and tolerate him, but also I apologized to him humbly, he was surprised and delighted. From then on, he didn’t contradict me anymore and we recovered the happiness and joy we enjoyed when we were first married. I bore witness to God’s kingdom gospel to him, and he was very willing to believe in God with me when seeing my transformation. Thank God. It is God who leads me to live out normal humanity and repairs the relationship between my husband and me, making me put aside my mistaken idea of pursuing perfection and find the path to get along well with my husband.
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