All three of Yike’s family members live with her parents-in-law. Because of the difference of concepts, there always had been some friction between generations. Yike and her mother-in-law failed to arrive at a common language on many things, regardless of whether it was the large affair of children’s education or the little nothings of life.
Out of a false sense of pride, Yike showed filial obedience to her mother-in-law, but in private she often complained to her husband about her grievance. She blamed him for his inability to buy a house, or they could move out. Her husband was frustrated at her complaint because he could blame neither his parents nor Yike, which caused much sadness to Yike. She knew that though there would be less friction between her and her mother-in-law if they moved out, the problem wouldn’t get resolved at the root. For her mother-in-law was still a member of the family, and inevitably, she would intervene family affairs, and it was impossible for them not to contact with each other all their lives. Yike often thought: If only there were no estrangement between me and my parents-in-law! Yet it is so hard to achieve this.
Afterward, Yike became a believer in God, and she learnt from that God required man to love his neighbors as himself and to have patience and forbearance toward others. Yike thought: If I act according to the Lord’s words, will my life change? Then she tried to forbear with her mother-in-law and respect her opinions in many things. It was fine at first, yet as each day grew, Yike was tired of the old manner of living and the aggressive tone of her mother-in-law. Especially when her mother-in-law told her off and asked her to change her living habits, she could do nothing but master her rage and summon up a smile. She couldn’t stand this anymore. She was very confused: Since I’ve tried my best to act according to the Lord’s requirement, why is my life so tiring and bitter? How should I live on?
Later Yike learnt a hymn “Man’s Reason Is So Lacking” from a co-worker. It went like this: “People do not require much of themselves, but they require much of others. They must be patient and forbearing of them, cherish them, provide for them, smile at them, be accommodating to them, and yield to them. They must take care of them in many ways, and they cannot be strict with them, provoke them, or do anything that they would not like. Man’s reason is so lacking! … Currently you have too many requirements and they are too excessive. Your many intentions prove that you are not standing in the right position, your position is too high, and you have viewed yourself as overly honorable as if you are not much lower than God. Therefore you are difficult to deal with, and it is precisely the nature of Satan.”
Though Yike couldn’t sing this song, she felt calm when reading these thought-provoking lyrics. She began to reflect on her true thoughts behind the patience and forbearance she showed to her mother-in-law. After a while, she found the root of the problem. “In fact, my so-called patience and forbearance was just to keep my temper when differences arose between me and my mother-in-law. I never reflected on my own shortcomings or mistakes but always thought the problems were all on her side. For she is old and behind the times, and always uses outdated thinking to weigh what the young people do, while I am young and bright with a broad horizon. In this rapidly developing society, I always keep abreast of the times and know many things from the internet, such as the advanced science and technology, the news and current trends, and the psychology and demand of modern man. Therefore, I thought less of her obsolete experience and traditions. I was annoyed at her self-righteousness and making demands of me according to the thought of her generation, yet I neglected that I was as self-righteous as she was, and that I also wanted her to accept the thoughts of the young. I blamed her for not heeding my opinions, but in fact, didn’t I also always insist on my own way? As a Christian, I should know that Satan just uses various social trends to poison men’s mind at different times, so that men hold that their own views are always correct. Men all are corrupted by Satan and become increasingly arrogant and haughty, and obey no one. I am only a corrupt man, so what qualifications do I have to disdain or make demands of my mother-in-law? How arrogant, unreasonable and inhumane I am!
“When God did His work among people, He forgave man’s ignorance and disobedience. He gave all people, except those Satan-types who had done much evil and never repent, the utmost tolerance and mercy. The said on the cross: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34). God is abundantly compassionate toward men for His essence is the truth, holiness and goodness, yet I am so deeply corrupted by Satan that I become highly competitive and over-critical, and I don’t know the truth of my corruption, my status, or my arrogant nature. More sadly, though I and make up my mind to live in accordance with God’s words, I have no true knowledge of God, and don’t know His requirements of man, what kind of person He likes or what kind of person He loathes and despises. Thereby, when I practice , I can only hold fast to its surface, rather than live before God and maintain an obedient and God-revering heart to practice His words. My forbearance and patience are just for show and this way of practicing is merely a superficial good deed, which doesn’t represent the change in my arrogant nature. The Lord Jesus said: ‘And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted’ (Matthew 23:12). So only those who are humble can know themselves from God’s words and let go of themselves; only those who have clearly seen their corrupt nature can submit to God’s presence, seek and practice the truth, live out normal humanity and receive God’s approval.”
When thinking of this, Yike felt so relieved and began to sing this hymn along with the tune. The more she sang it, the more power she felt to practice God’s words, and she was willing to let go of herself to get along with others and hear others’ views. She decided to change her relationship with her mother-in-law, open her heart and admit her mistakes, and learn to respect her mother-in-law’s reasonable views.
Sometime later, Yike’s dream about a harmonious family life finally came true. The most surprising thing to Yike was that her mother-in-law, who was always proud, was moved by her changes and believed in God after knowing the truth. Now Yike’s family are living a happy and merry life. Afterward, Yike told her story to many brothers and sisters and they all approvingly said, “Only God can transform and cleanse men. As long as men have the will to satisfy God and betray their corrupt nature, God will give them the courage and perseverance to practice the truth. What happened to Yike is a typical case.”
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