Who Can Settle Family Disputes?

Ding Xia

People often say, “Even a just official finds it hard to settle family disputes.” In actual life, no matter which class we belong to, whether we are rich or poor, we cannot extricate ourselves from disputes over family trifles. So, many people are helpless in the face of them. I used to be like that and feel distressed because of the trifles. But my life has changed and been full of joy ever since God’s work of the last days came upon me.

christian testimony, the word of God

My name is Ding Xia, and I lived in the countryside after my marriage. My husband worked away from home to make money. I farmed the land and took care of my two children in school. Though we lived a simple and poor life, my family members got along well with each other. However, my father-in-law’s death brought the harmony to an end.

After my father-in-law passed away, my mother-in-law couldn’t stand on her own feet. So the elders of our family gathered together to discuss who should tend her. When they asked for her opinion, she said without hesitation, “I will live with my elder son.” Finally, the elders decided that my mother-in-law should live with us and my younger brother-in-law should give her 150kg of rice every year, 200 yuan for living expenses and 5kg of oil every month. We all felt this decision reasonable and agreed.

In the first few months, he gave my mother-in-law 200 yuan every month. Afterward, he didn’t give her anything at all. Besides, after his family moved to the county, they even ignored all the family affairs. I thought, “We are not rich. My mother-in-law has poor health and needs much money to buy medicine every month. But my younger brother-in-law does not pay even a penny. Won’t we be under more life stress?” The more I thought about it, the more I felt suppressed. I wanted to complain to my husband, but I thought that would place him in a dilemma. So, I had to bury it in my heart.

Several years later, I couldn’t bear it any longer. Then, I grumbled to my mother-in-law, “You help my younger brother-in-law do his farm work and irrigate his land throughout the summer. But do they appreciate it? Since they moved to the county, they don’t care about anything. Even though they don’t give you money or oil, they should at least give you some rice.” After hearing what I said, she cried and said angrily, “You’re right. He’s ungrateful. I worked hard to raise him; he should give me some rice even if I don’t work for him. He should more so especially when I work for him in my sickness.” Then I said approvingly and hurriedly, “Maybe we can invite the elders to discuss it. They have gone too far….” The more I said, the angrier I became. After hearing my words, my mother-in-law said helplessly, “Alas! It’s no use to invite anyone, for no one can settle family disputes.” Hearing this, I let out a long sigh, “Yes! Who can settle family disputes? Nobody.”

Just when I was sad and depressed, my cousin preached God’s work of the last days to me. She told me, “We live so miserably because we have lost God’s care and protection after we strayed from God. With no place for God in our heart, we live under the domain of Satan and are fooled and trampled by it. So our life is full of disagreeables and troubles. Only when we come before God can we be freed of them.” Then, she read a passage of God’s words: “There is an enormous secret in your heart. You never know it there because you have been living in a world without light shining. Your heart and your spirit have been taken away by the evil one. Your eyes are covered by darkness; you cannot see the sun in the sky, nor the twinkling star in the night. Your ears are clogged with deceptive words and you hear not the thunderous voice of Jehovah, nor the sound of the rushing waters from the throne. 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. …” After reading these words, my cousin fellowshiped with me, “Ever since we were corrupted by Satan, we have lost the blessings God bestowed upon us. We struggle bitterly in darkness, seeing no light, and having no direction and goal of our progress. Even worse, many people have lost all hope of life. All mankind have been corrupted by Satan. So God’s words 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?’ From them, we can see that we have been corrupted by Satan to a point where we are devoid of the conscience and sense of a normal man. We all live by Satan’s rule of life ‘Every man for himself and the devil takes the hindmost,’ which has become our life and the standard of our actions. So we all become especially greedy, mercenary, selfish, and self-interested; we live for our own flesh every moment, consider and plan for our own personal benefit, loss and gain; and disputes arise between people….” Listening to my cousin’s fellowship, I said to myself, “Her words are reasonable. I felt very tired and miserable, and thought it was because my younger brother-in-law didn’t support my mother-in-law. Now, I know it is because of Satan’s corruption. Satan teaches us that we all should live for ourselves and interact with each other on the basis of its viewpoint ‘Every man for himself and the devil takes the hindmost.’ As soon as our interests are affected, we would feel imbalanced and distressed. My younger brother-in-law doesn’t support his mother for the sake of his own interests, and I feel out of balance for the same reason. As it turns out, Satan is the arch-criminal that has caused all this.”

After that, my cousin fellowshiped much with me, and I also read some of God’s words. I felt all God’s words are truth. The more I read, the more I was enlightened, and the more things I could see through. I understood that God’s work in the last days is to express the truth to judge and purify man, so that we know Satan’s substance and the truth of how Satan has corrupted mankind, and pursue the truth to get rid of our corrupt disposition and attain God’s salvation. So, I happily accepted God’s work of the last days. From then on, I became a Christian and began to attend meetings and read God’s words.

Half a month later, my younger brother-in-law’s wife came back home riding a new electric scooter. When I saw that she dressed better than I and had bought a new electric scooter, I thought, “Mother-in-law lives with us. You don’t give even a penny to us, but spend money on your own pleasure.” In the evening, I nagged angrily before my husband, but he said, “We are family. Don’t mind it.” I had hoped that he would comfort me, but instead, he asked me not to fuss over that. I felt extremely distressed, and could only come before God to seek. I saw God’s words saying, “In truth, there are many matters in which man, if he devotes just the slightest effort, can put the truth into practice and thereby satisfy God. The heart of man is constantly possessed by demons and so he cannot act for the sake of God. Rather, he constantly journeys to and fro for the flesh, and profits nothing in the end. It is for these reasons that man has constant troubles and afflictions. Are these not the torments of Satan? Is this not corruption of the flesh?” “Only if one knows God and has the truth does he live in the light; and only when his view of the world and his view of life change does he change fundamentally. When he has a life goal and comports himself according to the truth; when he absolutely submits to God and lives by God’s word; when he feels assured and brightened deep in his soul; when his heart is free of darkness; and when he lives completely freely and unrestrained in God’s presence—only then does he live a true human life and become a person possessing truth.” After reading God’s words, I knew that if we act according to the truth, and live by God’s words when things happen, we will increasingly have the likeness of a real man and feel assured, peaceful, and free in our heart. Only then will we be true people who are approved and gained by God. I lived in pain because I didn’t practice the truth. Though I had known my thoughts were wrong at that time, I did not forsake them. So I was still living in the deception of Satan. After understanding this, I turned immediately back to God, and decided to focus on forsaking the flesh to practice the truth, and not to live with my selfish nature to fuss with others anymore. Through making a prayer of repentance several times, I felt released in my heart and was resolved to put God’s words into action in the future.

pray to God, christian testimony

One day, my mother-in-law and I were making dumplings at home when my younger brother-in-law’s wife came with her daughter on her new electric scooter. Seeing they both dressed fashionably, I was a little angry. She said that they were so lucky to be able to eat the dumplings. When I heard this, I smiled coldly and ignored her. At that moment, I suddenly realized there was something wrong with my attitude, and that Satan’s corrupt disposition was fooling me and making me have prejudices against my sister-in-law. So, I hurriedly prayed to God in my heart, “Oh God! Today there is Your good purpose in allowing me to face this thing. You are using the environment to test me and see whether I am willing to forsake my flesh and practice the truth in order to satisfy You. God, my stature is too small. May You protect my heart so that I won’t be angry or fooled by Satan, can practice the truth under Your guidance and get on well with her. May You guide me. Amen!” After praying, I thought of the words of God: “Everything that happens to people is when God needs them to stand firm in their testimony to Him. Nothing major has happened to you at the moment, and you do not bear great testimony, but every detail of your daily life relates to the testimony to God. If you can win the admiration of your brothers and sisters, your family members, and everyone around you; if, one day, the unbelievers come, and admire all that you say and do, and see that all that God does is wonderful, then you will have borne testimony.” With God’s guidance, I knew what I should do. I am a believer in God, so what I say and do should be in line with the truth and the likeness of a normal person to satisfy and comfort God’s heart. In everything that happens to me in real life, I should bear witness for God and not allow Satan to make me into a laughing stock. Thinking of all this, my anger gradually disappeared. I talked with my sister-in-law while making dumplings. As I left my bias against her behind and practiced God’s words, my mother-in-law smiled. We three chatted as we made dumplings, and very quickly we finished all the dumplings. My husband came home at meal time. Seeing the pleasant atmosphere, he said with a smile, “If every day is like today, how nice it will be.” I smiled. After the meal, as soon as my sister-in-law and her daughter left, my mother-in-law asked me eagerly, “You are different today. In the past, you would pull a long face when you were angry.” My husband said, “It’s true. What makes you different?” I said with a smile, “That’s because I have believed in God. God’s words led me in my heart to conduct myself. Thank God! God’s words have changed me.” Hearing me out, both of them said, “The God you believe in can change people. Be a good believer.” Later, I gave my husband testimony to God’s work of the last days and he came before God as well.

After reading God’s words and experiencing His work for a period of time, I finally understood: God has long ago predestined my family members and my mother-in-law to live with us. What’s more, whether we are rich or poor is ordained by God and has nothing to do with whether I care for my mother-in-law. After understanding these, I no longer felt imbalanced because my younger brother-in-law didn’t support my mother-in-law, and instead I was willing to support her. Now although there are still some frictions in my life, my whole family live more and more harmoniously under the guidance of God’s words. This makes me realize that all the difficult problems in our lives, even the family disputes that a just official cannot settle, can be solved by God’s words, because God’s words are the truth, the way, the life, and the highest maxim for life. All the glory be to God!


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