By Liu Mei
On a summer night, the park was quite lively. There were children playing around, adults chatting casually, and others dancing to some music.
With a worried look on her face, Zhao Fan sat on a bench alone, thinking: When my son was a baby boy, he always clung to me and talked to me without reservation. However, as he grows up day by day, he gradually has his own pursuits, hobbies and lifestyle, and becomes ill-tempered. Besides, he has become addicted to computer games. I’ve exhorted him many times, but he never listens to me. Every time I try to have a heart-to-heart talk with him, we always part in disagreement after exchanging a few words. I feel we have become further and further away from each other. Now I am both mentally and physically exhausted. What should I do?
“Excuse me, your handbag fell onto the ground.” A childish voice interrupted her thought.
“Oh, thank you.” Zhao Fan picked up her handbag, stroked the girl’s head with a smile, and then went home.
Upon arriving home, Zhao Fan saw her two children sat together playing games. “Come on! Come on!” her ten-year-old daughter screamed at her brother. “Ah! You lost again. How could you be so foolish?!”
Hearing this, Zhao Fan became more agitated and slammed the door hard.
Her daughter lifted her head, “Hey, Mom.”
“You two do nothing but play games all day long,” Zhao Fan said irritably to her two children. “Could you do something meaningful?” Seeing them unresponsive, she became even angrier, “I was talking to you; didn’t you hear me?!”
Her daughter sealed her lips and walked away with reluctance.
Zhao Fan controlled her anger and went over to her son, “Can games put food on the table or improve your academic performance? You play games all day like a man possessed; even when you’re eating you fix your eyes on the smartphone. Is the smartphone your treasure?”
Her son quickly looked up to her with impatience, and then immediately lowered his head and continued playing on his phone. Seeing this, Zhao Fan so badly wanted to seize his phone and smash it.
At that moment, her daughter came to her, “Mom, don’t be angry. Please make us some dinner; we haven’t even had breakfast yet; we are starving.”
“I will not make dinner tonight. You two just play as you like. You don’t listen to me anyway, so I won’t care about you anymore.” Saying this, Zhao Fan went to her bedroom, slamming the door angrily.
Sitting on her bed, Zhao Fan gradually calmed down, thinking: Regardless of what I say, my son never listens to me. Now, not only has he not stopped his gaming addiction, but our relationship is getting more and more awkward. Why was I so angry with him? Was it simply because of his game addiction, or because he didn’t listen to me? Is there any other reason? What on earth made me lose my senses? Having no idea what to do, Zhao Fan came before God and told Him her difficulty. After, she thought of these words of God: “Does God have an inflated notion of His position, as some people say? Telling you ‘I am the greatest of all, it is I that take charge of you, you must all beg Me for mercy and disobedience will be punished by death.’ Has God ever threatened mankind in this way? (No.) Has He ever said ‘Mankind is corrupt so it does not matter how I treat them, any arbitrary treatment will do; I do not need to arrange things very well for them.’ Does God think this way? (No.) So has God acted in this way? (No.) On the contrary, God’s treatment of each and every person is earnest and responsible, more responsible even than you are to yourself. Is this not so? God does not speak idly, neither does He stand on high putting on airs nor does He make do with fooling people. Instead He is honestly and silently doing the things He Himself needs to do” (“God Himself, the Unique VI”).
Pondering these words of God, Zhao Fan came to realize: God is the Creator and Master of the universe; He is supreme and holy, yet He has humbled Himself to utter the truth on earth, doing His work of salvation, and suffering so much. Though many times we didn’t know, and even rebelled against Him, God has never used His identify and status to demand anything of us, nor has He unleashed His wrath upon anyone at will. He merely does His work among us according to His plan and in His own way, touching our souls with His words, accompanying us all the time, and has never given up His salvation for us. The essence of God is so beautiful and good, which is not possessed by any of us. Then what about me? Although I lost my temper with my son when educating him, there is no denying that I had exposed my arrogant nature. I always educated and criticized him, thinking that I am his mother and all I did was right and for his good, and that he was supposed to obey me. Once he didn’t listen to me, I would get so annoyed and even lose my temper with him. Do I still have the likeness of a devout Christian? Though I gave birth to my son, in front of God we are both created beings deeply corrupted by Satan. What qualification do I have to scold my son? It was so unreasonable of me to use the position of a Mother to try and force him to listen to me and act according to my will. Thinking of this, Zhao Fan felt even more ashamed of her arrogance and conceitedness and was touched by the holy and good essence of God.
Then Zhao Fan quieted her heart to seek the truth of how to get along with her son, and how to bring her son before God to solve his gaming addiction. She knew that she herself was not able to lead her son onto the right path; only God could do that. She was willing to put herself aside and entrust her son to God completely; she didn’t want to live by satanic disposition anymore, for it would only destroy her relationship with her son and make her upset and pained.
One day, when Zhao Fan saw her son playing computer games again, she was so upset that she really wanted to unplug the computer like before. Yet she remembered the resolution she made before God, and then controlled her anger and immediately sought God in her heart. After prayer, she remembered two passages of God’s words: “If you rely on your knowledge and ability in your undertakings, then you shall always be a failure, and shall always be bereft of the blessings of God” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind”). “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). God’s words lit up her heart like a light, and she realized: It’s true. If I rely on my own methods, I will always fail. Aren’t the thoughts and ideas of my son in the hand of God? Then she prayed to God silently: “O God, I’m willing to entrust all of this into Your hands, and let You arrange everything for me.” Miraculously, when her son was playing in high spirits, somehow the keyboard didn’t work; then he reluctantly shut down the computer, saying, “This is really weird.” Seeing this, Zhao Fan repeatedly thanked God in her heart. At that time, she wanted to have a heart-to-heart talk with him, but before she spoke, her son said that he had to do his homework. Then Zhao Fan prayed for God to prepare a suitable opportunity for her, willing to obey His arrangement.
During their dinner, her son said, “Mom, life is so boring. When I was in school, I longed for holidays so that I could relax and play as I liked, but now I feel even duller.”
Zhao Fan said, “Sweetheart, do you know the reason? In this world, everyone has his own hobby and pursuit which he considers right and proper. Then why do we feel emptier when our desires are satisfied? It is because our desires come from Satan, and can’t resolve the emptiness and worry in our heart, nor can they be our life. Only when we come before God and follow His words, can we have peace and joy. How about we read some of God’s words together later?”
Her son nodded, and her daughter sitting beside him said, “Mom, I want to read God’s words, too.”
Seeing the wonderful deeds of God, Zhao Fan offered up her gratitude and praise to God in her heart, and said gladly, “Ok. Let’s read God’s words together after dinner.”
After dinner, Zhao Fan read two passages in God’s words “Believers First Need to See Through the Evil Trends of the World” to her children. “The devil Satan does these things in order to lure people, to cause them to degenerate. For those who live in the virtual world, they have no interest whatsoever in anything to do with the life of normal humanity; they are not in the mood to work or study. They are only concerned about going to the virtual world, as though they are being enticed by something. The second they get bored, or when they are doing some real work, they want to play games instead, and playing games gradually becomes their whole life.” “The things of normal humanity are stripped away by these games, filled and forcibly occupied by them, and they forcibly occupy any room they have for thought; they are then decadent.” She fellowshiped to her children, “God’s words tell us that computer games are one way the devil Satan uses to corrupt and harm mankind. Satan wants to use these games to control people’s heart, and wants to instill in them the things of Satan such as violence, pornography, magic, hoaxes, tricks, and exchanges of money in the games, causing people to become obsessed. People’s heart will be occupied by games, they will lose interest in their jobs and studies. They will even be willing to not eat and sleep for the sake of having more time to play games. They will become decadent. Like some kids, to play games, they spend most of their time in Internet cafés, they have no mind to study whatsoever. In the end, not only their studies are affected, their health is also ruined because of having no normal routine. There are also some kids who suddenly died due to playing games for a very long time. There are even kids who killed their parents because their parents tried to persuade them to stop playing games. Clearly, playing games is not a good path to take, games can only make us more and more decadent.” Through her communication, her son came to know that computer games are tools Satan uses to harm man, and that if he continued playing them, he would become more and more degenerate. Understanding this, he said that he would listen to God’s words more, and play games less. However, because he seldom read God’s words, he had no resolve to get rid of his game addiction. Seeing this, Zhao Fan felt worried, hoping he could be free from Satan’s bondage as soon as possible to live a normal life. But she could do nothing to help him. Feeling utterly helpless, she could only pray to God.
Having prayed many times, Zhao Fan found the path to practice from: treating different people in accordance with different principles and their statures. She thought: I should communicate with my son more about my own experience of God’s word, so that he won’t feel too much pressure.
One day after dinner, Zhao Fan went into her son’s bedroom as he was playing with the smartphone. After she sat down, her son looked up and asked, “Mom, what’s up?”
“Well, I just wanna have a chat with you,” Zhao Fan said with a smile.
A little bit surprised, her son put his phone aside, “About what?”
“Well, nothing special. I just feel like I don’t even know you anymore. Since you went to high school, I devoted too much time to my work and ignored you. Every time you wanted to talk to me, I just had no time or didn’t listen carefully. Sometimes when you got into trouble, I always criticized you, and imposed my thoughts on you. I’ve never truly understood you. So I think maybe we could have a talk today, and speak our minds. You could tell me about your school life, like whether there is someone bullying you, friends you have made, or how you dealt with unhappy things. I don’t mean to invade your privacy; I just want to have a heart-to-heart talk with you so that I can know more about you,” Zhao Fan said peacefully.
On hearing this, her son gladly talked to her about what had happened between him and his classmates. Zhao Fan listened carefully, and then she patiently helped him with parts of God’s words that she understood and her own experiences, teaching him whom to make friends with, how to get along with people, what kind of bad habits he should stop, and helping him differentiate things. On that night, her son was especially happy, talking about his future and hobbies with delight. And Zhao Fan guided him according to God’s word, helping him build the right life outlook. Their talk removed the misunderstanding between them and made their relationship even closer, and they could chat with each other again without reservation, like close friends.
From then on, he would tell Zhao Fan first when having any problem, and Zhao Fan would listen carefully, and seek the truth from God’s word to help him. Sometimes when her son was willful and lost his temper, Zhao Fan would immediately pray to God to seek the truth; after he calmed down, she would help him realize the harm he would do to people around him when he spoke and acted relying on satanic disposition. When he played games again, Zhao Fan would pray for him and fellowship with him that computer games were tools Satan used to harm man, so that he could see through the essence of games, act on the basis of God’s words, and have the determination to abandon gaming. Unconsciously, the relationship between Zhao Fan and her son became closer and closer, and her son became willing to share his trouble and happiness with her. Besides, through reading God’s words, her son spent less and less time on games, becoming more and more sensible. Seeing these effects, Zhao Fan was grateful to God in her heart. Had it not been for God’s leadership, they wouldn’t have interacted on an equal footing, their relationship wouldn’t have improved so much, and her son’s gaming addiction wouldn’t have been solved. All these were God’s blessings!
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