Christian Testimony: Secret of Happy Family

By Jingzhen

Since my marriage, I had the final say for everything in the family, and all my family members had to listen to me. Even after my daughter got married, I also had to ask and worry about her family’s problems. Only in this way did I feel steadfast and peaceful in my heart, and that the responsibility of a mother was fulfilled.

Not long ago, when my daughter and son-in-law came back for dinner, my daughter told me happily: “We want to buy a house of our own, and we have been preparing for this recently!” Hearing what she had said, I weighed the matter in mind: Buying a house is a big deal, she must be careful in her decisions. As a mother, I have to ensure its success for her. So I made a detailed description of my thoughts and the requirements for them buying a house, and I said categorically: “I must be with you when you are buying a house. I’m more experienced than you. I guarantee you that you will buy a good house according to what I say.” They didn’t say anything, but I didn’t take it to heart either. Afterward, I waited joyfully for them to take me to see houses.

house

However, after that, my daughter seldom came back for dinner; even if she did, she was always in a rush. I thought that her work must have kept her occupied and she had no time to come back home and chat with me. Two months later, one day, my daughter suddenly called me and said: “Mom, I’m coming to your house for dinner after work. I have something to tell you and give you a surprise!” Ending the call, I didn’t think much. I was very contented that she could come back for dinner, so I prepared a large meal happily. Unexpectedly, my daughter and son-in-law told me during the dinner that they had already bought the house. I was not pleased by her “surprise,” but shocked. I couldn’t believe what I heard was true. After I regained my composure from the shock, I said to my daughter angrily: “Haven’t we come to an agreement that you will tell me before you buy a house? How come you bought the house without my knowing? Since you did not even inform me about such an important thing, do you still see me as your mother?” My daughter said resignedly: “Mom, that day when we told you about us buying a house, you said a lot and only wanted us to do according to what you said. But we also had our own ideas. So, we could only buy it without you. Although this house is in the new district, both of us like it. It’s a big house of 1500 square feet!” Hearing what she said, I was even more furious and said: “I already told you to inform me before you actually buy the house and you also promised. But now, you have bought the house without my knowing. It’s in a new district and so far away from me. What’s more, it will be very inconvenient for you to go to work! You are getting more and more defiant! You are always making me worried!” At this moment, no matter what my daughter said, I couldn’t accept it. I was so angry that I felt weak all over my body.

After dinner, I went back to my room and sat sulking on my bed. I thought: She is really irritating me! She did not follow any of my requirements I mentioned. Now she has grown up and even dares to do such an important thing behind my back. I told her those things for her own sake, why can’t she understand? Does she still see me as her mother? The saying of “A grown girl can’t be kept at home” is so true. The more I thought of it, the angrier I became. In the next few days, my daughter did not come back for dinner and she didn’t even call me. The house became much quieter and I felt lonely. Then I thought: Where is the harmony in my family? Is it because of the house that has led to our estrangement? Is it because of the house that my daughter is angry with me? But whatever I said is for her own good! Am I really wrong? This somewhat puzzled me.

A few days later, during a meeting, I told brothers and sisters about my difficulties. A sister showed me two passages of God’s words: “Regardless of what methods parents use to put themselves in that position, what things they do, what they nag their children about, and what means they use to try and control their children, in sum, they have one intention: making their children obey everything they say, making them live and act by what they say, so that nothing will go wrong and their children will live a safe life. This is their aim. Is it right to do this? From the parents’ perspective, and from the perspective of human sentiment, it is—but viewed from the perspective of the truth, is it right? (No.) What they do inherently lacks rationality, it is at odds with the truth; if it lacks rationality, then it is most certainly at odds with the truth. They are acting according to human sentiment, according to their own imaginings, their own likes and desires, their own selfish wants; the motives and starting point for their actions are inherently wrong.” “A lot of things really result from the parent always assuming their place as such and taking themselves too seriously; they always see themselves as the parent, the elder: ‘Regardless of when, you won’t get escape from your mother’s (or father’s) control; you’ll still have to listen to me. You are my child. The fact of this doesn’t change, regardless of when.’ This viewpoint makes them miserable and wretched, and makes the child miserable and exhausted. Isn’t this the case?

Through fellowshiping and pondering of God’s words, my heart became bright and clear. I knew what was wrong with the relationship between my daughter and me. In the matter of buying a house, from the outside it seemed that the advices I gave were all for her sake. But in fact, all those requirements were out of my arrogant nature. I forced my own preference on her, asking her to buy the house according to my requirements. Look back to those days: When I did not believe in God, I always had the final say for everything in my family. After I started believing in God, I still lived based on my arrogant nature. I controlled my daughter’s family affairs, and if she did not listen to me I would be mad. Furthermore, I thought that I had the rights to control her because I’m her mother. So, I imposed my views on her in everything and did not put myself in her position to consider her feelings and her own thoughts, way of life and habits. Because I controlled her by my arrogant nature and imposed my preference on her, she hated to be with me and did not want to live under my control. Therefore, she became distant from me, and this time she did not even come back for dinner or make any calls to talk to me. That was when I had some understandings of my own actions and realized our conflicts were caused by my arrogant nature.

After a meeting, I went home and prayed: “O God, Your words have revealed the root of my conflict with my daughter and made me understand it. I know it is because of my arrogant nature that I want my daughter to listen to me. I always have the idea that I know more than my daughter because I’m older than her. I always impose what I think is right on my daughter, which causes her to ignore me and myself to live in complaint and puzzlement. O God, I do not wish to continue living in this way, but how should I practice in this situation? God, please lead me.” At that moment, I found the passage of God’s words that the sister read to me, I read it again seriously and pondered it carefully. Thanks be to God, I found a path for practice in God’s words. God says: “Actually it’s simple. Just be an ordinary person: Treat your children, treat those in your own family the same as you would an ordinary brother or sister. Although you have a responsibility, a fleshly relationship, nevertheless the position and perspective you should have is the same as with friends or ordinary brothers and sisters. That is, you can’t control, you can’t restrain your children, and always try to keep in command and have complete control over them. Let them make mistakes, let them say the wrong things, let them do childish and immature things, do stupid things. No matter what happens, sit down and calmly talk with them, communicate and seek. Don’t you think this attitude is good? Isn’t it right? So, what is being let go here? (Position and pride.) It is the letting go of the position and status of a parent, the airs of a parent….” God’s words made me understand that: If I want to get along with my daughter, it does not mean that I must not care about whatever my daughter is doing; rather I should not have complete control of her as a mother, neither scold her as an elder nor flaunt my seniority to restrain and control her and make her do everything according to what I say; I should let go of my pride and not live based on my arrogant disposition; I should learn to communicate with my daughter, tell her nicely about my ideas and advices for her and just do my part as a parent; as for her final decision, I should respect it and give her the freedom of choice. Thanks be to God for His enlightenment and guidance. I could have a path for practice and my heart also became bright and clear. Soon afterward, I called my daughter and asked if she and her husband wanted to come for dinner. She actually agreed very readily.

food

In the afternoon, while I was cooking I sang hymns of praising God, my heart filled with great joy! Later on when my daughter came back from work, she didn’t say anything as she saw that I was busy cooking in the kitchen. Seeing my daughter standing there, I told her all my sufferings and my true thoughts during this period, “Daughter, do you know that it’s been tough for me all this while? I always think that you do not understand me, failing to perceive that everything I said was for your own good. You no longer tell me about what you have in your heart and even stopped coming back for dinner. I was really upset. However, by reading God’s words I have some understandings about myself and I don’t feel pain anymore. As for buying the house, it’s me being too arrogant. On the outside it seemed like I was just giving you advices, but actually I asked you to do according to what I wanted. I always controlled and restrained you as a mother and never considered your feelings. I’m at fault. What I have done must have given you stress as well!” My daughter also opened up to me: “Mom, we have our own needs for buying a house, but you always wanted us to buy according to what you said. We were afraid that you would not allow us to buy the house we like, so we did not tell you in advance. However, I have never expected that you would say things like that, and I thought you are still angry with me!” Then I continued to say, “If not for the guidance of God’s words, I would still be complaining that you do not understand my good intention, and would not tell you how exactly I feel. God’s words have made me understand that I always treated you according to my arrogant nature, and this is displeasing to God. Most importantly, God’s words have made me know and let go of myself, and told me how to get along with you.” My daughter and I smiled knowingly as we talked to each other. My daughter said: “Mom, it’s good that you believe in God!” With that, she told me a lot of things about her work, and our laughter could be heard frequently from the kitchen.

After this experience I realized this: If we want to get along with our children, we should not impose our thoughts on them, but rather let go of our pride as parents and put ourselves on the same position as them; we should learn to chat, communicate, exchange our ideas and respect their ideas; in this way we will get along with them. Thank God! May all glory be to God!

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