On October 26, Michelotti park (Parco Michelotti) in Turin, Italy, was reopened to the public (partially open) after 32 years of closure.
New Way to Educate My Son
By Li Wei
Tong Xin’s family was poor when she was young and couldn’t afford her school fees, so she dropped out of school after finishing elementary school. When she grew up, she went to work in the Municipal Textile Corporation. She was busy and exhausted every day but only earned thirty-two yuan each month, and the money could barely support the basic necessities. At that time, she often thought: Even if I surrender my last resources, I will support my child to go to college. I can’t let my child lose at the starting line. Or else, my child will never be able to stand out among others and can only live a humble life.
After she got married and had a child, Tong Xin quitted her job and started the business of building materials with her husband. They became wealthy gradually. When her son started school, in order to improve his academic performance, she enrolled him in remedial classes to study English, Writing, Math Olympiad and so on. Every day when her son got home from school, she urged him to finish his homework; on holidays, she accompanied him to attend remedial courses. She also sent her son to a private school. Through hard work, her son ranked among the top three in every examination. She was very gratified, feeling that her efforts were not in vain and that it was worth it no matter how arduous or tiring it was.
When her son was a senior student in middle school, one day when he got back home from school, he spoke haltingly to Tong Xin, “Mom, I don’t want to study in the private school anymore. The lessons are very stressful and the school is very strict with us. I can’t bear it. So I want to transfer to an ordinary school.”
Tong Xin was surprised, “I work hard every day to earn money. All I did is for sending you to the key high school, so that you can test into a good college in the future and have a foothold in the society. Mom was incapable for this life, so Mom does not want you to walk my old path. Why don’t you understand Mom’s heart?” She suppressed her anger.
Nevertheless, her son just remained untouched. Tong Xin got furious and wanted to rush up and give him a good beating. Unexpectedly, her son suddenly went to the window and said, “I’ll jump off if you continue to force me.”
Tong Xin said angrily, “I pin my hope onto you. If you die, then what’s the meaning of my living? I’d better die!”
That day, they cried painfully and confronted each other. Finally, Tong Xin piteously pled with her son to endure some more years, saying, “Time will pass quickly. As long as you test into a good college, bitterness will end and sweetness will begin.” However, her son really couldn’t bear the pressure and he was dead-set against changing his opinions. Finally, Tong Xin had to give in, and agreed to let him transfer to an ordinary school.
One day a month later, her son’s teacher told her that her son dozed off in the morning class and didn’t do the homework. As soon as she heard this, Tong Xin got so annoyed, thinking: For his study, I suffered and toiled, but he just can’t live up to that. If this continues, how can he test into the key high school? After she thought and thought, she finally determined to forcibly send him to a very expensive totally enclosed school.
However, an unexpected thing happened. One day a month later, her son’s head teacher called and told her, “Your son was absent when I counted the students in the evening class. Such kind of thing has never happened in this enclosed school. The teachers and headmaster were all very worried. The headmaster mobilized all the teachers to look for him inside and outside the school. When we found him in the cyber cafe, it had been 2 a.m. Only then did we know that he climbed over the wall and ran out of the school.” After hearing this, Tong Xin was very angry, feeling dizzy and unspeakably sorrowful. She thought: I worked hard during these years. All I did is just for a good future of my son. However, he let me down again and again, making me sorrowful and desperate. Why my life is so suffering?
Later, Tong Xin’s mother preached gospel to her and asked her to believe in God. Her mother gave her a book of God’s word and told her to read it carefully. She saw that God’s word says: “From the moment you come crying into this world, you begin to perform your duty. You assume your role in the plan of God and in the ordination of God. You begin the journey of life. Whatever your background and whatever the journey ahead of you, none can escape the orchestration and arrangement that Heaven has in store, and none are in control of their destiny, for only He who rules over all things is capable of such work” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”).
Through reading God’s words and listening to her mother’s fellowship, Tong Xin understood: It turns out that what kind of family we are born into, what work we will do, and what our fate will be are all the things that God pre-determined long ago. No matter how we struggle and bustle, we cannot change our fate. Then she thought to herself: I have complained since childhood that the family I was born into was not affluent, and that I didn’t have the chance to attend school and stand out among others. So I struggled against fate and transferred my unrealized dream to my son. I forced my son to attend various remedial classes according to my own will. The study pressure was so great that my son became pessimistic and world-weary. I didn’t consider my son’s feelings but still stubbornly insisted that he go to the private school. What I did has brought great harm to my son’s heart, and he even thought of death. Our relationship also became ever more estranged. Only then do I realize that because I did not know God’s sovereignty, I stubbornly fought with fate. I have severely hurt my son, and I also lived more and more tiredly over these years. Now, I have believed in God and understood God’s will through reading God’s words, so I shall no longer struggle against fate and enforce my will on my son. He has his own interests and hobbies, and I should respect his own choice and give him the space that should belong to him. What I should do is to guide him to study and live properly.
Her son only got 352 points in the graduation examination of middle school. He said to Tong Xin with tears, “Mom, I didn’t do well this time and caused you to lose face. Could you ask our relatives to help us exploit connections, send gifts to the headmaster, and speak some nice words? See whether I can get into the key high school through the back door. If I can get into the key high school, I will surely study hard to test into a good college.” Tong Xin somewhat hesitated while hearing what her son said. She knew that her son’s fate is controlled by God’s hand, but while thinking that if her son couldn’t get into the key high school, it would be more difficult for him to test into a good college. And this would still influence his work and prospects in the future. So she thought whether she should give another try and satisfy her son’s requirements. This could also fulfill her original hope for her son. After rumination, she felt that such thinking was not right, but she didn’t know how to do to be after God’s will. So she immediately came before God and prayed, “O God! You examine my thoughts. In the matter of my son’s choosing school, how should I do to be after Your will? Which one is beneficial to his life? I’m not clear about it. May You enlighten and guide me, so that I can understand Your will and obey Your sovereignty and arrangement.” After prayer, she saw that God’s word says, “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at “institutes of higher learning.” The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God”).
God’s words lit up Tong Xin’s heart like a mirror, making her understand: We have been corrupted by Satan for several thousand years and people of today all live by the Satanic philosophy. Sayings such as “The worth of other pursuits is small, the study of books excels them all,” and “Knowledge changes one’s fate,” have already become the dictums in many people’s heart. So we all want to change our fate by study. When we live by these words, we are denying and resisting God, as well as struggling against the fact that God holds sovereignty over man’s fate. Lured by Satan, we unconsciously step onto the path of destruction that deviates from God. Tong Xin thought: Now, there’re so many parents forcing their children to study, but the children can’t bear the tremendous study pressure and thus commit suicide. Such tragedies are great in number. From this we can see that without God’s care and keeping, man will only stray further and further from God, and completely be afflicted and devoured by Satan in the end. Tong Xin admitted that, like other parents, she also had been continuously putting pressure on her son before, which had left a shadow on her son’s mind and made him worry that he would be scolded once he didn’t perform well in his examination. Tong Xin always thought that exerting pressure on her son, and teaching and supervising him were all for the sake of her son’s prospects and were the expressions of love. But now she understood that this was not love, but was obviously shoving her son into the abyss of hell. She was not willing to be fooled and afflicted by Satan anymore.
Tong Xin said to her son, “As to the matter of choosing school, we should let nature take its course. There’s God’s good will in the school you test into. No matter what kind of school you attend, it has long been predetermined by God. It is not after God’s will that I made requirements of you like that before. That I forced you to study was to satisfy my own vanity. I did not at all show consideration for your feelings. I was really carried away by the Satanic philosophy and lost my sense. Now, I won’t make requirements of you like that anymore.” After hearing what Tong Xin said, her son smiled happily. From his smile, Tong Xin saw his relaxation and liberation and the long-lost happiness.
When the term began, Tong Xin agreed that her son went to an ordinary school. Since then, she no longer forced him to study. Sometimes, when he didn’t perform well in his examination, she would help and guide him according to God’s words. Gradually, her son became increasingly fond of talking with her what was in his heart and their relationship also became ever closer. They kept no secrets from each other. After graduation, her son got a job in a non-governmental company. It was a well-paid job, and he became the department manager later. Tong Xin kept thanking God in her heart.
One day, Tong Xin received a text message from her son: “Mom, I didn’t understand you and care about your feelings before. Now, I have grown up and understood a lot of principles of being a man. You don’t need to worry about me anymore….” After reading the text message, Tong Xin shed tears with excitement and was filled with emotion in her heart. In the past, she educated her son by Satanic philosophy, which led to growing estrangement between them. They all lived in pain but couldn’t extricate themselves. When she came before God, understood some truths through reading God’s words, saw through the substance of the Satanic philosophies, and was willing to change herself and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangement, she saw God’s blessings and they recovered the normal relationship and could get along with each other harmoniously. Laughter and joy that they hadn’t had for a long time reappeared in their home. Tong Xin offered up a prayer to God in her heart: “O God! It is truly Your care and keeping that my son can be so sensible now. I can see through Satan’s tricks and no longer live by those heresies and fallacies. This is completely the effect achieved by the enlightenment and illumination of Your words. It is Your love that came upon us, so that we receive Your great salvation. I thank and praise You from the bottom of my heart. Amen!”
You may be interested in this article: How to Stop Being a Controlling Mother
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