Not Difficult to Get Along With Father

By Cecilia, United States

Saturday, June 3, 2017 Cloudy

This morning, I eagerly asked my father to teach me cooking, and he agreed right away. Then I started to prepare ingredients for cooking. When he saw that I was slow in washing and cutting vegetables, he constantly nagged me aside and told me how to cut quickly. I was upset to hear his words, feeling that he didn’t show any consideration for me at all and thought: “How can I cut quickly as I have just started to learn to cook?” Then as I was slow in putting vegetables into the wok, he resented me and became unpleasant. He told me to turn down the fire in about one minute. Unwilling to speak to him, I picked up my cellphone to time it. Unexpectedly, he got into a temper because of my actions, yelling out at me: “Can’t you be serious in doing things? I told you to watch the heat carefully, but you are playing on your cellphone. Since you have asked me to teach you how to cook, you have to do exactly as I told you and don’t do unrelated things.” After hearing this, I also got angry and my heart grumbled: “Was it not because I listened to your words that I did this? I have been serious enough but you still chide me. You are capable, and then do it yourself.” At that point, I was simply going to give up. However, I really wanted to learn how to cook. I thought to myself: If I quitted halfway, the grievance I suffered was really not worth it. Therefore, I held back my anger and continued cooking. Still, he constantly nagged that I shouldn’t always stir-fry the vegetables, the seasoning I put was not enough, and so on. I felt very angry, and thought: “These words need to be said only once. Who else will be so nagging like you? You simply treat me as a child who knows nothing.” Suppressing my anger, I finally finished cooking. When we were eating, I was still in a bad mood and had nothing to say to him. The atmosphere was quite embarrassing.

not happy

Monday, June 12, 2017 Rainy

Today, I had a sudden notion to find a part-time job during the summer break so that I could be tempered. However, the work place was far from home and I didn’t know how to get there, so I told my father about this matter, hoping that he would think of a way for me. To think that he should have objections! He lectured me: “You are too young to know anything, so you aren’t capable of working for others. What’s more, you are so fragile that you will cry when anyone slightly reproves you. In addition, it’s far from home and no one can afford the time to send you there; you can go nowhere, for you are so poor at riding the bicycle. From now on, you’d better ponder whether it is practical before you plan to do something. Now, study hard and don’t think about useless things.” After hearing his words, I was very defiant in my heart, and thought: “Why isn’t it suitable for me to work? I want to be tempered and make some money by working, isn’t it a good thing? Am I that fragile?” The more I thought about it, the more upset I felt. I couldn’t help contradicting him. But never did I think that he would even more lecture me continuously. Afterward, I simply ignored him and ran into my room to do my own things.

In the evening, I was still upset. Thinking of that time, I knew that I didn’t get along with my father. We often quarreled over trivial matters, which made me extremely sad. I thought that he was too pushy, always considering himself in the right and refusing to listen no matter what I said. Sometimes, I really didn’t want to speak to him, but I remembered that as a Christian, my living out like this couldn’t glorify and testify to God. Therefore, I prayed to God: “O God, how can I get along with my father? Please help me!”

Sunday, June 25, 2017 Sunny

Today, I saw a passage of God’s words at the meeting: “Normally, if one is treated like a child, what is the reason—apart from if they look young—for others to still think of them like this after spending a lot of time in their company and knowing them well? To them, the things you do and say appear frivolous and immature, and so they look upon you as a child. To always be thought of as a child is something that other people do, you have no control over how other people treat you. This is most certainly your own fault; it is caused by you, and not something forced on you by the outside world. And why is it chiefly caused by you? In one regard, your humanity is immature; in another, are you capable of investment? … You must learn how to be invested.

I was very moved upon reading God’s words. I was always unwilling to submit to the fact that my father treated me like a child, but I never reflected why he treated me like that. Thinking back on what had happened to me recently and comparing them with God’s words, I saw that I was a child indeed. When my father repeatedly told me how to fry food, I resented him for his verbosity and speaking to me with a bad tone, and so I would rely on my own temperament and give up learning; when I discussed finding a part-time job with him and he didn’t agree with me, I thought that he had prejudice against me and looked down upon me, and thus I would contradict him, even ignore and hate him; when we had different opinions on one thing, I always considered myself in the right, and I would lose my temper and ignore him once he disagreed with me. Weren’t my behaviors the expressions of my immature humanity? I was incapable of investment in daily life: When my parents were doing things, I rarely observed and studied, so that I would have great difficulty in frying a simple dish. Therefore, in my parents’ eyes, I was surely a naive child. A mature and sensible child is rational in all matters, doesn’t depend on his mood in his speech and actions, and treats his parents with consideration and respect. I calmed down and pondered what had happened to me recently: “When my father taught me to cook, he was careful indeed and didn’t mean any harm although his words sounded stiff; I should have tolerated and understood him, but he didn’t lower himself to my level and was still teaching me until I finished cooking. When it comes to work, I was incapable, and I was fragile indeed; all of his words were for my own good and he feared I would get hurt; yet I was not willing to face my true self and didn’t show any consideration for his devotion.”At that point, I did understand that it wasn’t his fault that I couldn’t get along with him, that it was me being too ignorant.

daughter and father

After that, I read another passage of God’s words: “If you want your parents to treat you like an adult, you must learn how to act toward them, using your attitude to give them a good impression of you; you must act in a way that is mature and tactful, and you must be like an adult. If you always pit yourself against your parents, and have nothing to say to them when you’re with them, and you pull a long face when they speak to you or nag you, then when they see this, they’ll think to themselves, ‘This child will never change, that’s just how he is. I’ll never be able to communicate with him.’ They will have nothing to say to you. If your attitude doesn’t change and theirs doesn’t either, there’ll be no way to turn this situation around. You must endeavor to take the initiative in changing. Put yourself aside, don’t pit yourself against them, don’t contradict them. … You have to change your attitude. The goal of changing your attitude is to make your parents know that you’ve grown up, that you’re mature, that you have your own thoughts, that you’re no longer a child. That’s one aspect of it. Another is that you must endeavor to make your parents change their attitude toward you, to make them know what’s in your heart, and what you lack, what you’re struggling with, why you’re down, why you’re happy—this is what you must make them aware of. Don’t avoid them in all you do. You must make them see in you the rationality and attitude toward people that ought to be in normal humanity. You must make them learn things from you. When they look at you, they see you’ve grown up, that you speak like an adult, that you’re not at loggerheads in your attitude toward them, and don’t pull a long face or screw your face up at them. If your parents criticize you, you listen to them, and then fellowship with them. Listening to your fellowship, they feel it’s beneficial, and they gain a lot from it—how great that is!

God’s words showed me the path of practice: If I want to get on well with my parents, I should throw off my airs, learn to communicate with them, and open my heart to them, allowing them to know what I really need, so that we can understand each other. I remembered that even if the suggestions my father gave me was right, just because of his bad tone or verbosity, I would be weary of him and refuse to accept his opinions and even contradict him or be sulky without speaking to him. What I did was indeed not putting God’s words into practice. I thanked God for guiding me and allowing me to see my problems. I was willing to change, and resolved: “From now on, as long as my father’s words are right and are helpful to me, I will accept all of them. After all, I don’t have much experience of the world and can’t think some matters through thoroughly. Therefore, it’s better to defer to my parents, which will prevent me from following the evil trend and going astray. If what my father says or does is not to my liking, I won’t contradict him or shut myself up in the room without speaking to him. Otherwise, it would not only harm myself, but also hurt him, causing things to get more and more distant between my father and me. I should learn to open my heart to communicate with him, understand and respect each other.” All of a sudden I felt released in my heart.

Thursday, July 6, 2017 Sunny

This noon, I was trying to help with washing the rice cooker, but only made the situation worse. At that time, without much thinking, I soaked the entire rice cooker in water, feeling it was easier to wash in this way. Seeing this, my father said to me angrily: “How can you immerse the entire rice cooker in water? You’ll damage it. How could you be so ignorant?” Hearing his words, I felt terribly wronged: “I didn’t mean to do that. Why do you get so steamed up?” Then I thought of God’s words: “If you want your parents to treat you like an adult, you must learn how to act toward them, using your attitude to give them a good impression of you; you must act in a way that is mature and tactful, and you must be like an adult.” God’s words gave me timely help. I should put myself aside, and as long as his words were helpful to me, I should accept. If I dealt with it emotionally or didn’t allow him to criticize me even if I had done something wrong, wasn’t I arrogant and self-righteous? Was this not the expression of my not accepting others’ advice? Wasn’t I putting the truth into practice? Although I did it with a good intention, I indeed made such a silly mistake. It was normal for my father to lose his temper, and I should accept his advice. At the thought of this, I acknowledged my mistake to my father and told him that I would be more careful next time. Unexpectedly, after a while, he wasn’t angry any more, and comforted me: “I know you actually are well meaning. It’s not your fault.” Seeing his attitude had improved, I told him my thoughts then. After hearing my words, he apologized to me, saying that he had been mistaken about me and complimented me for getting sensible. At that moment, I truly experienced the ease and joy brought by practicing the truth according to God’s words. The conflicts between my father and me were resolved.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 Fine

Just now I recalled what had happened between my father and me in the last two months. I felt really good. I didn’t imagine that through practicing according to God’s words, learning to put myself aside and communicating with him, I could get along well with my father. Now, we can calmly discuss some problems together. Even if his views are different from mine at times, I will hear him out patiently, so that we can understand each other in the end. God’s word is indeed the secret of resolving the conflicts between my father and me. I am so grateful to God!

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