What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Let God Be the Master of My Home!
By Li Fan, China
My father favored boys over girls. Ever since my birth, he began to detest my mother just because I am a girl. As far as I could remember, he often fought and quarreled with my mother. At that time, I thought: We are girls. So what? Girls can also be the master of a family. At that moment, I made a resolve in my heart: After I grow up and get married, I will have my husband obey me. I will never have him bullying me as my father treats my mother. I can’t live being cowardly. With this will, I often helped my mother with her work when I was at home, not allowing others to belittle me. As I grew older, I came to be the main breadwinner of my family, and was capable in both the housework and the farm work. Through my efforts, I won my father’s praise and no longer did he complain that a daughter was inferior to a son.
After I got married, I was hopeful about my life. I undertook all the work at home and my husband was away doing business—our life was satisfying. In the first two years, my husband discussed family affairs with me calmly, which delighted me a lot. It was considerate of him to talk them over with me. I felt my wish from when I was a child had been fulfilled and that I was a master of this family.
However, good days didn’t last long. Once, my husband asked me to give him his ID card. “For what purpose?” I asked him. He equivocated and failed to tell me the reason. After that, I found he was out early and came back late for several days. When I asked him where he had gone, he still avoided answering me. I thought: Now you are capable, so you dare do things behind me? No. I must make it clear. If you dare do things without my knowledge, wait and see! A few days later, I learnt from my sister-in-law that my husband had lent twenty thousand yuan to them. My heart ached the time I heard it. But I couldn’t let out my anger in face of her, so I pretended to have known about it to do her a favor. When my husband came back that night, I hurriedly asked him about the matter of the money. Nevertheless, he stubbornly denied it. I then gripped his hand and said, “Go. Let’s ask your brother.” He then got angry, “You, a woman, mind your own business. Leave man’s matters to man. Do your housework well, that’s enough.” Hearing his words, I, as if hit by someone with a club, immediately felt painful from my heart. Tears of being wronged kept running down. Hard I worked for this family, but never did I expect that my husband would speak out such words to sadden me. And said it was enough for me to only mind the housework. Was I a nanny you hired? I had never expected that my husband should speak the same words as that of my father to my mother. As it turned out, I was, in my husband’s eyes, none but a housewife, who only needed to work but could not have a hand in family affairs. The more I thought of this, the sadder I was: If I can’t even be a master of my family, then what does it mean for me to live like this?
After a bitter cry, I was not resigned to letting it go. So I often went to the storefront run by my husband to guard him. Whenever he had a phone call, I would ask him anxiously who it was; whenever he returned home after a short visit to others at night, I would ask him insistently, “Where have you been? Who else is there?” At my constant asking about these trifles, he often felt irritated very much. Besides, in normal times, I revolted at and distrusted his work no matter what, so I often nitpicked at him, keen to let him listen to me and act according to my standards. For this reason, we often quarreled and fought, frightening my children to hide behind the door. Gradually, as soon as he had spare time, he would went out chatting with others to purposely escape me. He only returned home when he was hungry or sleepy, as if the home to him was merely a restaurant or hotel. In short, he was out of my control. As a result, my temper was worse and worse. Being angry, I screamed and shouted all day long, which, in turn, wore me out. Under the long-term depression, I was diagnosed with depression, and the doctor told me not to stay at home for long but to go out for relaxation. For the sake of my family, I had tried to restrain my anger, but no matter how hard I had tried, it was just in vain. Once my husband did something not to my liking, I would burst into anger uncontrollably. Our relationship became more and more tense and I did not know how to reverse the situation. At my worrying and helpless moment, God’s salvation of the last days came upon me.
One day, a relative came to testify God’s work of the last days. I told her my sufferings and she fellowshiped with me, “This time God has come to express words to rid man of their sins thoroughly and to save us from the corruption and affliction of Satan. God wants to achieve the result that we no longer live by our satanic disposition but live byand live as a true man, who has conscience and reason, can forgive, tolerate and understand others, and so on. Only by listening to can we gain God’s blessings, and can we not be afflicted by Satan.” Having heard her fellowship, I knew I could live out like a human and gain God’s blessings through believing in God. So I was willing to investigate and accept God’s salvation. When having meetings with brothers and sisters, I saw that after reading God’s words, all of them could open up to talk about what corruptions they had revealed when encountering something, and how they found the words of God afterward to resolve them. When they fellowshiped about God’s salvation for them, their faces were brimming with joy and happiness. Listening to their fellowship, I felt brightened in heart and also admired them. How wonderful this kind of life was! Brothers and sisters also fellowshiped that God requires us to be honest people, and that God will listen if we open our hearts to Him and recount to Him our true difficulties. So I tried telling my difficulty to God, hoping for God’s help, so that I would not treat my husband that way. Gradually, I did not feel that repressed but was much lighten-hearted.
One day in a meeting, I told my unceasing conflict with my husband to brothers and sisters. Then, Sister Zheng said to me, “Your difficulty is common to everyone. We all want to take charge in our family and control others. This is satanic corrupt disposition. We suffered because of Satan’s poison. In the beginning, God created man and man lived in God’s blessings with peace and happiness. Adam and Eve could treat God’s words as the basic standard. They listened to God’s words and obeyed God. They worshiped God, exalted God and honored Him as great on earth. Later on, because Satan tempted Eve into eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, man betrayed God. From that day on, man have lost God’s blessings and lived under Satan’s domain. Fooled by Satan, they all jostle with each other, refuse to obey each other, and want to control each other. These are the facts that we have been corrupted by Satan. God’s words tell us both the truth and the root of Satan corrupting man. God wants us to see through Satan’s evil substance, cast off the control of our satanic corrupt disposition, and live by God’s words. This way, we will become new people created by God through His words, and we will enjoy God’s blessings.”
Hearing her communication, my heart was slightly released. I came to know my corrupt dispositions, and also had hope of getting rid of them. Then Sister Zheng read to me another passage of God’s words that said, “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? God has spoken hundreds of thousands of words, yet no one has come to their senses. … How many do not act for the sake of their own interests? How many do not oppress and discriminate against others for the sake of maintaining their own status?” (“The Wicked Must Be Punished”).
She fellowshiped with me, saying, “We all want others to listen to us, and always want to control and oppress them. This is dominated by our arrogant nature. And we only have it after Satan’s corruption. God created man and He wishes man to live in peace. In the Age of Law, God issued commandments through Moses, requiring man to keep the law and the commandments. In the Age of Grace, the Lordtaught man to have patience and tolerance. However, none but a few of us humans totally acted according to God’s words. Especially in the present time of the last days, as we have been corrupted by Satan more and more deeply, we are all arrogant and conceited, and we consider ourselves most honorable, self-centered in doing everything. Once others do something not to our taste, we will keep fussing about it. So not only getting on well with others is hard, but we also live in agony. …” Listening to her fellowship, I understood: My wild arrogance and conceit due to Satan’s corruption is totally responsible for my non-stop quarrels with my husband. From when I was young, I wanted to be the master and decision-maker of my family. I didn’t want to be looked down upon by others. After I was married, I finally had my own little world. I treated my husband and my children as the objects that I could bark at. If they all obeyed me, I would be happy; if they disobeyed me, I would be furious, shouting and roaring. I always wanted to control my husband—He must get my permission first whatever he wanted to do. As a consequence, he kept away from me and avoided me, and I lived in great torment. Now I knew all my suffering was caused because my satanic corrupt disposition got the upper hand over me.
The sister read to me another passage of God’s words: “Why were people formerly able to follow the flesh? Because they considered themselves to be pretty good. They felt right and justified, having no faults, indeed entirely correct. They therefore could act with the assumption that justice was on their side. When one recognizes what his true nature is, how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful, then he is not too proud of himself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with himself as he was before. He feels, ‘I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.’ He truly sees himself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time it is easy for him to carry out truth, and he looks more like a human being” (“Knowing Oneself Is Mainly Knowing Human Nature”). God’s words pointed out the situation I was in. In the past, I thought the viewpoints I clung to were right. I thought myself pretty clever and good, and felt it right and justified to master others. This was the satanic disposition of arrogance and conceit, which was base and ugly and detested by God. To get rid of this arrogant disposition, I must know myself from God’s words, and must act according to God’s requirements. Only in this way could I live out the likeness of a human. After that, I often prayed to God, asking Him to guide me to practice the truth, so that I wouldn’t take charge and lord over my husband. Under the guidance of God, I gradually learned to put myself aside and no longer controlled my husband. Sometimes when I couldn’t squelch it, I wouldto God and asked for His help, so that I would be free of the control of my own satanic disposition, and would not treat my husband with my own will.
One day, I had just returned home after a trip to perform my duty when my relative drove his car to my gate. Seeing me, he said, “Oh, this is the pasta maker you ordered. I have brought it here to you.” Saying so, he took the pasta maker out of his car. I was stunned and said, “We bought it? How came that I didn’t know it? There are only two persons in my house and we scarcely steamed bread. Isn’t it taking up space? And I won’t use it often.” He smiled and said, “Since it’s bought, just use it.” Again, I began to get angry with my husband, thinking, “Such a big matter you even kept it from me. Humph, I’ll deal with you when you come back.” At the moment, I was aware of my being wrong and that my satanic disposition was about to burst. No. I must seek God’s will, I couldn’t still quarrel with my husband. So, I prayed to God, “O God! Today You arrange this matter and it’s against my will. May You keep me from bursting into anger about it. I’m willing to forsake my flesh and humble myself. May You guide me.” After praying, I thought of God’s words that said: “There may be times when you do not satisfy God. That’s because you don’t understand God’s will; the next time, even though it will take more effort, you must satisfy Him, and must not satisfy the flesh. When you experience in this way, you will have come to know God” (“Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light”).
From God’s words, I understood God’s will. In the past I didn’t practice this truth; this time I must betray my arrogant nature and live by God’s words. It was permitted by God that my husband didn’t listen to me or consult with me. I must submit to God’s orchestration and arrangement. After my husband came back home, I said to him, “The pasta maker you bought has been sent home by our relative. Quick to plug it in.” He cast a glance at me and then said, “You aren’t angry? I bought it because I think you may feel tired when kneading dough since it’s getting hotter.” Hearing his words, I said smilingly, “At first, I was angry and was waiting to deal with you. But then I instantly thought that I’m a believer in God and so I must pray to God, letting Him guide me when something happened to me, so that I would know what to do is according to His heart and satisfying Him. God’s words say: ‘Now I’ll tell you a simple practice: First set aside your own intent, set aside your own interests, set aside your selfish desires. After you have done this for a while, your condition within you will be transformed without your awareness of it. … one that feels that believing in God is good, that being a good person is good, that feels an impetus toward being a good person, that is interested in becoming a good person, that feels living in this way is meaningful, and which through so living feels satisfaction, certainty, peace, and enjoyment within the heart. Changing into this sort of condition is a great result’ (‘You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God’). Thinking of God’s words, I knew when encountering things, I should set aside myself, my selfish motives, and my own interests first; I shouldn’t satisfy myself. Practicing like this, I will be changed unknowingly. I will have the driving force to be a person like this, I will find putting myself aside is a meaningful thing, and I will feel enjoyment, peace, and secure in my heart. Thank God! It’s God’s words that has kept me. These years, we two don’t fit in. It’s all my fault. I always want you to listen to me and I want to control you. Now I will live by God’s words and let God save and purify me.” Hearing my words, my husband smiled, saying, “God’s words really can change man. I have seen a miracle in you. I really have seen God’s deeds.” Hearing his words, I felt ecstatic and incomparable joy. I thanked God’s salvation for me from my heart. After a period of cooperation, my husband accepted God’s work of the last days. Together, we lived church life, reading God’s words, and singing hymns in praise of God. Since then, we made God’s words the master and decision-maker between us and then cheers and laughter were heard everywhere in my family. We were living in real peace and happiness!
We could have such a happy life today, this is the result of God’s judgment by His word. I used to live by my satanic arrogant disposition; I used to make my husband listen to me, and if he didn’t listen, I would quarrel with him. This led to our disharmony and my unspeakable agony. It was’s words that saved and changed me, allowing me to see clearly Satan’s trickery and affliction to me. I no longer live by my natural character. Instead, I comport myself according to God’s words and to the truth. Now my family all live under the leading of God’s words, enjoying true happiness and peace, and our life is full of happiness and enjoyment. Thank God!
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