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How to Save a Marriage on the Brink of Divorce
Her husband had an affair, raising a red flag over their decade-long marriage. Her attempts to win his heart back were fruitless. In her pain, she wanted to get back at him in the exact same way, but through God’s guidance she recognized the root of the problem and came out from under the shadow of his betrayal.
Her Husband’s Online Entanglement Raises a Red Flag
“Uncle, none of that online chatting stuff is real. There are lots of people now using that to cheat people, how could there be anyone there that really wants to meet you?”
“I know where to draw the line. Mind your own business….”
When Jiamei overheard that exchange between her husband and his niece, her face immediately fell. Why would she say that? Could it be that there was another woman…?
After his niece left, Jiamei couldn’t hold herself back. She asked him: “Why did your niece say that? Is there someone else?”
He paused for a moment, and then prevaricated: “I just invited an online friend to a couple of meals. There’s nothing between us—don’t let your mind run wild.”
Jiamei was incensed—she angrily asked her husband: “A man and a woman go out together just to hang out, to have a meal? Today you may just meet up, but what about tomorrow? What if it continued on like this?” She went on, becoming more and more agitated. “If you’re not happy let’s just get a divorce. We can each take our own path, then we won’t get in each other’s way. Make a choice!” Jiamei appeared indifferent on the surface, but inside she was sad and disappointed, and suffering deeply. She thought, “Could my marriage really end just like this?” She didn’t dare pursue that thought.
Her husband didn’t say a word or look at her, but just sat next to her chain smoking with a pained look on his face.
Three days later, he left for a work trip. At home, Jiamei couldn’t put her mind at rest, worried that he would meet up with his online friend again, so she called him frequently to see what he was up to. Every time he didn’t pick up the phone she rushed to call his colleague, so every time his colleague wasn’t forthcoming Jiamei was anxious to see what kind of woman her husband was with and what was better about her. However, she never could find where he was working which left her mired in anxiety. Her head was swimming and she couldn’t get anything done—she didn’t even want to eat. She was so tormented that she started to look haggard.
Over that period of time their relationship gradually deteriorated. When her husband was off work and at home, when he wasn’t having a meal he’d spend all his time inside chatting with his online friend—he’d stay up well into the night. Jiamei saw how reluctant he was to come home and that he hardly talked to her—if he did, it was curt and he gave her the cold shoulder—but he was enthusiastic about chatting with his friend and wouldn’t even sleep until late at night. This was really painful for her. Unable to hold herself back, she said to him: “It’s already 11! Come to bed.” Shockingly, he rushed at her and yelled: “Then go sleep in another room. Leave me alone!” Seeing his detached, indifferent manner, Jiamei started trembling uncontrollably and said angrily, “If you don’t want to stay together, let’s get a divorce!” But he said: “I won’t be like other men and refuse to take responsibility for my family. I won’t divorce.” Upset and crying, Jiamei left the room. So even though the two of them lived in the same house, they became like strangers under the same roof. Jiamei felt more and more depressed and in pain, and had no idea what to do.
Happy Memories of the Past Are Evoked
Her husband left when his vacation was over; just Jiamei and their child were left at home. She got up to go out into their courtyard and let out a long sigh, then sat on the stairs gazing up at the starry sky. Occasionally, she’d hear the sound of laughter floating over from the neighbors, and that lovely sound carried her back into the past….
Jiamei had already been through one unsuccessful marriage—her ex-husband was unfaithful and discarded her. Then when she met her current husband, the two of them shared a lot of love at first. She developed chronic meningitis; she suffered from constant headaches and couldn’t do any heavy work. Her husband didn’t turn his back on her at all, but after work every day would come home and cook and do the laundry. He’d even wash her hair for her. If she wanted to have some fruit, he’d brave the winter weather and run around to every fruit stand to bring some back for her. They didn’t have much money at the time, but he used the little savings they had to buy Jiamei a gold necklace just to make her happy. Jiamei took note of his painstaking care for her and felt that she had married the right man—it was very heart-warming for her. She once even asked him, if her condition never improved, would he keep on treating her so well? He solemnly vowed that even if she never got better, he would do so for the rest of their lives. At that moment, Jiamei felt that she had found true love and her own true happiness. Her heart, so wounded in the past, found comfort in her husband—her happiness was incomparable. Jiamei thought, as soon as her condition improved she had to show him even more care and consideration than he had, and spend their lives together in love and harmony.
Just as Jiamei had hoped, they helped each other through a decade of hard times, and their relationship stayed strong. At first they were barely scraping by, but they gradually built up a bit of savings and it appeared that their lives were getting better and better. However, her husband was no longer faithful—Jiamei couldn’t figure it out. People always say that a couple that has gone through thick and thin together has the strongest relationship, but their former vows faded away in just ten years’ time. Why was their marriage so weak? At this thought, Jiame began crying and crying, bitter tears flowing down to the edges of her mouth. Living in constant anxiety, she had aged quite a bit even though she was not yet forty years old. As she headed back inside, Jiamei made a prayer: “Oh God, my husband has another woman. It’s really painful for me and I don’t know how to get through this. Please guide me to understand Your will….”
God’s Words Bring Comfort Amidst Her Pain
While in a gathering the next day, Jiamei spoke with some other sisters about her husband’s affair, and one of them showed her a passage from God’s word, “Though there are millions of marriages in the world, every one is different: How many marriages are unsatisfactory, how many are happy; how many span East and West, how many North and South; how many are perfect matches, how many are of equal rank; how many are happy and harmonious, how many painful and sorrowful; how many are the envy of others, how many are misunderstood and frowned upon; how many are full of joy, how many are awash of tears and cause despair…. In these myriad marriages, humans reveal loyalty and lifelong commitment toward marriage, or love, attachment, and inseparability, or resignation and incomprehension, or betrayal of it, even hatred. Whether marriage itself brings happiness or pain, everyone’s mission in marriage is predestined by the Creator and will not change; everyone must fulfill it. And the individual fate that lies behind every marriage is unchanging; it was determined long in advance by the Creator.”
That sister shared in fellowship: “Jiamei, God’s words very clearly explain the matter of our marriages. God predetermines what sort of marriage and family each one of us will have, and that’s a mission that both people must complete. Some couples are constantly fighting and say they’re going to divorce, but they never do; they’re just at each other’s throats for the rest of their lives. And in some marriages, they don’t even argue but it still falls apart. Your husband is being influenced by societal trends, chatting with his online friend and disregarding your feelings. He doesn’t want to get divorced, and this is what God has allowed. We can’t see into the heart of this; we have to seek God’s will, otherwise we’ll be living in pain and will be more susceptible to Satan’s trickery, to being toyed with.” Hearing this fellowship, Jiamei thought of how distant she and her husband had become from each other. They met and got married when they were working together and had a really loving relationship for over a decade. She thought that since her husband had someone else on the side it meant that he didn’t have feelings for her anymore, that their marriage was at an end, but he refused to get a divorce. God’s words made her realize that each person’s marriage is in God’s hands, that it is all predetermined by God. Her husband not wanting a divorce contained God’s will, and if she allowed herself to continue getting caught up in her suffering she’d be vulnerable to Satan’s manipulations. Once she understood God’s will, Jiamei was willing to hand her husband over to God.
New Troubles Crop Up
However, nothing ever goes as planned. When her husband’s time off started and he came back home, he gave Jiamei his salary as he always had. But then Jiamei accidentally knocked his jacket onto the floor and a big wad of cash fell out of his pocket. Shocked, Jiamei thought: “Where did this money come from? Haven’t we agreed that I handle the finances? He’s hiding things from me!”
Angrily, she asked her husband: “You’ve said you’d give all the money to me, but now you’re keeping things from me. Are you hiding this money to take care of that woman?” He hemmed and hawed, and didn’t clarify anything. Jiamei was pretending to be strong on the outside, but inside she was on the verge of collapse. In the past he had always handed his salary over to her, but it had gotten to the point that he was duping her! Jiamei wasn’t willing to lose to that other woman. She thought: “In the past I’ve lived really frugally and never cared about dressing up. If I pay more attention to my appearance, I can get his heart back.” After that, she started getting expensive makeup and high-quality clothing, dressing herself up beautifully, and she started cooking her husband’s favorite dishes. She thought that would win her husband’s heart back and he’d stop seeing that other woman, but she never imagined what happened next …
One day, he said he had a gift for Jiamei and she internally rejoiced, thinking that her recent efforts had paid off and was winning her husband’s heart back. But when he opened it up and said it was from his internet friend, her heart sank, feeling it was a great humiliation. She lost all hope for their marriage. She brought up the idea of divorce with him again, but he was steadfast in his refusal, saying: “Other women let their husbands have two households and they don’t go on about getting divorced. Isn’t this a good life?” The pain Jiamei felt when he said that couldn’t be described, giving rise to a desire for revenge. She thought: “You want to have your finger in more than one pie, so I can do the same to you! You can get a taste of the pain of betrayal.” But then she thought better of it—she is a Christian, and that kind of behavior isn’t in line with God’s will. In her pain and struggle, Jiamei once again came before God in prayer: “Oh God! I don’t know how I should experience this. I’m really in pain, please guide me….”
A Red Flag for Her Marriage and the Villain Behind It All
Jiamei saw God’s words, “The ideas that social trends bring about for people, the way they cause people to conduct themselves in the world, the life goals and outlook that they bring about in people. These are very important; they can control and influence man’s state of mind. One after another, all these trends carry an evil influence that continually degenerates man, causing them to continually lose conscience, humanity and reason, and that lowers their morals and their quality of character more and more, to the extent that we can even say the majority of people now have no integrity, no humanity, neither do they have any conscience, much less any reason. So what are these trends? You cannot see these trends with the naked eye. When the wind of a trend blows through, perhaps only a small number of people will become the trendsetters. They start off doing this kind of thing, accepting this kind of idea or this kind of perspective. The majority of people, however, in the midst of their unawareness, will still be continually infected, assimilated and attracted by this kind of trend, until they all unknowingly and involuntarily accept it, and are all submerged in and controlled by it. For man who is not of sound body and mind, who never knows what is truth, who cannot tell the difference between positive and negative things, these kinds of trends one after another make them all willingly accept these trends, the life view and values that come from Satan. They accept what Satan tells them on how to approach life and the way to live that Satan ‘bestows’ on them. They have not the strength, neither do they have the ability, much less the awareness to resist.” “This is because of what psychological leaning in the heart of man? What does man advocate? Man begins to like wickedness and violence. They do not like beauty or goodness, much less peace. People are not willing to live the simple life of normal humanity, but instead wish to enjoy high status and great wealth, to revel in the pleasures of the flesh, sparing no effort to satisfy their own flesh, with no restrictions, no bonds to hold them back, in other words doing whatever they desire. … man becomes more and more evil, arrogant, condescending, selfish, and malicious. There is no longer any affection between people, no longer any love between family members, no longer any understanding between relatives and friends; human relations have become full of violence.”
After reading God’s words Jiamei understood that having another woman, a mistress, or a lover was a societal phenomenon and it was all from the enticement and control of evil, satanic trends such as “The red flag at home does not fall, the colored flags outside flutter in the breeze,” “Don’t ask for eternity, be happy with now,” and “A little fun on the side is fine.” On top of that, after being corrupted by Satan, people revere evil, love and covet the enjoyments of the flesh. This is why they’re willing to endure moral censure in order to satisfy their own flesh, their desires, and why they hurt their own loved ones. People become more and more selfish, evil, and depraved, losing their humanity and morality. Jiamei thought of all the people she knew who had had extra-marital affairs that had split up families, and some were so tormented that they intentionally overdosed and committed suicide. Some had jumped from buildings, and some had become mentally ill when they couldn’t bear the stress. Countless families have been harmed by the evil trends of this world. Her own husband was no exception. He couldn’t stop himself from following along with those evil, satanic trends, disregarding the love they had shared for years just to seek out some excitement. He found someone else online, became emotionally engaged, and indulged his carnal desires. When she suggested divorce to him, he refused, but he wasn’t willing to leave that woman either. He was living a depraved life with a wife at home and a woman on the side—he didn’t seem remotely ashamed. Jiamei then understood that her husband was yet another victim of evil, satanic trends. Because human beings lack the truth, they cannot discern good and evil, beauty and ugliness, or positive and negative. They are just toyed with, harmed, and trampled by Satan. And the pain that she was living in was also from the harm of the ideas “grow old together, hand-in-hand,” and “Love is supreme.” She was seeking perfect love, trying to find true love that belonged to her alone to go through thick and thin together for the rest of their lives. After finding out about her husband stepping outside of their marriage she had been mired in anxiety, constantly worrying about whether he was with that woman. She felt so tormented that she lost her appetite and couldn’t sleep. It felt like her heart was pressed down under the weight of a massive stone, like she couldn’t get a breath. She was living in constant pain, to the point that she even thought about cheating on him for revenge. Without the enlightenment and guidance of God’s words, she didn’t know what she would become, what kind of depraved things she might do. Jiamei later read these words from God, “Why does a husband love his wife? And why does a wife love her husband? … What kinds of intentions do people really harbor? Is it not in order to satisfy one’s own plans and selfish desires?” She then finally understood that there is no true love between human beings. They are all phony relationships based on benefit; they’re transactional, they’re give-and-take. Since the love between a husband and wife is built on the foundation of each individual’s own interests, when they don’t get what they want, the love just disappears. That amicable relationship no longer exists. All of that stems from the damage of Satan. Once Jiamei clearly saw this she felt greatly relieved.
A Change in Perspective Results in a Happy Marriage
Jiamei also read in the word of God where it says, “After you recognize this, your task is to lay aside your old view of life, stay far from various traps, let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God.” God’s words provided Jiamei with a path for practice. In order to free herself from Satan’s afflictions and no longer be constrained by its erroneous thinking and perspectives, to live freely and without restraints, she had to put God’s words into practice. She had to let go of her previous ideas of what to pursue and entrust God with her future path in life, submitting to God’s rule and arrangements. After that, she began reading God’s words every day and established a proper relationship with God. She attended gatherings and spread the gospel with other brothers and sisters often. With time, her heart was no longer overtaken with distress and she slowly let go of her husband’s betrayal. A smile even reappeared on her face.
One day, her husband called to say that he wanted to come back home for the fall harvest. When he arrived, Jiamei no longer started arguments with him, but spoke with him in a very calm and composed way. However, when she did hear his online friend call him and ask to borrow money from him, Jiamei once again felt that sudden pain to her heart. She was just about to lose her temper but realized that wouldn’t be in line with God’s will, and engaging in endless conflict with her husband could only lead to both of them living in pain. So, she prayed to God over and over, and then gradually found peace within her heart. That evening, Jiamei said to her husband very calmly: “Before, when I found out that you were seeing another woman, I started fights with you, I caused problems, and I worked to win you back. But, none of that won your heart back. Living with each other like this is really tiring. I’ve understood through God’s words that we have all been harmed by Satan, and we are all seduced by Satan’s evil trends, which is why we can’t help from falling prey to these things. From now on, I’ll no longer resent you or start any fights with you.” Seeing that Jiamei wasn’t trying to argue with him but was ready to bury the hatchet, he willingly acknowledged his wrongdoing to her. “It was me who wronged you. I’ll change, and be good to you.”
From then on, Jiamei was just like she used to be, attentive to and caring for her husband. She no longer started arguments with him, nor did she call his colleagues demanding to know where he was. One time, her husband was out drinking and fell straight into bed when he got home. Jiamei had noticed that he was always really tired, so she brought him some water, caring for him. Seeing this, he felt very guilty and cried with emotion, saying: “Don’t be so good to me. I’m the one who has let you down. I’ll never get in touch with that woman again, let’s just enjoy our time together from now on….” He broke off his relationship with the other woman after that—they were never in touch again, and he treated Jiamei even better than he had before. Jiamei knew that all of that was God’s deeds, and she truly experienced that only by pursuing the truth and putting God’s words into practice can she come out from suffering and live a happy life!
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