In the 1950s, Zhang Li was born into a poor peasant family. After marriage, since her husband’s family was poor, Zhang Li and her husband, living by farming, worked hard and rushed around to earn money all year round, yet still lived a quite difficult life. Seeing their three beautiful daughters growing up, Zhang Li thought inwardly: Without money, I could only live a poor life; when my daughters find their life partners, I must ensure that their future husbands, handsome or ugly, are rich people who have houses, cars, and deposits, lest they live a poor life like me.
Gradually, her three daughters reached the marriage age. One day, her eldest daughter called her and said: “Mom, I found a boyfriend.” Zhang Li asked directly: “How much money does he make every month?”
Her daughter answered timidly: “2,000 yuan.”
When Zhang Li heard this, her temper rose, and her heart was in great turmoil: So many times have I exhorted you to seek a wealthy mate; how could you choose an indigent boy? Do you still want to live a poor life?
Zhang Li kept her temper, and pretended to be calm: “How could you live on 2,000 yuan a month in Beijing?”
Her daughter seemed to know the hidden import of Zhang Li’s words, and said unhappily: “OK, I’ll break up with him.” After speaking these words, her daughter immediately hung up the phone.
However, a year later, her eldest daughter still brought the boy back. Although Zhang Li was angry and unwilling to marry her daughter to a poor boy, seeing that her daughter wanted to be with that boy and that he promised to treat her daughter well, Zhang Li reluctantly agreed to their marriage.
For a long time, Zhang Li couldn’t resign herself to the fact that her eldest daughter married a poor boy, and thought to herself: My eldest daughter lives so far from me that I can’t control her marriage, but as for my other two daughters, I must make sure that they marry the affluent.
When her other two daughters were looking for a partner, Zhang Li was always extremely cautious. Every time the matchmaker introduced a potential boyfriend to her daughter, the first question Zhang Li asked was how the economic condition of the boy’s family was; if the boy had no money or house, Zhang Li would refuse bluntly. And so her daughters met many boys, yet few of them conformed to Zhang Li’s will.
Several years passing by, one day her second daughter told Zhang Li that she found a boyfriend who had an excellent economic condition and could buy a wedding house, and that they got along well with each other. These words made Zhang Li perfectly happy. Not long afterward, they planned to get married. During the preparation for the wedding, the boy insisted that Zhang Li should pay the cost of decorating the wedding house, which made Zhang Li bitterly angry. She thought the boy was so stingy that her daughter wouldn’t live a happy life if they got married; as a result, she took her daughter home. After returning home, her daughter shut herself in her bedroom and wailed inside. Zhang Li felt sorry for her daughter, but she then thought: Without money, there is no wedded bliss to speak of. Despite your distress now, you’ll understand my painstaking care someday. Due to Zhang Li’s disapproval, her daughter broke up with that boy; the failure of this relationship caused great pain to her daughter, and she refused to find a boyfriend since then. Each time Zhang Li advised her to go on a blind date, she would say: “Since whatever you say goes, what’s the point of my dating a boy?”
Hearing this, Zhang Li suffered an unspeakable sorrow, such that she couldn’t fall asleep at night, and her heart was full of complaints toward her daughter: All I have done is for you to live a happy life; without money, there is no happiness to speak of. How could you not understand my earnest intention?
Gradually, due to Zhang Li’s constant interference in her daughter’s marriage, her second daughter no longer spoke intimately with her; when encountering events, she would talk with her father rather than with Zhang Li. In agony, Zhang Li was exceedingly troubled: All I’ve done is for the good of my daughters; how could my painstaking care be paid with such a result? Despite the pain, Zhang Li still treated her youngest daughter’s marriage the same way. Because of her interference, neither of her two daughters found a suitable partner.
Seeing her daughters’ peers get married one by one, Zhang Li felt rather anxious inside: My two daughters are both over thirty; if they can’t find a suitable partner now, as they grow older, it’ll be more difficult for them to find one. At that time, Zhang Li feared meeting her relatives and friends. Every time they asked whether her two daughters had boyfriends, she felt like her heart was stabbed by a knife. Worries about her daughters’ marriage and insomnia left Zhang Li a headache. She was often lost in a myriad of thoughts: I wanted my daughters to lead a happy life instead of living tiredly and painfully, but why was my painstaking care paid with their complaints? Could it be that I was wrong? Zhang Li kept pondering this every day, but couldn’t think it out.
One day, Zhang Li’s relative gave her a book of truth, saying that the words in it are expressed by God. When Zhang Li read God’s words, the confusion and melancholy in her heart gradually disappeared. Zhang Li saw God’s words say: “‘Money makes the mare go’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been imparted to everyone and is now affixed in their heart. People went from not accepting this saying to growing used to it so that when they came into contact with real life, they gradually gave tacit approval to it, acknowledged its existence and finally, they gave it their own seal of approval. … Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including yourselves sitting here. How is this interpreted? It’s the worship of money. … So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive one day in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? (Yes.) … What this means is that this saying already controls your behavior and your thoughts, and you would rather have your fate controlled by this saying than give it all up. People do this, they are controlled by this saying and manipulated by it. Isn’t this the effect of Satan corrupting man? Isn’t this the philosophy and corrupt disposition of Satan taking root in your heart? If you do this, hasn’t Satan achieved its goal?” (“God Himself, the Unique V”).
After reading God’s words, Zhang Li was full of emotion: That’s exactly what I think. I believe that only if we have money can we live a happy life, and that we won’t be happy without money. Turns out that Satan, using social trends, instilled the wrong life rules into me; as a result, Satan’s poisons and viewpoints like “Money isn’t everything, but without it, you can do nothing” and “Money is necessary to happiness” have become my life and controlled my heart, making me worship money and think that we cannot live without it. I believe that, in such a snobbish society, if we’re not wealthy, we’ll live a hard life, be looked down on by others, and have no happiness to speak of. So, I wished my daughters to marry the affluent, tightly controlled their marriage in my hands, and believed that what I had done was right and was good for them, but, in the end, all my actions brought my daughters so much pain and made them fail to find a suitable partner. The erroneous life view really does great harm to people!
Then, Zhang Li saw another two passages of God’s words: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives.” “Marriage is an important juncture in a person’s life. It is the product of a person’s fate, a crucial link in one’s fate; it is not founded on any person’s individual volition or preferences, and is not influenced by any external factors, but is completely determined by the fates of the two parties, by the Creator’s arrangements and predeterminations regarding the fates of the couple” (“God Himself, the Unique III”).
After reading God’s words, Zhang Li came to realize: All my suffering was caused by my not knowing God’s sovereignty and my stubbornly fighting against fate. As people say, “Man’s destiny is determined by Heaven.” What kind of life partner my daughters will find, rich or poor, is controlled in God’s hands; whether their life will be rich or poor is predestined by God. However, these years, I had been living by the rules of survival implanted by Satan, desiring to orchestrate and arrange my daughters’ fate, which made my life so tiring and bitter. When recognizing this, Zhang Li determined to abandon her mistaken viewpoints and relinquish the control over her daughters’ marriage; she was willing to completely entrust her daughters’ marriage to God, and submit to His sovereignty and arrangements. At that moment, Zhang Li felt very relaxed, as if a stone weighing upon her heart for many years had finally been moved away.
One day, Zhang Li plucked up courage to talk to her daughters: “I am sorry. I was wrong. These years, I, depending on Satan’s poison of ‘Money is everything,’ orchestrated your marriage, asked you to find rich husbands, yet never respected your opinions. I thought my action was for your own good, but in the end, I hurt you. I’m so sorry. Now, you’re over thirty; if you meet someone appropriate, you can date him. I won’t interpose.” Speaking this, Zhang Li felt a pang of heartache, and shed tears involuntarily.
Soon after, one day Zhang Li’s friend introduced a boy to her daughter, saying that the boy had a small house, yet didn’t have a car. Hearing this, Zhang Li subconsciously wanted to refuse; at that moment, thinking that marriage is ordained by God, she told herself silently: I can’t interfere in my daughters’ marriage anymore, for their marriage, destiny, and whether their future life will be happy or not, are in God’s hands. I should obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements.
Then, Zhang Li said calmly: “I don’t have any opinion on this matter. Let me ask my daughter whether she likes him.”
Though these words were simple, Zhang Li felt a great release in her heart after saying them. When she no longer worried about her daughters’ marriage or fate, she felt especially peaceful and pleased rather than perplexed or distressed. Although the boy didn’t take her daughter’s fancy, Zhang Li could let go of her concern for her daughters’ marriage, for she knew that God had already predestined her daughters’ marriage, which couldn’t be changed by her, and that delivering her daughters’ marriage into God’s hands was the best choice for her. To Zhang Li’s great surprise, when she set aside her mistaken viewpoints, the relationship between her and her daughters improved a lot; her daughters were willing to communicate with her more, and there was no separation between them.
By Zhang Li
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