In modern society, the relationships between many parents and their children have reached a deadlock; worse still, because many conflicts haven’t been resolved in time, there could even appear wide gaps between parents and children, which brings great pains to both sides. Once I was one of those miserable parents, and it was God’s words that bridged the gap between me and my son, making me know how to get along with him and build a new type of parent-child relationship.
My son was 26 years old now. Grown man though he was, the way he did things worried me a lot. One day, my son returned home and said to me: “Mom, I want to run a store together with my classmate. But I have no money. Could I use the property ownership certificate as collateral to get a bank loan?” On hearing this, I thought: It’s hard to do business now. Probably you will lose money; the risk is too high. Then I flatly refused him: “You’d better forget it right now. I won’t agree. It’s not easy to run a business. You’d better go to work steadily; in that case, there is no risk and you will live easy and free.” Hearing this, he lost his temper, saying: “What can I do on such a low salary? Every time I want to do something, you never support me, but always want me to do according to your wishes. I don’t want to see you again.” Then he left angrily. Looking at his receding figure, I thought: I’m your mother. I’ve crossed more bridges than you’ve done miles of walking. So I’m sure I won’t be wrong. I’m doing this just for your own good, and you’ll understand sooner or later.
Later he discussed with me about running a store several times, but I rejected him flatly. Finding it hard to communicate with me, he was so irritated that he didn’t go to work nor come home. One day he suddenly came back and again talked about the same thing. At that time, anger welled up inside me, and I said with impatience: “Why are you still talking about this? Why don’t you give up?” So saying, I refused him again. Then he stormed out, slamming the door behind him. After a while, he returned. Seeing this, I kept telling myself: Take it easy. I must keep myself from telling him off. Unexpectedly, during the meal, he brought up the topic of loan once again. Trying my best to refrain my anger, I said in a gentle voice: “Sweetheart, listen to me. We can’t take a risk.” Rejected by me again, he was furious, shouting at me: “You are always saying I cannot do this or cannot do that, so what exactly can I do?” After saying this, he slammed down his bowl and went out without turning back. At that moment, I couldn’t help bursting into tears, and felt wronged: I am doing this just for his own sake while he is always pitting himself against me. Why doesn’t he understand me? The more I thought, the more miserable I felt. So I went to my bedroom and prayed to God: “O God, why is it so hard to be a parent? I really don’t know how to deal with this matter. What should I do to communicate with my son normally?”
After praying, I opened up the book of God’s words and read the following words: “Many might well believe in God, and in appearance they look very spiritual, but as how to treat their children, and as to how children are to treat their parents, they do not have a clue in their views and attitudes how to put the truth into practice in these cases, and what principles should be applied in treating these matters and dealing with them. In a parent’s eyes, the parent is always a parent, and the child is always a child. Thus, the relationship between parent and child becomes very difficult to deal with, and it’s very hard for both sides to get along with each other. Precisely because a parent always assumes their place as a parent and will not budge from it, keeping that status from which they will not come down, their child becomes at odds with them. A lot of things really result from the parent always assuming their place as such and taking themselves too seriously; they always see themselves as the parent, the elder: ‘Regardless of when, you won’t get escape from your mother’s (or father’s) control; you’ll still have to listen to me. You are my child. The fact of this doesn’t change, regardless of when.’ This viewpoint makes them miserable and wretched, and makes the child miserable and exhausted. Isn’t this the case? Is this not a manifestation that one doesn’t understand the truth? How is the truth to be practiced in this case? … Just be an ordinary person: Treat your children, treat those in your own family the same as you would an ordinary brother or sister. Although you have a responsibility, a fleshly relationship, nevertheless the position and perspective you should have is the same as with friends or ordinary brothers and sisters. That is, you can’t control, you can’t restrain your children, and always try to keep in command and have complete control over them. Let them make mistakes, let them say the wrong things, let them do childish and immature things, do stupid things. No matter what happens, sit down and calmly talk with them, communicate and seek. Don’t you think this attitude is good? Isn’t it right? So, what is being let go here? (Position and pride.) It is the letting go of the position and status of a parent, the airs of a parent, and all of the responsibility one thinks they should assume, everything that one thinks they should be doing as a parent; instead, it’s enough that one does the best they can in terms of their responsibility as an ordinary brother or sister.”
God’s words directly pointed out the reason why I couldn’t get along well with my son. Because I always assumed my place as a parent so that I still treated him as an immature child, and thought that my control of him was just for his own good and was reasonable. Driven by this viewpoint, I talked with my son in a tone of command. It was no wonder that he would get angry and even avoid me as soon as he heard my words. It was God’s words that woke me up, making me know that I was so arrogant and completely irrational. At the same time, God’s words told me clearly the way to practice: When getting along with my son, I should let go of the position and pride of a parent and stand on an equal footing to have a heart-to-heart talk with him. When he makes mistakes, I should treat it correctly and calmly communicate and seek the truth with him to help him view problems correctly and solve them. At that moment, I understood: Actually it is not difficult to get along with my son. It doesn’t matter how much I nag him. What matters is that I should have a correct attitude, let go of the airs of an elder, and have a heart-to-heart communication with him. Thank God! I know what to do next.
The next day when my son came back, my husband began nagging him. Sick of his father’s nagging, my son quarreled with his father. In the quarrel, my son kicked over the tea table angrily. Seeing such action of him, I thought: Isn’t it intolerable? He couldn’t even bear any criticism or control. Then I immediately joined my husband to blame him for his such behavior. Soon his face turned pale with anger. Right at that moment, God’s words struck me suddenly: “No matter what happens, sit down and calmly talk with them, communicate and seek. Don’t you think this attitude is good? Isn’t it right? So, what is being let go here? (Position and pride.) It is the letting go of the position and status of a parent, the airs of a parent.” God’s words reminded me in time, telling me what to do next. At that time, my husband was still talking. Calming down to hear what he said, I was surprised to find that he either criticized or scolded our son in an arrogant manner. Even I myself couldn’t accept his words, let alone my son. So I hurried to my husband, pushing and dragging him away. Then I kept crying out to God in my heart, begging God to lead me to practice according to His words.
Back to the living room, I found my son was still angry. Then I humbled myself on my own initiative and sat beside him, talking with him calmly to learn his ideas and troubles. I also poured out our worries in detail, and then discussed with him the risk of getting a loan as well as the consequence of his not going to work. When I practiced like this, I found that the anger drained from his face. In the end, after careful consideration, he decided to give up the idea of running a store, and promised to return to work the next day.
I was relieved, thinking that the problem was finally resolved. However, the next day my son postponed his departure until afternoon, which made me uncomfortable. I thought: You’ve made a promise yesterday. Why do you postpone then? How disobedient you are! I was a little bit fidgety, wanting to urge him while afraid of getting him angry. Then I suddenly thought of God’s words, which say: “Is there any need to harangue them? In many cases, there is no need to force this upon them. So what should you do if they don’t accept? Some of what you say is the truth, and things really are as you say, but could people accept them as soon as you say them? What do they need in order to accept these words and to change? They need a process; you must give them a process by which to change.” God’s words brightened my heart, making me know that one needs a process to change by. Although he doesn’t want to leave after having agreed to return to work, I should learn to respect and understand him and give him the freedom to choose instead of forcing him to act according to my idea. Thinking of this, I didn’t want to persuade him anymore and felt a bit calmer within.
Early in the afternoon, my son told me that he was about to go to work. I was so happy and surprised, for when I only practiced God’s words a little by humbling myself, communicating with him, and letting him make his own choice instead of pushing him, I had got an unexpected blessing. This also allowed me to experience the happiness of practicing God’s words. I was full of gratitude to God within. Later after seeing our son off, my husband said to me with admiration: “It seems that our stubborn boy only obeys you. Only you can communicate with him.” I said, smiling: “It isn’t that he obeys me. It’s because I practice according to God’s words that we can have this good result. It’s God who helps us build a new type of parent-child relationship. We should give the glory to God.” After hearing this, he nodded repeatedly.