By She Qi, China
Marriage is a major thing in everyone’s life, so how can we choose a right life partner in a way that will ensure happiness? What are your criteria for selecting a spouse? These days, more and more women want to marry someone tall, rich and handsome, and more and more men want to marry a beautiful woman. People think that as long as they have money and are able to enjoy a lavish material life, they’ll be happy. But is that kind of perspective on marriage accurate? What really is true happiness? Here Qiao Yin and Qi Zheng, a couple worthy of our admiration, break down what happiness really is.
Qiao Yin met Qi Zheng during her first year in college. He came from a humble family, and over the first year they knew each other, she found him to be a truly kind man. They fell in love. Qiao Yin told him that she was a Christian and she shared God’s gospel of the last days with him. Qi Zheng joyfully accepted the work of God. The two of them frequently attended gatherings and read God’s words together—they talked about everything. Every day she spent with Qi Zheng was a very happy day, and she frequently gave thanks to God from the heart for having met him.
Could These Feelings Be Wrong?
Once word spread of their relationship, Qiao Yin’s family was very opposed to it and did their utmost to break them up, and even her roommates didn’t think much of their prospects. Qiao Yin didn’t care about others’ opposition; she was determined to stay with Qi Zheng. Realizing that she really was set on spending her life with him, the people around her gave her “kind” words of advice.
“Look, your family conditions are not bad and you’re good-looking. Why would you date someone who’s poor? Have you thought about what life will be like from here on out? The way our society is now, after you graduate you won’t be able to get a good job unless you can pull some strings. How could someone without any money or influence have useful connections? If you stay with him, I guarantee you won’t have an easy life. I have a friend who’s tall, rich, and handsome—I’ll introduce you. As long as you’re willing to break up with Qi Zheng you two definitely stand a chance.”
“Isn’t finding a good partner a woman’s lifelong wish? Just look at what a house and a car cost today. If you’re with someone who has nothing but the shirt on his back, you’re going to have to struggle for years and years to get those things. And then when you have a kid it’ll be even harder!”
“You need to be realistic. Qi Zheng really does have feelings for you, but can the feelings between you now pay the bills? Can he provide you with a comfortable life? You know what they say—love can’t make you happy if your pantry is bare. While you’re still young, find someone with family money.”
Qiao Yin heard lots of things like this, and while on the surface she appeared to reject all of it and she refused to break up with Qi Zheng, a seed of doubt was planted in her heart. And she saw that her roommates Yaoyao and Xiaowen had each gone through several boyfriends since starting college, each richer and more charismatic than the last. They went on dates to fancy restaurants, and even when it wasn’t a special occasion their boyfriends would send them big bouquets of blue roses or even cellphones, name-brand purses, and other luxury products. Sometimes they’d even pick them up and drop them off in a car. It was really romantic and impressive. This particularly gave Qiao Yin an odd feeling of envy as well as jealousy. Before she knew it, Qiao Yin started feeling dissatisfied with Qi Zheng. Even though he was very kind and was really devoted to her, he was too down-to-earth and frugal in his day-to-day life. They only ever went on inexpensive dates, going to free parks and getting snacks from roadside stalls. There weren’t any lavish gifts or high-class restaurants—she’d never experienced those things. When she took him out to have dinner with friends he was always on a lower rung than her friends’ boyfriends. Mulling over all of these things, Qiao Yin felt more and more discontent.
During that time her friends were all talking about how their boyfriends had promised to buy them a house and a car after getting married, and what really stuck out for her was that her cousin had a boyfriend who already owned two homes. She felt really upset every time her family compared her cousin’s boyfriend to Qi Zheng. After that, Qiao Yin kept trying to suss out how much savings Qi Zheng’s parents had and if they’d be able to buy them a house and car if they got married. Every time she brought this up, she put him in a really awkward position; he’d explain in a quiet voice that his parents didn’t have any money, then go on in a louder voice to say that in the future he’d work hard to earn money. Every time she heard him say this Qiao Yin felt an inexplicable rage and often wouldn’t even acknowledge him. She’d throw a fit for at least a few hours, sometimes for a day or two. The things those closer to her had been saying were always in mind, and she started to think that if she could find a guy from a well-off family, she’d have a much more comfortable life, but if she married someone poor and started with nothing, wouldn’t that be a loss?
At some point things their once-happy love affair became very complicated, and conflicts ensued. Every time Qiao Yin got upset over nothing, Qi Zheng was incredibly patient with her and tried to think of ways to placate her, but sometimes he’d moan and groan, and pull a long face. Qiao Yin could tell that Qi Zheng was being good to her; when he was upset and wouldn’t speak she felt really guilty and couldn’t help but ask herself: How is it that I’m still not satisfied with such a great boyfriend? She didn’t want to hurt him anymore, but she wasn’t willing to lead an average life, either.
God’s Words Reveal the Root of Human Suffering
Mired in pain, Qiao Yin came before God and shared the troubles in her heart with Him. She read these words from God: “‘Money makes the world go round’ is the philosophy of Satan and it prevails among the whole of mankind, among every human society. You could say that it is a trend because it has been instilled into the heart of every single person 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. Isn’t this process that of Satan corrupting man? … What does this saying and trend bring to people? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money?” “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.”
God’s words were a sudden awakening for Qiao Yin. She realized that Satan uses money to bind and corrupt people, and inculcates people with thoughts and notions such as “Money makes the world go round” and “Money is first.” This completely distorts people’s outlooks on life and values for marriage. People used to seek out marital harmony and wanted to grow old together, but as Satan’s corruption of man has grown deeper and deeper and people have accepted these ideas from Satan—like “Better to cry in a BMW than laugh on a bicycle,” and “Love can’t make you happy if your pantry is bare”—more and more people have come to worship wealth and be greedy for material pleasures. When seeking a partner they focus on whether the person has money and influence, thinking that a marriage can only be happy if they are well-heeled. Under the control of this kind of thinking, people become more and more superficial and greedy, and women will get together with anyone who has money, while men will get together with anyone who’s pretty. Then they’ll just look for someone else if they break up, and remarry if they get divorced. There’s no longer any real love between people, just transient passion and feelings of novelty, but even more, they are using and deceiving each other. Quite a few people become heartbroken, and it’s not at all uncommon for some to even commit suicide or kill other people. Isn’t all of this the result of being corrupted by Satan? How could they find happiness that way? Qiao Yin thought of her roommate Yaoyao. In pursuit of a comfortable life, she always wanted to find a rich guy to date, but even though she had met a few guys with money and had gotten a taste of that lifestyle with a bottomless bank account, she wasn’t remotely happy. She had drunk herself into a stupor countless nights, and then come back to the dorms crying and crying that those guys were just toying with her and that no one had really feelings for her. And there was Xiaowen—she was really pretty and she also wanted to find someone with money. Over those years she had dated quite a few guys, but she always broke up with them because they couldn’t provide her with the kind of lifestyle she wanted. She never had a stable relationship, and was always sharing her troubles with the people around her. Seeing how painful her friends’ lives were, Qiao Yin really saw that basing her life on Satan’s philosophy would bring no happiness to speak of, but that way she’d only become more and more depraved, inching closer and closer to the abyss of evil.
Qiao Yin thought back to her relationship with Qi Zheng not too long before. They cared for and trusted each other. They weren’t trying to one-up other people. That kind of pure relationship made her feel really carefree, really happy. But she didn’t understand the truth, and she lacked discernment over those perspectives that Satan indoctrinates people with. The words of those close to her struck a chord with her desires for money and objects, and she gradually started to adopt the standard that a husband should be rich. She started to feel that finding someone like that would be the only smart thing to do. Then not only would she not need to work herself to the bone, but she’d have a really comfortable life. She’d be able to satisfy her vanity and those around her would all look up to her. Since Qi Zheng couldn’t satisfy that desire of hers, she felt upset, as if she had been wronged, and so frequently lost her temper with him and put a lot of pressure on him. She even wavered within her own heart, unsure of whether she should continue pursuing their relationship. Qiao Yin felt terrible when she thought of all that. Not only had she suffered from going by that satanic philosophy, but she had hurt Qi Zheng. She felt so dumb, so superficial, but she also rejoiced that she had been able to come before God and, through reading His words, learn to discern Satan’s methods and tactics for corrupting people. Otherwise, she would have been unable to withstand the tests and temptations; she would have gone along with the evil trends and those erroneous ideas on marriage. She would have become mired in the vortex of seeking wealth and material objects, becoming more and more depraved, toyed with and harmed by Satan.
Happiness Was Right There All Along
By reading God’s words, Qiao Yin gained discernment on the tactics Satan employs to corrupt mankind. She told herself that in selecting a partner, she should seek God’s will, not go along with evil thinking and perspectives from Satan. She saw a passage of a sermon about life entry: “If your outlook on life and your values accord with God’s will and are based on the truth, then the path you will follow is the true path in life, and your life will be a happy one. If the partner you’ve chosen belongs to Satan and walks the path of Satan, then this kind of marriage is untenable; it is a marriage whereby you share the same bed but dream different dreams, and both of you will be in pain. Isn’t that so? Therefore, the kind of outlook on life and values people have are so important.”
She understood from that fellowship that the primary principle behind finding a partner is to look for someone who has the same values and is on the same path. Only that is most critical. The Bible says, “Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). This showed her that believers and unbelievers are on different paths, and if she entered a union with an unbeliever she would inevitably be impacted by him, and her progress in life would be hindered. In choosing a partner, she had to consider the person’s humanity and character, whether her relationship with him would benefit her faith, whether they spoke the same “language” and were on the same path. Without taking all of those things into consideration, if she only looked at someone’s outward appearance and their family conditions, after marriage their lack of commonality would bring about suffering. She thought of how, among a vast sea of people, God brought Qi Zheng into her life. Although he didn’t come from a family of influence and he couldn’t provide her with a lavish lifestyle, he was very kind and not only supported her, but he himself was ready to be a believer and follow God. After Qi Zheng had read God’s words revealing Satan’s corruption of mankind, he began having some discernment over negative things and gained a bit of a heart of reverence for God. He never went to nightclubs with his classmates, and would spend time with her at every opportunity. They also read God’s words together. Wasn’t that having the same values and being on the same path? As she thought of all this a smile of contentment spread across Qiao Yin’s face, and she saw that what God had arranged for her really was best. That kind of happiness is something that no amount of money can buy, and she knew that she absolutely had to treasure it. Qiao Yin was moved—being selected and saved by the Creator and avoiding so many of Satan’s harm and manipulation under God’s guidance was so incredibly fortunate. She knew she wanted to walk the path of faith hand-in-hand with Qi Zheng.
Her senior year, her father had a talk with her and said very gravely, “Do you really plan to spend your life with Qi Zheng? Money isn’t everything, but without money there’s nothing. Don’t let yourself be blinded by love.”
Qiao Yin refuted this very calmly. “Dad, you know better than I do what our society is like now. Lots of people think that finding a rich boyfriend will bring true happiness, but that kind of relationship is just built on a foundation of wealth without any actual love. Can someone be happy with that kind of love and marriage? The divorce rate is skyrocketing and no one’s honest with each other in their relationships anymore. They betray each other and a lot of people are living vacuous, painful lives. You don’t really think that having money means being happy, do you? Do you want me to marry someone with money, or someone with true feelings for me?”
“Fine, you have your own life to live. I can’t tell you what to do.” Seeing there was nothing he could do, her father got up and left. After that, Qiao Yin’s father never again tried to stop her from staying with Qi Zheng. Their relationship was as wonderful as it had been in the beginning and she usually had a happy smile on her face. One day, she had a serious talk with Qi Zheng. “Before, I didn’t understand the truth, but accepted the thinking of Satan that I’d been imbued with. I thought that finding someone who’s tall, rich, and handsome would be true happiness. God’s words made me realize the absurdity of that and I learned that real happiness isn’t based on objects or wealth. As long as we have food and clothing, that’s enough for me. As long as we seek the truth and a change in disposition so we can be purified by God, as long as we walk the path of faith with one heart and mind, that’s all the happiness I want.” Hearing this, Qi Zheng was very moved and he smiled with relief.
Following that, the two of them frequently read God’s words together, and they opened up to each other about whatever thoughts or difficulties they had, sharing their innermost thoughts. They became a very enviable pair, and those around Qiao Yin often ask her, “Qiao Yin, your relationship with Qi Zheng is so enviable! You can look on his phone any time, and he even tells you the password to his chatting applications. You don’t have any secrets from each other. How do the two of you trust each other so much?” Every time she hears this, Qiao Yin gives thanks to God in her heart for Him taking the two of them into His house so that they could accept His salvation. She thanks God for guiding them to honestly open up to each other and seek to be honest people. She also thanks God for His timely guidance and help for her so that she gained the correct perspective on love and marriage, and is living a happy life.
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