flower, mother

20 Years Later, I Was Finally Able to Forgive My Mother

By Kemu, South Korean In the darkness of the night, I scramble down a seemingly endless lane, looking every which way, but unable to find my way home and wracked with anxiety. All of a sudden, my mother appears in the distance walking toward me and I’m overtaken with a sense of elation. Just as I’m about to call out “Mom,” she disappears. I cry out for my mother in a loud voice, but she doesn’t respond to my calls and I become enveloped in darkness and fear … I awoke suddenly and sat up in bed, covered in sweat and breathing heavily. It was all just a dream! All the noise had startled my wife into wakefulness. She wiped the cold sweat from my brow and softly said, “Did you have another nightmare? After all these years, why don’t you stop torturing yourself? It’s too tiring and painful. After all, you can’t hate your mother for your whole life, right?” I thought to myself, “Of course I want to let go of my resentment, but I just can’t do it!” Mom, Why Did You Abandon Me? I had originally had a happy and loving family, but when my sister drowned when I was four, my life was turned upside down. My father couldn’t take the pain of losing his daughter and so he drank excessively and, after drinking, he would become violent, breaking things and hitting my mom. As my father’s psychological health continued to decline, my mother just couldn’t take the abuse and eventually decided to file for divorce. When I was ten, my mother called me on the phone and told me that she was now working in a different city. I decided to go visit her, but in the end I couldn’t find her. From then on, I felt only blame for my mother. I blamed her for being so heartless and abandoning me when I was only four years old and showing not the least bit of care or concern. I swore to myself that I would never try to go visit her again. Only later did I learn that she had moved to another city for financial reasons. When I was fourteen, I was forced to quit school and begin working. I was bullied and scorned to no end. Yet, during this time, I didn’t receive the slightest bit of help or support from my mother and I pinned all of my suffering on the fact that she had abandoned me. At that time, I wanted a warm, loving household more than anything. I wanted to live a happy and joyous life under the care of my mother, but this simplest of dreams never became a reality. Unable to Let Go of Resentment for My Mother Two years later, my mother suddenly contacted me and told me that for financial reasons and to make money that she could give me to start a family, she was heading to Korea for work. When I heard this, I didn’t try to persuade her to stay. After that, Mom would often call me to see how I was doing, but I had already been hurt too deeply and so I was always curt in our conversations. When I was twenty, my mother returned, but instead of showing caring, she was strangely critical of me. In the end, we parted on bad terms after a big fight. My mom was only in China for a week before leaving once again. My resentment toward my mother grew even stronger and I even thought that I never wanted to see her ever again. However, I could never bring myself to finalize such a decision, given that my mom had, after all, raised me for a time. Blood runs thicker than water, so who was I to cut family ties so arbitrarily? Seemingly in no time at all, I had arrived at the age when I should marry and settle down. I found a partner that really understood me and was highly empathetic, but my mother didn’t like her and strongly opposed our marriage, which only drove a deeper divide between us. After that, whenever I spoke with my mother on the phone, we would always be at each other’s throats. When my wife saw how strained my relationship was with my mother, she urged me on multiple occasions to put aside my resentment, but I just wouldn’t listen to her. Later on, my wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl and, to provide a good living environment for our child, we decided to move to Korea. When we first arrived in Korea, my mother would often call us, but whenever she called I wouldn’t answer or I’d tell my wife to answer—I didn’t want to hear her voice and didn’t want to have any verbal communication with her. On multiple occasions I had tried to convince myself to let go of my resentment and try to get along with her, but as soon as I remembered all of the pain and humiliation of my youth, I would be unable to let bygones be bygones. My resentment for my mother had ensnared me like an invisible net, making me feel repressed and unable to open up and let go. Because of this, I often even had nightmares. With God’s Pity and Concern, I Didn’t Feel So Alone My wife saw how much I was suffering and urged me saying, “Come put your faith in God with me. Only by leaving all your worries to God will you be able to open up and let go. God has expressed many truths in the last days and if we come before God, reading God’s word and understanding the truth, all of our pain and troubles will be resolved.” My wife had accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days half a year ago and had spread the gospel to me several times, but I had always turned her down by saying…

I No Longer Worry About My Son’s Doing Homework

I No Longer Worry About My Son’s Doing Homework

By Zhang Heng I Made Plans for My Son My son is 12 this year and he is in Grade 5. In the past, regardless of whether on holiday or at the two-day weekend, both the specific time when he did his homework and the amount of his homework each time were organized by me. He was very obedient and every time he could finish on time as planned. So, over time, I thought my plans were quite reasonable and that only by listening to me could he finish his homework on time. During this winter vacation, with my previous experience, I first saw how much homework he had as usual, and then evenly divided it according to the number of days of the vacation, and meanwhile I reckoned how much he should do every day and how long he would finish it. Except the time that he went out to play and the days when he visited relatives and friends, I had his vacation occupied. But something unimaginable happened to me. This time he not only didn’t do his homework, but always played online gaming on the mobile phone like “Arena of Valor” and so on, and even more, in his leisure time, he began to watch TV. Every time I urged him to do his homework, he agreed with me completely, but didn’t do it or found all sorts of excuses to shirk. The school would start soon. Seeing that his homework hadn’t been finished, I felt so anxious in my heart, while he was so unconcerned: He watched TV and played games as he did before. When I saw he didn’t give his mind properly to his homework and was still so calm, my patience was subject to a huge challenge. One day, I was no longer able to rein back my inside repressed anger. Therefore, I shouted to him loudly, “Do you intend not to attend school? If you do, throw away all your homework! Don’t write! Never again do it, that’s great! And I’ll no longer need to worry about your doing homework.” After I got angry, he had his head down in silence. No matter what I said, he defied me with silence. Looking at his look, I was really angry but didn’t know what to do. I put my mind on his homework all the time, thinking: I don’t ask how well you study or how excellent you are, but at least you should finish your homework assigned by the teacher. During that period, I’d been angry with him so that I even didn’t want to sit with him at the dinner table. And when he spoke to me, I didn’t want to say a word to him. I expressed my dissatisfaction with him in this way, but I also didn’t want to give up disciplining him. I thought inside: He’s my son, if I don’t discipline him, who will? People often say, “spare the rod and spoil the child.” It seems that he should be disciplined, or it’ll be difficult to control him when he grows up. Hence, I made up my mind to carry out all my plans I thought out: Firstly, I don’t allow him to come into contact with mobile phone to play games; secondly, I don’t allow him to watch TV. I thought: In this way, he will naturally be able to finish his homework then. However, things didn’t go completely as I expected. Under my high-handed means, though he didn’t watch TV or play games, he still didn’t change his attitude toward doing his homework. He just put his head on the desk and didn’t do it. As a result, when I checked it in the evening, the amount of homework he had was the same as what he had in the morning. Seeing this, I lost my patience utterly and then said to him angrily, “Tell me what you want. Are you ever going to do your homework? Give me a definite answer!” Under my repeated close questioning, he said, “Never mind: I can finish my homework.” I questioned him, “You can finish it? Think about how much homework you still have! Only several days remain before school starts. You will finish your homework when two Sundays come together.” This was my harshest criticism of him. During that time, I had his doing homework on my mind all day and because of this, I was exhausted physically and mentally. All of This Was Caused by the Position I had tried every possible method but there was nothing I could do about it. I thought inside: If things go on like this, not only will our relationship as father and son fall apart, but my daily life will be affected. This thing occupies my mind so much. In this state of helplessness, I could do nothing but come before God and pour out all my difficulties to Him, “O God! Now I feel very helpless. As for how to treat my son’s study, I don’t know what I should do. If I don’t discipline him, I fear he won’t study hard; if I do that, he’ll take no notice. What shall I do with him? God, I wish for You to guide me to understand which truths I should enter.” After this prayer and a period of time of seeking, one day when practicing spiritual devotion, I saw God’s words say, “If the adults always try to subdue the child in this way, if they’re always telling the child what to do, treating them like a doll in their hands, always carrying them around, clutching and cradling them, the child won’t want to listen.” “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…

Another Parenting Style Improved My Relationship with My Son

Susan, the United States I was born into an ordinary family in a rural village. Throughout my childhood,, my family was rather poor. As my parents failed in business, and were up to their necks in debts. And the villagers all avoided our family. Being young, I really expected that I could live the life which was the same as that of the people of my age—buying the clothes, snacks and a bicycle I liked. However, our family financial situation didn’t get better from beginning to end and we endured our being rejected by the villagers all the time, feeling that we had no way to raise our heads to conduct ourselves. When I was at junior high school, I often heard my teachers say, “If you don’t study hard, in the future you can only find hard work …” Seeing that they had high education and could have high incomes with ease, I admired them very much inside. I also saw that some people in my village were assigned to foreign trading companies to go to work after graduating from college, thus having a steady living and not having to worry about food and clothing. From that point on, I deeply believed that “Knowledge can change your fate.” But later because my family financial condition was bad, I didn’t continue my studies. However, I didn’t give up my pursuits: I placed my hopes on the next generation, thinking inside, “When I grow up and have my own child after getting married, I must ask him to study hard to test into a good college so that he can have a good job, not living a poor life just like me.” In 2001 I came to America. After having lived in this strange place for five years, I had my own family and child. Because both my husband and I were busy with our works and had no time to take care of our child, we could only send him who was only several months old back to China and let his aunt take care of him. During that time, I was of one mind to do my best to make money and thereby later I could bring him back and let him go to the best school. When he was 5 years old, we brought him here. I hoped that he could receive the best education here. I learnt that private schools were better than public   schools. Hence, I found a private school for him. But because his English was not very good, he couldn’t understand what the teachers taught and hardly learnt anything after a term; thus I had no choice but to choose a public school for him. In order to let him not lose at the starting line, I painstakingly used the translation software to help me teach him to learn English; after classes, I also arranged cram schools for him, hoping to improve him in English. When he was in the first grade, for the sake of letting him catch up with the teachers’ paces of teaching, I helped him with his homework every day and moreover I also often contacted my friends’ children and asked them to help him solve the difficulties with his studying English. Besides, every day after he got home from school and finished eating and having a bath, I would require him to take out a book distributed by his teacher to read the whole of it repeatedly and insist on doing this for half an hour every day because I thought that only in this way could he remember the contents of it. When he couldn’t read it well all the time, I was not in the least bit lenient and still required him to read; if he still couldn’t read it well, I would lose my temper. Having seen that he was resisting me in his heart and was careless on purpose, always thinking of playing, I became even more anxious and couldn’t control my mood, saying to him, “Why aren’t you considerate of me? Though I’m so strict with you, am I not doing this for your own good!?” He had no choice but to continue to read perfunctorily. Every time after I finished losing my temper with him and saw he continued reading with grievances, I was very sad. I also didn’t want to make such harsh demands of him, but I had no choice because he didn’t make progress as much as expected. This kind of life lasted for a term and I almost didn’t give him any chance to play. During this time, I had also thought that I should let him relax, thinking that children should have a relaxed and happy childhood. But then I thought: If he can’t test into a good university and thus he can’t have a good job, then in the future won’t he be like me being able to raise the family only by working hard for a lifetime? After turning the thought over and over in my mind, I thought I still had to require him to use the time for playing to read and firmly believed that as long as he studied hard, he would surely keep up with the teachers’ paces of teaching. I always thought that, he was not slow-witted so his grades would surely be better than others’ through studying hard. I believed that “There is no motivation without pressure,” so I required him that he must at least get over 90 points for Chinese (exam), and 100 points on the math exam, and that he should have very neat handwriting when doing his homework every day to avoid being docked points because of bad handwriting when taking the tests. I would often compare him with my friends’ children. Every time when I learnt that their test results were better than his, I would feel very unbalanced inside and blame him for his not studying hard; sometimes, I would beat and scold…

wedding

A Mother’s Heart Voice

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…

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