A Christian Marriage: An Unfaithful Husband Gets Back on Track
By Li Zhen
Ling Fan’s father had an affair when she was three years old; her mother divorced him in a fury and took Ling Fan along with her into her second marriage. But her stepfather never liked Ling Fan and would often beat her for no reason at all, terribly wounding little Ling Fan’s spirit. She thought every single day about how she could escape that home that brought her so much suffering while also looking forward to forming her own happy family after growing up. After getting married at 23 years old, she finally had her own home. She thought she’d be able to live in happiness, but reality didn’t turn out as she had imagined.
An Honest Husband Strays
Her husband was more than a decade older than Ling Fan; he was honest in his dealings with others and of good character, plus he was really caring and solicitous of her, always eager to help out with housework and other tasks. He didn’t have much money and they lived a frugal life, but Ling Fan didn’t care at all. She felt that as long as there’s love between a couple and they’re able to live together harmoniously and happily, she was content. Her husband ended up developing high blood pressure and couldn’t do physically taxing work and they needed to fund their children’s education, so the burden of the family fell on Ling Fan. In an effort to earn more money, she hired someone to look after their pig farm while she went out to work in a shoe factory. She worked late every day until eleven o’clock or midnight; her husband would often meet her at the factory to take her home. Even though Ling Fan worked hard and was exhausted for that period of time, she and her husband were there for each other and she felt happy.
But Ling Fan started to notice that her husband was gradually becoming less loving and attentive and he never met her at the factory anymore. On top of that, he frequently stayed out having fun until dawn. Sometimes she’d say something to reproach him, but then he’d pull a long face and ignore her for a month or two. She thought that he was probably treating her that way because he was depressed and anxious from his illness, but she was also really concerned that his feelings had changed. For the sake of maintaining family harmony and happiness she did her best to be forgiving and understanding of him and tried everything she could to have heart-to-hearts with him, but he remained constantly surly and unwilling to pay her any mind. Tolerating all of this for so long left Ling Fan incredibly depressed and in pain; she’d often hide, curled up in her blankets and quietly cry. She wanted to find somewhere she could openly, loudly cry it out, where she could unburden some of the pain in her heart. But shockingly, what she most feared came to pass.
One time Ling Fan needed something for work and made a trip back home after her shift had started. To her surprise, just as she was arriving she saw a woman who was often on very friendly terms with her husband leaving. She was stunned for a moment by what was in front of her eyes, but once she came to she became incensed and grabbed hold of that woman, saying, “So you’ve been the one seducing my husband and ruining our marriage!” She really wanted to give her a thrashing to take out her anger, but then it occurred to her that if she created a big scene everyone would find out about this, and it would end up making things difficult for their children. For their sake and to salvage their family, Ling Fan had to let go of her; she just warned that woman to leave her husband alone. But she responded very smugly, “Your husband has never loved you, he only loves me. It’s just that you don’t want to leave because you depend on him so much.” This made Ling Fan so angry that she started shaking from head to toe—she sank to the ground, unable to move. Inconsolable, tears flowed down her face nonstop. She hated that woman, and even more, hated her husband’s betrayal.
Ling Fan felt like her spirit was crushed. Shouldering the pain, she suggested divorce to her husband but unexpectedly, he didn’t want one. He also said, “All men are doing this kind of thing these days. Isn’t it perfectly normal?” Ling Fan was stunned. She had never imagined that her husband, once so honest, would ever say anything so shameless! In her anger, she sat frozen on the bed, thinking that both divorce and staying together would be unbearably painful. Even if they did get divorced she wouldn’t be able to remarry—where could she go with several children? She didn’t want them to have the same kind of childhood as she did. She thought and she thought, and ultimately decided against divorce, but from then on the two of them took their own separate paths.
Ling Fan remembered that during those several years she was constantly busy, exhausted both physically and mentally. She also developed all sorts of health problems like a lumbar disc herniation, lumbar muscle strain, a gastric disease, rheumatism, and myocardial ischemia. She was constantly getting injections and taking medicine and was unbearably tortured by her ailments. She had given absolutely everything she had for the family, shocked to get her husband’s betrayal in return. Her dream of happiness had been shattered; she was living in constant suffering and awash in her own tears. Originally weighing 140 pounds, she wasted away to about 100 pounds. She didn’t understand why things had to be that way. Her dad had betrayed her mom a long time ago, and now her husband was betraying her. Why didn’t they have any sense of responsibility in their marriages? Where could happiness really be found?
God’s Words Reveal the Root Cause of Affairs
Just as Ling Fan was lost in her suffering and had nowhere to go, her friend Chen Jing, who she had been close with for years, and her husband Lin Jun visited Ling Fan and her husband to share the gospel with them. Since they were still embroiled in a cold war, Chen Jing and Lin Jun spoke with them separately. Ling Fan shared her experience with her friend, who replied warmly, “Ling Fan, I understand how you feel right now. We all have our own individual pain—you know that my husband was once lured into doing drugs by a friend resulting in us going bankrupt. Everyone we were close to distanced themselves from us. I was in so much pain that I didn’t want to live anymore. But then God’s salvation of the last days came upon me and only through reading God’s words did I see that the darkness in the world and the evil in people’s hearts is all a result of being corrupted by Satan. We human beings were created by God, and only by coming before God and accepting His salvation can we be freed from our suffering, and gain spiritual peace and stability. After I accepted God’s work of the last days, by reading more and more of God’s words I started to have some insight into some things and I slowly left that suffering behind. Now I know that if it hadn’t been for encountering God’s salvation in time I probably would no longer be in this world. The fact that I’m standing here today is entirely because of God’s love and salvation! How about we read some of God’s words? They’re all the truth and they can resolve all of our problems. Once we’ve understood the truth we can handle these sorts of things properly, and then we won’t suffer so much.”
Saying this, she flipped through her book of God’s words and read aloud: “Man has walked through these periods together with God, yet he knows not that God rules the fate of all things and living beings, nor how God orchestrates and directs all things. This has eluded man from time immemorial to the present day. As for why, it is not because the deeds of God are too hidden, nor because the plan of God has yet to be realized, but because the heart and spirit of man are too distant from God, to the point where man remains in the service of Satan even as he follows God—and still doesn’t know it. No one actively seeks out God’s footsteps and the appearance of God, and no one is willing to exist in the care and keeping of God. Instead, they wish to rely on the corrosion of Satan, the evil one, in order to adapt to this world, and to the rules of existence that wicked mankind follows. At this point, the heart and spirit of man have become man’s tribute to Satan and become Satan’s foodstuff. Even more, the human heart and spirit have become a place in which Satan can reside and its fitting playground. Thus does man unknowingly lose his understanding of the principles of being human, and of the value and meaning of human existence” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God…. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God”).
Once she had finished reading, Chen Jing shared this in fellowship: “If we don’t have faith or read God’s words, we won’t know that the suffering in this world is all because of humanity’s corruption by Satan, that it’s all brought about by sinking into Satan’s domain. In the beginning, mankind as created by God had not been corrupted by Satan, so they were people who possessed both conscience and humanity. They were able to heed God’s words and live blissfully in the Garden of Eden. But ever since mankind was tempted and corrupted by Satan we have all become distant from God and betrayed Him, and we have fallen under Satan’s domain. For the last several millennia Satan has been instilling its logic, laws, worldly philosophies, and evil thinking into us nonstop through education, the influence of society, famous people’s words, and evil trends. This has caused us to become more and more arrogant, crooked, selfish, greedy, and evil. People cheat, exploit, and betray each other for their own selfish ends; they engage in intrigue and try to outwit others. Everyone has lost their humanity, morals, conscience, and reason, all living in unspeakable pain without any happiness to speak of. My husband used to live by the satanic philosophy of ‘One more friend means one more path; one more enemy means one more obstacle.’ He would flatter and ingratiate his friend at every turn hoping that someday he’d be able to do some business with him. But you can never know what’s really in someone else’s heart, and this friend lured him into doing drugs. We ended up going bankrupt. At the time I simply couldn’t accept this fact and suffered so much that I didn’t want to live anymore. It wasn’t until I gained faith in God that I came to understand the root of the darkness and evil in the world through reading God’s words; then I knew the truth of how Satan has corrupted us humans and realized that my husband was also a victim. He had also been living by Satan’s philosophy and laws. From then on I read God’s words to him every day. We prayed together and both leaned on God, and with God’s guidance he was able to totally give up his addiction to drugs. This showed me that only by worshiping God and relying on Him in our lives can we escape the harm Satan does and live under God’s care and protection. This is the only way to live in true happiness.”
Listening, Ling Fan nodded her head and felt in her heart that God really does love mankind and that His words contain great authority. Chen Jing’s husband being able to give up drugs really was God’s salvation!
Chen Jing went on in fellowship. “Ling Fan, modern society is like one big vat of dye that affects everyone. Everyone is pursuing money and fame and getting their enjoyment from eating, drinking, and making merry. They indulge the flesh and give free rein to their desires. On TV, on the Internet, and in daily life we’re flooded with evil, satanic thinking like ‘The red flag at home does not fall, the colored flags outside flutter in the breeze,’ ‘Seize the day for pleasure, for life is short,’ ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ After being steeped in and influenced by this kind of mindset for a long time people’s perspectives become skewed and both men and women see having an affair or finding a lover as something very normal. They don’t have any sense of shame about it and don’t even feel guilty when they’ve hurt someone. They’ve lost their humanity, morals, character, and dignity, becoming more and more evil and depraved. The rise of these evil trends has caused many once-loving partners to betray their spouse; parents and children in many formerly harmonious homes have scattered to the winds, with adults and children alike living in pain. All of this is the outcome of Satan using evil trends to corrupt and damage people. The truth is that your husband is also a victim. He’s not a believer, so he can’t see Satan’s tricks to corrupt people that’s behind the evil trends, so he sees having an affair as something perfectly okay. That’s the only reason he’s done something so contrary to humanity and morality. Through reading God’s words we also came to understand that if we don’t come before God and if we don’t understand the truth, then we won’t have any discernment over Satan’s evil discourse that it uses to corrupt people, but we’ll just be misled and toyed with by Satan, living in unspeakable suffering with no happiness to speak of.”
Through God’s words and Chen Jing’s fellowship Ling Fan realized that the root of her husband’s infidelity came from Satan’s corruption. She thought of how he had been so honest at first and had such a sense of responsibility for their family, but under the influence of evil trends he came to see taking a lover as an okay thing to do. That woman was also completely without shame; she was completely smug about ruining someone else’s family. She also thought about how her father had betrayed her mother just to satisfy his own carnal desires without remotely considering her and her mother’s feelings. It was clear to Ling Fan that when harmed by Satan’s evil line of thinking, people truly did lose the conscience and reason that a proper person should have and they would cast aside morals and ethics to gratify a momentary carnal desire. She saw how immensely damaging this is for their families. With the whole world so evil and corrupt, since her husband didn’t have faith in God and didn’t understand the truth, how could he not be impacted? Blaming her husband wouldn’t solve any problems, but would just bring her more and more suffering in life. She had always hoped for a happy, whole family, but how could there be any happiness to speak of in a dark society ruled by Satan?
After that Chen Jing continued to read a lot of God’s words to Ling Fan; the more she heard them the more she brightened up and she was able to start letting go of the hatred she held in her heart toward her husband.
From then on Ling Fan started taking time every day to read God’s words and she gradually started to understand some truths. She saw that this evil world is full of sin and only by having faith, reading God’s words, and understanding the truth can we see through the evil trends and distance ourselves from sin; God is our only pillar, and only God can save people from the corruption and harm of Satan. Ling Fan felt so fortunate that she had the opportunity to believe in and follow God! What was particularly surprising for her was that after Lin Jun shared the gospel with her husband and he listened to God’s words and had fellowship with Lin Jun, he also felt that God’s words can all allow people to live out proper humanity and that only having faith is the right path in life. He also wanted to become a person of faith. He stopped going out every night but stayed at home, diligently reading God’s words. Ling Fan was thrilled; she knew that being steeped in evil trends and making mistakes was inevitable, but what mattered most was that her husband still maintained a heart of seeking the light. She no longer bickered over things with her husband.
Reconciling With Her Husband
One evening after dinner, Ling Fan decided to go to her husband’s room where she saw him engrossed in reading God’s words. She pulled up a chair and sat beside him, then read along with him: “It seems like a world of gaiety and splendor, one that is becoming more and more so. People’s hearts are all drawn to it, and many people are entrapped and unable to extricate themselves from it; great numbers will be beguiled by those who engage in trickery and sorcery” (“Practice (2)”). “Man’s flesh is of Satan, it is full of disobedient dispositions, it is deplorably filthy, it is something unclean. People covet the enjoyment of the flesh too much and there are too many manifestations of the flesh; this is why God despises the flesh to a certain extent. When people cast off the filthy, corrupt things of Satan, they gain God’s salvation. But if they still do not divest themselves of filth and corruption, then they are still living under the domain of Satan. … When you have believed to a certain point and can divest yourself of the corruption of the flesh, and are no longer enshackled by this corruption, will you not have been saved? When you live under Satan’s domain you are incapable of manifesting God, you are something filthy, and cannot receive God’s inheritance. Once you have been cleansed and made perfect, you will be holy, you will be a proper person, and you will be blessed by God and delightful to God” (“Practice (2)”).
Her husband’s tears flowed as he read. Choked with emotion, he said, “God is so holy. He detests, He hates our evil and filth, but He still doesn’t condemn or punish us because of it. Instead He expresses truths to judge and purify our corrupt dispositions, plus He reveals Satan’s methods and tactics of misleading and corrupting mankind so that we can gain discernment. This also allows us to reflect on our own corruption, truly repent to God, escape from Satan’s shackles, and gain God’s salvation. This truly is God’s great love and mercy! When I think of what I did in the past, following evil trends and betraying you, living in sin all the while thinking it was a wonderful thing, I see that I really was so corrupted by Satan that I didn’t know good from evil. I completely lacked proper humanity. I give thanks to God that He still has mercy and salvation for me, that He’s given me this chance to repent. The truth is that I wanted to apologize to you a long time ago, but I was afraid you wouldn’t be able to forgive me. I’ve hurt you so much over the last few years; I’ve really let you down. I’ll absolutely never make that kind of mistake again!”
Hearing this from her husband, Ling Fan was so moved that tears ran down her face and she replied frankly, “Thanks be to God! I hated you before and felt like all my suffering was because of your betrayal, but since believing in God and reading His words I’ve come to understand that you’ve only been living in sin because you’ve been corrupted by evil, satanic trends. Now that we’re believers and we’ve understood some truth from God’s words, we have some discernment over Satan’s methods and tactics for corrupting people. Now we also recognize that God hates corruption and evil; we’ve gained reverence for God and are willing to repent to Him. All of this has been achieved through His words! It’s God that has saved us and awakened our souls. We cannot let down His earnest hard work, but from now on we must really seek the truth to cast off our corrupt dispositions, and live out a true human likeness to repay God’s love.” He nodded and responded happily, “I give thanks to God for saving our home that was on the brink of collapse.”
Sharing the Gospel Together to Repay God’s Love
In an effort to repay God’s love, Ling Fan and her husband joined the gospel team. Ling Fan shared the gospel and her experience of making her home whole again after her marriage had fallen apart with a former classmate. She was very moved and said, “It’s clear that your home was on the brink of ruin, but now your relationship is just as good as it ever was thanks to your faith. The God you believe in must be so capable—I should believe in Him, too!” After that their children as well as some relatives and friends all accepted God’s work of the last days. Ling Fan often read God’s words and sang hymns with other family members, and whenever someone revealed a corrupt disposition it was openly brought to light and resolved through fellowship on God’s words. Any issues that came up at home were discussed together and they found a path of practice in God’s words. There was family harmony and rapport—there was real happiness. On top of that, the health problems Ling Fan had experienced before believing in God gradually got better without taking medication or getting any injections. She knew deep within that this was God’s blessing and she just had to thank and praise God from her heart.
This is Ling Fan’s own reflection: I used to think that having a happy family would bring happiness. Little did I know that in this evil, corrupt world, everyone becomes corrupted and tempted by evil, satanic trends; they all seek evil. Having a happy, whole family is nothing but an extravagant wish. Only God is the source of happiness for us as human beings. God bestows the truth upon us and allows us to learn to discern between good and evil, between right and wrong. Our only true happiness is having faith, worshiping God, and understanding the truth so that our souls are at ease and we have something to lean on. I give thanks to God for His salvation of us—He saved me from a life of pain and He saved my husband from a life of depravity, allowing us to have a truly happy home!