Marriage is part of life's journey and a process of cultivation.
So are marriages between Christians. The same religious belief does not guarantee a sweet marriage without hardship and quarrels.
Here are four Christians at different ages sharing touching experiences as well as time hardships during their marriages, and also how they handle family conflict and their expectations in marriage.
Rev. Pu, married for 29 years
The most touching moment is that my wife, without hesitation, decided to marry me when I was young and owned nothing..
There were sorrowful and distressing moments even during the times of touching moments. The time when I felt the guiltiest in the early days of my serving in the church was when I could not afford hospitalization expenses for my wife who was to give birth to our baby. The problem was settled with the help from members of the church.
Quarrels and arguments are inevitable between a husband and wife, and we are no exception. When we have conflict, we would try to figure out the fastest way to solve it based on Christian principles.
I hope that our bodies will stay healthy in future and we can spend our remaining days together. I will keep celebrating her two birthdays in lunar and solar calendars every year. I hope she will be happy.
Z, married for 4 years
There were many things that touched me after we got married. The most touching was that every time I didn't know how to deal with something, she would always help me sort things out.
Facing the reality can be something hard for me.
Before we got married, everything was fine when I only had to feed myself. But now I have to consider a lot of things from the aspect of my family.
Besides facing reality, quarrel is another thing that made me feel sick. Anyway, we have agreed that, when we quarrel, we must not say something offensive, but focus on the dispute. During these years, I have found that the direct way to end the quarrel is to focus on the dispute and distract my wife from the quarrel with something amusing soon after it is over.
Now I serve in the church full-time and have to face many practical problems. My wife is concerned more about my health, and so she keeps supporting my serving in the church and faces the difficulties with me. For that, I am very thankful.
I hope that our love for each other will never change and that we will keep supporting each other in the future. I hope my career can bless my family rather than disturbing it. I feel okay with the suffering I have encountered during my time of theological studies and serving in the church. However I am always in debt to my wife and child for they have to endure hardship with me.
Mrs. Chen, married for 17 years
There were many touching stories during the more than ten years of marriage. What impressed me the most was that he stayed with me in the hospital every night when I was sick and hospitalized. At night he slept on the floor near my bed in the ward. During the day he took very good care of me. I will never forget it even when I am old.
There were hard times of course. How could marriage always be sweet? We quarrelled sometimes. It distresses me that he has preferences among our three children.
I prayed that God would help me solve it by cultivating his wisdom of home education and making him treat the children equally.
When we were young in the beginning of our marriage, we had many conflicts. Sometimes I could not help him overcome his problems and so he was forced to face them. Every time he would slip away or ignore my anger in order for me to cool down. Now I don't raise a hand to him but find out what makes us quarrel and try to solve it when we have a dispute.
My husband is serving full-time in the church. I admire his tenacity. I hope that we can keep healthy and study together so as to make progress in our serving and witnessing for God.
Jingjing, married for 3 years
It was not long after we were married that some little things in daily life would sometimes move me. However, the most touching part was when he took on everything during the first month after I had given birth to our baby. For example, did the housework, took care of the baby, changed diapers, bathed the baby, made meals for me, and served drinks. During that time, he was in charge of the fellowship. It was not easy for him to take care of both.
Life has not been very hard for us so far. Though he is serving in the church full-time, my income is quite enough. Thus, financially, we don't have much to worry about. Of course, our baby's expenses will increase and that will bring on pressure.
We are confident in our future. I believe that things will get even better with God's blessing.
- Translated by Lin Changfeng