A sister who serves full-time shares how she went from celibacy to marriage and has seen God's blessings and guidance in her marriage.
Sister Huiyu is a high-ranking intellectual in a small, third- or fourth-tier city in northeast China. She is beautiful, cheerful, and enthusiastic. The rarest thing is that she has a heart of love for the Lord.
Her parents divorced when she was a child, and she lived with her mother and became a believer. Recently, she told the Christian Times, an online Chinese Christian newspaper, about her experience.
After graduating from university, Huiyu returned to a small city in the north. She was advised to study theology in Singapore, with her passport and suitcase ready, but was denied due to her single status. It turned out that a pastor felt that Hui Yu was too pretty and might have a tendency to marry a local in Singapore and not return to serve. He told her to wait a little longer and think about marriage first.
Huiyu had aspired to be celibate because she saw that the Bible says, "The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit." She just wanted to please God. So before that, she had already dedicated herself to the Lord and had no intention of getting married.
Losing the opportunity to study theology seemed pitiful, but it opened a window to a happy marriage for Hui Yu.
Her mother, on finding out her reason for wanting to be single, set about introducing her to someone. Huiyu did not focus on external requirements; her first requirement was that the person would accept her as a full-time minister in the future. She also had a wish, and her prayer before the Lord was, "Lord, the person you give me must be someone whose name is in the Book of Life."
She turned down some brothers who were well off and finally chose Brother Jian Shi, whose family's economic condition was not so good with a low salary. When she first met Jian, she told him that she wanted to study theology and serve the Lord in the future. Jian expressed his acceptance and support. At that time, he used to participate in the worship ministry of the church.
They have been married for more than 10 years without even knowing it and now have two children. During this period, Huiyu worked part-time to earn money, part-time in the ministry, and stayed at home with the children on some days. Last year, she decided to serve full-time again and set up a youth meeting place with another co-worker. "I finally got what I wanted before marriage," she said.
Despite his low salary and two children to support, Jian showed no dissatisfaction, expressed his support and participated in leading worship. He plays electric guitar and occasionally composes hymns.
The two have grown up together in marriage, and now that their parents have become believers, they have long since discarded their idols.
Speaking about her husband's experience of growing in the faith, Huiyu confessed that at times when her husband was weak, she was also weak. In the first few years of marriage, she was a bit disgusted by her husband's low salary. On the other hand, her husband had a problem with her not working; he needed her to work and support the family.
Thankfully, they both wanted to live according to the teachings of the Bible. Huiyu tried to let her husband be the head of the family and make all the decisions. She did not even care about money; she gave her salary to her husband and kept only a few hundred yuan for herself.
Jian is also a very family-oriented person. Although his income is not high, he has strong hands-on skills and makes many things himself. The installation of cabinets and lamps in home decoration, material selection, materials, and design were all done by him.
He is also a piano tuner and is occasionally sought out for tuning, which generates extra income. In addition, he plays the guitar and piano, composes music, and now has students learn to play the instrument with him. He even made a small guitar for his daughter to fit her size.
Huiyu found that Jian looked very ordinary but had a sparkle in him, especially seeing that he was full of life. She would praise him to his face, and with her encouragement, his confidence grew.
Jian's monthly salary was only 2,000 RMB, from an initial salary of 1,500 RMB. Many of their relatives and friends around them earned more but felt tired of living; Huiyu, on the other hand, often had an enviable smile on her face.
Huiyu says they have their moments of lack. They might run out of money for groceries today, then suddenly someone calls her husband for piano tuning; he goes and comes back and earns a few hundred yuan for a week's worth of groceries. Recently, when their second child was born, they got a new house. The new house they got was a penthouse, accompanied by an attic as a gift, and Jian now has a studio in the attic where he can teach students to play musical instruments on weekends or in the evenings.
So now that Huiyu has chosen to serve full-time, neither she nor Jian has any financial worries.
When she chose to serve full-time, she received two interview calls. It was a career she had longed for two years ago: to be a teacher at a private school, earning tens of thousands of dollars a month. She prayed and told her husband that she would not go; he supported her, and the children understood.
(All characters in the article use pseudonyms.)
- Translated by Nonye Nancy