In the beginning, Sister W was as petulant and stubborn as her husband. After marrying, they had gotten two children three or four years later. But they also started arguing with each other almost daily over household chores, even rousing the neighbors with their noise. The two of them never understood forgiveness and consequently often fought with each other.
Women are physically weaker than men. Although Sister W was tough and rude, she did not have the strength to beat her husband. However, she never showed weakness in front of him and sometimes, when she couldn't win, she would bite him viciously.
Once, they had quarrelled over trivial matters before launching into a physical fight. Sister W’s corpulent husband knocked her to the ground with three punches and two kicks, followed by another stifling punch. She was furious and crawled to the front of her husband and bit him very hard in the calf. This time, her husband was wearing jeans and she bit right through them. By shaking his leg violently, he ripped out one of her teeth, which made it possible for him to break free and flee.
After the children were a little older, they entrusted them to the grandparents and went to Shenzhen to find work. When they first arrived in Shenzhen, they were still living together. However, they persisted in quarrelling over trivial matters. In time, her husband gradually distanced himself from her, avoided her, and then left. Later, she heard from fellow villagers that her husband had found another woman. Consequently, she continued quarrelling with him unrelentingly and fought with him nearly to death.
In the end, she felt totally disappointed with her husband and despondent about life. She thought often of suicide. But she then concluded she would instead never allow her husband to live an easy life. So she quarrelled with her husband even more frequently and he would respond by beating her back with his fists and feet.
In those days, Sister W often returned to the factory dormitory with bruises and a battered face. Her abnormal condition attracted the attention of a female colleague. This worker, a Christian, often conversed with Sister W after work. When she learned of W's plight, she sympathized and encouraged her. Sister W confessed to her that she was thinking of dying. So this Christian advised Sister W not to do anything stupid and to think more about her children back home. In time, this Christian worker became W's most trusted friend. The friend kept preaching the Gospel to Sister W, urging her to believe in Jesus and to cast all her cares on Him. The colleague told her that as long as she truly relied on Jesus, he would definitely help her and her husband to reform their bad tempers. God would win her husband's heart back from the other woman.
After a period of struggle and consideration, Sister W finally accepted the salvation offered by the Lord Jesus and became a Christian.
During a sermon in church, the preacher shared 1 Peter 3:1-6, which instructs sisters on how to be good wives and how to treat an unbelieving husband. She realized thereby that she had lacked tenderness for her husband in the past and had failed to be a good spouse in her marriage and family. She confessed her sins to God and repented, admitting that it was also her fault that she had gotten into such serious straits with her husband. She had not handled the relationship with her husband wisely and was co-responsible for his cheating.
She then forgave her husband and started to pray for him. She asked God to save her husband, change him and turn him away from his life of adultery. She took the initiative herself to go to her husband, to admit her past mistakes and ask him for forgiveness. At first, her husband still held a grudge and stared at her coldly. Whenever she saw her husband's cold eyes, she silently prayed that the Lord might strengthen her, help her restrain her emotions and avoid fighting.
Sister W also realized that her husband was treating her badly because the Lord was testing her with fire in hopes of purifying her and making her holy. She was now finally capable of backing down in the face of her husband's evil words. Her husband was finally discovering that she had truly changed. This in time also changed his attitude and he stopped talking to her harshly. But he still did no leave the other woman.
It has now been more than ten years since Sister W became a believer. Thanks to the persistent prayers for her husband, he changed his mind and broke up with the other woman completely. The two are now a harmonious couple and her husband now understands how to care for her.
Due to her advanced age, Sister W has gone back to live in her hometown. Her husband though has continued to work in the big city, but he often calls and tells her to take care of herself and refrain from doing heavy work.
Now, whenever women from the same village recall that Sister W’s husband had treated her badly in the past, she responds by saying: "It was my fault; it was my bad temper. I was inconsiderate and did not take care of him." She often tells the brothers and sisters in the church that the most important thing she is doing now for her husband is to pray for him. She prays that God will choose him soon and make him a man of grace and salvation!
(The author is a guest/freelance writer and a preacher in Hubei.)
- Translated by Nicolas Cao