One was an elderly single preacher, and the other was a divorced sister with children. They initially did not see eye-to-eye on anything. With the help of church pastors, they chose to submit to the Lord's will to build a united family. Their family has experienced a special blessing from the Lord, reflecting a marriage that glorifies Him.
Recently, Brother Da Yong and Sister Yu Jie shared their marriage testimony together on an online platform.
Da Yong was 36 years old when he got married. He had known Sister Yu Jie for a long time in church but was not well acquainted with her. The pastor also matched them, but they didn't think that they fited each other.
Besides the pastor, the church elders also brought up the issue of their getting married. Da Yong began to take this to heart and pray about it. He liked to exercise by running around West Lake in the morning. One day he prayed to the Lord and said, "Lord, if I see her while running for three days in a row, I will know this person is the one you have prepared for me, and it is your will." Da Yong recalled that at that time, he rarely saw Sister Yu running.
While he was running back, Sister Yu came out for a run, and he came across her for three consecutive days.
Sister Yu later said that she rarely went for a run. It was very difficult for her to go because the child do not like getting up in the morning, but it happened that she took the child out for a run on those days. Interestingly, she felt that the duration of time she continued her daily running exercise was probably just one or two days longer than Brother Da's prayer time for God's will.
It was still a bit difficult for Da Yong, a full-time preacher, to accept a divorced sister with children. But the pastor and elders kept matching, and one pastor, who was moved by the situation, flew in from thousands of miles away to help them confirm their relationship.
The sister also struggled for a long time. She said, "Previously, I was married and experienced infidelity by my ex-husband; this hit me hard. Although it was not diagnosed, I knew I was prone to depression after the divorce, so I was afraid of marriage for a long time and was prepared to be celibate, according to Paul's teachings. My perception was that it was better for me to remain celibate in my situation. Remarriage was in conflict with my firmly held beliefs, so I did not want to get married. But in prayer, God gave me a word: His mercy triumphs over judgment. Due to this word, I was relieved of my obsession with celibacy."
"I struggled from Easter until October, until the teacher we both knew came all the way from out of town and said he was moved to confirm our marriage, and by then it became clear in my heart that this was God's will," she recalls.
"This teacher from out of town became different; he used to be supportive of me being celibate, but he changed his mind and flew in specially to make the marriage happen. I believe that could not have happened if it was not God's will."
The relationship was confirmed in October, and the two were married on Christmas Day that same year at the urging of their pastor.
"The love that comes from Christ lasts longer, and he has healed me of the hurts from my previous marriage. Although others see me as optimistic, I was hurting inside. Often, I would wake up in the middle of the night crying and desiring death. It was not fair to my husband that I went into this marriage with the hurt of my past, but he chose to accept it. Especially during the first six months of my marriage, he cried with me and listened to my suffering. He did not make a single accusation during this process; he gave me time, but instead of letting me wallow in my pain, he saved me from a state of death. Through him, God has given me a beautiful life, and I now live with hope. The desire to die is completely gone."
Brother Da Yong added, "Actually, I did not do anything; I listened when she spoke. When she cried, I passed a tissue, and after she cried, I gave her a hug, patted her back, and we prayed together. I believe it was the Lord's love leading the way; otherwise, which person in their right mind can understand when faced with someone who just got married and asked to die?"
Under the acceptance and companionship of her husband, Sister Yu Jie's life is moving towards maturity, and she believes it is Christ who is doing the healing work through her husband. Sister Yu also stressed that acceptance is not the same as unprincipled pampering, and she was grateful that her husband did not accommodate her bad temper. She was thankful that her brother did not give in to her bad temper because he did not love her with the love of men and women but with the love of Christ.
Between their marriage on Christmas Day 2019 and this year, 2023, they have not quarreled and have rarely even had conflicts.
To develop a sweet marriage relationship, they believe they have done only one thing, which is to follow the command of the Bible: Husbands love their wives, and wives submit to their husbands. Da Yong loves according to God's truth; Yu Jie, who originally had a strong personality, is willing to put aside her desire to be in control and submit, even giving her husband control of the family finances. She concluded, "We walk in the truth, and God's blessing is on our marriage."
Before they got married, she also knew little about raising children and had fears about having children. But now they have a child together who is over one year old, and another is in the process of being conceived. The sister now enjoys spending time with and educating their children. Both husband and wife believe that their children are the Lord's property, so they want to educate them well and hand them over to the Lord. Her eldest daughter has a very cheerful personality and loves her new father.
The other evangelists asked how both of them, being evangelists, would cope with the financial pressure. Brother Da replied, "I experienced poverty and could not afford to pay my living expenses when I was attending theological school. But I believe that the descendants of the righteous do not beg for bread. Now that we have a family of six, we need to take care of our parents and raise our children—the older one is on formula milk and the younger one is in his mother's womb. My wife is optimistic because she does not care about money and does not worry too much. I overthink, but God's provision is enough."
"Our finances are planned, and we do not buy unnecessary things. Before we got married, I used to say to my wife, "To get married to me, you must be prepared to love white rice," he said.
Sister Yu Jie added: "Brother Da Yong used to work as a cook; I am a good cook myself; and we used to love food. But now that we often do spiritual retreats, pray, and worship God together, we do not seem to have such a strong desire for material things anymore. By God's grace, we live a simple life and are totally enjoying it. However, things that are needed at home are being acquired, and we have enough money to be filial to our parents."
Da Yong also exhorted young preachers' families who were worried about this, "After the pandemic, many preachers were not paid salaries. Let us not look at how much the church sends us and trust that God has an extra provision. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all that you need will be added to you. In all honesty, when we first started having children, we had concerns. But it all takes practice, and the truth is that God did not make it difficult for us."
(This article contains pseudonyms.)
- Translated by Nonye Nancy