Parenting & Education

When I Changed My Method of Education, My Disobedient Son Also Changed

By Zhi’en

The most painful thing for my husband and me was that we didn’t know how to educate our son. We only wished that he could take the right path and conduct himself well and wouldn’t learn to do bad things. However, for us living in this evil world, such an apparently simple wish was not easy to realize.

As my son grew up, he gradually lost the innocence and loveliness of childhood. At the age of ten, he didn’t even know to help us do any housework during school vacation, but just busied himself watching TV, playing computer games, and hanging around. Additionally, whatever wrong he did, he never admitted his faults but put the blame on others, and even if he admitted that he did it, he would find excuses for it. He especially hated us when we asked about his business; and once someone did so, he would revolt against it, and his attitude was so bad, it was simply incomprehensible to us. In getting along with his younger sister, he behaved even worse. Whenever he saw some good food or anything he loved, he would scramble to get it like a bandit. Regardless of how hard we had tried to teach him to humor his younger sister, he couldn’t take it in. In his schoolwork, he was hopeless. He never did his classwork, and for his homework, he either didn’t do it or did it perfunctorily. When my husband found too many mistakes in his homework and asked him to correct them, he would angrily argue that he did as what his teacher taught him. He often didn’t know what the homework was and lost his textbooks many times. Because of his poor academic record and intractability, his teacher was very angry and asked him to repeat a year. When my husband saw nothing worked no matter how we taught him, he turned to the teachings of those Chinese philosophers, such as “Filial piety is the first of all virtues,” “It’s never too late to mend,” and “A person without any sincerity cannot establish himself in society.” He tried to use them to teach him to be a dutiful son who was obedient and sensible and could repay parents’ love and care, and to be a good boy who was reliable and approved by others and who learned to admit his faults and correct them. However, the talk of my husband took no effect on him. He still went his own way without any change. At last, my husband was disappointed with him, and he would shake his head and sigh at the mention of him. Anyone of my family members could enumerate a lot of his wrongdoings when speaking of him.

Seeing that my son didn’t walk the correct path and that he couldn’t live out the normal humanity, I felt extremely distressed: How come my innocent and lovely son has become like this? I could do nothing but commit him to God. In my search, I saw these words of God: “All this talk of ‘ancient cultural heritage,’ valuable ‘knowledge of ancient culture,’ ‘teachings of Taoism and Confucianism,’ and ‘Confucian classics and feudal rites’ has taken man into hell” (“Work and Entry (7)”). “For the aim of the work of God’s management is to recover the people who are under the domain of Satan, not to abandon the people who have been corrupted by Satan and oppose God” (“Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management”). Through the disclosure of God’s words, I saw clearly that the traditional culture which the Chinese have worshiped, passed on, and pursued for thousands of years, such as the famous sayings with which my husband taught my son “Filial piety is the first of all virtues,” “It’s never too late to mend,” “A person without any sincerity cannot establish himself in society,” etc., are just some knowledge and doctrines which Satan exploits to deceive people into relying on it and straying from God and denying God. These things are no comparison to the truth expressed by the incarnate God of the last days. Although these doctrines and knowledge are cracked up to be gems of Chinese culture with a long history, which are treasured by many people and even taught in school, they cannot save or change man at all. If we believe and rely on these doctrines and theories from Satan, act and educate our children according to them, we can only do evil—distancing ourselves from God, rejecting the truth, worshiping Satan and following it. Finally, we will be condemned by God and destroyed in hell because we have strayed from God and done all kinds of evil. With the enlightenment of God, I realized that my son was also a victim and was deeply afflicted by Satan, and that nobody could save him aside from God.

Then, I proceeded to read some articles about testimonies of brothers’ and sisters’ experiences, from which I saw that many parents had been troubled by how to educate their children, but finally they all found the solution in God’s words. So, I also wanted to seek the truth in God’s words to solve the problem of educating my child. During that time, my son was often jerked awake by a nightmare at night. I then told him the story of Saul and David. Saul wished to kill David, but David had the place of God in his heart and worshiped God. So, he got God’s protection and escaped being killed in every emergency; while Saul was disturbed by the evil spirits and lived in agony. I told him that those who listen to God’s words and know to rely on God can receive His care and protection and those who resist God and have no place for Him in their hearts will be disturbed and afflicted by Satan. After hearing my words, my son learned to pray to God and depend on Him. After that, he was never disturbed again by nightmares. He was very happy with the results and became more willing to hear the Bible stories about God’s work. With regard to his state that he refused to admit his mistake and passed the buck and was also disgruntled with others, I read to him the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden after they ate the forbidden fruit. I asked him, “God is almighty and searches all things. He knew all of it when Adam and Eve disobeyed His words and betrayed Him by following Satan’s words and eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But, why did He still ask Eve, ‘What is this that you have done?’” He shook his head and said he didn’t know it. Then, I continued, “Actually, God’s main purpose in saying this was to give Adam and Eve the opportunity to repent. God hoped they could confess their sin and ask for His forgiveness with their sincere and repentant heart. However, they didn’t know to cherish the opportunity God gave to them. They not only hid from God but tried to escape the blame. Because of their disobedience to God’s words and not confessing their sin, they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, losing the happy life under the guidance and blessing of God in the Garden of Eden….” My son listened and thought, then he bowed his head and said, “Mom, I see. I know how to treat my fault.” Later, I fellowshiped with him about the story of the return of the prodigal son, from which he knew that if a person can repent after making a mistake and be an honest person before God, God’s heart will be pleased and comforted. Through such fellowship and guidance, my son gradually knew from the Bible stories and God’s words that he should be an honest person who pleases God. When he did wrong again and I asked him the reason, he no longer resisted or was disgusted with it; and if he knew he was wrong, he could admit his errors and was willing to reform. Seeing my son’s transformation, I was very pleased and kept thanking and praising God. Witnessing that God’s words can indeed lead, guide, and transform man, I had more confidence to cooperate with God to bring my son before God.

Afterward, when my son was sneakily playing games and hearing my footsteps coming upstairs, he hid his games in a hurry and even pretended to do something else. Noticing this, I told him the story of the priest Eli and his two sons and the story of Samuel. I fellowshiped with him, “God observes the bottom of people’s heart, so we should do things before God and shouldn’t act one way in public and another in private, for God asks us to be an honest person.” When he saw good things and fought with his younger sister to take them for himself, or when he tried to doing his housework in a rush, I fellowshiped with him about how to live out the normal humanity by citing such words of God as: “In the dispositions of normal people there is no crookedness or deceitfulness, people have a normal relationship with each other, they do not stand alone, and their lives are neither mediocre nor decadent. So, too, is God exalted among all, His words permeate among man, people live in peace with one another and under the care and protection of God, the earth is filled with harmony, without the interference of Satan, and the glory of God holds the utmost importance among man” (“Chapter 16” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe). Through God’s words, he realized: Those who act one way to others’ faces but another way behind their backs and who cover up the truth are crafty people. Those who are mercenary, selfish, and base are despicable, and they don’t have conscience, reason, or normal humanity. God’s requirement for us is to be an honest person possessed of conscience, love and consideration for others, because only by living this way will we be a person with normal humanity. Slowly, my son became more sensible and obedient than before. Sometimes when he couldn’t control himself and made mistakes again, he said to me, “Mom, I don’t want to make mistakes, but I can’t control myself. What should I do?” Then, I would teach him to speak his heart to God in prayer and rely on God to give him strength so that he could refrain himself from doing the things that God disliked. To solve the problem of his inability to do his homework carefully but muddling through it due to watching TV, I fellowshiped with him and asked him to live honestly before God, and taught him how to pray to God. After praying to God several times like that, he said to me voluntarily, “Mom, I won’t watch TV from Monday to Friday in the future. Please remember to remind me. I must keep my promise.” Thereafter, he didn’t watch TV from Monday to Friday anymore. During his vacation, if he wanted to watch TV, he would ask for our permission first, then set a proper length of time and asked us to remind him. When the time was up, he would go to do his homework.

Under the guidance of God’s words, my son had changed a lot. He had learned to think: What does God want him to do? How does God think of his behavior? What are the appropriate things that he should do which can satisfy God? When he knew that God’s demand on us was to make us live out the normal humanity and is the salvation to us, he felt he should be a person as God demands. Little by little, my son felt that being a good boy wasn’t difficult and even doing his homework was much easier. The most unexpected thing was that he was transformed from a bad student who troubled his teachers the most into a good one who won a prize. My husband was elated at this news and said, “I had never thought my son could win a prize. It’s wonderful!” In addition to these changes, my son also offered to help us to do the housework and no longer fought with his sister over food as he used to. Moreover, when he was sulky for misunderstanding us, after he was told why we did that and that he was tricked by Satan when he sulked, he would apologize willingly and ask for our forgiveness, no longer badgered us as he used to.

Seeing every bit of my son’s change, I was joyful in my heart. I really thanked God for His kindness and blessings. I again read these words of God: “Perhaps you are a president, a scientist, a pastor, or an elder, but no matter how high your office, if you rely on your knowledge and ability in your undertakings, then you shall always be a failure and shall always be bereft of the blessings of God” (God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind). I thought: God’s words are indeed the truth, and only by relying on God can we receive God’s blessings and have success. I recalled the past: My husband tried painstakingly and used various human methods, the traditional culture and Satan’s philosophies to teach our son, but he failed because he relied on his own ability. God says, “The future direction will be thus: Those who gain the utterances from God’s mouth will have a path to walk on earth, and be they businessmen or scientists, or educators or industrialists, those who are without God’s words will have a hard time taking even a single step, and will be forced to seek the true way. This is what is meant by, ‘With the truth you will walk the entire world; without the truth, you will get nowhere’” (The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived). It is true that anything that God says will be fulfilled. Regardless of what business or industry we are engaged in, we cannot do it without the guidance and supply of God’s words, and educating our children is no exception. If we practice God’s words, the way will be beneath our feet and we will be blessed by God. God’s word carries power and authority, it is through His words that He conquers and controls people of the entire universe, and our success or failure in everything is decided by whether we act according to His words. The authority and power of God’s words are really inestimable!

Thank God for having granted me grace to “regain” my lovely son. All the glory be to God!