Thoughts about Practitioners Providing “Refuge” for Practitioners Having Marriage Tribulations
(Minghui.org) I know of some practitioners in our city who are divorced, but who have the finances and the conditions to provide long-term housing for fellow practitioners who are either going through divorce or experiencing tribulations in their marriage. I would like to share my thoughts on this topic.
On the surface, allowing someone who is in need of a place to stay is a noble deed. It may not always be helpful however, especially long-term, and especially for practitioners.
One female practitioner in our area is allowing another younger fellow practitioner to live in her home without charge for a long period of time. That young practitioner is a relatively newly-wed and is experiencing tribulations in her marriage. But because this older practitioner is allowing her to stay in her house rent-free, the young practitioner may not develop the motivation to adjust to married life, and work out the give and take with her husband that would lead to a traditional family life.
Why does the practitioner allow this young practitioner to live with her? Perhaps she is seeking company, and perhaps she genuinely thinks she is doing a good deed. But is it truly a good deed? In traditional culture, a woman had to rely on her husband. Because she had to raise children, a woman would not go to work outside the home, at least not full-time.
“But nowadays, think about it, everyone: Once women’s liberation is advocated, women feel they’re oppressed and that they should stand up. But then what happens? Divorce, fighting, abandoned children, and other social problems emerge.” (“Teaching the Fa at a New York Meeting”)
Another example is a practitioner with a child, who wants to separate from her practitioner husband. Another older divorced female practitioner has allowed this woman and her child to stay in her home for a long period of time. I don't know the reasons nor the causes of those two practitioners who wish to separate, although I shared my understanding, along with Master's quote, with the wife.
But again, why would a divorced practitioner allow another practitioner who wishes to divorce to live in her house? Is she encouraging the divorce? If that practitioner who wishes to separate from her husband did not have the choice to live somewhere else, especially without paying, wouldn't she try harder to work things out with her husband, try to resolve the issues, improve her xinxing, and follow Fa principles on the matter of divorce?
I believe that all practitioners who provide free living space (or any space, even if it is not free) for practitioners who are going through marriage tribulations should look inside for the reasons why they keep on doing it.
I remember when my husband, who is also a fellow practitioner, and I went through temporary marriage tribulations, I asked my uncle if I could stay with him. He agreed, but his wife resisted and said, “Only a few weeks and that's it.” Right away I realized that this was a hint from Master, and that I should not leave my husband. So I did not go to my uncle's place, but stayed with my brother for a week. My brother and I also had conflicts, as karma was there, and I eventually returned to living with my husband. Our tribulations did not last too long and were soon resolved.
Should practitioners separate, especially if they are both cultivators? Is this what Master wants us to do? Because my husband and I looked inward and tried to follow the Fa's requirements on this issue, we managed to overcome our tribulations and now enjoy a harmonious and peaceful family life. I am glad that my aunt did not allow me to stay with them, as otherwise I might have lacked the incentive to work on my marriage and cultivation-related issues.
I am not saying that practitioners should not provide a temporary refuge to other practitioners in certain extreme situations. Some short-term solutions are sometimes necessary and are simply acts of kindness. But we should make judgments based on the Fa and ask ourselves if our “good deeds” are really that good and truly for the benefit of others in the long term.
I believe that as practitioners, we should not encourage an attachment of dependency on other practitioners, including in situations of marital tribulations. We should encourage young practitioners to work through their problems and lead a traditional lifestyle with traditional values. Otherwise we may be acting like “overprotective parents” who don't allow their children to leave the nest, face challenges, and learn to fly on their own. We absolutely should not encourage divorce or separation of other practitioners from their spouses, nor create convenient conditions for that. Creating convenient conditions is the same as encouraging the situation to prolong.
“Aren't we to leave the future mankind with the best things? When both of you are cultivators you should each be considerate of one another, and with that how could you talk about divorce? Marriage should be something unbreakable.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students”)
When people live together they are bound to solve their problems, quickly pay off their karma, since they have no choice. After all, they are living together and everyone wants to have peace and harmony in the family.
Unless in a situation of persecution, I don't believe Master encourages us to stay in the homes of other practitioners long-term.
In my understanding, both the young female practitioner and the practitioner with a child who were seeking to separate from their husbands, if not given the conditions to live long-term in other practitioners' homes, would have much greater incentives to make things work in their families, and be upright and noble Dafa disciples. Those practitioners who create convenient conditions for them to not take responsibility for their married lives are probably just adding fuel to the fire.
Category: Improving Oneself