(Minghui.org) General Xu Yun of the Three Kingdoms period was engaged to the daughter of palace security officer Ruan Gong. As the marriage was arranged, Xu never met his wife until the wedding day. On that day, he was flustered upon seeing her looks and refused to go into the bridal chamber.

It happened that the treasurer of the state, Heng Fan, came to visit him. Xu shared his disappointment with Heng. Heng persuaded him that for the Ruan family to marry their daughter to him, there must be something extraordinary about her.

With an anxious heart, Xu went to the bridal chamber, only to be disgusted upon seeing his bride. He turned around and was about to run away, when she grabbed him. Xu asked her, out of the four virtues of a woman—speech, morality, appearance and needlework—which one she was good at. She replied to him, “Out of the four virtues, I just don’t have an attractive appearance. But for the virtues required of an intellectual, which ones do you have?” Xu responded that he had them all.

She said to him, “For an intellectual, virtue and morality are most important. But you prefer appearance over morality, so how can you claim that you have them all?”

Xu was embarrassed by her words. He also understood that she was a virtuous woman. From then on, they respected each other and lived a happy life together.

From ancient times to the modern day, mutual understanding and respect can be found in many long-lasting, harmonious marriages. Instead of placing so much importance on physical appearance, one’s inner beauty and kindness is what brings couples together.

While Xu’s story dates back to nearly 1,800 years ago, Liang Yusheng (1924-2009) of the modern times might have found some similarities in his own marriage.

Liang was a famous author of martial arts novels. His books Romance of the White Haired Maiden, Seven Swordsmen and others often portray tragic love stories. But in reality, he and his wife were together for 53 years. Their marriage was happy and fulfilling.

When Liang was 32 years old, he was already the chief writer of Hong Kong's Ta Kung Pao and a writer for several newspapers. Seeing that he was single, Li Zongying, the deputy editor-in-chief, enthusiastically introduced his wife's niece, Lin Cuiru, to him.

When Liang went on a blind date, Lin was 26 and a civil servant who made twice the salary of Liang. She was warm and generous, but he did not immediately fall for her.

Later, they met a few more times by arrangement, and Lin began to buy the New Evening Post and read “The Dragon and the Tiger in Beijing,” which Liang had serialized. Liang also gradually saw the kindness of Lin, as she volunteered at a church every weekend and had done so for five years.

When Liang went to the hospital for nasal polyp removal, Lin went to take care of him. She also picked him up when he was discharged from the hospital. He got down on one knee and implored, “I am poor, but as long as I am diligently writing, I can support you. Will you marry me?”

After eight months of acquaintance, Lin, who came from a prestigious family, married Liang. After the marriage, Lin continued her loving, caring, and supporting nature even though she saw her husband's shortcomings. Instead of trying to change him, she continued taking care of him and encouraging him to do what he was good at.

Liang stopped writing at the age of sixty. He took his wife traveling around the world for three years and immigrated to Australia, which was her favorite place.

Chinese version available

Category: Perspective