Kathy Gets Her Way

June 30, 2012

Kathy Gets Her Way

            Kathy, like all children, had her likes and dislikes.  She was what is often called a “strong willed child.”  She found a way to get her likes and avoid her dislikes.  Her parents nearly always gave into her temper tantrums.  She liked to go shopping with her mother.  If she found something she wanted she was almost sure to get it because her mother didn’t want to suffer the embarrassment of one of her temper tantrums in public.

Kathy had her likes and dislikes at meal times also.  If she didn’t like what was on her plate, she refused to eat it.  Many times hunger pangs forced her to eat what she didn’t like because there was no other choice.

More than once a friend of Kathy’s mother suggested that she should discipline Kathy to teach her to obey.  Each time she responded by saying, “Ah, Kathy is such a sweet little girl.  I wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt her.”  Therefore, all through her childhood Kathy pretty much got her way.

Kathy got through grade school and two years of high school.  She dropped out because she didn’t like to study and her parents were unsuccessful in convincing her that it was necessary.  She preferred to watch TV and play computer games.

Now Kathy is a big girl.  She is even married; well she was, until her husband divorced her.  He couldn’t tolerate her selfish ways.  One too many times she had a temper tantrum to get her way.  The only difference is that what were called temper tantrums in childhood are now called “tirades.”  Her first child was born just a week before the divorce was finalized.  The judge let her have the child but the house they were paying for and the household goods were given to her husband.  Kathy packed up her personal things and went back home.

Kathy’s mother tried to teach her how to take the responsibility for her baby but she ended up doing much of it herself.  Kathy still spent most of her time watching TV  and playing computer games.  Two or three nights each week she went out with her friends.

Kathy’s father let her use the family’s second car to get back and forth to work but she wasn’t able to keep a job very long.  The only jobs she qualified for were housecleaning and shelf stocking.  She always quit her jobs because she thought they demanded too much of her for the little they paid her.

It was a sad day when Kathy’s mother died of cancer. After a few months her father remarried, but her step mother refused to let her stay in the house.  She had a tirade, but it didn’t do any good.  She was able to rent a cheap apartment with what she collected from unemployment and child support.  She still had a TV but she couldn’t afford to buy a computer.  Life was boring for her.  She had to stay home most of the time to take care of her child.  She managed to buy an old car that she used for shopping and to go visit her father once in a while.

Kathy still gets her way but she doesn’t get near all she wants.  She lives in boredom and poverty.  What brought her to this sad situation?  To what extent is Kathy to blame for it?  To get to the root cause we need to go back to her childhood.  The Bible tells us that parents need to “train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).  Bad habits, learned in childhood, tend to carry over into adult life.  Verse 15 of that chapter of Proverbs says “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”  Christian parents who apply the rod, and the rest of God’s Word, sometimes have a rebellious child, but, for the most part, their children grow up well adjusted and successful individuals.

One would think that Kathy should have learned something by her mistakes.  Some do and some don’t.  Many times they learn because they were fortunate enough to have friends who helped them see where they were wrong.  Proverbs 13:15 says, “Good understanding giveth favor; but the way of transgressors is hard.”  This world is full of sad people like Kathy who got their way, but in the end, “their way” led them to a sad empty life.

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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