Unfaithful Child/Spouse Archives 2012

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  • Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children: Five Signs You are Enabling Your Adult Child by Karla Downing
  • The Burden of Unnecessary Guilt by Pat Gates
  • Praying for My Unfaithful Husband and Sons (email) Response from Pat Gates
  • Our Rose is Blooming! by Grady Scott 
  • Be Negative 
  • Some thoughts on parenting by David Maxon 
  • Passing the Torch 
  • The Unbelieving Companion
  • How to Help a Friend Whose Husband is Unfaithful 
  • Parents Are You Listening? by Edward Bragwell Sr.
  • Faith in Self or Faith in God? by Pat Gates
  • The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey



Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children: Five Signs You Are Enabling Your Adult Child
by Karla Downing

Are you wondering if you are enabling your adult child? These five signs will help you to determine whether or not you are helping or hurting. "Enabling" means that your action allows someone to continue to do something they otherwise couldn't do without it. It is also doing something for others that they should be doing for themselves.

Our adult children often need our help as they are maturing and preparing to become independent; however, too often we do things that do the opposite. Instead of helping them move toward independence, we foster dependence.

Here are five signs that you are enabling your adult child:

You rescue your child repeatedly by paying for things because your child isn't working, isn't working enough, spent the money on something else, or is paying off debt that has accumulated from poor choices. Your child either doesn't plan to pay you back or offers to pay you back but never does.

You are tolerating disrespectful behavior toward you. You are doing this because your child has "problems" and doesn't seem to understand that you deserve to be respected. Your requests to be treated differently fall on deaf ears and only result in more mistreatment.

You and your spouse or other family members are frequently arguing about this adult child who is affecting everyone else negatively. Other people are telling you that you are tolerating too much and making excuses for this child. You are resistant to others' suggestions that you use tough love.

You spend a lot of time thinking about how to "fix" the problems and yet your child doesn't show any interest in your ideas nor does there appear to be movement in a positive direction from your child on his/her own. This obsession to "fix" your adult child is keeping you from enjoying your own life as much as you would be without this "problem."

You are working harder than your child. If you are taking on a second job, working longer hours, adding on extra chores, or taking on additional tasks while your son or daughter has many hours of down time, social time, party time, or anything else that is non-productive, then you are enabling your adult child to be lazy while you are working to support him/her.

God intends that parents provide for their children while they are young; but he also intends for them to become adults who make wise choices. It is your job to parent in a way that does precisely that. If you are answered yes to these five signs you are enabling your adult children rather than setting boundaries, then your actions aren't helping; they are hurting.



The Burden of Unnecessary Guilt
Pat Gates 
Part of the pain of having an unfaithful child is the unnecessary guilt faithful parents may carry. Every mistake ever made, no matter how small, comes flooding back and if parents aren't careful, these unrelenting waves of memories can burden the soul to the point of immobilizing depression. These negative thoughts take away too much spiritual energy and may end up harming your child as you may excuse their behavior and take all the blame. That would be a mistake not only for your own well-being but for your child's sake. Unfaithful children often look for something or someone to blame and they will gladly use their parents - after all we have all made mistakes with our children, just as they will make mistakes with their children.
If you brought your child up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (even with some mistakes thrown in here and there), keep these things in mind:
  • Your child is an individual, with his/her own individual choices. If this is not true then how do you explain a child growing up with unbelievers becoming a faithful child of God after he was taught the truth? Is that possible if he is not an individual? If that is possible, why wouldn't the opposite be true? If an adult child can become a believer separate from their parent's unbelief, then why can't an adult child become an unbeliever, separate from their parent's belief (faith)?
  • Is it possible for you to fall, even if you had righteous parents? We are all warned by God that the sins of the eyes, the sins of the flesh, and the pride of life can take us away from Him. We are warned over and over that Satan is a deceiver and we must put on that armor of God to resists the snares and wiles of the devil. If we fail to wear our armor we can fall. Again, the same holds true with our child; if he refuses to put on his armor, he will fall.
  • If past mistakes still haunt you, talk to God about them. Ask His forgiveness. If you have contact with your child, you can ask for his/her forgiveness, however, be sure and let them know any mistake you've made does not excuse them for turning from God. You can also remind them that while you, as all parents, made mistakes, you did teach them truth and you tried to live by truth. This statement isn't to build yourself up to your child, but rather to make sure they will not use your confession to excuse their bad behavior.

Our Lord God understands the pain of backsliding children. He is perfect in love, in wisdom, and in knowledge and, yet, His children have often chosen a different path, turning away from their Father's presence. Share your pain with your Father who understands and look to Him for wisdom and peace.

“I taught Ephraim to walk, Taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, With bands of love, And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them.

“He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent. And the sword shall slash in his cities, Devour his districts, And consume them, Because of their own counsels. My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him.

“How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? Howcan I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred." Hosea 11:3-8


Praying for My Unfaithful Husband and Sons

FROM THE MAIL: It's a challenge to constantly renew my commitment to pray for my husband and two sons who are unfaithful. The amount of time I spend in prayer for my family, who need God, is commensurate with time I spend reflecting on their need to follow Jesus. I pray for greater concern for their souls. May life's busyness not keep me from doing all I can and more to help them return to our Loving Father.


RESPONSE FROM PAT: Thank you for writing. You are right when you say you need to be continually concerned for your husband and your son's souls. Your note proves that you are. However, like you said, we sometimes get caught up in our busy lives where we tend to put off prayer and meditation, as well as thoughts on the needs of others. Most of all, if not all of us, get caught up in this world at times and we need to be careful not to forget why we are here on this earth: To serve the Lord and to bring others to Him.

2 Cor. 3:2 says, "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men."  You are the most important person  to your husband and sons in that you are faithful and will be the greatest influence on their souls (if your sons are married to faithful women, then of course their wives may be the most influential but you are right behind them). While it is good you can live your life without being overcome in sorrow to the point it affects your functioning, it is also good to continue on a daily basis in prayer, coupled with faith and hope. Read and meditate on the love and power of God and His Word and lean on His wisdom and ability to provide opportunities to your family.

James 5:16, "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Do you believe this?  If so, prayer and living righteously are the two best gifts you can give your husband and children. I really appreciate the example of Job: And he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. (Job 1: 5)

Here's some admonishment for all women who have unfaithful husbands and children:

  • Pray for opportunities for your family to hear the truth and that other Christians will be a good example to them.
  • Pray for your own wisdom in saying helping words to them and being a good example.
  • Be patient and learn to wait on the Lord, (Psa. 27:14).
  • 1 Peter 3:1-4.Your example of how a faithful child of God has to be on display 24 hours a day, but you are no different in this than the rest of us. Even with faithful husbands we can not just let ourselves go because we are to love and obey our Lord, as well as help all our husbands and children get to heaven. Phil. 1:27, Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ. The difference, of course, is that you don't have the spiritual support and while this is discouraging at times you must remain strong and not allow your family's lifestyle to tempt you to miss meeting with the saints to worship. You will teach Christ by showing your family Christ in your life. If your light humbly shines, reflecting the light of Christ, they will see the stark difference in your life and the darkness of the world. 
  • 1 Cor. 7:16: For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband?  Never give up! Pray without ceasing, 1 Thess 5:17.


Our Rose is Blooming!

Grady Scott

I never cared very much for flowers, especially when they were growing in the ground. They were all right when they were cut and in a bouquet. I always enjoyed the odor. It's just that I never really took an interest in growing them. But that has changed somewhat since we moved in to our new home. We inherited several rose bushes, irises, daffodils, tulips, peonies, and hyacinths. My wife has been excited evr since we moved in and become owner of a veritable flower garden. I have to admit, it stirred my interest too. All through the last part of the summer into the fall I enjoyed beautiful roses blooming outside my window where I worked at my computer in the den. It did tend to lift my spirits and gave me a different perspective on flowers.

But one thing disappointed us dearly. When we took possession of our new home in July, we noticed one of the rose bushes beside our house was dead. There was absolutely no life in it. We took this as a sure sign there would never be life in it since it was the middle of summer. We proceeded to prepare the rest of the roses last fall, pruning them as best we could in accord with what we had gleaned concerning rose cultivation. When it came to the dead rose, bonnie cut it down to the "root union," having decided it was probably dead but leaving the root just in case. But there was little doubt in or minds that it was truly dead.

What a surprise we had this spring! As we were admiring the early daffodils and hyacinths, we discovered something amazing. The "dead" rose bush was bvery much alive. It even survived our late snow. Before long there were four beautiful roses. Not only was it alive, it was the first rose to bloom. We had not been in our home last spring. Evidently, this rose was an early one, blooming early and "dying back" later in the summer.

While I was looking at this beautiful rose, I began to think of some spiritual principles we can learn from this little rose. Consider the following:

1. Even those who are "dead in sins" and seem to have no spark of spiritual life can come alive and bloom. How many people have you who seen seem to have no interest in spiritual things suddenly come alive with a desire to serve God? We may pray for years for a family member or friends, encourage them to obey the Gospel, think that it is hopeless, and suddenly they respond to the truth.

2. Unfaithful Christians can be restored, even when it seems like there is little or no hope. Haven't we all gone to an unfaithful brother/sister and begged, pleaded, and encouraged them to come back to the Lord? They have become hardened in their sins. They use every excuse under the sun. Perhaps they have become discouraged, perhaps they have been caught up in some personal sin. The result is the same. They are hardened in their sins. They are dead spiritually. But then, for some unknown reason, they come to services one day, walk down the aisle at the invitation, and rededicate their lives to the Lord.

3. Unfruitful Christians can start bearing fruit, even after long years of inactivity. Preachers have often been frustrated because they have spent years exhorting lukewarm Christians to get serious about their Christian living. Suddenly, one Sunday, brother/sister Lukewarm comes forward and starts being active in the Lord's work.Let's remember one very important truth. We are not the ones responsible for the conversion of the lost! We are commanded to take the Gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). We are commanded to teach/preach the truth to every person on the planet. We are not commanded to baptize all! That is the responsibility that is on the shoulders of the lost. We are commanded to restore the erring Christian (James 5:19-20). We do that by encouraging, pleading, warning, etc. But where does the responsibility of repentance lie? It lies with the erring child of God.

Paul gives this principle in 1 Corinthians 3:6, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." God's Word will either lead to repentance or cause a sinner to rebel and go further into sin. It depends on the individual. Isaiah tells us, "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). The Word will always have an effect on hearts. Sometimes sinners may seen callous on the outside but be struggling on the inside. It often takes years for a person to come to repentance, confession and baptism. God's Word still works.

Let us never grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). Let us plant the seed of the Word in the hearts of man. There will always be those who obey. Teach the truth, that a stubborn sinner may become a "beautiful rose."


Be Negative!

Learn to say No!

The world's in need of men who know a good from evil deed.

Learn to say No!

And then stick to it, unmoved when men say, "Everybody's doing it."

Learn to say No!

And don't delay it; Fence-straddling fails, then stand and say it.

Learn to say No!

Nor fear derision; Stick bravely with your bold decision.

Learn to say No!

We've waited long for souls God-fearing, who hate the wrong.

Learn to say No!

And in double measure Christ's joy will be your constant treasure.



I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. John 17:15
As parents, we worry about our children living in this world. A multitude of evil forces are out there, and they seem to multiply by the day. Our kids face a world that is increasingly hostile to their faith. They are confronted by rejection, ridicule, and scorn from peers, friends, teachers, and even family in some cases.
What is our prayer? How many of us, as parents, pray like Jesus: "I do not ask that you take them out of the world"? This is a bold prayer... a prayer few of us would pray.
We should protect our children from negative influences, but we cannot completely insulate them from evil. It simply is not possible as long as we're living in this world.
When our children face challenges to their faith, let us not despair. Jesus' prayer tells us that struggle is necessary to accomplish God's purposes. We were put in this world for a purpose, which is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. It is to follow the path to the cross.
Our kids don't need a pain free, problem free life. What they need are our prayers to protect them from the evil one.
Father, we do not ask for an easy life, simply for your protection from evil.

-David Maxson/Open the Door Daily Devotion 6/8/12


Passing the Torch

Is there a magic cutoff period when offspring
become accountable for their own actions? Is there a

wonderful moment when parents can become detached

spectators in the lives of their children and 
 say ,
'It's their life,' and feel nothing?

When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital

corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in

my son's head.  I asked, 'When do you stop worrying?'

The nurse said,  'When they get out of the accident

stage.'  My mother just smiled faintly and said


When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in

a classroom and heard how one of my children talked

incessantly, disrupted the class, and was headed for a

career making license plates.  As if to read my mind,

a teacher said, 'Don't worry, they all go through this

stage and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy

My mother just smiled faintly and said nothing.

When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting
for the phone to ring, the cars to come home, the

front door to open.  A friend said, 'They're trying to

find themselves.  Don't worry, in a few years, you can

stop worrying.  They'll be adults.'  My mother just

smiled faintly and said nothing.

By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being

vulnerable.  I was still worrying over my children,

but there was a new wrinkle.  There was nothing I

could do about it.  My mother just smiled faintly and

said nothing.  I continued to anguish over their

failures, be tormented by their frustrations and

absorbed in their disappointments.

My friends said that when my kids got married I could

stop worrying and lead my own life.  I wanted to

believe that, but I was haunted by my mother's warm

smile and her occasional,  'You look pale. Are you

alright?  Call me the minute you get home.  Are you

depressed about something?'

Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of

worry?  Is concern for one another handed down like a

torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the

fears of the unknown?  Is concern a curse or is it a

virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life?

One of my children became quite irritable recently,

saying to me, 'Where were you?  I've been calling for

3 days, and no one answered.  I was worried.'

I smiled a warm smile.

The torch has been passed.

Author Unknown
thanks to Susan Grant


The UnBelieving Companion

author unknown

Thousands of Christians are married to non-Christians. The result, of course, is a divided home and a divided home is not the happiest in the world. Regardless of how happy that home may seem to be, it would be even happier were it not divided.

Naturally, the thing uppermost in the mind of the Christian partner in that marriage is the conversion of his or her companion. Not only does such a conversion affect the happiness of that home, but more important, it determines the eternal destiny of the one who is converted. It is therefore proper that a few suggestions be made as to how the companion may be won to Christ.

You cannot drive one to accept Christ.

The power of the gospel is a drawing power, not a driving power (John 6:44). If you try to drive someone to accept the gospel, you are more likely to produce a revolt in that person, and you may bring out the stubborn nature that may be dormant in an otherwise even tempered personality.

You will never win your companion by staying away from church services yourself.

Regardless of how much opposition you may receive at home, your companion will not respect you in your religious convictions unless he sees you attending all the services of the church on a regular basis, faithfully. If you forsake the assembling together with the saints of like precious faith you will not be a good example to your companion. In doing so, you will not be able to save his soul but will put your own in jeopardy.

The best way to win an unbelieving companion is to set a
good example of godly, spiritual living before him or her.

Peter admonished, "In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that even if any obey not the Word, they may
without the Word be gained by the behavior of their wives
" (I
Peter 3:1,2). Many wives have won their husbands, and husbands their wives, by the example of pure Christian living before them.

Be patient!

Many companions have been won to Christ only after many months or even years of work and prayer. If you do not win your companion to Christ right away, don't become discouraged. Keep trying! That soul is too important for you to give up. Patience is most important, but remember that patience must be coupled with earnest prayer to God.

If you are not yet married, win your future husband or wife to Christ before the wedding. It is much easier that way!


"The challenge for you as a believer is to do all you can to set the stage and create an environment for your husband or wife to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Exhibiting Christlike love in your marriage has the greatest potential for compelling your spouse to trust in God."  -selected
More advice for those who has an unbelieving spouse:

Pray for opportunities for your spouse to hear the gospel, to meet Christians, and to have a willing heart to hear.
Pray for strength to be sweet, kind, and understanding to your spouse and pray for courage to follow through in being a good example of one who loves the Lord and puts the Lord first in her life. If the Lord is put first in all your thoughts and actions your love will grow and this will never harm your spouse, for it is his soul that you love most of all.
If possible, don't neglect meeting with the saints outside worship services, not only for your sake, but for your children. By my own observance, children who never attend get-togethers with Christians seem lonely at the church building, not because they are purposely ignored, but because they haven't had the opportunity to get to know the adults and their children on a more personal level. Meeting with fellow Christians builds strength and it helps us and our children to learn to be more caring of others as well as having emotional and spiritual help when we are in need. However, if our local congregation gets together often, the unbelieving husband shouldn't be ignored to the point of feeling he is in competition with Christians so a balance of time spent with Christians must be used with wisdom.
Sometimes there is a husband who never prohibits his wife meeting with Christians outside worship service and may even welcome them into his home. Take advantage of this blessing and have Christians over for meals and get-togethers.
Compliment your husband when he displays Christ-like attributes. Build up the good and help him to enjoy the goodness God has taught all of mankind, whether he recognizes Him as the source or not.
And while you are helping him in his good works (above) be careful you don't bias him against being a Christian by talking about Christians who do not act as they should. If your husband has seen this or heard this, be frank and admit there are Christian who fall into temptation as well as those who fall out of Christ and there are hypocrites. Be honest, but at the same time, balance it with telling your husband this is why you appreciated "brother ______" and "sister ______" for their strength and endurance and Christ-like attitude.
Remember, "Love covers a multitude of sins." Always be loving.


How to Help a Friend Whose Husband is Unfaithful

(Advice from mail)

HELPFUL:  Being with me, fully present, like Job's friends (before they started talking).  Including me in social events, even though I felt awkward.  Reassurance I was going to be OK.  Noticing when I was desperate for a hug.  Understanding when I needed to be alone.  Talking with me about something OTHER THAN the divorce.   Kind cards and calls.  Making a real effort to use my newly regained maiden name.  Listening with care and patience.  Changing the locks on the house.

HURTFUL:  Complaining about insignificant faults of their own husbands who, on the whole, were good and kind and oh so faithful.  Asking too many probing questions.  Expecting me to immediately know what to do with myself.  Fake friends, who vanished.  Believing and spreading rumors, not bothering with facts.  Excessive sympathy/pity.  Rushing to match me up with some man, when men were my worst fear.

Hurtful:  Asking, Was it just a midlife crisis? 
Thank you for your response!


Parents — Are You Listening?

Edward Bragwell, Sr.

Some mothers I knew were working on mailing bulletins at a church building where I preached at the time. They were talking about how hard it is on young Christians in our present society. One bemoaned how hard it is on them to not get to go to the prom or participate in certain sports, pageants, etc. because of the immodesty of what they would have to wear. Another lamented how hard it is for them to have to say, “no,” to many other activities their peers were into or going to places where they hangout.

One mother who had a teenage daughter spoke up and said, “We try not to let (girl’s name) know that she’s missing a thing.” I like her reply. Two of the mothers by their attitude were no doubt signaling to their children the message, “You poor underprivileged child. I am sorry you cannot enjoy your youth because you're a Christian.” The third mother was signaling to her child, “You are the privileged one. You enjoy the blessings of being in Christ, so in reality you are not missing a thing by foregoing the momentary pleasures of this world.”



Faith in Self or Faith in God?

Pat Gates

Teaching our children self-confidence is beneficial in this life, as long as humbleness, kindness, and putting others first is taught along with it. However, self-confidence in spiritual matters must be taught by always placing emphasis on our confidence on one Truth, the power of the Word, and the strength and character we obtain through our Lord Jesus Christ. Let's teach the young that "Self" is placed behind Christ and we are in full submission to Him. Our confidence must lay in the fact that God is righteous (and expects us to be so), just (will reward and discipline), loving, merciful, and trustworthy.

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2Co 4:5-7)

On the right side (below) I have placed Marjorie Holmes' poem, "Faith in Myself," and on the left an edited version I did entitled "Faith in God." While I understand what Mrs. Holmes was saying, in order for us and our children to have the strength we need to take on the trials in this life we really need to change our way of thinking and talking and place emphasis on God's strength in our lives and our dependence on Him, not self. If we tell our child to "have faith in yourself" when they have to face being different from the world and if they feel weak and shy as they face opposition, they won't understand how to gather strength from themselves. However if we teach our children we all feel weak and helpless at times and God is the One with the strength and He promises to help us if we lean on Him, then our child can gain true confidence in God's strength and Truth working in themselves.

Along with these thoughts, can you think of a verse that tells us to have faith in ourselves or faith in Christ's strength working in us? When Moses didn't have the confidence to speak before Pharoah did God tell him to have faith in himself, or faith in the one who created his mouth?

My changes to Mrs. Holmes lines marked in yellow are in bold on the poem on the left. Which way of thinking and speaking can give us and our children more confidence when facing opposition and trials:

Faith In God

Marjorie Holmes

edited by Pat

God teaches me faith in Him,
not only on days when I'm going great and winning
and nothing seems impossible
but on days when the whole world looks lousy
and I'm losing and the road ahead seems too hard.
When I wonder if I'm brave enough, smart enough
and I must be crazy to try,
don't let me quit Lord, not ever.


Faith In Myself

Marjorie Holmes


God gave me faith in myself,
not only on days when I'm going great and winning
and nothing seems impossible
but on days when the whole world looks lousy
and I'm losing and the road ahead seems too hard.
When I wonder if I'm brave enough, smart enough
and I must be crazy to try,
don't let me quit Lord, not ever.

Let me keep the faith in Him.
No matter how many people
discourage me…
doubt me…
laugh at me…
warn me…
think me a fool…
Don't let me listen.

Let me keep the faith in myself.
No matter how many people
discourage me…
doubt me…
laugh at me…
warn me…
think me a fool…
Don't let me listen.

Let me hear the Word telling me,
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!"
If nobody else in this world cares or believes in me,
let me believe in my Lord.

Let me hear another voice telling me,
"You can do it and you will!"
If nobody else in this world gives a darn or believes in me,
let me believe in myself.

I know there'll be times when I will doubt my own abilities,
when I'll be discouraged and on the verge of despair,
don't let me give up,
hang onto me.
Fan the fires so that I'll try even harder.
Give me more faith in You.

I know there'll be times when I will doubt my own abilities,
when I'll be discouraged and on the verge of despair,
don't let me give up,
hang onto me.
Fan the fires so that I'll try even harder.
Give me more faith in myself.

Dear Lord, You are the source of life and power.
You are the source of my abilities and my faith.
Thank you for reinforcements.
I know that you will give me for what I ask…
Faith in Your power that works in me.

Dear Lord, you are the source of life and power.
You are the source of my abilities and my faith.
Thank you for reinforcements.
I know that you will give me for what I ask…
Faith in myself


This is an excellent story to teach our children beginning at a young age. However, to end the story we need to teach that if we try and please God with everything we do and say, we will be blessed. While we can't please everyone, pleasing God will make decisions much easier and will bring us peace of mind.

The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey

A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."

Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?"

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:

"Please all, and you will please none."

Trying to please everyone ends up with us looking as foolish as the picture of the man and boy carrying the donkey.


November 2017