Parents are provoked to make stupid rules.
"Nobody's allowed to breathe on anybody" comes to mind.
"Do not violate the airspace in their room" was instituted after "stay out of their room" proved insufficient.
"The word 'whatever' is not allowed in this house" has proven to be my favorite.
We have five darling children in our home, ages 4, 8, 10, 13 and 16. They've been brought up with the rich vocabulary of their mother the writer, yet fell back on 'whatever' one time too many for their father's liking. Thus he declared the anti-whatever rule, in an effort to stomp out the kids' disgusted resignation.
The problem with rules is that children have minds which immediately grasp the letter of the law and plot a way around it. It comes less easily for them to understand the spirit of the law and a benefit for the household intended by it.
It was only a matter of time before the word 'whatever' escaped my lips. My husband and I were discussing a decision on which I didn't have a strong opinion. I shrugged and offered a pleasant "okay, whatever" to indicate that I was fine with his preference. I was promptly reminded by one of my darlings that the word was forbidden, for they had listened only to the letter of the law and had entirely missed its spirit.
A person's relationship with God can be entirely summarized in how we say 'whatever.'
If a person denies that God exists, the word is said with Ridicule. "Whatever" comes out with a scoff, for who can take seriously what one argues is make-believe?
If a person acknowledges that an almighty God indeed exists, but suspiciously eyes Him as cruel to allow suffering, "Whatever" is spit out with sneering Resentment.
If a person knows of the sovereign God's commandments, but bristles at the idea of obeying them, "What-EV-er!" is snorted in Rebellion, throwing off the Creator's right of ownership.
If a person has acknowledged Christ as Savior, but sees grace as a licence to live as one pleases, "Whatever" is declared with Revelry in a life of continued sin—which dishonors the Savior's blood and undermines a claim of salvation.
If a person has asked for God's forgiveness through the atoning death of Jesus Christ and turned from sin, but does not yet appreciate that God's ways are for our benefit and not to spoil a good time, one will say "Whatever" with a sad sigh, in Resignation to God's will.
But if one finds the place of Rest offered by Jesus, one says "Whatever" in pleasant peace.
Whosoever believes in Jesus for eternal life may also believe in Him for His perfect will. It is possible, even amid hardship, to look heavenward with faith that God is orchestrating for our blessing whatever is beyond our control.