When You are Caught in a Bind
By Linda Ranson Jacobs
Most single parents set up certain rules and boundaries
for their kids. It could be for safety reasons, spiritual
development, family values, or for social reasons. Whatever
the rationale, they are rules, boundaries, or traditions
specifically designed for your family.
Then your child comes up with something he or she wants
to do that fits in between the lines. It seems like no
matter what you do or say, it’s going to be wrong. As
a single parent you’re really tired of being “wrong”
all the time. “Wrong” being the opinion of your child
or someone else.
As single parents we can take our cues from Jesus. He
found himself in a situation like this in the book of
John. “‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of
adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such
women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question
as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground
with his finger.” John 8:4-8
Did you read what Jesus did? He bent down and started
doodling on the ground. I know as a single mom there
were times I just didn’t have an answer. Or I had the
answer but couldn’t face being the only adult and the
only disciplinarian in the house. One thing I had to
learn was that I didn’t have to give an answer right,
When I had custody of my fifteen-year-old great nephew
he asked, or rather begged, me to let him do something
that was one of those “in between the lines” kind of
things. I had a piece of paper in front of me so I picked
up a pen and started doodling. He couldn’t stand it.
After a few minutes he threw his hands up in the air
and said, “Oh forget it! I know you’re just going to
say no anyway.” And he stormed out of the room. Answer
given and he is the one that answered it – not me.
When you parent alone sometimes it can be overwhelming.
Instead of thinking of yourself as parenting alone, think
of yourself as the other parent in a home where Jesus
dwells. Model your parenting style after Jesus. Think
literally and use some of the examples in stories like
the one above.