I have noticed that every house in my subdivision has its own family of wild rabbits. They are everywhere. Those mama bunnies have an average of five babies per litter and since they are only pregnant for a month, they can have 60 in a year.
I am thankful that I am not a bunny. My four children are more than I can handle.
There is a Native American saying that if you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both. So true, just ask my dog. That saying also applies to my parenting. Over the years I have worked on lots of issues with my children such as potty training, lying, stealing, biting, sharing, and basic obedience in order to guide them to be responsible and loving human beings. Some problems are fairly easy to solve, but other issues are harder, bigger and more deeply ingrained in my children. These issues have required extra focus and resources in order to help my children overcome them and when I have worked on too many, the results were underwhelming.
One of my biggest problems as a parent is working on too many issues at one time because they all seem to need immediate attention.
Like rabbits, there is no end in sight to the number of issues my children can have. But my greatest successes as a parent have occurred when I focused my time and attention on only ONE issue. And not per child, but ONE issue, period.
At first I was terrified that my house would spin out of control by letting the other issues slide, but what I discovered was that in addressing the most important issue first, the others could wait. Sometimes they even resolved themselves. Chasing only ONE rabbit provides the time, energy and good attitude necessary to really help our children. And not to worry, your other issues will be patiently waiting for you when you are ready to chase them down too.
And don’t ever forget the most important ONE thing that we can do as parents: Develop our relationship with God.
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But ONE thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her”(Luke 10: 41-42 emphasis ours). Martha had a ton of stuff to do and it was killing her because she missed the ONE thing (taking time to spend with Jesus) that makes ALL things work out just right.
This might be something that you want to ask God in your time together: Help me to prioritize the ONE issue that needs addressing in my home this week. Provide me the wisdom and understanding to help my child be the person you created them to be. And let me remember the most important ONE thing.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given to you as well.
By Dale Skram
Mom of four
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
real.life.speaker, real.faith.writer, and real.life.coach