Archive for April 2015

How a “fight” with my hubby turned into a Teachable Moment

Fight is a bit of an aggressive word and can be construed many different ways.  So, I’ll define it as is typical in my marriage.

Fight (Durbin Marriage Style) – verb, when Kara and Tim bicker back and forth or have heated discussions in raised and irritated tones.  synonym – argument

One evening, Tim and I began squabbling over I can’t even remember what in front of the kids as he was headed back to shower.  Because of our almost 19 years of marriage (+5 prior years of dating), I knew 2 things:
1.  That neither of us was truly mad at the other.
2.  That we would resolve the issue before we went to bed.
Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.  Ephesians 4:26b

But as I glanced at my two kids sitting on the couch, a thought occurred to me.
Did our children know those two things?!

I called Tim back and we decided to work it out in front of the kids so they could see how Mom and Dad deal with conflict resolution.

We explained that…

  • Yes, Mom and Dad do have fights/arguments.  They’ve seen it before.
  • Even when we are trying to work things out and it seems like we are totally frustrated with each other (which we usually are!), we still love each other.  Both feelings are possible at the same time.  Love is patient.  1 Cor. 13:4a
  • Sometimes one of us has to walk away, like Daddy did earlier so we can calm down before trying to resolve the issue.   Refrain from anger and turn from wrath.  Psalm 37:8a
  • We never call each other names or get physical in our arguments.  That crosses the line.  Love is kind. 1 Cor.13:4
  • Sometimes we have to agree to disagree.  And that’s ok, too.
  • We try to never let the sun go down on an heated argument.  Do not let the sun go down while you are angry. Ephesians 4:26b

Then we carried on with our argument turned conversation, allowing the kids to see us work it out.

I think the benefits of this were many –

  • The kids saw Mom and Dad practicing what they preach.
  • They realized conflict resolution is skill they will need all their life, so they might as well keep practicing with siblings and friends!
  • They saw that conflict is normal.  The important thing is how it is handled.
  • They felt security as Mom and Dad explained that the squabbles don’t change their love and commitment to each other.  (Single parents – These same principles can be demonstrated with a good friend or even parent to child!)
  • They heard how the Bible has practical helps in dealing with conflict.

The next time a “fight” begins in front of your kids, consider blessing them with a similar teachable moment!  PS: Though I think this a great idea and helpful to play out in front of your kids every so often (when appropriate), in general I’m not a fan of arguing or fighting in front of the kids. 

For more verses, discussion questions, and take action ideas on the topic of “Fighting,” see your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.


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Your kid a picky eater? You’re in the same club with the penguins!

Got a picky eater in your home?

I thought you’d find it amusing and somewhat comforting to know that even the animal kingdom has to deal with this!

For my 40th birthday, my family treated me to a behind the scenes tour with the penguins at the Ft. Worth Zoo.  I am a little (some would say a lot) obsessed with penguins, so this was super special to me!

We had the pleasure of watching the zookeeper feed them their afternoon meal of fishies. 
Guess what we found out?!

*  Some like one kind of fish. Some like a different kind of fish.
*  One tests the firmness of each fish, drops it if not satisfied, and waits for another.
*  One must be handed the fish a certain way or won’t accept it.

Penguins can be just as picky as humans about eating!  🙂

We’ve had our own share of pickiness here at my house.  I am by no means a health expert, have “the best” meals all the time for my kids, or have completely eradicated pickiness.
But, I have learned and implemented a few TIPS that have helped.

  • No separate meals for the kids.  We all eat the same thing, where they like it or not.
  • I don’t give up on foods that I know are good for them.  They must try a bite or two if it’s on their plate.  Studies show it can take LOTS of tries before kids acclimate to some foods
  • I explain that there are some things they may never like.  Sometimes we have to eat things we don’t enjoy.  I don’t care for tomatoes, but I eat them because I know they are good for me.
  • For politeness (and mainly because my mother ingrained this in me), I’m trying to teach my kids not to say, “I don’t like ______.”  Instead, they may say, “I don’t care for ______” regarding a particular food.

I think it would be taking things a bit far for me to relate this to Scripture.  So, just consider this a shameless excuse for me to share my obsession with penguins with you!

These may not work on penguins, but they’ve worked on my kids.

picky penguins - final

 When a teachable moment does happen lend itself to God’s Word and you want to find a verse on the topic quickly, don’t forget to use your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

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How to help prepare your child to be a godly adult

Let’s take things further than just “be a good example.”

That’s ABSOLUTELY true!
But let’s let our kids in on HOW we are being a good example for them.

1)  We can remind them we all struggle.  (Romans 3:23)

2)  We can be transparent with our kids about our struggles…keeping in mind appropriateness for age and content.   Meaning, we can show them how we are ourselves are working on being a godly adults.  They need real life examples of how it doesn’t come magically or without effort.    I’ll be transparent with you and show you what this looks like in my family.

My example:
I love to eat.  I’m not large, but I struggle daily to keep from becoming so.  My kids know that this is a battle for me because they have seen their bags of chips and snacks completely disappear without a trace before they have had a chance to enjoy them.  My son now hides the Nutella jar so I can’t find it.  Smart kid.

In an effort to deal with this in a healthy way and provide a good example, I’ve posted copies of portions of Philippians 4 on bright yellow paper on my mirror, fridge, and in the pantry at eye level.  I know from failing over and over that I have no power of my own in this weakness and must humble myself and rely fully on God.  My kids (and I) have the visual that I am trying to remember to use the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17), to help me battle this temptation.  I pray this helps my kids remember to turn to God’s Word when they struggle!


Here’s another tactic I’ve tried.
In case you can’t clearly read the post-it, it says, “Flee from Evil!” Ha!
Flee from evil

3)  We can take it even further and use teachable moments to show them how our struggles are similar.  You may remember that I blogged recently about “What is your child’s biggest temptation and what are you doing about it?”  I wrote that from experience with both my children.   This was also the basis for the “When nothing works with your toddler, teen, or in between, what do you do?” post.  Each of my kids have an issue that is heavy on my heart.  It’s a sin issue just like my lack of self-control with food (To be clear, I’m not implying that being overweight is a sin.  I just know that for me personally, food can easily become an idol and tempts me mercilessly in the area of self-control.)

I won’t throw my kids under the bus by divulging what their issues are.  But I’ll share how I’ve incorporated how I deal with my BIG struggle as a teachable moment as an example of helping equip my kids grow into godly adults with their BIG struggle.

My example:
I was sitting in the car with Kid 1 working on my Bible study while Kid 2 was in an extra-curricular activity.   Psalm 119:11 struck me anew because of recent dealings with Kid 1’s struggle and how similar in principle it is to mine.

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

I realized this was a teachable moment!
I stopped and shared with Kid 1 that I had just seen a verse that I thought would be a good reminder for both of us!   We both need applicable topical verses of God’s Word in our hearts because temptation can strike at any time!  I’m not going to always be standing in the pantry with those self- control verses in front of me to help me!  I need one or two memorized so they can help me at any point!  I explained that was the same reason our family had been memorizing a verse a week on the topic of Kid 1’s BIG issue.  Though that particular thing is more of a battle for that child, it’s something we all face.  We never know when the temptation is going to strike, so we all need to have God’s Word already in our hearts to help us fight!

How are you helping your kids see the HOW of being an adult seeking after God?

Topical Scriptures to help both children and adults (because we don’t outgrow God’s Word!) can be easily found in Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

You artsy folks may appreciate this rendition of Michelangelo’s  “The Creation of Adam” from the Sistine Chapel. I like the imagery of it connected to the topic of this blog.
godly adult

Comments Off on How to help prepare your child to be a godly adult   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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Help your kid be a Modern Day Good Samaritan!

Are we going to teach our children to pass on by or help when possible?
Here’s a modern day example of being a Good Samaritan from a friend’s recent Facebook post-

Great teachable moment this morning on the way to karate…an elderly man had McCreary Rd blocked because the large load of food (breads, cakes, bags of candy, coffee, etc) he had in the back of his truck had shifted and fallen all over the road. The only way around was through the Target parking lot. Instead of following through the parking lot, we stopped, jumped out and ran to help him clean up. When we stopped, more & more stopped and it was soon cleaned up. He was visibly moved and thanked us all. Thank You, Lord, for this lesson today!  ~Gina Burrage

Notice that others were passing on by UNTIL the Burrages stopped to help.  THEN, others followed their kind example.

I want my kids to be the sort that stop and help and even positively influence others in the process, don’t you? 

Tonight at dinner, read the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), share this story, and discuss ways that your different family members could be Good Samaritans.  Such as…
– Helping a friend who dropped her books
– Helping a mommy or daddy who’s having to clean up a big mess
– Stopping to let a co-worker know you are praying for a difficult situation in his life.
– Being ready to act when an opportunity presents itself!

Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
    your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Proverbs 3:27 – The Message
Good Samaritan

For more verses and ideas how to expand this idea, see the topic “Kindness” in your copy of Parenting with Scripture: A Topical Guide for Teachable Moments.

2   Posted In:     |    Written By: Kara Durbin
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