Part 1 of 2
By Pastor Dave
Whether you know it or not at the beginning of every relationship an account is opened for you and the other person in the relationship in the bank of trust. It is a trust fund that is an interest bearing account. Trust funds are set up with long term goals in mind. You can draw on them early but only for special occasions.
In life all relationships rise and fall on trust. This principal of trust works in all relationships. When I got saved trust became a great builder in my marriage to which I went to the bank of trust many times to make a deposit which now is paying long term benefits in my life and relationship with my wife. This works in all relationships but I came to see the real value of making deposits with my relationship with my daughter on a regular basis over the years I raised her when one day I had to make a withdrawal with my daughter which changed the direction of both of our lives.
My wife and I always loved Rachelle and my wife had her own account with her. Even to this day there is a great trust between them where deposits and occasional withdrawals are made. But I was the dad and felt a special responsibility to a daughter. I knew someday Rachelle would choose a direction in life and possibly a mate and I needed her to trust me fully and me her when those and other important days would come. This trust fund cannot be left empty through the years and put in a large sum at the last minute. This trust fund must be added to daily, monthly, and yearly and when the big withdrawals come you hope and pray you have banked enough.
It started when she was little and I purposed never to lie to her on anything. When she would ask me something I would always tell her the truth. Ka-ching deposits into the bank of trust. And you know that seven and eight year old little girls ask some tough questions. The questions get tougher as they get older but that was the deal and every time I answered one of those questions honestly I made a deposit in the bank of trust.
Next I purposed to keep my promises and if there was a time I for some reason could not keep it I asked for forgiveness and fulfilled it later if it was possible. Ka-ching deposits into the bank of trust. I found my daughter did not expect me to be perfect, just honest. Sometimes when raising children we over promise or life and work schedules keep us from keeping that promise but these times for me were few. Then I promised to always keep my word which goes beyond our promises.
Following through with the discipline I had to do to teach her many things was tough. Consequences for doing wrong were painful for me but they had to be carried out. That old saying when a parent says to a child “This hurts me more than it hurts you” was so true with me. Consistency in discipline taught boundaries and brought stability in my daughter’s life. Ka-ching.
If I found new evidence that I judged poorly I would correct or lessen the punishment and ask for forgiveness when necessary. This may be hard to understand but from time to time I would use my power of fatherly pardon as our Lord used it the parable in Matthew 18:23-28. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt (Matthew 18:27). As the spirit led, my wife and I would both use this in our raising of Rachelle. John Harrigan said “People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.” These random acts of pardon led by the Holy Spirit built in grace, mercy, and hope in our daughter and could be taken away if our daughter responded like the servant in the parable. But our daughter always responded well in these times and added once again to the bank of trust.
Loving discipline is consistency with honesty and grace. It is a part of our progressive sanctification. I purposed to be available when needed. I’m sure you know how much children can interrupt you or have needs that they want your help with. I can’t tell you how many times I heard Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad or when she got older can we talk? Eventually she didn’t have to say anything. Bonnie and I saw it coming. My wife did so well with this and this connection between Rachelle and her is still strong today.
The most precious gift you can give to your children or anyone is time. Not just time but quality time, focused time, I’m all there time. It will be one of the most sweetly frustrating things you will do with your children and will make big ka-chings in the deposits of the bank of trust. Why? We are all busy and when you take time you are telling them how important they are more than words because you put them ahead of the important things in life. There were times when I had a funeral or an unmovable date on the calendar but I always tried to make it up to Rachelle. My daughter learned there were times she couldn’t interrupt and had to wait but never had the feeling of being forgotten or overlooked because she was not important. We can arrange our schedule more than we think or someday you will be singing that song by Harry Chapin in the 60’s “Cats in the Cradle” when you find you have not put enough in the bank of trust in this area.
Remember – your most precious gift in any relationship is time. That goes for our vertical relationship with the Lord and horizontal relationships here on earth.
To be continued ………………..