Create an 'Interest-Bearing Trust Account' for Your Children
- Monday, October 31, 2005
I opened a trust account for my children a number of years back. There was no trip to the bank; no monies exchanged hands because the account was not financial. This trust account was truly personal. Simply stated, the account is this: If, by God’s grace, my child will endeavor to grow and change by showing cheerful obedience to God and his parents, we, his mom and dad, will endeavor to faithfully recognize his good choices and rejoice in his growth.
This simple word picture of attitude and behavior being likened to a bank account has been a special teaching tool which our family has greatly enjoyed. Perhaps it can also be a blessing to you, my co-laborers in Christ!
What is a trust account?
1. It is an informal vehicle to keep parents and children communicating about the everyday spiritual choices and how they affect daily life and testimony.
2. The parent sets up the trust account by explaining the basic idea of a savings/checking account. In a trust account, as in regular accounts, there are deposits and withdrawals. When the child is given a responsibility and he fulfills it with a gracious attitude without being reminded, Dad and Mom will do their best to take note of it. This is a deposit into his trust account. The interest he received for obedience to commands and responsibilities over the long haul is called trust!
Since the deposit is not written, but informal, Dad and Mom are free to recognize anything they appreciate in their child as worthy of deposit to the account. They can place a deposit in the trust account for a good attitude following an on-the-spot order, a kindness to an elderly saint, a thoughtful deed towards Mom, and even the “turning of the other cheek” when a brother or sister proves to be an irritant. It is an opportunity for a busy dad to say, “Son, by the way, I appreciated how you handled ___________ yesterday. You made a good deposit into the trust account! Thanks!
A withdrawal from the account is fairly simple to grasp. If a son or daughter handles responsibilities or commands in a manner that would not please God and definitely not arouse in Dad and Mom and confidence and trust, then likely there will be a silent withdrawal from the trust account of the child. He has written an ill-timed check and a withdrawal will be made.
What are the potential advantages of the trust account?
1. It is a positive tool!
Dad and Mom have a simple tool in their hand with which to recognize a children for a great effort! A wink, a smile, a word of appreciation is in order for responding well to a command or an excellent handling of an ongoing responsibility. Sometimes it would be kind just to say, “Honey, I noticed you were careful to keep a sweet attitude even when you were disappointed; that’s exactly what I was hoping you would do!” (Proverbs 23:26).
2. It is instructive.
When a child is not doing well in an area, he may not be looking at his failing as an opportunity in the making. An observant parent might say, “Son, right now you are not doing well in the area of _____. You’ve got a great opportunity to please the Lord and even earn more trust, but you’re just not doing it. May I give you a little advice?” (Proverbs 4:1-4; 15:31-32).
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