Tag Archive for family bank of honor

15 Tips to Keep Love Alive

Valentine’s Day will come and go, but you can keep the spirit of Valentine’s Day alive in your family. How? I’m glad you asked. Here are some “daily ideas” to help you keep the love alive. For more ideas, you can visit “The Honor Bank” on our website, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. In the meantime, each of the daily deposits listed here will keep the spirit of Valentine’s Day alive in your family for months to come!

Give each family member a sincere compliment.

  • Tell each family member one character trait that you see in them and appreciate. Give an example of how you have seen that trait in action.
  • Thank each family member for two things they did for your family this week.
  • Tell each family member something they have done that makes you proud of them.
  • Write a short note telling your family how much you love them. Hide it somewhere that they will find it during the day.
  • Do a chore today that is usually done by another family member.
  • Give your spouse and your children a 6-second hug today. In fact, give them two 6-second hugs-one to start the day and one to end the day.
  • During dinner (or call a family meeting), tell your family three ways in which they make you happy.
  • Give each family member a small gift or card that you know they will like. Maybe they will like a bag of M&M’s, a homemade card, flowers, or a home cooked meal.
  • Mail each family member a card. Yes, I said mail. Isn’t it exciting to receive a surprise card or package through the “snail mail?”
  • Give up the last bite of ice cream, the best seat, or the last cookie…and let a family member have it instead.
  • Tell each family member one thing you respect about them.
  • Find a sincere reason to say thank you to your spouse three times today…do the same for each of your children.
  • Give each family member a back rub or massage this week.
  • Tell your spouse how attractive you find them…be specific about what you find most attractive.
15 simple ideas…Although they sound small, these daily deposits into the Family Bank of Honor keep love alive. If you find that hard to believe, try it out. In fact, I dare you to try out these ideas and others from the Honor Bank. If you do, you will find the spirit of Valentine’s Day alive and well in your family for days to come!

The Tongue in the Family Bank of Honor

The tongue is an amazing muscle. Actually, it is much more than a muscle. We use our tongue to taste and to talk. We may even stick it out in a playful or nasty manner. We can use our tongue to say the most wonderful, funny words or to say terribly, hurtful things. Not only is the tongue versatile, it is powerful. One ancient writer said that “death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21) and “the north wind brings forth rain: so does a backbiting tongue an angry countenance” (Proverbs 25:23). That is power for such a small part of the body. In fact, another ancient writer compared the tongue to the rudder of a great ship…a small part of the ship but one that controls the direction of the ship, even in a storm (James 3:5). The tongue is small, versatile, and powerful…and you can use it to build intimacy in your family or to destroy your family.
Yes, the tongue is small, versatile, and powerful. It can accomplish great things for the family or it can quickly crush your family, build intimacy between family members or destroy family members. Consider how the tongue can crush family members and make huge withdrawals from the Family Bank of Honor:
·         Complaining
·         Blaming
·         Nagging
·         Criticizing harshly
·         Arguing and fighting
·         Discourage
·         Curse
·         Screaming and yelling at one another
·         Talking over one another
·         Name calling
·         Lying & deceiving
·         Slander
On the other hand, the tongue can accomplish so much for the family, making multiple deposits into the Family Bank of Honor. The tongue can build intimacy and love. Consider some of the good things the tongue can do.
·         Compliment
·         Praise
·         Encourage
·         Thank
·         Express love for one another
·         Use polite words
·         Comfort
·         Affirm
·         Build up
·         Offer constructive criticism
·         Apologize
·         Share wisdom
·         Kinds
·         Bless
·         Speaks truth gently
The tongue is small but mighty…you can use it to build up or tear down, bless or curse, encourage or discourage family, to make deposits or withdrawals into the Family Bank of Honor. The choice is yours!

4 Things We Learned at Family Camp

My family and I had a great time during Family Camp at Camp Christian. This year, I had the opportunity to present about family life during family camp. I enjoyed preparing the lessons and presenting them during camp. I truly appreciate the support and encouragement everyone offered in response…thank you. It was a humbling and fun experience (the picture is me speaking on “Grace Begins”). Throughout the weekend, we explored ways to apply honor, grace, and celebration to our families…and I saw people practicing all weekend. It was wonderful. Here are a few things we learned:
    1.      Make deposits of honor into your Family Bank of Honor every day. Jim spoke to me to make a wonderful addition to the idea of Family Banking. He noted that while we can make daily deposits into our account, we can also invest acts of honor in our long-term savings accounts. Those investments of honor impact not only our immediate family, but our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren. When we make regular deposits into the Family Bank of Honor we create an environment of honor that benefits generations to come…we change our family and leave our grandchildren’s children an inheritance of honor! What a great concept. Thanks Jim.

2.      We give grace to our family when we give them our time. Show grace to your family by “tarrying” with them. Jack and I were watching the younger children play in the creek with their parents. They were having a blast, especially when someone caught a frog. The children gathered around to look at the frog and then carefully carried it from parent to parent with the desire to share their treasure. Because their parents were there, giving the gracious gift of time, they were able to share that moment and the treasured frog. Jack noted how much children enjoy these simple acts of togetherness. They don’t need us to make an extravagant show to entertain them or spend big money for fancy toys. We don’t need to rush them from activity to activity so they remain involved. Our children simply need us to “tarry” with them…to give them the gracious gift of our time. We can “tarry” with them in the backyard, in a park, near a creek, or in the living room with a board game. In fact, I have watched children have more fun with a cardboard box than many an expensive toy…and I remember doing the same.  Thanks for sharing this with me, Jack. (This weekend, we even had fun putting a together a four-sided puzzle-see picture)

3.      Keeping a healthy family takes diligence. Bob shared that during a campfire talk one night. Just like keeping a garden, raising a family takes diligence. Satan is out to destroy the family. He sends pests, weeds, and animals to break the family apart. We need to diligently protect our family from those outside forces that threaten to pluck our children up before they are mature enough to protect themselves. We need to fertilize our family with plenty of honor and grace, encouragement and discipline to promote growth and intimacy. We remain vigilant to any signs that little unseen pests like disappointment, discouragement, or fear are eating away at any family member. And, we come to their aid with love, support, and encouragement. We also keep the weeds of over-busyness from growing in our garden, keeping the garden clear and open so our family can enjoy the nutrients found in the soil of a simple, loving family. What a wonderfully rich analogy, Bob. Thank you.

4.      We build our family through celebration. One of the things I love about Family Camp is the celebration…the times of worship celebration and the times of playful family celebration during free time. This year Greg led the worship with Cameron on guitar and Hanna on piano. They did a wonderful job…I could see the joy of worship in their faces. I really love to see the small children praising God with total abandon—singing, dancing, and enjoying the celebration of worship. It makes me smile and reminds of David dancing before God as he brought the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem. Thank you for those times of worship and celebration. They draw us closer to God and to one another.
There are so many people and experiences that make Family Camp so much fun. I just wanted to mention these 4 simple things that added to what I learned about family this weekend at Family Camp. Thanks to each and every one of you. I pray your family was blessed through your experience at camp this year and will taste the fruit of this experience for weeks to come.

Banking at the Family Bank of Honor

Yesterday I had a wonderful evening with my family. Throughout the evening I made several deposits into our “Family Bank of Honor.”  Everything just seemed to flow smoothly…very smoothly. I complimented my wife’s new shirt and told her how nice she looked…two deposits into the “Family Bank of Honor.” During a commercial, I got myself a drink and grabbed one up for my wife as well…deposit number two. I asked my daughter, very politely I might add, if she could start the dishwasher…deposit number three for politeness. And, my daughter started the dishwasher without complaining…deposit numbers four and five. You get the idea. We talked and joked around. We spoke politely, did considerate things for one another, and enjoyed physical closeness. Even bedtime was marked by loving “goodnights” and hugs…deposit, deposit, deposit. Overall, we had a great family evening filled with loving, honoring deposits into our “Family Bank of Honor.” By time we finally went to bed, I bet we had accrued over 50 deposits into the “Family Honor Account.” I fell asleep feeling good, even a little cocky, about the honor we had accrued in the “Family Bank of Honor.” What a family man, Mr. Honor himself, a loving husband and father, who has instilled an ongoing culture of honor into his family.
Perhaps (well, maybe “Definitely” would be a better word than “Perhaps”), I was feeling a little too confident, too complacent in my perceived success. I woke up this morning feeling a little grumpy (I say “a little,” my family says “a lot”…you say “tomayto,” I say “tomahto”). Anyway, I think the first words out of my mouth were “Who ate the last grapefruit” in a less than honorable tone…withdraw five deposits. My wife calmly pulled a grapefruit out of the refrigerator. I offered no apology, no thank you, just a grunt…withdraw four more deposits. My daughters were chatty and I was irritated so I gave them a dirty look and said in a harsh tone, “would you be quiet!” Withdrawal again…at least ten since I gave them “the look,” a harsh tone, and an unwarranted demand. That’s a total of 19 withdrawals and I hadn’t even finished breakfast. I eventually left for my morning activities, spent some time alone, and came home in a better mood; but not before making significant withdrawals from the “Family Bank of Honor.” It seems that the deposits of yesterday barely covered the withdrawals of today.
Now I sit here writing about my poorly managed emotional banking. I contemplate the fact that even though I made several deposits yesterday, my account fell under the minimum balance this morning. I broke the bank. What’s the lesson? Simple, make as many deposits into the “Family Bank of Honor” as you can…every day…every chance you get. Really, making deposits is easy. It means being polite, thoughtful, and considerate. Think about the other person and do something kind for them. Give up the last piece of pie and give it to one of your family members. Make as many deposits as you can because a single withdrawal cancels out several deposits. And, we all have those days when we make huge withdrawals, even the best of us. With that in mind, make at least five deposits for every one withdrawal. On average, that’s five positive experiences for every one negative experience. That’s what I learned. 
Fortunately, I have a very gracious family. They forgive me. They show me grace, which, come to think of it, is a huge deposit into the “Family Bank of Honor.” In fact, that deposit of grace inspires me to do some work of my own, to make some new deposits today. Aye, that’s lesson number two–I can make up for this morning’s withdrawals by making new deposits today. The first deposit I will make is an apology for my terrible attitude and grumpy actions. Then, I think I’ll load the dishwasher or play a game of cards with my daughters or give my wife a hug. What the heck, why not do all three? In fact, deposits are rather fun. Deposit, deposit, deposit…fun, fun, fun. I think I’ll work to accrue a deposit overflow. I’m on my way. I got family banking to carry out, honor to accrue, and love to show.

Family Bank of Honor

“Easy come, easy go” rings true, doesn’t it? We work hard to save money. We put a portion of every paycheck aside (when we can) and it collects a little (very little these days) interest. Then the furnace goes out, the hot water heater breaks, a fender bender necessitates a new rear bumper, or the kids outgrow their clothes. We dip into savings to meet that need and those deposits disappear. One withdrawal drains us of multiple deposits. Now that I think of it, “easy come, easy go” is only partially true. Perhaps it should read “hard to come, easy to go.”
At any rate, the principle of “easy come, easy go” holds true in the “Family Bank of Honor” as well. We rarely speak directly about this bank, but we act on it all the time. We make regular, daily deposits into the “Family Bank of Honor” by practicing daily acts of kindness, respect, grace, and celebration. Every time we listen and respond in love, we make a deposit into the “Family Bank of Honor.” When we speak to one another with kindness or give encouragement and praise, we make a deposit into the “Family Bank of Honor.” A hug, a kiss, or even a loving slap on the back, represents another deposit into the “Family Bank of Honor.” Sometimes, the deposits are obvious; other times, they are subtle and less clear, like honoring one another’s efforts to connect by responding with energy and attention. Whether obvious or not, we make multiple deposits each day into the “Family Bank of Honor.”  With each deposit, we enrich our relationships and accrue more emotional savings in the “Family Bank of Honor.”
Then the furnace breaks–an argument crops up, a misunderstanding flares, an irritable day turns into a nasty remark. You know the times. We all have times when we make withdrawals from the “Family Bank of Honor,” times when we act dishonorably. Unfortunately, that single withdrawal drains multiple deposits from the “Family Bank of Honor.” One heated disagreement, occurring on a day of irritation, drains our account. We remember the one dishonorable word spoken during a heated exchange more readily than the five sentences of praise spoken in moments of calm. Hopefully, we have made enough deposits of honor, both great and small, to maintain a positive balance in our “Family Bank of Honor.”
One marital researcher, John Gottman, reports that happy couples have at least five good exchanges for every one negative exchange during an argument. He also noted that “master couples” have as many as twenty positive experiences for every one negative experience when they are normally engaged. In other words, happy couples have at least five more positive feelings and interaction than unhappy couples, five to twenty deposits for every withdrawal. So, here is the basic two-step plan for investing in the “Family Bank of Honor:”
      1.      Take every opportunity to make a deposit into the “Family Bank of Honor.” Every day, make as many deposits as possible.
      2.      Focus on making deposit rather than worrying about withdrawals. Make five to twenty deposits for each withdrawal. When you do make a withdrawal, apologize. A sincere apology becomes a deposit that puts you back on the road toward accruing savings in the “Family Bank of Honor.”
With this ratio of deposits to withdrawal, we begin to build a home environment of honor. But, the question remains, exactly how do we make a deposit of honor? Here are a few simple ideas:
·         Listen to family members and accept their suggestions
·         Keep family members’ in mind–their interests, desires, quirks, tender areas, and strengths.
·         Seek out ways to serve one another
·         Sacrifice your own desires to do something that interests a family member
·         Use kind and encouraging words
·         Be polite
For more ideas for making deposits in the “Family Bank of Honor,” see the “Family Bank of Honor” section and click on Honor, Grace, or Celebrate.
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