How we treat people:
the principal of Deposits & Withdrawals
Deposit - to put good into a relationship, to invest, to bless.
Withdrawal - Asking something of the other person - or even to remove something unnecessary, harmful - to take out.
Little People Deposits
With our kids - if we want their ear, heart, loyalty, and respect we need to make deposits before we can earn the right to make a withdrawal. For example: Imagine if all we do is nag, discipline, or dictate - without depositing/establishing a love connection and meeting their emotional need. Making a withdrawal or bringing correction to them will not be well received. All it may do is cause a power struggle - an unearned right to correct, and cause serious resentment.
But when we deposit love & quality time listening to their heart, we've earned their trust, respect and the right to make a withdrawal.
The Biggest Deposit
Let me put this in the perspective of Jesus - He deposits LOVE and offers relationship FIRST (Salvation) and offers mercy & grace. He continually makes deposits as relationship builds, and as we learn to trust Him, THEN He brings us to a place of discipline and correction - and withdraws/removes harmful habits from our lives. He forgives and loves us through our faults, and as we learn to trust Him, we're more ready to receive His direction and correction.
This for sure is true in marriages - I know in times my marriage was struggling and there were things I was trying to force into change (make withdrawals) - but when I look back upon those times, the change and peace actually came when I started making unexpected and sometimes sacrificial deposits into my husband - even when I didn't FEEL like it. Once there were enough deposits, withdrawals could be easily made.
Difficult People Deposits
Of course, you can put this principal into pretty much any relationship we have - but there's one more type that most don't want to think of...and that's the difficult relationships we have - with the person we don't see eye to eye with.
It's so easy to be quick to go toe to toe with someone you feel is so wrong in their thinking - and maybe they are. But how are you handling those people? Are you trying to withdraw - correct, change, or ask something of - and let's be honest - (in an eye rolling moment) respond dripping with irritation?
Anyone who has made positive change of direction in life (most of the time) don't do it because someone harshly judged and strong-armed them (withdrawal), but instead believed in them and walked with compassion alongside them (deposit).
Try making a deposit - like Jesus putting aside the "sin" and spending time believing in and investing in the person...depositing.
Ask yourself when faced with a difficult person or situation, have you made a deposit before you're about to withdraw? If not, I'm sure you can imagine the reaction you'll receive if the relational bank is empty. If it IS empty, maybe it's not your place to withdraw in this situation.
Just imagine the potential peace around all families, communities & other relationships (good & difficult) if we made a habit of ONLY depositing before making a withdrawal.