Blog: Building Up the Love Bank…at Dodge Ball Games, School Plays & Beyond
by Julie Method
HCA Teacher & Theatre Director
Last Friday night, I was sitting at the Dodgeball competition and experienced one of my favorite things. There was a group of middle school students playing. One of the students is a new HCA student who is also in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe that we are performing next weekend. From the crowd in the bleachers, I heard his name being chanted. The student who started the chant is a senior who is also in the play. A feeling of belonging…of bonding…of becoming family. That is part of what being in a play is all about. A group of students—strangers—that through a process of practicing and learning come together to put on a production.
As we are about a week out from production, there are a lot of things I must do. I wear a lot of hats as a director of theatre at a school. These include stage design, lighting design, sound design, and coordinator of concessions, snacks, costumes, programs, ushers, etc.—plus teaching full time and working with my other productions. However, although all those things are important, I cannot lose sight of the most important part of this show, the cast and crew. Each one represents a life. Each has hurts and struggles and disappointments, but they all have great moments as well. As a director, I have developed a relationship with each student as we practice daily over the course of two months. This relationship and these precious students are the priority. It’s easy to just see the big picture and forget that these individual lives matter, and most importantly matter to God.
In one of our devotions we talked about the “love bank.” In a relationship, when we invest our words or gifts or time into someone, we are adding to their “love bank”—the knowledge that they are loved and feel loved. However, when we make withdrawals by having to criticize or by being impatient or speaking without thinking, their “love bank” dwindles. That individual loses the confidence in the relationship. So, as we come closer and closer to the first night of our production, my focus is first to pray for each student and to invest the time needed into their lives so they know they are loved.
Even in my own personal life, I can get so busy trying to accomplish everything that I miss out on my most important relationship, my relationship I have with God. My “love bank” with God can get depleted because it’s easy to be busy and neglect my time with Him where I am being filled with His word and His presence and His love. And this relationship—oh this relationship—is the basis for every other relationship I have. So I challenge myself, especially in the busiest times of my life, to take the time to build up that account with God so that I can deposit His love into others.
Of course, I am praying and hoping that our production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a success. The bigger success, however, will be if these students walk out of this experience knowing they are loved and accepted in the family of God.
HCA blogger of the week Julie Method knows a lot about depositing into the “love bank” of our kids and teens. As a veteran HCA high school teacher, Theatre Department Director, and Children’s Ministries Director at Grace, her thoughts apply to us all as we, too, let others know they are loved and accepted in the family of God.