A Mom Who Keeps Her Promises
Glynnis Whitwer

"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 (NIV)

One day, just before the start of school, my middle son sat cross-legged on the ground, playing at the foot of my desk while I worked on the computer. Since he'd been out-thinking me from the time he was two, I shouldn't have been surprised at the conversation that ensued.

"Mom," he started simply. "When you were little, did Grandma ever tell you she'd get you a pony and then didn't?"

"No, she didn't," I answered, fully engaged and wondering where this line of thought would go.

"Well, you told us you'd take us to Toys R' Us this summer and you didn't. That's a true lie," Dylan solidly proclaimed.

I was shocked that he remembered a promise from three months back, but more stunned by his reasoning. In the midst of being impressed by how his mind worked, I was convicted. He was right! Every time we drove past the toy store, my three little boys asked to stop and I'd put them off. It wasn't that we didn't have the time, but taking three boys into a toy store was pure torture. Either I should have taken them or I shouldn't have promised we would do it.

I stopped my work, joined him on the floor, and sincerely apologized for not following through on my commitment. That little 6-year-old taught me a lesson I'm still learning: I need to keep my promises to my children!

It's tempting to think the kids will understand when my schedule changes and it becomes inconvenient to keep a commitment. After all, they are "just" kids. Right? Wrong! I've discovered that after God and my husband, my children are the most important people to whom I should honor a promise.

The truth is while children may say they understand when we don't keep a promise, depending on their ages, it's really hard for them to fully grasp our complicated lives. All they know is they are eating a cafeteria lunch alone when mom said she'd bring a Happy Meal. Or they are in front of a TV when mom promised to take them to the park.

We all know life happens and interrupts even the best-laid plans. That's part of what we need to teach children – to be flexible. The problem arises when it becomes a habit. A mom who consistently backs out of promises will teach her children to do the same, and will leave them insecure and possibly resentful.

To become women who keep their promises, we need to guard our words and follow some daily practices. Don't make a promise simply to stop a child's repeated requests. Carefully consider your schedule and commitments before offering to do something. Start with small promises and build up to larger ones. If the promise has to do with an outing as a family, work together as a family to get everything done before going. Look beyond a child's words to her heart. Does her request have more to do with spending time with you than going to the park? If so, offer an alternative before you commit to something you probably can't do.

A mother has the high calling of modeling the faithfulness of God to her children. More than words, children watch actions. Will they find a mother who keeps her promises? If so, it will lead them to a God who keeps His promises.

Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your unchanging nature. I praise You for Your faithfulness in keeping Your promises throughout the generations. Please forgive me for the times I haven't kept my promises to the people I Iove. Help me become a person who keeps her word, even in the hard times. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
work@home: A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work From Home by Glynnis Whitwer

Subscribe to The P31 Woman Magazine edited by Glynnis Whitwer

Visit Glynnis’ blog

Application Steps:
Think of one promise you can make to your child(ren), or someone you love, this week. Make that promise and keep it.

Reflections:
When someone keeps a promise they have made to you, how does it make you feel?

What are some areas in your life where you have trouble keeping promises?

Identify some daily practices that will help you keep your promises.

Power Verses:
2 Peter 3: 8-9, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (NIV)

Psalm 9:10, "Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." (NIV)

1 Timothy 1:15, "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." (NIV)

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5 Comments:

Thank you, Glynnis. I have made a promise to the cherubs that I need to make good on! Will do that this week! Thank you! I want them to know I keep my word...because it reflects Him. We always tell the kids "your word is a promise".

Going to make good on that promise....

Oh, this is so true, Glynnis. In the midst of "summer vacation," this is a great truth to be reminded of. Thank you.

Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Thank you for sharing this. I have been guilty numerous times, probably more if I realized them all. If I expect to have an open & honest relationship w/ communication lines open as they grow into adults, it is best to start that now.

Bless you, sister.

Blogger Jessica said...

I know this area is something I need to work on -- not so much because I don't keep specific promises, but because I am constantly putting off my daughter's requests. (She is only 2, so there is a lot she wants that we really CAN'T do, but I put her off more often than I really need to.) So thank you! I needed to hear this.

Anonymous Jessica said...

Thank you so much! I really needed to read this. I have two children that deserve for me to keep my promises. Pray for me as a mother. My son is 4 and a half, and my daughter just celebrated her first birthday. It was so easy for me to keep my word as a mom of one, but I'm still having a tough time being fair with my time now that I have two children. I feel that my son doesn't feel as special sometimes. I want him to know that I love him so much, even though I do not get to give him as much attention as I used to.

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