As parents, we want to promise our children the world, but I have learned not to promise my children anything! I learned that lesson the hard way! I eventually found out that I could rarely follow through on them (and my children realized that, too!). I used to promise things at their insistence. Ever heard, “Do you promise, mom?”
A promise by definition means “a declaration that something will or will not be done or given” (Dictionary.com). When we make a promise, we are banking on the future, and nobody knows what the future holds except God. If you promise an afternoon play time at the park and then it rains, you break your promise. If you promise to finish reading a book with your child and then you get held up on an unexpected phone call, you break your promise. If you promise to bake with your child and then you get distracted on another project, you break your promise. If you promise a special trip and then you get sick, you break your promise.
There is no way we can guarantee what is going to happen in our lives, and because of that, there is no way we can make promises. We cannot predict the weather, bank on our day running smoothly, or know that everyone will be healthy. Hebrews 13:8 says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” It’s best to leave the promise making and keeping to Him!
I believe when someone makes a promise, he or she should carry through on it. If not, their word doesn’t mean a thing. I want my words to be meaningful and true, so when my kids ask about something, I simply tell them “We will have to see, but I cannot promise you anything.”