He Never Makes Promises

“No, Daddy doesn’t make promises.”


I turned around to see my husband and 5 year-old daughter deep in conversation in the gift shop. After a fun day at the beach, we were waiting for our dinner table to be ready.

I didn’t hear what she asked him for. Probably trying to sweet-talk her way into a toy, like 5 year-olds do.

“You don’t make promises?” I asked with a smirk.

“Nope,” he said with an even bigger smirk.

How have I not noticed this in over 9 years of marriage?!

We have a little joke between us – I’m the remember-er, he’s the notice-r. Obviously that’s not my area of expertise. (Or board game strategies, haha.)

Seriously, my husband is wonderful, but this man’s level of forgetfulness is legendary! Luckily for him though, he’s never forgotten a birthday or anniversary, haha. I try really hard to remind of things without nagging – which is both a practiced and intentional art, but he knows he needs it.

Anyways, no, it’s not my role to be the observant one.

I got to thinking, and besides our wedding vows, I really can’t remember a time where he made me a promise.

Then, I realized why I had never noticed his lack of promise-making…he never needed to.

He’s a man of his word.

“Promises” aren’t necessary.

Let Your “Yes” Be “Yes”

During His “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus spoke to the crowd about the importance of their words.

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Matthew 5:37

I’ll let you study and think for yourself whether or not making promises or taking an oath of any kind is wrong, but let me ask you, do your words hold value?

We probably all know that person who has to say “I swear…” or “I promise…” after every single thing they say. Why is that? Because their word isn’t worth much.

If you’re known for being someone who means what they say and always follows through with their word, why would you need to swear or promise to do something? Wouldn’t people be more likely to just “take your word” for it?

Staying True to Your Word

Just because you don’t say the words “I promise” doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. There are lots of ways to stay true to your word and mean what you way without making promises.

There’s been more than one occasion when I had to keep a promise that I really didn’t want to – disciplining our kids, for example – but I knew to stay true to my word that I had to.

But seriously, think about how much of parenting is just pure consistency with your words and actions. If I give my daughter a warning when she disobeys and tell her the consequence for doing it again…and she does it…what will she think of me if I don’t follow through?

Will she think my words have value? Will she know I mean what I say? Will she trust me (and my words)?

Speak truth.

Speak with love.

Speak the truth in love.

And when you say you’ll do something, do it.

Let the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

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