Broken Promises

"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths" (Matthew 5:33).

"But you promised," whimpered my ten-year-old daughter. "You said we could go swimming if we finished all our schoolwork." Although the words were softly spoken, they echoed in my ears as she left the room.

"Only a little disappointment," I justified to myself. "She'll get over it." Little did I know this broken promise also broke my daughter's faith in her mother's word.

While homeschooling our children, we sometimes make promises we don't keep. Each day we may attempt to motivate or discipline with words we don't really mean. Unkept promises disillusion our children, and unmeant threats instill fear and doubt. Not following through on phrases like, "If you work hard on your math, I'll give you..." or "When your father gets home, he's going to..." leaves children wondering if they can trust their parent's word. So, what can we do as homeschooling parents to guard our mouths from these foolish utterances?

God's Word says, "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation" (James 5:12). God says not to make promises or threats with your words, especially when you have no intention of keeping them. Your children need to know that you mean what you say. Before you speak idle words again today, stop and consider the price — the broken heart of your child. "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).

Lord, forgive me when I say things to get a quick fix to a problem at home with my children. Help me to weigh my words and remember to honor all of my commitments, no matter how small. In Your Son's name, Amen.

Share This Article

Comments(16 comments)

New comments are currently disabled, be sure to check back later.

SISTER L 09/19/2008 06:49:18

Who ever writes these, golly.. you get right to my soul every single day. Thank you. I can't begin my homeschool day with your encouraging words.

JENNIFER C 09/19/2008 07:14:49

These devotionals are changing my life. I didn't grow up in a very compassionate home and these are teaching me the way children should be treated. From believing God for finances, food, daily strength, etc... The devotions touch the very core of my soul.

CORY M 09/21/2008 04:00:00

I look forward each day, to reading these devotions early in the morning. I want to say I have read a lot of devotions over the years from big names and various ministries. These are the real deal, there is an anointing from God to get at the heart of the matter very effectivly. I appreciate your gift being shared to feed us each day for our homeschooling tasks, and for our very own soul........ God Bless You, and Thank You

ANGELA S 09/19/2009 05:29:06

So true. Sometimes it hurts when I fulfill my word, but I try to do it as often as I should. One time I promised my daughter we'd go to the park after errands. By the time I was done running around with four children under the age of five and being pregnant, I was too exhausted. My mom, who was with me, suggested I just go straight home and rest, but I replied, "That's ok. I promised dd we'd go to the park, and I want to follow through so that she knows I'm not a liar." Not only is this good for my children, but also for my mother who was really struck by that principle.

JILL K 09/20/2009 15:12:54

As stubborn as a donkey - are those who just will not look; At the references within the pages of Strongest Strong's with perfection in their arms nook? Of all that Jesu bled for, as He hung there, and he died: In utter pain, and agony; for you to study - free from falsehoods - so beware! When Satan starts to lure you; with his flimsy evidence and fun: One had best learn how to diligently, turn, and flee; just run! Far, far, from his imperfections; his professing; twisting of the Word: A breach of promise is not quite the same, as so many do agree: As being subjected to Satan hindered us, not being nailed to wood you see! Sometimes; we have to break our word but having researched and throughly: A promise and an oath are just not the same - and Jesus - He agreed. Karen Knapman (Ms). 22.52 GMT. Sunday 20th, September 2009.

SANDY P 09/19/2011 03:47:20

Every part of how I teach, interact, communicate and love mychildren is changing on a daily bases. I can not express how God is using these devontionals to encourage, convict and change me. Thank you!!!!

JOAN A 09/19/2011 04:50:10

Just another note of thanks for the encouragement I find every time I read the daily focus! May God continue to give wisdom and many blessings! Joan Arnold

REBECCA D 09/19/2011 06:26:24

I've been wanted to write you for a long time. I, too, and therefore my son, am being blessed by this ministry. I want to start my day with these experiences for reflection to encourage me and protect my son from my fallen state, my human frailty of tongue and deed. Your devotional is helping me stay grounded in the Holy Spirit, which stays my course and renders me better equipped to face the daunting daily tasks of home educating my sick and dyslexic son, in the midst of 3 moves in 3 years and a husband in professional school. "Thank You", seems so small compared to the guidance I've received. Thank you.

MANDY B 09/19/2011 06:35:42

I look forward to the Daily Focus every day. I used them to begin my BIble time each morning and they serve as a great reminder to me and help direct my steps as a homeschool mom. Thank you so much. Mandy B.

KIM F 09/19/2011 18:57:50

How true....sadly... We are all in the same boat, trying to do the right things for our children according to Gods will.......But we are human and of the flesh, so unfortunately, we discipline our children,and make promises according to the way we feel at the moment, and its not always from the Lord, but the flesh. But thankfully God knows our hearts and forgives us and we move on. "Praise God in all things"................Always............. and "he will show us" what we need to do and how to keep our promise, or (not to make a promise when we cant keep it)............ Giving all the power and Glory to him. :) Kim

LINDA C 09/22/2011 05:54:43

Thank you Jill K for the courage that Yashua put in you to respond with teaching!

KATHY S 09/19/2012 05:00:55

I have learned in the last few years that I never promise anything except my never ending, unconditional love to my son. My health prevents me from keeping promises that I had every intention of keeping. So now I just say, "If Mom is well enough we'll go". And he understands, as a matter a fact, a few times I have said that and been to sick to follow through with my " MAYBE", he'll say," Mom your not well enough, let's just go tomorrow". I never want to break a promise, make promises that I may not be able to keep. I give the Author alot of credit for her honesty and her sharing this experience with all of us today, and each and everyday. There is so much we can all learn from her. God's Blessings to all who read these devotionals.

Jill Haselden 09/19/2013 13:57:20

This is the third day that i have been receiving these devotions and they are excatly what I need to hear. I use to get stressed at times or get tired from a long schoolday and would say things not very nicely to my children but, God dealt with me for doing that and reminded me that my children were precious blessings from Him. Now , when I get stressed , I remember that I am "Too Blessed, To Be Stressed" God is so good to me and my family and I just want to thank Him !

LAURA HERIGON 09/19/2013 19:38:53

I agree that parents who "promise" their children something should honor that promise. A promise should be given with sincerity and commitment to follow through. That being said, i try never to "promise" anything. Nothing in life is a guarantee! We as adults deal with disappointment regularly, and i believe children must also learn how to deal with disappointment as well. It is an unpleasant part of life. My point is to say, parents must instead tell their children " I will do my best", " I will try", "I'll see what I can do!". That way, when we are unable to fufill a request, we are not breaking our word to our children. Helping our children learn to deal with disappointment is a responsible preparation for the facts of life. Children who are taught to deal with the disappointments of life, are one step ahead on the road to responsible adulthood! Thank you for this worthwhile topic today! Gods best!

Yadira Verdin 09/19/2013 19:39:16

This devotion has convicted me of how carelessly I sometimes speak. Thank u for sharing what God put in your heart. Will begin to apply.

Jason Hartman 09/22/2014 14:42:10

Thank you to my wife Jennifer for sending this devotional James 5:12 to me it is a good life application verse. Just think if we applies this Truthful speech to our everyday conversations. Apply this verse to everyday life but before you try this, remember to give James 5:9 a read. This will provide you solid platform and approach to every conversation. When we interact with each other keep 3 things I in mind. 1) fact 2) opinion 3) LOVE. Above all LOVE

Homeschool eNews

Want more information?

We're available right now!

Call 1-800-622-3070