The Only Kind of Promises You Should Make to Your Family in 2019

(Photo by juan pablo rodriguez on Unsplash)

As we enter 2019, perhaps you and family are already thinking ahead to new adventures and challenges. Maybe you're looking to buy your first home, change jobs, expand the family, buy a car or meet the grandparents at Disney World for spring break fun.

A new year holds the promise and potential for change, and some of these changes will be great, while others could be flat-out horrible. In fact, as much as I hate to say it, 2019 has the potential to hold sadness, heartache, brokenness and difficulty. (Ouch! Did I really say that? Ouch again! I don't like that idea.) But let's face it ... we live in an imperfect, sinful world, meaning life is often heartbreaking and capable of destroying our joy.

Because we are not all-knowing, like our daddy God, we unfortunately cannot predict what 2019 holds. We sadly can't promise our children or grandchildren anything with 100 percent certainty, which is a hard pill to swallow.

It's our nature as parents and grandparents to want to promise our children the world, starting with the joy of great vacations, the excitement of extra-curricular and athletic endeavors and the fun and frantic frenzy of great food and family adventures. But we plan and promise without knowing for sure it will come to pass.

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So, what do we do if that happens? How, with this level of uncertainty, can we make any promises to our children? How do we joyfully plan and make bold proclamations of the places we will go, people we will see and purchases we will make? Simple answer: We don't.

Instead, we look our family in the eyes, and with bold certainty, promise only the following:

  • To love one another selflessly.
  • To love and honor our God selflessly.
  • To commit our family to regular worship of God and intimacy with the Word.
  • To pledge our passion for and pursuit of things that will further the kingdom.

Maybe these promises and pledges sound less exciting than day trips to Six Flags, soccer teams, American Girl store adventures, Disney World and sandcastles at the beach, but these promises are born out of the only behaviors that are known to deepen our obedience before the Savior.

And, if modeled properly, these purposes will deepen our family's obedience and passion for the things and people of God. So let's make sure that 2019 is a joyful year driven by higher and holier pursuits for our families. Let's pledge to promise our children, spouses and extended family more of Abba Father—because that's a promise that will never disappoint.

Dr. Lori Brown is a Southern educator and writer who enjoys challenging families to grow deeper in their walk with the Lord.

This article originally appeared at

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