Family Promises

Chad Hampsch on how to to use promises to create confidence and security in your home.

I love being a daddy. I love laughing with my kids and going to games. I love making breakfast and doing devotionals at night before bed. I love being able to know someone the way you only can as a daddy. I love the way that they snuggle up to me when they are tired and the way they can’t wait to tell me when they succeed. I love it!

 I also love how the lessons I learn as I study God’s Word teach me principles that make me a better father. One of my favorites deals with promises. Promises are funny because in our world we say “I promise” when we want someone to truly trust us, though we often don’t keep those promises. But God’s promises are different. When God promises something it comes true. It’s foolproof. It can’t be stopped or changed. That promise will be kept. And because we can take God at his word we walk in security. As the storms of life come we know that we can weather the storms because God is true to his promises. We are SECURE.

 So how does that translate to being a dad? After 21 years of doing camping ministry and training thousands of young adult leaders, I have seen a whole generation of kids that aren’t secure. I think the main reason these kids are so insecure is because there are no true promises in their life. Their leaders have failed them and there are no true absolutes. Let me give you an example. For hundreds of years sailors used only the stars to navigate their course. The reason they did was because no matter what storms came, no matter if they were blown off course, the stars were fixed and could put them back on course. They are constant. They do not change. For kids, the stars are always moving. There are no constants. There is just experience and emotion, and both of those leave kids feeling betrayed and alone. We need promises in our lives to bring about security. The perfect example of this is the promise of salvation and the security it brings to our everyday life.

IMG_0877So if in our own lives promises bring about security in our relationship with God, then wouldn’t that be true of kids in regards to security? That’s why my wife and I decided in the first year of marriage to make promises to our children. We wanted to give them a bedrock of security that would not shift with the culture, friends, or circumstances. So we wrote 10 promises to our kids that hang on our wall. They are a constant reminder, like stars pointing the way of what we want to see God accomplish in our family. We made promises about our marriage, about our faith, about our desires, and about how we wanted to bring God glory in our time here on earth.

 So what’s next? It’s easy. Take your spouse on a date and begin to talk about and pray that God would show you what He wants to accomplish in your family. Think about what things you want to be bedrocks in your home. Then, make promises. Promise to be honest with them at all times. Promise you will always be married. Promise to encourage them in their faith. Write them down. Pray over them as a family. Share them with friends. Do it with your small group. Talk about them. Live them out. Then place them like stars in the sky in the center of your home. Make them a part of your everyday life. And remember, our God’s promises bring security in how we walk every single day. Let’s allow those promises to impact our family, our lives, and our marriages for His glory.

Chad Hampsch is the vice president of the Kanakuk Institute.

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