Broken Promises

Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” John 13:37

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We are in the tween and teen years in my household. It’s no surprise that my kids care more about the outside world and its influences than they do about what I think and require. It’s all part of adolescence, and I’m trying not to take it personally. Yet, I still struggle with broken promises.

When my kids looked me in the eye and made a pledge, I always thought I knew them well enough to gauge whether they meant it, or were just placating me. But lately, even the promises that seem to be made with sincerity are being broken. I’m at my wit’s end. Then I read John 13:37.

Peter was completely devoted to Jesus, giving up everything in his life to follow Him. He even declares to Jesus at the Last Supper that he’ll lay down his life for Him. Just mere hours later, however, Peter denies Jesus three times. Talk about broken promises!

Where I lose heart and fret about my kids’ integrity, Jesus forgives and empowers. He takes the very man who chose lying over standing up for Him, and makes Him the head of His Church. Jesus knows it’s human nature to take the easier path. But He also knows Peter’s potential. When Jesus chooses to focus on that potential, rather than the mistake, He inspires Peter to rise about the former, and achieve the latter.

For my part, I need to recognize that my kids do make promises they mean to carry out. They just stumble a lot, especially now. But if I can practice forgiveness, and work toward empowering them, I’ll help them see their own potential, and make strides towards achieving it.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Do my kids break their promises?
  • If and when they do, can I practice forgiveness so I empower them?

When Jesus chooses to focus on Peter’s potential, rather than his mistake, He inspires Peter to rise about the former, and achieve the latter.


6 thoughts on “Broken Promises

  1. This is such a hard lesson for all parents but one that Jesus did again and again. It is so hard to forgive again and again when we are so upset by their not following through.
    Great reminder Claire.


    • You are so right, Jess! I just want this phase to be over. But while we’re in it, I know I’m supposed to be practicing forgiveness. Sending lots of Easter love and blessings your way!


  2. My heart goes out to you and to all parents who experience this phase of broken promises in their children. But as you share this painful phase, you inspire me with your deep understanding and remembrance of how Jesus experienced this very situation in Peter especially, and in the others who so abandoned Him when he needed them most … and His overwhelming love and forgiveness to each of them … which surely transformed them into saints. I have no doubt that because of your prayerful and faithful reflection on this challenge with your children, and your deep relationship to and understanding of Jesus, He will allow you to rejoice in His timing to see the transformation you so desire to see in them!


  3. Claire, I love this! Heaven knows I need to focus more on the potential of my family rather than their… falls. God knows I fall every day! Thanks for giving me a better perspective! 🙂


    • Isn’t it amazing how Jesus can teach us something so basic, but what we wouldn’t see or learn otherwise? I am so grateful we have such a good and patient God who just keeps nudging us, little by little, in the right direction. I’m glad that how He nudged me is now nudging you. 🙂


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