Today I am thankful for broken promises. Yes, broken promises, not kept ones.
One of my three children made a promise to one of their siblings and then failed to keep it.
I stood at the kitchen counter slathering peanut-butter and jelly on slices of whole wheat bread while the offended child sat at the bar bemoaning the ills of this broken promise. At first I felt frustration flare up as I thought about the hassle of having to settle yet another disagreement between my children. Then the Holy Spirit softly poked at my thoughts and caused my thinking to change from frustration to gratefulness. Yes, gratefulness!
My heart quickly flipped from agitation to thankfulness toward my loving Father for giving me this opportunity to teach this child how to show love to someone who has not kept their word. You see, this sweet child in front of me is the perfect little pharisee who never sees their own sin. I gently walked this child through how to prepare their heart to love and forgive someone who didn’t keep their word nor comes to ask or forgiveness.
It was hard. The offended child kept wanting to point out that they were not the one who broke a promise. But in the end, they were finally able to see their own sin and start cultivating a heart that was willing to chose to show love toward their sibling who had hurt them.
I will be honest that in my “mommy frustration” I initially just wanted to holler at the promise breaking child and make them keep their word. But I’m so thankful that the Holy Spirit intervened and allowed me to make this a moment to point my children to the gospel; the good news that though they are more flawed than either want to believe, God loves them more than they can even begin to imagine.
And so tonight I’m thankful for the grace of broken promises to help us learn how much we BOTH need a Savior. Every day. All the time.