Personal Promises: 3 Essential Keys to Passion & Intimacy!
Personal promises are almost always relational promises. That means that no matter what promises you make, big or small, others and/or yourself, when you successfully keep your promise, you’ll always affect and improve your relationships, especially your most important relationships. Here’s how, and why.
When I and my siblings were growing up, we were taught several important tenets of life- “Taking care of your yard, and garden shows pride of ownership,” “Stand up straight when you’re greeting people,” “Don’t never use hitting to get your way in an argument.” As we grow, we internalize these into moral statements, or personal promises-“I promise never to hit another person in a fit of rage, or to win an argument.” That’s a relational promise. You’re promising to respect another person. But you can take your promise into an even more personal realm-“My wife will be safe in our home because I promise never to hit her for any reason.”
Personal promises reflect personal passions. When you promise never to hit your spouse, you’re also saying you’ll respect them. Respect conjures a positive reaction in your brain… when you train yourself to treat others with positive regard, connections and synapses in your brain form in such a way that makes repeating your good treatment of others easier, and easier.
Personal promises help you see yourself and others more positively. Personal promises set the stage for a determined effort toward your better relationships, and they inspire delight from the ones you love others, and you’ll find that you’re more passionate about and with your partner, and even toward life itself! For instance, my wife and I write tiny little MULU’s to each other every day. What’s a MULU? Go here, and here to find out! You’ll be delighted to know that you can do it too!
Three important rules will make promise making, and promise keeping consistently doable. These three life-changing rules will help you and your relationships be completely remarkable!
#1) Keep It Simple Silly!
A couple of big promises are ok if you can keep them up. But personal promises can be quite simple-“I promise to greet you with a kiss every time you, or I come home.”
#2) Size Matters: Small Promises are Keepable Promises!
Just like small gestures, such as a handshake, or a hand on a shoulder communicates a great deal to people, small promises also communicate that you care, and show that you’re interested and that you care. Even such a small thing as my hand on my bride’s back, or opening a door for her, makes her feel important to me, and completely loved.
#3) Bite Off What you Know You Can Chew! A Lesson in Watermelon Wisdom.
“I promise to buy two dozen roses, with a mixture of rare colors, and write a five page love letter to you EVERY DAY for the rest of my life!” Really…? While that certainly sounds romantic, I wonder if you have the time every single day to write a long letter, and find and choose dozens of rare roses every day. You should wonder that as well! Unrealistic expectations can quickly deflate your ego and spirit.
It’s like a eating watermelon. Imagine if you could somehow stuff the entire watermelon into your mouth…gulp! You’d choke BIG-TIME, but not before you broke your jaw. You just will not be able to maintain the effort. And that’s ok. There’s absolutely NO need to shove huge watermelons down your throat! The effort lacks attention to detail, creativity, and wisdom. You can have the watermelon, and enjoy it very much, by cutting the watermelon into slices, or even into cubes!
“Watermelon Wisdom” means you can find creative ways to give her a bouquet of flowers every once in awhile. Oh she’ll love the flowers! Maybe you can offer her a unique flower every week. And most likely she LOVES a love letter, I’m sure of it. So write her a good letter once a week, or once a month. That letter will be a prized effort for her. And some, like my wife, will feel so good about your little loving promises kept, that from time to time, she’ll tell her friends, or family what you do for her!
I Promise That…
When one pledges their unconditional love toward their soon-to-be-spouse, they vow their unity with them through every kind of situation. That person becomes one with the other, and therefore creates in them a passion for each other that includes a hope for their best in all things. They become passionate about learning together, sleeping together, talking together, and working together.
Personal promises are like that, no matter who you are.
One example of a personal promise made me laugh. A man named Neal said, “I will stop drinking RedBull.” Nothing against RedBull, but he buys them a lot, costing him a lot of money. The drink also turns him in to a spaz, and when he’s like that, he makes bad decisions. Bad decisions are negative forces on you and your relationships.
Married? Dating? Single? Extroverted? Introverted? Personal promises kept directly and positively affect your relationships no matter whom you are. I promise you. Something seemingly little like too much RedBull, potentially causes relational chaos.
First, a small instruction. Dream. That’s right, dream. But start small, and be realistic. “I will fly a plane upside down from New York to Los Angeles every Wednesday” probably doesn’t fit that bill. Try “I will sit outside and write down every sound I hear for ten minutes each morning.” You may learn to better appreciate life’s little things, and the practice may teach you mindful and thoughtful ways to listen to, and appreciate others.
What Shall I Promise?
Create your personal promise list. Mold your life positively. Make a numbered list, or find pictures that reflect what you want your promise to be! Be creative. If you want to make your bed every day, find a picture of someone standing beside a messy bed!
Keep one thing in mind…be intentional. Experience your kept promises. Feel good about them. They’re not just a mechanical list of promises. Your promises are the fruit of your relationship. Kept promises are part of your character. They are honoring. These are your life quality promises. Identify your personal promises as an extension of how you love yourself and others. Why? You, me and everyone exist as naturally relational. However, relational distortions affect our natural relational talents. You can learn, or re-learn how to live as someone who does relationships, who lives in relationship.
I turn to Christian scripture to help me frame my passions and promises. I believe that as a child of God, I am privileged to recognize my connection to all things, and how I should engage in my relationship to those I know and/or love. I want there to be no doubt that I love them. You may cull inspiration from different sources, but you must find your inspiration. Find your own guide that personalizes your life and relationships.
7 Fantastic Personal Promises!
1) I will go to bed with my partner each night.
2) I will read my bible with my spouse each morning.
3) I will date my partner once a week.
4) I will make the bed every day.
5) I will do all the vacuuming and dusting in the house.
6) I will cook supper every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, unless we’re on a date.
7) Football consumes my life. Therefore, I will either watch less football, or when my partner needs me, I will prefer my partner’s needs instead of football.
Our Helpful Personal Promise Verses
Ephesians 2:10: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 5:1-2: Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.