What do you mean by ‘promise’?

One of the foundations of my novel Nearly Canaan is the varied meanings of the word “promise.” It’s central to a marriage, especially, as we see with Jaya and Joshua. It also centers on their vision of arriving in their own Promised Land.

Here are ten examples of its possibilities.

  1. Potential or vision. “I saw her potential.”
  2. Vow or oath. “I will do this, so help me God.”
  3. Agreement or contract. “My half of the bargain in exchange for your half.”
  4. “If you do that, I’ll do this.”
  5. Word of honor. “I place my reputation and character behind this.”
  6. Betrothal, engagement, marriage. Now we add romance and a life together, venturing into the unknown.
  7. Security, warranty, or insurance. As a shield against risk.
  8. “I agree to this willingly.”
  9. An emblem of the agreement, making it more fully visible. The Biblical Promised Land would fit in here, I’d say. Perhaps also the birth of Jesus.
  10. Obligation or devotion. “This is what I’m moved to uphold.”


What would you add to the list?

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