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.
- Potential or vision. “I saw her potential.”
- Vow or oath. “I will do this, so help me God.”
- Agreement or contract. “My half of the bargain in exchange for your half.”
- “If you do that, I’ll do this.”
- Word of honor. “I place my reputation and character behind this.”
- Betrothal, engagement, marriage. Now we add romance and a life together, venturing into the unknown.
- Security, warranty, or insurance. As a shield against risk.
- “I agree to this willingly.”
- 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.
- Obligation or devotion. “This is what I’m moved to uphold.”
What would you add to the list?