Our dog Petie we got not long after we were married almost 12 years ago. I was travelling a lot for work and my wife needed some company. The fact that a dog would alert her to anyone near the house during the night was an added bonus.
As I think about our dogs I can’t help but think that some of the attributes they exhibit should also be present in the Christian.
First, they rely on us for their every need. Water, food, entertainment, etc., we provide all of it for them. They are fed a nutritious diet and have clean water available at all times. If it weren’t for our lovingkindness they would be in bad shape.
In the same way the Christian is to rely on our Heavenly Father for our every need. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” (Matthew 6:34a) This does not mean we don’t work, plan, and provide for our families but that we look to God to lead, guide, and direct us. At times, too, we must simply have faith that God will provide for us.
Next I see in my dogs a deep sense of devotion.
A few years ago a friend of mine raised a litter of Texas Heeler puppies. I knew the mother and father so I decided I wanted the little red female in the group who we named Ruby Lou.
At the start Ruby was supposed to be my wife’s dog. It was soon apparent that she was not going to be. Instead she became my dog. Anyone who is familiar with Heelers knows they are a “one-man” dog and bond with their owner on a very personal level. Now Ruby goes with me just about everywhere (including sitting at my feet while I type this article).
Christians should also be devoted to the Lord and to the things of God. Our allegiance can’t be in question or split between God and anything else. He must be the priority in our lives. “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)
The last thing I saw in my dogs that I believe we can all learn from is the ability to rest.
If you have a dog I’m willing to go out on a limb and say they sleep a lot. It’s a dog thing. You and I can’t physically sleep that much but the truth is that we are to rest in the Lord. It is in the Lord Jesus Christ that we find a relief to the burdens that this world brings. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29) When we know the Lord as our personal Saviour we then are able to rest in Him and His Word.