As you may already know my husband and I got a puppy recently. When we got married we both wanted a puppy but we decided we needed the right environment for that puppy. So we waited until we had the house and a yard for him to enjoy. Although we both grew up with many animals in the house this is our first pet of our own. Let me just tell you now having dogs growing up didn’t fully prepare us for raising one of my own. In just a few days of having him, I have learned a lot more than I could have ever expected.
I always strive to see what I can learn from every opportunity that God gives me to this one is no different. Although some of you might think this is a stretch I believe there are many parallels that can be drawn between being a new puppy parent and God's relationship with us.
Our newest member of our family is Bandit. He is a German Sheperd Husky Mix. Bandit is as sweet as they come but he still needs a lot of love, attention, and patience like any new puppy. The past few days of training him it has made me think about my relationship with God and how he treats us are we navigate the world He has created for us.
He prefers to use the bathroom in the house and even when I take him out multiple times, he will come right in and pee on the carpet. Of course, I find this annoying as I just spend 10-20 minutes walking in a circle letting you make the decision to come back into the house and pee on the floor. My patience runs tine and I just can’t understand why he is doing this. If we think about it, we do the same thing this God, although we are not peeing in inappropriate places we are still very good at fighting His plan. He provides the right way for us to do something and even walks us directly to it but we prefer what we want instead. God’s patience doesn’t run thin and He will never stop showing us the way. I need to be more like this and gently guide Bandit to the right decision.
Bandit is not the best on the leash… He is still getting used to it and prefers to chew on it instead of being led by it. When he makes his mind up about which way we are going he pulls and fights until we are heading that way. As he continues to do this, I catch myself thinking, I wonder if this is how God feels when He is trying to lead us towards the best decision for our lives and we refuse to follow. God, is trying to keep us safe and keep us out of the road but we want to pull and fight for our own way.
This is the best and worst part about having a new puppy. On the one hand, he wants to be in my lap most of the time which is very cute and makes me feel special. On the other hand, he is finding it very difficult to sleep or be alone for any period of time. His devotion to us shows that my husband and I are his providers. His devotion, affection, and loyalty are something I aspire to have towards God. I want to be found at God’s feet giving him praise at every moment of my life. I want God to feel the love and loyalty that I receive from my dog. It should also be very obvious that God is our provider by our devotion, affection, and loyalty to Him.
I have taken no less than 10 photos of Bandit since the day we brought him home. I do this because I know he will not stay this little for long, I want to share his cuteness with the world, and I am proud to call him mine. I believe that God feels the same way about us. He is proud to claim us as His children even when we do the wrong things He still loves and protects us. The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” We are made in God’s image which probably means that He thinks we are cute and worthy of being called His.
I will admit having a dog of our own is such a wonderful thing but it comes with a lot of work as well. I am still trying to learn the best way to guide him to be the best big grown-up dog we could ask for but that comes with a lot of research, patience, and forgiveness. Research, patience, and forgiveness are all things we also need to carry into our relationship with God. We have to research and be in a constant state of learning, with a willingness to be closer to the image that God has of us daily. We have to have patience in the times in which we don’t get our way and have to walk down a path that we don’t know. Lastly, we have to be willing to forgive ourselves and others for things we don’t yet understand.
For my fellow, puppy-obsessed friends here are a few snapshots of Bandit Boy