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Pets, Children and Love

Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10

close up photography of beagle

Photo by Timo Piredda on

As I sit on the sofa with a thunderstorm raging outside, I look down at my little puppy asleep beside me. She is recovering from a minor surgery and has been asleep for a few hours. Glancing at her, I remember how our children used to talk about older people and their dogs. We laughed because we had dogs too, but the older folks treated their dogs like children! And now, here I am. Our children have children of their own. And my husband and I have a new dog. My daughter recently remarked that we had become “those people” who treat their dog like one of their own offspring.

I cannot deny this. We do baby this puppy. She goes with us everywhere we can possibly take her. She goes to the store, to any restaurant with outdoor dining, and even to the beach.  She goes on road trips, sleeps in our hotel room, and looks out the car window toward our next destination. And now, as she lays quietly and moans, I think about our love for animals and even more, I think about our profoundly deep love for our children.


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There are guidelines in the Scripture about parents and children. There are verses about how fathers and mothers are to be parents. And of course there is much written about how children are to behave, listen to, and respect their parents. All of these verses about children, and about animals, have one thing in common: love. The guidelines are there so that we, as Christians, know and understand how precious these lives are. And, as Christians, we know a lot about love. The Scriptures are full of examples and stories about love. As it turns out, love is the most essential part of being Christian.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

And how much does God love us? The most important indication of that is found in the well known verse from John:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son…John 3:16.

Think about that. As parents, it is hard to conceive of loving others so much that we would offer up our own child to die for other people. But that is exactly what happened. And even more difficult to comprehend is the love that God has for his Son, and the love that Jesus has for us. Jesus said:

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.  John 15:9

We cannot possibly love as much as God loves us. But we can try. We can follow the guidelines set before us to strengthen our faith and our love for our children, our family, our God, and of course, our pets. My puppy will recover and we will go on our next adventure. We trust that God will also watch, guide, and love our children, and their children, as they go through each day. We know His love is powerful enough for us all.

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