Five years ago when we talked as a family about introducing another dog into our unit, I made it perfectly clear what the rule was going to be. I work from home and said I was more than willing to let the dog out all day, however many times necessary, when home alone, but once everyone came home, the job was shifted to them and I would pick up again when it was just our puppy and me. Everyone agreed, and it’s been that way for five years.
However, recently I’ve realized something. Because I spent so much time training and bonding with our puppy five years ago, I became his alpha. His master. And because I spend more time collectively with him than anyone else in the family, I am his alpha and he listens to me. The first time.
That includes when he has to go out. He has invented this game at night (he’s a very intelligent breed). When he’s bored, he will give his “I have to go out” noise and then said child has to get up and go take him out, only to have him sniff the grass, run around, eat grass, and generally explore. They complain because it happens a lot.
If I take him out, he will quickly find a spot, do his thing, and we come back inside. I think the reason for his quick obedience with me is because I’m his alpha and he wants to please me. They are his playmates and he wants to have fun.
That’s similar to how our relationship should be with God. He’s our Alpha, our Savior, Our Heavenly Father and we should want to submit to Him, obey Him, and please Him. But even if our hearts want to obey, sometimes it doesn’t come naturally and our sinful nature gets in the way.
God doesn’t force our submission, just like I never forced our dog to submit to me. I submit willingly to God for the same reason our dog submits willingly to me – because we want to.
That’s what true surrender is.
© Cheri Swalwell 2020