Our family has grown over the last three years. For nine years, it was just Amy and me. Then God gave us our beautiful baby girl, Anabelle Grace. Then came her two “brothers,” Chuck and Oreo – our dogs! Today, we are a happy and average, but far from normal, American family.
The other day, Anabelle wanted to play with Oreo alone. Chuck has, from the very beginning, been very good and very patient with Anabelle (see my Twitter and Instagram posts as evidence), which is why she spends more time playing with him than with Oreo. Oreo is also younger and very much still in need of additional training. Because he is a puppy, his attention span and patience leave much to be desired. So Anabelle and Oreo are like the siblings who can’t get along! But Anabelle wanted to give it a shot on this special day.
I told her that she could play with Oreo but she had to be gentle with him and that she needed to use soft tones when speaking to him. She was excited! She jumped from her seat and loudly exclaimed, “I’ve got to change!” Then she darted to her room.
Did I miss something? More importantly, did I just give her permission to do something she shouldn’t? She was more excited than I thought she should be.
I walked into her room and asked her, “Why are you changing your clothes just to play with Oreo?” “Becuase, Daddy,” she replied, “I want him to like me.”
My three year old daughter was concerned about her youngest brother liking her! Do we have some insecurity issues to work on?
We’ve had Oreo for over a year and they can’t seem to play as well with each other like she does with Chuck. But this time she thought looking good was going to get her a step closer to achieving that goal.
Do we care about how we approach God? Do we care about our appearance before Him? Do we even want Him to like us? That afternoon, Anabelle told me over and over, “Dad, Oreo likes me! He likes me because I dressed well for him!” Would to God we cared more about how we approach Him! And it’s not just about how we dress.
Make no mistake, God loves us unconditionally. He will not love us any more or any less than when He gave His Son to die for our sins. However, our daily fellowship with Him can be hindered by our attitude and appearance as we approach Him. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” It’s time to start caring about God’s perception of us more than what others think of us. Addressing the first will help take care of the second.