Monday, July 20, 2009

Who's Your Lead Dog?

There have been times in my life when I've found myself confused (surprise, surprise).

We're supposed to love and serve God first, then our husbands, then our children, and so on... But what happens when those things conflict? Then what do we do? Who do we follow?

Here's a practical example for you. Early in our marriage, I was attending Church and (tepidly) following the Lord. Pat wasn't there yet - he wasn't sure about all that 'religious' stuff. I sat in on a powerful sermon about tithing, and felt called to obedience by it. But the money in our account wasn't put there by me, and we had always agreed that expenses over a certain amount needed to be unanimous. To say that Pat wasn't particularly excited about my idea of giving a significant portion of his earnings to a Church he seldom attended is an understatement.

So what was a girl to do? For weeks I obsessed over this - obey God's Word and defy my husband? Honour my husband and disobey God? I did eventually work this out...I found other ways to tithe (of my time and talents) and waited for God to work out the money thing...which he has.

Every now and then, someone asks me about a similar situation. I can look up some handy scripture references for them (Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-5), but it can be so difficult to explain in a way that makes sense!

So, for anyone who's ever asked that question - married or not, in a Christian marriage, unequally yoked - anyone who's ever wondered how to make sense of the confusion, here is a fantastic analogy that illustrates what God is calling us to (as Christian women, wives, mothers).

Imagine a team of dogs pulling a sled over the snowy plains of Alaska. All of a sudden the Master says, “Turn right.” But the lead dog turns left and the others follow. So the Master stops the team, walks around to the lead dog, shakes his little face and says, “I told you to turn right.” Then he gets back in and off they go. Again, the Master says. “Turn right.” But again the lead dog turns left.

Well this time the dog behind him turns right like the Master said but in the process creates chaos. So the Master stops the sled, walks around to the lead dog, shakes his face and says, “I told you to turn right.” Then he walks to the next dog that obeyed his command to turn right shakes her little face and says, “I told you to follow the lead dog.” Get it? Your husband is the Lead Dog. Your job is to follow the Lead Dog because that is what the Master really wants.

* This story was borrowed from Jenny's personal (private) blog. But you can find other great thoughts of her here.

** This is a re-post from last summer.

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