Marks on a tattered measuring chart in our pantry are proof: children grow up fast. Most nights Mojo the faithful hound slept at our teenage daughter Rachael’s feet. Boys were showing interest in her (Rachael, not the dog). So she taped a Bible verse to her bedroom door: Psalm 56:1: “Have mercy on me, oh God, for men hotly pursue me.” One day I entered her room. She sat on her bed squeezing the dog tightly and sniffling. Beside her lay a dozen red roses.
Through tears she told me of an upper class man who asked if she would date him. She said no.
“How come?” I asked. “He’s not the kind of guy I wanna marry,” she replied. “He’s a good friend. I guess that changes. I doubt a great guy will ever come along.”
“Ah, sweetie. You’re sixteen. There’s still time, you know.”
“Whoever lands you,” I said, “will be the luckiest guy on earth.”
My son’s friend Chris came over for supper that night. He ate like a horse, but never settled for hay. Once I found him in our kitchen, sucking on a gallon of milk. When I didn’t yell at him our friendship began. After dinner we sat in the living room, the dog on Chris’s lap.
He massaged Mojo’s shoulders, then said,
“She’s so loyal.”
A year earlier, Chris’s father had an affair and walked out, devastating the family.
As we talked, I told him about a survey I’d done for my book, Tricks My Dog Taught Me. The most endearing characteristic of a dog, said several more than two hundred owners, was faithfulness.
“All our lives we live one decision from disaster,” I said.
“Let’s covenant to stay faithful and loyal.”
Rachael came in, carrying a dozen roses. And handed them to Chris. “Give these to your mom,” she said.
Proverbs 3:3 (NIV) says,
“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
That night I tapped on Rachael’s door. She was talking with Mojo. Then she bent over and gave the pup a smooch. This is an exact transcript of our conversation:
“Rachael don’t kiss the dog.”
“Puppies lick your face because they like their mother to regurgitate food for them. Are you able and willing to do this?”
“Save kissing for your husband.”
“But I don’t have a husband.”
“You will one day. What if he finds out you kissed the dog?”
“Dad, I think Mom’s calling you.”
“Love you, too.”
“I’m kissing the dog,” she laughed.
And she was.
Rachael married Jordan. He’s a pastor now, and the luckiest guy alive.
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