The dog ran away, we talked about the devil, and we washed each others feet.

Sound like a country song?

Last night my wife and I were able to share a very special time with our four daughters. It all began the previous evening when our dog Charlie made a run for it when I opened the gate to move a motorcycle project into our garage. As I walked down the street after him, he looked at me started walking the other direction and then disappeared down a trail through the woods. Normally I would have followed him but this time I couldn’t because I was home with our girls while Careise, my wife, was in a meeting.

Whenever Charlie escapes he usually does his rounds in the neighborhood and is back in about 20 minutes or so. This time, however, hours went by with no sign of him. After my wife returned, I drove around looking for him with no success or even sightings from people in the neighborhood. Finally, around eleven o’clock, I went to bed.

The next morning when I woke up, I went to see if Charlie had wandered back home. Not in the garage. Not on the front porch. Hmmmmm. I got ready to go to the gym thinking that he may be gone for good. But as I walked out of the door, there he was, laying in the front yard. He sheepishly got up and walked over to me, looking almost embarrassed and ashamed of what had happened. When I looked at him there was something different. There was a broken rope around his neck. It became pretty clear that someone had tried to tie him up, possibly to keep him, explaining why he had been gone for so long.

So, back to the special time with our daughters….

We were obviously glad that Charlie was back home but even better we were able to use his experience to explain to them how the devil wants us to think that running free, outside of God’s and parental boundaries, is fun and exciting. We talked about how we are all tempted to do things we know we shouldn’t, and how the devil wants us to think we’ll have more fun, get into less trouble, or get more stuff if we listen to his lies. We explained that the devil is like the person who tried to catch Charlie and tie him up, keeping him away from home and the place he is supposed to be.

But God breaks those ropes. He shatters those chains!

To wrap it up we did something that I hope sticks with them for a long time. I explained about Jesus washing the disciples feet, showing humility. I told them that I was going to wash their feet and pray that God will keep their feet from the wrong path and that He will prepare the way before them. As I washed their feet, Careise stood behind them and prayed for them and each of the girls prayed for each other. After that, I washed Careise’s feet and she washed mine as the girls prayed for us and we prayed for each other. It was an awesome experience!

Yikes! Washing each other’s feet, you may ask? If you have never participated or are unfamiliar with Jesus’ example in the bible, it may seem strange. But this act of humility coupled with love and teaching created an amazing evening that I think the girls will look back on for years to come.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:12-17 NIV)

Remember to allow God to turn your everyday experiences into teaching opportunities for you and your family. Don’t waste a moment!

Love in Christ,


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