AAC Women's Blog

For When You Feel Like Barking

Article originally posted on Becky's blog.  To read more from Becky, click here

We bought a BarxBuddy for our dog. It’s a handheld training device that uses ultrasonic sound to get a dog’s attention and redirect his behavior. We humans can’t hear the noise, but apparently to our dog it sounds like an annoying tuba.

Yikes. That would get my attention, too.


Prophet (our pooch) has issues with barking, see—at whomever and whatever passes by our front yard. He sits perched on his favorite armchair, keeping watch through the bay window, and as soon as a suspect comes into view, he barks. And barks and barks and barks. No mail carrier, bicyclist, UPS delivery guy or stroller pusher is safe from his wrath.

Trouble is, both my husband and I work from home. And sometimes we have phone calls that are best conducted without a howling canine in the background.

So when our BarxBuddy arrived in the mail, we were eager to try it. Reviews said dogs were shutting up immediately and learning to obey in mere days. Fantastic! As soon as Mr. P started freaking through the window at a random passerby, my husband pointed the device toward him and pushed the horn.

{Or we assume he did. We’ll never hear it, so it occurred to us the whole thing might be a sham and we’ll never know. Joke’s on us, eh??}

But can you guess what happened?

Prophet kept right on barking—at the device!

It got his attention, all right, and it managed to deter his focus from the front window. But instead of cowering in obedience, that little stinker turned around and started barking directly at his BarxBuddy—the very thing that was supposed to teach him not to howl.

Does that not sound like a metaphor for the Christian life?

God gives us His Word as a training tool of sorts. The Bible tells us who God is, who we are in light of Christ, and guidelines for living the kind of life God wants for us. A good, abundant, hope-filled life!

But when we get stuck in a rut of barking, snapping, criticizing, complaining—we don’t want to hear God’s instructions. We don’t want to receive His conviction or His correction. We hear it as annoying rather than life-giving. We view Him as the cattle prod, not the Shepherd.

Come on, God, can’t I just let loose a little steam here? My kids are really bugging me.

Give me a break, Lord; my husband is being such a poo-head right now. I think it’s my right to chastise him.

Seriously, Jesus, if you had to live with what I have to live with, you’d be busting down the walls, too. I deserve a little more respect!

Ah. How quickly we forget. God is the ultimate long-suffering parent/trainer. He deals with barking, disobedient creatures all day long.


So rather than viewing God’s Word as a killjoy, let’s remember what it truly is.

Our source of wisdom, freedom, purpose, and strength.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17)
“And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:3b–4a)

Prophet is learning to abide by his BarxBuddy. He figured out that it can’t hurt him, and when he obeys, he gets a belly scratch. It’s a pretty good deal.

Likewise, we’d be smart to take God up on His instructions, too. What He commands is always for our good and His glory.

So next time you’re tempted to bark and growl, remember this story. Reach for your training device (Bible) and let God’s perfect Word resonate within your head, your heart, and your soul.

No other product on Earth can guarantee such amazing results.


P.S. Struggling to manage your crankiness? Pick up a copy of my book, The Cranky Mom Fix: Get a Happier, More Peaceful Home by Slaying the “Momster” in All of Us. Only $9.99 on ChristianBook.com {or $11.99 on Amazon} right now!

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About the Author: Becky Kopitzke

Becky Kopitzke is the author of The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood and the upcoming Generous Love: Discover the Joy of Living “Others First.” Becky lives in lovely northeast Wisconsin with her husband and their two daughters, where her home office is overrun with bouncy balls and tween craft supplies. For weekly, keeping-it-real encouragement, visit Becky’s blog.

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