It was a pretty common phrase around our house as we grew up.
“Woah, what happened here……oh,Tommy’s in the “dog house”…. O-o-oh.”
I still find myself using the phrase today. After our 10 kids made their way thru the “dog house”, even I can find my way there occasionally. How do I know I’ve been sent to the “dog house” ? It can be an expression on Judy’s face, perhaps a sudden coolness in the air, or maybe just a sense in my conscience… but I realize that “I’m in the doghouse”. I can tell you right now, “I don’t like being in the doghouse. Once I realize I’m there, I go thru a certain process trying to get out.
- First, I quickly say…what in the world did I do…I’ve been working like a dog (no pun intended), if she only knew….bla-bla-bla. Well, that gets me nowhere.
- Next, I think “maybe, perhaps, possibly” I didn’t say that precisely the way I meant to.. I could have been a bit more sensitive.
- Thirdly, I consider that she’s probably right, I was wrong, … I deserve a term in the “dog house”. I need to repent and make it right.
- Fourthly, I put together the first draft of my repentance statement. It usually sounds like I’m St. Joseph or Padre Pio…. this saintly person, who has been serving and loving constantly, had a small lapse in judgement and really doesn’t even need to repent, but he’s so holy that he’s going to anyway. Fortunately I realize this is not going to fly with my wife and certainly not with the Lord.
- Fiiiiiinallllly, I get my head on straight and say “I’m sorry for saying this or that or doing this or that, please forgive me”. She forgives me. Just that quickly I receive forgiveness and I’m out of the “dog house”.
I’m free. Like William Wallace in the Braveheart movie, I shout “FREEEEEEDOM”!!!!
I dance around the kitchen, I sing the old hymn “the Holy Ghost will set your feet a dancing…”. I’m a new man.
The key to all this is we don’t have to spend hours or days in the “dog house”. As soon as we realize we’re there, simply repent and ask forgiveness of God and of the person we’ve hurt. Jesus provides this wonderful means for us by his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. As Catholics we also blessed with the great sacrament of Confession where we can repent and receive forgiveness for our sins. Have you ever noticed that most people go into confession a bit downcast and solemn , but come out with a twinkle in their eye and maybe a smile. FREEEEEEDOM !!!!