Q: Our daughter is very tender-hearted toward animals, and recently became a volunteer at our local animal shelter. We're glad she's found something that interests her, since many kids her age (she's 16) drift along without much purpose. She feels this is what God wants her to do with her life, but is God really interested in things like this? - Mrs. K.H.
A: Yes, let me assure you that God is concerned about our care of every part of His creation - including the animals. After all, He made them, and ultimately they belong to Him. The Bible says, "For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psalm 50:10).
And what your daughter is doing is a good thing in God's eyes, for He is concerned about the way we treat animals (especially those that depend on us). The Bible says, "A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal" (Proverbs 12:10). On the day God made the animals, the Bible tells us that He pronounced it good (see Genesis 1:25). Should we ignore or treat cruelly something that God calls good? Of course not. Someone who is thoughtless or cruel to animals is also likely to be thoughtless or cruel to other people - who are made in God's image.
Encourage your daughter to seek God's will for her life - and if she is convinced God is leading her in this way, be grateful for it and encourage her. On the other hand, caution her against loving animals more than she loves people (which can be easy to do - because people can be difficult to love!).
Most of all, encourage your daughter to make Christ the center and foundation of her life, and to do everything for His glory - even if this doesn't turn out to be her lifelong career.