Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sacrificing through love

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Ephesians 5:25

This morning I watched as a father chickadee brought food to the mother sitting on their nest. The bird feeder was right beside the birdhouse, but he chose to fly farther off for the needs of his spouse. Back and forth, back and forth he flew while other birds flocked to the feeder. Once in a while he went to the suet basket to take a bit of fat. She watched for him, barely poking her head out of the small hole that led to their nest. No birds or squirrels seemed to notice the mother or the nest, though they were all around it trying to get the easy food.

I wondered why the father chickadee didn't take advantage of the feeder full of sunflower seeds. Was he bringing in sweet morsels of healthier tidbits for his spouse? Was he bringing water? Was he risking flying farther off to keep other birds and animals from discovering their nesting spot? The farther he ventured, the more he endangered himself by hawks and cats and other predatory animals, but the closer he stayed perhaps the more he endangered his family.

The Lord had a purpose in creating all that He did. We will probably never discover all the reasons for creation, but I love watching all that happens out my window and in my yard. I can learn so much by just observing. How precious to see the father bird care for his spouse and babies. The mother bird, hiding, yet watching for her spouse to return, warmed my heart with the love even animals seem to have for their family. I could make other analogies to the family, but families today are in such disarray that I felt the Lord say, "Watch how even nature teaches us to put our families first."

Forget that the culture tells us that we need to take care of number one. There are more important people than just me. Jesus put us before Himself. He gave His life for us. Is our selfish desires putting our families at risk? Are we the cause of others destroying the homes we have created for our children, the homes we promised, committed before God, to keep until death do us part? Jesus committed to die for us before the world was ever created. Revelations 13:8 says, "slain from the foundation of the world."

May we all take a moment this week to evaluate how we can put our spouses and our children above our own personal desires and needs. It may be a little more trouble, but a safe home, a peaceful home, a home where we are willingly sacrificing through love, is the best home.

Blessings on our families,

Hey Kids:
What's your favorite backyard animal?
This may be a good week to take a notebook and/or a sketch book out to observe just how that animal interacts with his/her family and the other animals in the environment.

Here's a few things to think about.

Does this animal have a mate? If not how is it attempting to attract a mate? (You won't believe the antics mocking birds go through trying to impress a female!)

Where does a mated pair construct a nest or bed or home?
(You may have to do a little research or just searching your yard to figure that one out.)

How do they protect their home and why?

Who are their enemies?

How do they provide their family with food and water?

When, if ever, are the young left alone or unprotected?

How do they train the young?

You might ask your parents for help in understanding how you can apply this to your own family?
What scriptures does God give us about taking care of our families?

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