A Lesson from Nature

While sitting in the back yard this spring I noticed a pair of redbirds.  At first it was just her sitting alone on the wooden fence.  Before long though, he flew in next to her and his beak went to hers.  It appeared he brought her something to eat!  Or, maybe it was just an affectionate peck.  That was very sweet of him, I thought. 

But after only a few moments he flew off - too far away to even see where he landed.  Did he abandon her?  Was his kindness just a passing flirtation?  But off she goes too, in the opposite direction. Why didn’t she follow him? Was she mad at him for running off?  Or maybe she was quick to forget the nice favor he just did for her.    It seems they meet in a moment then separate in a moment, forever. How fickle these lowly creatures!

Minutes later they reappear at the same spot on the wooden fence.  And the pattern repeats.  They flit here and there, but they always rejoin.  They separate for a time to do their own individual work but always reunite.  I realize now that they are a pair.

Redbirds are monogamous - they choose one mate for life.    To us, redbirds all look and sound exactly the same.  Aren’t all of the males beautifully red, and the females just reddish brown?  Don’t they all have the same voice and sing the same simple, rather unimpressive notes?  We can’t see the distinctions but it appears the birds do.

Those who know say 90% of birds are monogamous. The monogamous ones meet, form some mysterious bond, and then go through life together.  I wonder why. It doesn’t seem practical or necessary.

But this puts human practice to shame, wouldn’t you agree?  The current divorce rate for first marriages is at least 40% among Americans.  These days many don’t even bother to ever marry.  God’s lessons from nature can teach us important principles.  See the story of the ant (Proverbs 6:6-11).

Aside from nature, God has clearly spoken concerning monogamy:

Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

Matthew 19:3-9 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 

It seems that nature reflects both the best and worst behaviors that we also see in humanity.   God’s lower creation can be savage but it can also be gentle and beautiful. God teaches through His word but also in His creation:  The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalms 19:1)

Through His word and in creation, principles are taught that we who are created in the image of God must intelligently observe and apply.

Choose your spouse wisely, with both of you committing to a lifelong monogamous relationship.  Be a pair for life. Serve Him together thus glorifying God in His purpose.