Four beautiful petite blue eggs nestled into a nest constructed of a circle of twigs hidden in the middle briar patch of the butterfly bush. So much potential life was dangerously cradled in that hidden space only a few inches off the ground.
A Tale of Two Nests
My husband and I didn’t hold out much hope that we would get to see these little robins take flight. Consequently, we appealed to our four-year-old son’s love for other little things. In addition, his father impressed on him how important it was that he not touch the babies or their nest. My son dutifully obeyed even instructing the older neighbor boy about the baby bird rules as well.
Alas, one day the eggs were gone. However, our chance to watch baby birds did not evaporate. In contrast to the butterfly bush babies, another bird family used the hanging baskets on our front porch as their nursery space. Distinctly, these plump little birds were high up away from harm. In effect, only disturbed when we lowered the plant to check on their progress.
Where to Build Your Nest
Ideally, birds choose trees to build a nest, and from there, to nurture their young. Although sometimes the ideal is not always available, and sometimes as parents, we have to figure out the next best thing.
These two nests struck me as a modern parable about the plight of Christian families trying to raise our families for God. Indeed, you can’t just create a nest. Above all, you have to be strategic about where you place that nest and who has access to it.
The butterfly bush in our backyard is well established and has a broad span of well-rooted branches. Granted, if it weren’t for the bright blue hue of the eggs, the nest would have likely gone unnoticed by human eyes. There are only a couple of trees in our backyard and their branches are not as sturdy and protected as the butterfly bush.
No doubt it may have seemed to those parents that this was the best spot that they had to choose from. Sad, that if you were to venture into the front yard, there are several mature trees to choose from that would have provided Fort Knox protection for that precious potential.
Don’t settle! Search for the Right Spot for Your Nest.
How many human parents look around them at the examples near to them and follow those examples. One day they wake up to find as well that their precious offspring are now in the belly of the enemy. Unfortunately, they are comforted by others with reassurances that nothing could be done, that these things happen. Most importantly, none of this changes the fact that those lives are lost.
Clearly, it must be pointed it out that building a nest a couple inches off the ground is foolish. Although it would be hard for a human to get a hold of the nest, cats are smaller. Even if a cat had a challenging time of navigating the dense branches of the butterfly bush, a snake could easily slide its way into and out of that vulnerable nest.
Do Not Ignore the Danger.
Consider how many families build such nests? They ignore the reality of how many children raised in Christian homes are lost to the enemy. If those little eggs represented Christian children in Christian families – 3 out of every 4 eggs would be lost to the dangers of the world.
It was obvious to my husband and me that the robins were in danger. If it had been possible to move that nest to higher ground we would have. If only we could have explained to those parents the danger that their offspring were in. What if we could have helped them make the needed changes to improve their chances?
Unfortunately, when you share that love and concern for children in danger, your advice is seen as meddling. Certainly, we can see the outcomes all around us, but we do not want to admit that there are changes that we can make that will make a huge impact on our children’s chances for spiritual survival in this world.
What are the predators in your nest?
- People that have access to your home. Family members ….babysitters ….neighbors….
- People and situations that your family is introduced to on screens in your home.
- Ideas and worldviews from schooling that are not challenged at home.
- Un-Biblical ideas or worldviews shared in the safe spaces of Sunday School or youth group.
- Our witness as parents …. Our anger, our value of stuff, the seduction of sports, our lack of visible prayer and study (Ouch!)
As parents, it is not good enough just to make the nest. Clearly, we have to build the nest in a safe, nurturing space.
Most of all, the goal is not the nest alone. Most importantly, the goal is to get birds that can fly and sing praises to their Creator. For Christian parents, the goal is not a happy family but to raise children who can live out their calling and give praise to their Creator as well. How do you protect your precious children?