Sunday, September 17, 2006


“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings:” (Deut.32:11)

According to this verse in Deuteronomy, the husband and father may rule the roost, but the wife and mother is the one who feathers the nest. He puts a roof over their heads, but she puts home in their hearts. I am speaking of the ideal situation, of course. We all know that in single parent homes, one parent is faced with the daunting task of trying to play two roles calling for completely different abilities. No father should be forced to flutter and spread comforting wings; and no mother should have to single-handedly face outside forces that would endanger her young. Only sin, in one form or another, leads to such confusion of duties.

Whether a mother is able to play her role as God ordained it, or if she is forced, as I said, to cover all the bases, at least part if not all of the time, she should never forget that her chief role in life is that of a “nester.” Her wings of love and protection may flutter and spread over her young when they are small, or they may only be a “shadow,” when they are older; but either way, they will always be a refuge (Psl.57:1). When our Lord wanted to show the depth of his love and agony of soul for a Jerusalem that had turned its back on Him, He cried, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34). A wayward son or daughter cannot be forced back into the fold, but that does not keep a mother from crying from the depths of her soul, “Oh, my child!”

In addition, I would remind us that it is the mother who must be one to actually “stir up the nest.” The father may (and should) be the one to prepare the child for the day when he or she will leave the nest. But it is the mother who will have to give the final shove. Perhaps not literally, but certainly, emotionally. She made it comfortable, now she must make it leave-able. No eaglet can soar to the heavens while always looking back to the nest. According to Luke 7:1-10, those with the greatest faith require the least attention; and those children who are most confident have less need for regular booster shots from their parents. (Note to my children: This has nothing to do with the practice of maternal updates, which is a very good thing!)

I, for one, relish my role as a mother eagle…or a mother hen. I have had many interests, and I like to think I am always trying to hone the gifts God has given me; but I have had only one “career.” It has brought all the fulfillment one could hope for. It is five-fold: the husband God gave me, and the four children we produced together. Everything else is just icing on the cake. So go ahead; mark me up as a “happy-nester!”

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