Cardinals & Marriage


The other day, I was looking out into our back yard and noticed something quite beautiful in bird culture. I’m no ornithologist, but when I have the opportunity to bird watch, I will.

My wife had made some hearts out of birdseed and put them outside for any bird to enjoy. She’s generous like that. We really didn’t see much traction or eating by the birds for some time until it rained and all the birdseed fell to the ground. Go figure.

As I was looking out this particular morning, a female cardinal (like the one pictured above on the left), flew over to eat some seed. From the background, I could see what was about to transpire – a large mockingbird swept in and perched himself over the female claiming the area as his own. The female, obviously frightened, flew away. I was a little annoyed, but not as annoyed as the male cardinal. The male cardinal made a kamikaze style dismount from a nearby tree, in defense of his (what I assume to be) bride. The mockingbird flew away and the female returned and ate, while the male ate as well.

So what does this have to do with marriage?

Call my old fashion, but I think a man should defend his bride when it appears she is in danger. Of course a wife would do the same for her husband, but in this instance, I’m speaking out a man defending his bride. I don’t know all the rules of nature for male and female birds, or why the female was the “one” chosen to sweep down first to eat. I really don’t know. But, I know that on that day, I was encouraged to think of how I might honor my wife, and defend her.

Simply, the thoughts that kept ringing in my mind, “Am I head-first, all-in, kamikaze style defense for my bride? Am I loving her the way Jesus loved His bride, the church?”

See, Jesus didn’t hold anything back in his sacrifice for us – he was 100% in. He didn’t hesitate to give of himself on our behalf. He defended us from our two great enemies, sin and death – sin by dying on the cross, and death by resurrecting from the grave. That’s rich. That’s love. That’s meaningful. And that’s what I learned about marriage from some cardinals.

How can you love your spouse today?