This morning I saw an interesting sight as I sat listening to David Jeremiah and was looking out my back window. There was a female cardinal picking at some birdseed that my wife had put out, and another bird that caught my attention. The female cardinal is seen often at the birdseed so that wasn’t new, though we like to see her there. What caught my eye was the second bird that was eating with her. The second bird looked a lot like the cardinal but was slightly larger and had no red on her at all. This bird kept fluttering her wings like an impatient child, and holding her mouth open like a young bird in the nest wanting to be fed.
I watched them for several minutes and the routine repeated itself several times. The second bird continued to flutter it’s wings and then stand to be fed. The cardinal would just ignore it and proceed to feed itself. When the second bird would get right in her face, the cardinal would just move to the second bowl and continue eating. The second bird would then pursue the cardinal and the drama would repeat itself.
As I watched these birds and their antics, I thought about a mother weaning her children. I have no evidence that the second bird was indeed, a young cardinal but it seemed self-evident at the time. A part of the next generation’s coming of age is when they can stand on their own without parental interference or supplemental assistance. This is a necessary transition and when it is not done it cripples the child and stunts his growth. No parent would want their child to be crippled in that way, yet today there are numerous children that are physically able to go on their own but the parents have this idea that they are doing the child a favor by making it easier for them.
This problem is more widespread than you might imagine. You see children in their 30’s and 40’s still living with their parents and making no contribution to the welfare of the home. You see parents going into debt to pay for overboard weddings. You see a growing disrespect for parents. You see men with a wife who constantly run to Mama or Daddy at the first argument and on and on it goes.
My attention went back to the female cardinal. I could just hear someone say, what would be the harm in her just giving the young bird some seeds, after all they were both standing by a good supply and it probably took more effort to move away from the second bird than it would have been to just feed it. But look a little closer, the young bird was not in the nest now. She had left the nest and has flown to the feeder, yet she wanted to be fed. The Cardinal was wise in not feeding it as that would have resulted in the younger bird probably starving to death later because she didn’t know how to feed herself. We do the next generation a disservice by making it too easy for them.
Lest you think I am too old fashioned and out of touch with “modern
times”, consider the birds.
Which was better for the younger bird: to continue to get fed without learning how to feed themselves and suffer later on, or struggle to fed yourself and be able to survive when you face hard times alone. I believe that it is much kinder and loving to teach the next generation how to carry their own responsibility and look beyond the moment. The apostle Paul said, “he that doesn’t work, shouldn’t eat.” Irresponsibility is a detriment to our society and an insult to our understanding. I am not against helping our children; I have helped mine on numerous occasions. I also taught them responsibility and respect. My wife and I have seven children and I began teaching them about driving and its privilege at a young age. I told them that they could drive as soon as it was legal for them to do so. I also taught them that they would be responsible for buying their own gas, oil, maintenance, and insurance. Two of my boys didn’t even get their driver’s license until they were 18 because they couldn’t afford it. I am proud to say that all seven of my children are responsible, respectful and reasonable adults with families of their own. We now have 7 children, 21 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. Boy am I glad I didn’t make them “mama’s boys”