by Sheri Schofield
Have you ever been to a pond in early spring, when all the colorful ducks are swimming around, quacking and raising their young? It’s one of my favorite times to duck watch. The male mallard ducks are particularly beautiful, with their iridescent green heads, white collars, red breasts and blue-striped wings. This is the season when they are trying to attract female mallards, those plain, unadorned brown ducks on the pond. Eventually, the mallards pair up, build nests, and hatch ducklings. Life is busy and happy for the duck families.
But then comes The Molt. The males take off and go to a distant pond where they hang out together, turn grumpy, lose their beautiful feathers and get ugly.
This is a very difficult season for the female mallards. They are left behind to care for their young while they molt. They’re grumpy, too, but they have to watch the kids and molt at the same time. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
The next time the female sees her male partner, she probably thinks, “What did I ever see in him?” But her memory is short and she is kind. By the next spring, she’ll be looking for the bright plumage and sleek adornment her mate will develop. Once again, she will fall in love, help build a nest, and raise the ducklings. Wild mallards are monogamous. They stay with their mates year after year, through the good times and the bad.
Love forgives and forgets. Love doesn’t hold grudges. Love makes allowances for others to fail and to find victory. Though one’s mate may struggle at times, and though he may not look like the man one married anymore, love accepts. Love hopes for his best. Love supports. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love works toward a common good.
It is the same with one’s fellow Christian. Whether our brothers and sisters are doing well in their faith or whether they are struggling, we are told to be supportive and help them find victory. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (NLT)
Are you living through The Molt now? Or are you living in the springtime, when all is beautiful? Each season of life will call for different skills. But unity of focus and purpose is the key to survival. Are you focused on what will unite you?
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:13,14 NLT.
It is not always easy to forgive those who cut you out of social gatherings, or say unkind things about you to others! Sometimes our mates may say and do things that hurt us, and we may not want to forgive them. Nobody said this would be easy! But if we want to fulfill God’s purpose, we need to forgive and learn to live in harmony.
Our world is watching us. Will they see infighting and anger? Or will they see unity and love? We influence their destiny by our behavior.
We are all treasured by the One who loved us enough to die for us. So, Lord, teach us to love one another. . . even in The Molt.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance . . . . Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:4-7, 13 NLT
About the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Join the Conversation: What season are you in? What helps you to unconditionally love the one who has treated you badly?