The joy of guinea fowl! Last Friday I was in a hurry to get the chicken and guinea fowl back into the coop because we were leaving for the evening. I had already sent my princess and warrior inside to change their clothes, thinking I would just get the chickens and guineas into the coop, close the door and back inside I would go to change my own clothes. However, the guineas had other ideas.
All of the chickens were in and two of the three guineas. Every time I would go to grab at Snowball (our white guinea), she would duck right out of the way. To make matters worse, some of the chickens were beginning to come check out the happenings so I'd stop the chase and shoo them back in. Our rooster, Blackie, took up his spot right in the door way. How was I to encourage Snowball to go up the ramp on her own when HE was blocking the way?!? As you can imagine, I wasn't too pleased with our resident rooster...
I finally caught Snowball and put her inside the coop. As I did so, Blackie comes walking down the ramp into the chicken run! Oh, boy! I went inside the coop and, thankfully, he came back inside, and I closed the door. I hurried in to change and off we went.
My man was at the restaurant, and we were still 15 minutes away. He got seated, we were 10 minutes away. He ordered and my salad had just arrived when we sat down at the table. All in all, things worked out fine...though I did relate the story of the guineas to him with considerable emotion.
The next day, I went to let the chickens out again. As Blackie rushed out the door, he liked to be first, I thought of what had happened the previous night. I watched as Blackie walked, okay he's beginning to strut, around in the middle of the chicken run. In the middle of HIS flock. And I thought.
I thought of the many stories we've heard about mean roosters. I thought of the comment, “Roosters are good for one thing, stew!” I thought of how we wanted a rooster. I looked forward to hearing a cock-a-doodle-doo on summer mornings. After all, what's a farm without a rooster?
And as I thought, I realized something. Last night, when he was standing in the door way. And when he came down the ramp after I'd gotten Snowball inside. He was protecting HIS flock. He was helping me keep those hens and guineas in order. He was doing what our Creator created him to do...lead and protect.
And that may be the reason he's first out the door. It may be the reason he struts around, with his head held high, in the middle of the hens. It's not because he thinks he's so grand. He has a job to do. And that's another reason we wanted a rooster, to help protect our hens from predators! How's he going to do that if I'm shooing him away while he's doing his job?
I think you can guess where I'm going with this. The Lord has a way of taking something you're looking at and applying it to other areas of our lives. I thought about men. I thought of how many times they are maligned in our words and actions. Just like the comments about roosters being good for stew, we comment that our husbands are only good for <fill in the blank>.
Oh, you're being too harsh, you might think. It's not really the same thing. We don't talk that way about our men. If you doubt me, think of some of the recent sitcoms that have been on. “What about Raymond?” comes to mind. How is Raymond portrayed? A strong leader of his home and family, whom his wife respects, appreciates and looks to for wisdom. Or a doofus, who couldn't find his way out of a paper bag. Are his children learning to look up to him or laugh at him? Admittedly, I've only seen that show a few times, but the general impression I got was Raymond is a blockhead!
We, women, cry out for a man to lead us, but when they do, we scold and nag them for not doing it right (read: our way). No wonder our culture has problems! Just as our Creator made roosters to protect their flock, He made our men to protect their families and those who have no protector. They are problem solvers. They want and need something to focus their attention and energy on that will serve their loved ones.
How can you say that, you might ask. Well, I'm learning about it with my 7 year old warrior. When he has productive work, he does great! He helps me in the kitchen. He lets the chickens out. He helps me with the laundry. He goes out to the mailbox and brings in the mail. He also does his school work well, often with much enthusiasm. And he plays well too, as long as it's grabbed his attention.
However, when he's left to his own devices and has yet to find something to engage him, watch out! It's then that he annoys his sister. It's then that he throws a ball around the room. It's then that he generally wanders around aimlessly and ends up trying the patience of all who are around. He needs purpose. (Don't we all?)
And when I was pushing Blackie back into the chicken coop, I wasn't letting him do what he was made to do. And when I get on my son's case for getting up from the dinner table to get us all napkins (or climbing on counters to get cups), I'm not letting him do what he was made to do. And when I tell my husband, no you're not doing <that> right, I'm chipping away at his confidence and desire to lead our family the way God created him to.
So, the next time you see a funny commercial involving a “dumb guy” in any number of possible scenarios, ask yourself what message is being sent to our sons and husbands. Is that what you want them to think of themselves? Is that the kind of leader you'd like for your family? I'll pass on that. I'll take my man just the way God made him, quirks and all. I'll thank the Lord for His graciousness in allowing us to grow together in our faith. And I'll keep praying for Jesus to help me be the wife He wants me to be, the wife my husband needs to be the leader in our family.
When Blackie has pecked my man, his response has been to pick our rooster up and pet him. When recounting this to someone, they recalled that they'd heard that's a good thing to do. Perhaps I ought to apply that to my son and husband. Instead of pecking back when they're a little out of sorts, I ought to love them more. I think I've heard that somewhere before...
Lead on, Blackie, lead on...
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself,and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33, NIV84
P.S. Since stories of persnickety roosters first reached my ears, I have been praying over our rooster. I've prayed that the Lord would make him a good rooster with an amiable personality. I trust Him to answer those prayers, after all, He's the One who gave Blackie to us.