My wife and I had enjoyed over 40 years of marriage when one day she said that she would like to have a few hens in our back garden.
This didn`t seem to be a problem at first sight as we had a lot of space in our garden at the back of the house. We live in a cottage in the country.
There was a problem, and it was with me.
You see, I had seen enough of hens.
I was born and brought up on a farm where hens were very much a part of everyday life. They wondered around the farm all over the place. That was OK because we could gather eggs from various places among the farm machinery, and wee spaces between the bales of hay and straw. It was good fun and exciting.
The problem was in the evening when it was time to lock the hens away into the henhouse to protect them from the fox.
Some hens naturally retire to bed when it starts to get dark but others go and hide in awkward places,
The worst place was under the henhouse. A long stick was needed to dislodge sleepy hens from there illegal overnight parking lot.
My brothers and I, with anybody else who was around at the time, were encouraged, with a lot of persuasion to get out there and round up all the unruly hens. We hated that task.
So when my wife said she would like to have a few hens in our back garden I didn`t show the enthusiasm right away that see was looking for, but love suffers long and is kind.1Corithians 13 v4. I love my wife and like to be kind.
I tucked her desire away in the back of my mind. Right away at the very back but not totally ignored.
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform.
One day we were together in a garden centre.
There, in a small area set apart for pets etc. would you believe it? Hens, yes a few hens. There were also small henhouses in small packs, which could fit into the back of the car.
The Lord touched my heart. Vision of hens in our back garden began to unfold. I could see the area in my mind where we could place the henhouse. I would dig a trench around the enclosure and secure wire netting into it to stop the fox digging under and killing the hens. My heart really began to warm to the whole project.
We bought, and brought home the wee henhouse. I began to put it together as soon as I could. I went on the Internet and ordered some wire netting. While waiting for it to arrive I started to dig the trench for it.
The joy I began to experience as I was engaged in all this activity was unique.
It was a joy from the Lord.
You see I had sacrificed my selfish will to please someone else, my wife.
In due course we bought four hens which gave us four eggs each day for a long time to come.
The scripture came to me in power: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” (Ephesians 5:25 KJV).
I found that the small sacrifice I made for my wife was an illustration of the tremendous sacrifice Christ made for us when he laid down His life for us on the cross, to give us so much more than a few hens, the wonderful gift of Eternal Life with Him in heaven.
“who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 KJV)
The key to marriage bliss is LOVE.
Prayer: Lord help us to love others the way you love us. Help us to look for ways to bless others and look less to our own wants. In Jesus name we ask. Amen