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Many of us can’t be preachers, teachers or evangelists, but one of the most powerful ways we can be a witness to our Lord Jesus Christ is through our marriages.

Eagle Courtship
It thrilled me to find eagles have beautiful 'marriage' relationships — the female being an ideal mother, the male a courageous and lifelong mate. Here once again we can learn from the eagle — the king of birds with whom we are compared by our heavenly Father. There's so much this wonderful bird can teach us about life together. Eagles mate for life; a fact not common in the animal kingdom. No matter what happens (short of death), the 'marriage' will last — but not only last, the birds put a lot of effort into making sure the bond lasts. Eagles carry out an elaborate courtship, one that doesn't cease at mating but continues throughout their life together.

We can learn a lot from this wonderful bird, especially in the area of marriage relationships. It seems as if the male eagle never takes his mate for granted but continues to court her for the rest of her life. In fact, besides the amorous attention the male displays, he also helps with much of the work, such as hunting for food, feeding and caring for the young.

Sky Dancing
Naturally an eagle’s courtship takes place in the sky — high above the earth, where the bird is most at ease. The mating couple save their best displays of flight for their displays of affection. Occasionally the eagles will perform a midair loop, no mean feat for a bird. The two soar and dive in a breathtaking display of power and agility, virtually 'dancing across the sky'. Gradually they begin to interlock their talons in midair, performing rolling somersaults and engaging in incredible aerial aerobatic feats together. Their 'love song' echoing across their domain. Even normally silent species of eagles resort to these love calls.

During the spectacular aerial display the female may carry a stick high into the air and drop it. The male responds by diving to retrieve it. These mating displays may be repeated over and over again, but the climax of the performance comes when the male dives at the female and she rolls onto her back in mid-air. The female flashes her deadly talons, not in a sign of hostility, but one of love as the courting couple dance across the sky. The couple engage in a series of cartwheels as they plummet toward the earth far below — their talons firmly clasped together in a loving embrace. (We have this captured on film on my dvd entitled 'On Eagle's Wings')

It's a beautiful sight and sound to behold the eagles courtship flight as they wheel and glide — locked together in their spectactular nuptial display. Their courtship flight reminds me of two graceful ballet dancers gliding in unison across the sky, soaring and diving — their joyful mating vows ringing and echoing aloft in a realm few creatures ever attain.

Their  vow to each other speaks of complete and total trust — a vow not taken lightly, loyal to each other unto death. Although this courtship flight takes place at mating, some species of eagle will continue to perform this love ritual throughout their life together, as a sign of devotion, affection and to strengthen the bond between the two. The union grows stronger with the passing years. The couple rarely fight and will join together in the face of adversity, threat, danger and even for the simple pleasure of hunting and soaring together.

They are classic mates, besides being lovers and parents, they are friends — happy in each others company. Often they can be observed gliding on the thermals or quietly perched high above the earth, as the couple observe their domain. The king and queen of the sky. 

As the male eagle demonstrates great signs of affection for its mate, herein lies a lesson for most husbands. Often while the female sits on the nest, the male bird will gently stroke and groom her feathers. Of course it’s impossible to say what the bird’s motives are, but I like to believe that it's a sign of affection. The male may even take his turn at 'baby sitting' the eggs, and should something disastrous happen to the mate, the male will even raise the young alone. That’s dedication, that’s commitment! The king of the sky — a baby sitter!

Some species of male eagle leave the nest daily in a search for a sprig or branch of greenery. Realising that some raptors nest in barren desert areas, this may entail long flights to locate a suitable bush or tree. Once found the male eagle selects a sprig of greenery (new life) and flies back to the nest to present his mate with his 'gift of love.'  Experts disagree as to what place this sprig plays in the life of the eagle. Some believe it's to decorate the nest, others say it's a sign of new life, while others suggest it's a sign of affection for the mate. I agree with the last, I believe it's a token of love. In fact, I believe the eagle uses the sprig of greenery to keep the romance alive in its marriage.

Perhaps knowing they are mated for life encourages the birds to make every attempt to build a strong happy relationship. Certainly they go to great pains to strengthen the bond between them, in fact, eagles develop such a close affinity that the female is often aware of the approaching male long before he is visible to her. Then, anticipating his arrival, she may rise to meet him in the air. A  kindred spirit develops between the couple, far stronger than physical ties.

A Gift For Your Mate
So my question to you is this. When's the last time you did something to show your faithfulness, to strengthen your love bonds?  Again we can learn a lesson from the eagle. As the couple perform their regular courtship flights, so too should couples make every attempt to have time alone. I believe husbands and wives should 'honeymoon' alone at every opportunity, at least every couple of months but preferably once a month. Even if they can spend time alone for a few hours, or better still a day. Marriage must be worked at to succeed. Eagles spend much of their time soaring together, neither seem to ever take the other for granted — a lesson these remarkable birds could teach us humans.

Many males think it’s simply not 'macho' to show any sign of public affection, even if it’s just bringing flowers or a present. “That’s for the birds,” they say. And that’s exactly right — it's for  the eagle — king of birds! During the nesting season eagles go through a daily courtship display and yet one would hardly refer to the male eagle as a 'sissy' bird. There are few creatures who would dare challenge an aroused eagle in combat, yet this king of the sky brings its mate fresh 'flowers' to the nest every day. If it's good enough for an eagle, it should be good enough for us!

So, when was the last time you surprised your mate with a gift of your love? Take a lesson from the eagle — marriage is not a 50—50 contract, it's 100% giving from each partner to the other and if necessary, sometimes 110%. Jesus tells us:
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my command—ment, that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:11-13)
So is your joy full?  Do you lay down your life for your mate? The eagle will, if necessary, give its life in the defense of its mate or family. I have observed this first hand, as well as reading numbers of stories about how eagles have sacrificed themselves to protect each other. They are wonderful role models for us today.

The eagle’s first concern is for its family and not itself. We may never be called to lay down our lives in actual death but we can give our lives daily for one another. We can learn to place the welfare of our spouse or family above our own selfish interests and desires. True love is totally unselfish. Love puts the well being of the other partner above self. Be a doer of the word in your relationships and you can avoid many of the pitfalls that have befallen others. Whatever way the family goes — so goes our nation!

Christians should enjoy a marriage relationship that's a witness to the world. Many of us can’t be preachers, teachers or evangelists, but one of the most powerful ways we can be a witness to our Lord Jesus Christ is through our marriages. Truly, the Christian couple who make the decision to live a life of faithfulness as 'Eagle Christians' will be a  beautiful and loving example of just how our Heavenly Father meant us to live.

Each thinking of the other first, striving to make the other's life a little easier and a little happier. Sharing the good with the bad, the irksome with the joyous, the problems with the excitement. Such a couple stands out in this world full of selfishness just as the courting eagles stand out against the back drop of the sky. Their love songs echoing out across the wilderness, as they virtually 'dance across the sky' in their 'waltz on wings'. Such a couple's presence is welcome and a joy to behold as they boldly live the life they're called to live.

Col Stringer Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission

Author Biography

Col Stringer
Web site: Col Stringer Ministries
The Stringers minister with a powerful anointing and are in great demand to speak at churches and conventions all over the world. Col's unique background of wildlife and humour have won for him the title of "Pastor Crocodile Dundee". Col and Jan are being used powerfully to touch their homeland of Australia and believe the Lord is calling them to minister not only in the cities but throughout the Australian Outback. The Stringers have a heart to mentor the next generation of ministers and Christian leaders, and to take the uncompromising Word of God to Australia and the world.

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