Birds begin every spring by gathering what is needed to construct a nest. Usually they select a place that they believe will give them protection and shelter. This becomes the location where they then lay eggs and work to build a family. The nest serves as the location of safety and of security. For a bird to leave the nest is dangerous. Note that the term used for this leaving is the word wander. The bird is not flying from the nest for the purpose of hunting or finding food for itself and its young. This bird is just following its own curiosity wandering away from the nest to see what he can see. This indicates that we are probably speaking of the young - because an adult bird knows better than to wander from the nest. There is a word for birds who wander from their nests - prey! They become prey for those who are watching to see if they leave the protection and cover of the nest. They are sitting ducks as they go out from the nest just wandering wherever they go. It is a very dangerous thing to just go wandering away.
The picture of a bird wandering from its nest is compared to a man who wanders from his home. Here again is God's wisdom. God establishes the home as the central unit of society. It is also the place where God intends for children to be reared to maturity. There God provides for the child two loving parents who are focused on selflessly giving themselves for this child's good. As long as the child stays within the home (meaning its influence and protection) that child is safe. When the child wanders from that place - he is in danger. But what we have said to us here is not about a child - it is about a man. The man who wanders from his home is like the bird wandering from his nest.
What would cause a man to wander from his home? There are many things actually that work toward guiding a man toward this disaster. First is another woman. Many men wander from their home and wind up being involved with a woman who is not their wife. They wander away from their commitment - away from their vows to God and to their bride - and much like the bird wandering from his nest - this man is caught . . . trapped . . . hunted and captured. Sexual immorality and adultery are both strong traps that have destroyed many a man who wandered from the nest of his home and marriage. Another thing that causes men to wander is outside interests that begin to dominate their lives. Please understand I'm not against a man having outside interests like hunting, fishing, sports, cars, motorcyles, or whatever else a guy chooses to pursue. What I warn men against is having pursuits that take them away from the home far too often. Our commitment as a husband and father is to our wives and our children. Anything that takes us away from them - and hinders us from being there for them as we should - is not good. It is another way men "wander" from the nest - and leave themselves (and their families) unprotected. There is more to this than just the damage done to the man who wanders away. When he is in this "wandering" state, his family is left unprotected. His sons are untaught in the things of the Lord - and undirected into God's way by watching and participating with their father in vastly important ways. His daughters are left unprotected - and grow up with a sense that they have to take care of themselves. They face dealing with boys on their own - and since dad has been off acting like a boy - they don't know what a real man looks like. Too often this leads to disaster as sons grow up being boys perennially as they follow the footsteps of a father who leads them there by not growing up himself. Daughters grow up unprotected and wind up going out with and marrying the wrong kind of man. There are truly multiple disasters that come from a man wandering from his home.
Men . . . God wants you to be MEN! That means leaving behind boyhood and choosing to be the man God wants you to be in your home. The church and our world desperately needs men like this. We need guys who choose to die to themselves and see more and more as they grow older that life is not about them. They grow up and realize that shirking serious responsibilities in the home and in the church is creating a horrific society and a broken nation. We cannot continue on the course we are on - because to do so is to embrace destruction on a national scale. I realize that this is not just a problem for us - it has been a multi-generational problem in our nation. Many of us are like we are - because we have had fathers who wandered from the home - either physically, emotionally, spiritually, or all the above. But we cannot continue on this path - it surely leads to disaster! May God move in our hearts and in our homes to fulfill His promise in Malachi 4:5-6. There the Lord spoke of a day when he would send us "Elijah the prophet" before the great and terrible day of the LORD. His purpose and ministry would be to, ". . . restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers . . ." God's promise here was so that He would not have to come and smite the land with a curse. I think we see all the marks of that curse on our land today. To be honest, the vast majority of the responsibility for that curse lies on the fathers of today and yesterday - for wandering from home. May the work of revival and reformation bring fathers back home - first back to the Lord Himself, then back to their wives and children. Basically - back to the nest - a place they never should have wandered from in the first place.