Lessons from a wooden duck
Three of my four kids are Korean, so it should come as no surprise that Korean culture has had a big impact on me and my family. I love the country’s culture and traditions that stretch back for centuries. And their food is amazing!
One of my favorite Korean traditions though, is the wedding duck. In Korean weddings, the bride and groom often receive a pair of hand-carved, brightly colored wooden ducks symbolizing peace, many children, and no separation. An important part of the tradition is picking the right person to carve the ducks. The carver must be a person of integrity, prosperity, and peace. While at work, the craftsman prays for the couple’s happiness, peace, prosperity, and children. Carving wedding ducks is a matter of honor, and no money exchanges hands as the wedding ducks are the carver’s gift to the couple.
After the wedding, the ducks are displayed prominently in the couple’s home, and their position there sends an important message. If the ducks are tail-to-tail, facing away from each other, there’s trouble in the marriage. If nose-to-nose (or maybe beak-to-beak?), then all is well between husband and wife.
Now I don’t know if the wedding duck tradition has any purposeful ties to our faith, but I’ve always seen several aspects that I think could apply to us in our homes and churches, and even here at school.
- God is a master craftsman. Not only has He created a beautiful world, but he has carefully made us, endowing within us reflections of Himself (Psalm 139:13-16).
- Scripture makes it clear that God has chosen us, but there is a mystery here where we also have the freedom to choose Him. We certainly have the freedom to choose to follow His ways. God loves it when we do this (Joshua 24:14-15)! We are constantly on His mind, and he delights in speaking blessings over us (Zephaniah 3:17).
- There is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor. His gift to us as believers simply cannot be purchased (Romans 6:23).
- God loves it when His people walk in unity and single-minded purpose (John 17:20-23). It is when this happens in full view of an unbelieving world that He is made known!
May we and our children choose the Master Carver, receiving His gift of salvation. May His blessings continue to pour out over our families and school, and may we walk in unity as Christ followers, showing the world a better way.
Pretty amazing what all we can learn from a couple of wooden ducks!
Have a great week my friends,