Lives Under Construction
(Father-Son event, building lives that last, 1 Cor. 3:11-15)
by Deb Brammer
[Uses one boy puppet named “Mac” and a real person referred to as “Builder”; Props: a large copy of “The Three Little Pigs” book with good pictures, a measuring tape, saw, hammer, a piece of sandpaper, and a paintbrush.]
(Mac and Builder mimic the voices of the pigs and the wolf as they give their lines in the script. Builder holds the book up to show pictures of the various scenes of “The Three Little Pigs” as they talk about them. )
(Mac enters reading a “Three Little Pigs” book.)
Builder: Hi, Mac. What’s up?
Mac: Well, I’ve been reading this really confusing story. It’s about three little pigs.
Builder: I think I’ve heard that story. They build houses, don’t they?
Mac: Yeah. (hands the book to builder) The first little pig builds his house of straw. It’s a nice little house, facing the sun with room for a veggie garden in back. He moves in and starts to meet the neighbours.
Builder: (say next 3 lines quickly) Then the big, bad, neighbour wolf comes by and says, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
Mac: And the pig says, “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.”
Builder: And the wolf says, “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down.”
Mac: Yeah. After that, the whole house faces the sun. But the second pig is not discouraged. He builds his house of sticks. He puts a big, picture window in the living room so he can lie back and see the scenery. He’s just trying to figure out where to add the garage when the big, bad, neighbour wolf comes around.
Builder: Back to the part where the wolf says, (say next 3 lines quickly) “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
Mac: “Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin.”
Builder: “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down.” Which he did.
Mac: And all the pig had left was the scenic view. But the third pig was smarter. He built his house of bricks.
Builder: (say next 3 lines quickly)“Little pig, little pig, let me come in.”
Mac: “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”
Builder: “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down.” Except it doesn’t work this time.
Mac: The wolf gets so angry he crawls up to the roof and slides down the chimney, right into the stew pot.
Builder: Which doesn’t make the environmentalists happy. Wolves are an endangered species. (lays book down)
Mac: Right. I’ve been thinking about the story a lot, and I’m so confused. I understand what happens in the story, but I don’t know what it means. What’s the moral of the story? What is it trying to teach?
Builder: Do you have any guesses?
Mac: Well, at first I thought the story was saying, “If a stranger comes to your door, let him in quickly, before he blows your house down.”
Builder: That can’t be right. It’s not smart to let strangers into your house.
Mac: If it was a recipe book it could be teaching you that wolf meat dries out fast in the oven, so it works best in a tasty stew.
Builder: But it’s not a recipe book.
Mac: It could teach you not to climb chimneys even if other people dare you to.
Builder: I don’t think that’s what the story is trying to teach.
Mac: (scratches head) Well, the only other thing I can figure out is that when you’re building a house, you should choose a brick house over a frame one every time.
Builder: Actually, Mac, you’re pretty close. The Bible tells us that the way we live our lives is kind of like building a house. Let me read 1 Cor. 3:11-15. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
Mac: I understand about the houses, but what is the fire all about?
Builder: Well, all the houses are tested by fire. The wood, hay, and stubble houses burn up, but the fire can’t hurt the gold, silver, and precious stone houses. The fire is like God’s judgment testing which houses, which lives, are lived for Him.
Mac: It’s kind of like the wise man and the foolish man.
Builder: Right. We need to build the foundation of our lives on Jesus Christ. We do that by believing on him as Saviour and living our lives by the Word of God.
Mac: Then every day we live, it’s like we’re building a house?
Builder: Right. Only all houses aren’t alike. The straw house and the stick house that the pigs built may have looked nice, but they didn’t last. The way Christians live their lives can be like building wood, hay, and straw houses. They look nice, but they won’t last for eternity. Or they can live lives that last for eternity, like houses build out of gold, silver, and precious stones.
Mac: I bet the big, bad wolf couldn’t blow a gold house down.
Builder: You’re right.
Mac: So how can I build a house that lasts forever?
Builder: Well, let’s see. (Picks up tape measure, measures Mac) First you need to measure yourself.
Mac: (looks at measuring tape) I know how to do that. If I compare myself to other kids I don’t look too bad. But if I measure myself by Jesus, the Bible says, “All have sinned and come short of his glory.”
Builder: That’s right. We need Jesus to forgive our sin and help us not to sin anymore. (Puts down tape measure and picks up saw.) We need him to saw away the rotten bits like selfishness and pride.
Mac: (pretends to saw) I don’t usually have trouble with lying or stealing, but it is hard not to be selfish and want the best for myself.
Builder: I think we all have trouble with that (Lays down saw, picks up hammer.) We need to hammer God’s truth into our lives.
Mac: (pretends to hammer) I like hammering.
Builder: The Bible says that God’s Word is like a hammer that breaks rocks into pieces. God’s Word can help us care more about others than ourselves.
Mac: I don’t have trouble being nice to nice people. But there are these kids at school that are so annoying! They really irritate me!
Builder: It’s easy to love nice people. (Lays down hammer, picks up sandpaper.) But God can use irritating people to sand away our rough spots and make us more like Jesus.
Mac: You mean, God uses mean people?
Builder: He will use them to make us better if we let him.
Mac: (angrily) But sometimes I just can’t forget about the things the kids say to me.
Builder: Unkind words can really hurt, but as Christians, we have to forget about a lot of things that people do to us. (Lays down sandpaper, picks up paintbrush.) We have to cover over those things with our own kindness. The Bible says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” So next time those kids annoy you, ask God to help you paint it over with a thick coat of God’s love.
Mac: Hmmm. Paint ‘em with God’s love. Will that change their skin color?
Builder: It’s not real paint. It’s a symbol. It just means when they do little things that annoy you, you should just think about how much God loves you and has forgiven you and not let those things bother you.
Mac: I know. I was just joking. So “The Three Pigs” teaches us that we need to build houses with stuff that lasts a long time. And the Bible says we need to build our lives the same way. So when the devil comes knocking we can say, “Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin.” What does that mean, anyway?
Builder: I think it just means, “No way!” Which is a pretty good thing to say to the devil.
Mac: (Stroking chin, says sternly) “No way, Satan! Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin. You can’t have my house! I’m building it for Jesus.”
Builder: Sounds good to me, Mac. But we’d better get back to our Father-Son Night.
Mac: Right. See ya later. (Mumbles as he leaves.) No way, Devil! Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin.