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FAMILY VALUES – written by Tanis Harms
TOPIC: values based on love
SCRIPTURE: 1 Cor.13:4-8, Eph.5:21, Phil.2:3
Style: satire/conversation: family scenarios
. are first portrayed how it should not be,
. and then portrayed how they should be
Cast: NARRATOR, PILGRIM PA, MA, SIS, BRO,
. MODERN FATHER, MOTHER, SISTER, BROTHER
Set & Props: PILGRIM SET: table, 4 chairs, bowl, spoon,
. bucket, slate boards, abacus or beans;
. MODERN SET: table, 4 chairs, bowl, spoon,
. grocery bags, homework, laptop
NARRATOR Family values: are just as important today,
. as they were back in the pilgrim days, or
. if you’re not THAT old, the Brady Bunch days.
. But over the decades, we have experienced
. a slow decay and corruption in the family unit.
. Was it really that much better in the
. “good old days?” And, is there any hope for
. the modern family? To answer these questions,
. let us take a peek at a few examples.
(On PILGRIM’S SET: MA enters carrying a bucket and
sets it on the table beside the bowl and spoon.
SIS and BRO follow behind carrying their slates.
They are about to walk right past when MA stops them.)
MA Those cows always like to kick up such a fuss.
. Wait! You both have chores to do.
SIS But, I have homework.
BRO Me, too.
MA Well then, you need to do that first,
. and then get to your chores.
. (to SISTER) You need to sweep,
. (to BROTHER) and you need to feed the pigs.
SIS But I was going to go square dancing
. with my friends.
BRO I wanted to see how many tins I could
. knock down with my beebee gun.
MA Homework and chores!
(SIS and BRO slam their slates down onto the table
with scowls, then start writing things out with chalk.
MA picks up bowl and spoon and starts stirring supper.)
MA Could you do that on the porch? I have
. to make supper and set the table.
(PA enters and puts his abacus or beans onto the table
and sits down to calculate things without saying a word.
MA grunts her dismay.)
MA Ah! No! You could have come in earlier!
. And can’t you do this somewhere else?
. I have to put the milk away, and make supper.
. Must I have to do everything around here?
PA You do remember all the crops that I plant
. and tend, don’t you? And I still have
. to figure out how much seed to buy for
. next year. Not to mention, one of the wheels
. on our wagon needs tightening, and we’ve got
. money owing. SOMEONE went out and spent
. a fortune on a whole lot of chicken wire.
MA To keep the chickens in! You do remember
. that I spend a lot of time chasing those
. chickens down all over the creation.
. Not to mention milking all the cows and
. collecting the eggs, and sweeping the outhouse-
PA What do you want me to do, huh? Forget about
. my crops?
MA Here we go again. But it’s going to end,
. right now. I quit - I’m done - good bye.
. I’m moving out. I’m through with all of this.
. I don’t need any of this - anymore.
. I want a -
(PA and CHILDREN look up with dropped jaws and freeze.
NARRATOR steps in front to talk.)
NARRATOR The Bible is very clear about family values.
. It is all based on that special word: love.
. Love never fails... love endures all things.
. Let us see if this scene could end differently.
(PILGRIM FAMILY watch as MODERN SCENE is played out.)
(On MODERN SET: MOTHER enters carrying grocery bags
and sets them on the table beside the bowl and spoon.
SISTER and BROTHER follow behind carrying their homework.
They walk past when MOTHER stops them.)
MOTHER That grocery store is always such a madhouse.
. Wait! You both have chores to do.
SISTER But, I have homework.
BROTHER Me, too.
MOTHER Well then, you need to do that first,
. and then get to your chores.
. (to SISTER) You need to vacuum,
. (to BROTHER) and you need to mow the lawn.
SISTER But I was going to go to the mall
. with my friends.
BROTHER I wanted to beat my score on my new game.
MOTHER Homework and chores!
(SISTER and BROTHER slam their books down onto the table
and open their books with scowls. MOTHER picks up the
bowl and spoon and starts stirring supper.)
MOTHER Could you do that in your bedrooms?
. I have to make supper and set the table.
(FATHER enters and puts his laptop on the table and
sits down to work without saying a word.
MOTHER grunts her dismay.)
MOTHER Ah! No! You’re late! And can’t you do this
. somewhere else? I have to put the groceries
. away, and get supper going. Must I have to do
. everything around here?
FATHER You do remember my job, don’t you? I still
. have to finish this transaction, then enter
. the new stats. Not to mention, the SUV’s oil
. needs changing, and we’ve got bills piling up.
. SOMEONE went out and spent a fortune on
. a new designer outfit.
MOTHER For work! You do remember that I also have
. a job to go to everyday. Not to mention
. all the housework that I’m left with.
. Who always winds up doing the grocery shopping,
. the laundry, scrubbing the toilets-
FATHER What do you want me to do, huh? Quit my job?
MOTHER Here we go again! (calming down) Wait,
. this is not working. We need to fix this.
. Well, at least, I need to change a few things,
. like... my attitude.
. (FATHER and CHILDREN look up with dropped jaws)
. There is no quitting. I just can’t go on –
. LIKE THIS. I really desire a peaceful home.
FATHER I agree. We need to make sure that we are
. all working together. And each one of us
. should really check our own attitudes.
(MODERN FAMILY freezes and NARRATOR steps in front
but addresses the PILGRIM FAMILY.)
NARRATOR Got that?
(PILGRIM FAMILY nods their understanding and continues
with their next scene.)
PA So, how was everybody’s day?
SIS Ma got a great deal at the general store!
. Mrs. Murphy accidently gave Ma too much change
. when she bought the turnips.
PA (to MA) Ohhhh, stealing? So you’re NOT
. perfect after all. I really love to hear this,
. you know. You’re always going on and on,
. reminding me about all MY faults, and here
. you are, stealing from the neighbors.
MA It’s her loss. She should have been paying
. more attention.
BRO (laughing) Way to go, Ma! Does this mean
. I can sneak into Mr. Tucker’s backyard
. for crabapples?
NARRATOR Ah, folks, love does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
. but rejoices with the truth.
(PILGRIMS freeze while MODERN FAMILY continues.)
SISTER So Mom got a great deal at the grocery store!
. The cashier accidently gave her too much change
. when she bought our snack packs.
FATHER (to MOTHER, disappointed) Really?
. Why didn’t you return the money?
MOTHER I know, I should have. And I’m feeling
. really guilty about this.
BROTHER Wait, so does this mean it’s okay if I steal
. DVDs from the store if no one is looking?
. They have insurance.
FATHER No, stealing is wrong. It is ALWAYS wrong.
MOTHER This is very true. Anybody can make mistakes.
. But no one should take advantage of that.
. I’m going to return the money tomorrow.
(MODERN FAMILY freezes. NARRATOR looks at PILGRIMS.)
MA Yes! I’ll return the money!
PA Next time, just make sure you’re not that
. stupid. This is extremely embarrassing.
. You really know how to make us look bad,
. don’t you? You have a real talent for that.
MA And you have a real talent for being a jerk!
SIS Ma! Pa! Stop fighting.
BRO Yeah, you look like the roosters when they
. peck at each other.
SIS (to BRO) And you always look like the pigs
. right after they’ve rolled around in the mud.
. My friends are always laughing at you.
BRO Well - I’m going to tell everybody that
. you pick your nose.
SIS Why would you lie like that?
BRO Ahhh, why not?
(NARRATOR steps in front. PILGRIMS freeze.)
NARRATOR Haven’t you heard this: love is not rude,
. love is kind.
MOTHER I will return the money tomorrow, and
. apologize. And, I also apologize to you.
. I certainly do not want to hurt anyone.
FATHER (nicely) Oh really? Are you sure?
. I mean, I know that no one is perfect,
. but you tend to do these things a lot.
. So, I know you say this, but I really
. don’t believe you. And I resent the fact
. that you even did that in the first place.
. Sometimes I think that you really just
. want to break all the rules and see
. just how much you can get away with.
(NARRATOR steps in front of MODERN FAMILY.
NARRATOR address MODERN FATHER.)
NARRATOR Ah, I realize you are saying all these things
. in a KIND WAY, but the WORDS themselves –
. are not kind at all. In fact, they sound
. very - resentful. Love is not resentful,
. love believes all things. Love believes -
. THE BEST.
(PILGRIM PA raises his hand. NARRATOR sees this
and waves for PA to continue.)
PA (to NARRATOR) I got this. 7
. (to MA) Thank you for your apology.
. I know that you mean well, and I can see
. that you are feeling very badly. I have
. always appreciated your good intentions.
MA Thank you.
PA Although, I do wish you were a little more
. like Mrs. Walton. She never argues with
. her husband. And I hear she is the best
. cook in the world.
NARRATOR Okay, so, love does not envy. Love bears
. all things.
PA Even bad cooking?
NARRATOR Yes! Love bears ALL things.
PA Well then, I will – PUT UP - with it.
MA Or YOU could try cooking, then.
PA I just might do that.
SIS Oh, I think we’re in trouble now.
BRO I KNOW we’re in trouble. I’ve tasted
. Pa’s cooking.
SIS Why don’t we try something else?
BRO Like, just pretend Ma is a great cook?
MA Hey! If you’re all going to be miserable,
. then I’m going to be miserable too.
PA So when IS our supper ready? I’m famished
. and you’re just standing around yammering.
(BRO starts drumming on the table.)
SIS Ma! Johnny’s drumming on the table again!
MA And you’re all complaining again!
PA (to MA) And you’re complaining 8
. that we’re all complaining.
NARRATOR Might I remind you all, love is not irritable,
. love is – patient. (looking at MODERN FAMILY)
. I don’t know, can you handle this one?
(BROTHER is drumming on the table.)
SISTER John, can you please not do that?
BROTHER (stopping) Okay. Sorry.
FATHER Kids, please be patient while Mom cooks supper.
. You know she’s doing the best that she can.
. (NARRATOR nods, but FATHER adds a new twist)
. Now, see just how much I put up with? My love
. is SO deep, I can eat anything that she comes
. up with, no matter how bad it is. I’m probably
. the most dedicated husband in the world.
. I even overlook Mom’s snoring. But I never
. complain. I probably put up with more things
. than any other husband in the world.
NARRATOR Ah, love does not boast, but HOPES all things.
FATHER Alright then, I HOPE that my wife will take
. some cooking lessons, and maybe go to
. a counselor to learn how to be a better wife.
NARRATOR Not really what that means.
PA Let me try.
BRO I just hope you can get it right, Pa.
PA It’s not a competition, son. So, (to ALL)
. I HOPE that I can be the husband that
. I should be, so that my wife can ENJOY
. doing these menial tasks. I HOPE that we can
. all find ways to improve our relationships
. and learn to serve each other - with joy.
FATHER Oh brother!
NARRATOR (commenting to MODERN FATHER)
. Except - Pa did get it right.
FATHER Okay-okay. Now, as the father and leader
. of this household, I do work very hard,
. and this serving one another would definitely
. make my life so much better. If you remember,
. I work very hard for all your comforts.
SISTER But we’re your children. You should be giving
. us lots of stuff – just because.
BROTHER Yeah, just because. Aren’t we important?
MOTHER If anyone deserves something, it’s me.
. I’m the glue that holds us all together.
. I’m – the mother!
NARRATOR Ah, so love is not arrogant. Love is humble,
. and regards one another as more important
. than yourselves.
MOTHER So I should NOT fight for my rights?
FATHER Which rights are those? The rights to go
. to the salon for mani’s and pedi’s?
. Maybe I want to go play golf on the weekends.
SISTER But you do know that we need some money
. for our school projects coming up?
BROTHER Yeah, I don’t want to fail my history course.
FATHER They’re right. We need to make sure they
. do well in school. That’s kind of a priority.
MOTHER Very true. I certainly can do my own nails.
. Well, maybe once we pay for the school project
. materials, maybe we can figure out something
. to do as a family – that everyone enjoys.
SISTER Oo! I vote for roller-skating.
BROTHER Seriously? That is so lame.
SIS (to MA) What’s roller-skating?
(NARRATOR sees that things are getting out of control
and looks back and forth at the different conversations.)
BROTHER I want to see that new Transformer movie.
BRO (to PA) Pa, what’s a trans-former?
PA (to BRO) What’s a movie?
MOTHER I wanted to see the flower show on the weekend.
S & B Nooooo!
MA (to PILGRIMS) Oh, I would vote for flowers.
FATHER (to MODERN FAMILY) You’re all forgetting,
. I have my workshop on Saturday.
MOTHER Working on the weekend?!
(MA nudges PA on the shoulder.)
PA (to MA) Do you want the crops to die
. so we’ll have nothing to eat over the winter?
FATHER It’s work! Do you want me to get fired?
MOTHER Don’t you care about any of us?
. It seems like work always comes before us.
. I want to go to flower show!
MA Flowers would be so nice!
SISTER I want roller-skating!
SIS Square dancing!
BROTHER I want the Transformer movie!
BRO Target practice. Or this other thing,
. maybe. Sounds good.
NARRATOR Listen up everyone. Love does not insist
. on its own way, but submits to one another
. out of reverence for Christ.
(ALL stop to ponder these words.)
PA We’ve all be forgetting the most important
. thing to our family. And as the leader,
. and I mean the spiritual leader, and by that,
. I mean, the person responsible for being
. a good example... we need to get back
. to learning what the Bible says...
FATHER Amen! And putting THAT into practice –
. by using God’s wisdom and strength.
MA Our family should be like God’s family –
MOTHER God never leaves us.
SIS And love each other using God’s love.
SISTER God’s love never fails.
BRO No matter what we do –
BROTHER God always loves us.
NARRATOR God’s love is perfect. Let’s pray that
. we may always keep practicing God’s love,
. in good times, but especially, when things
. get tough.