Once upon a time, a huge freight liner came across the Atlantic Ocean laden with sought-after African coffee beans and bananas. Unknown to any of the ship’s officers, to any of the crew men, or to any of the ship’s workers was stowed away a likable, good-natured, but very independent little monkey. Having skipped up the ramp, he had followed his favorite food as it was lifted from the loading docks to the huge ship.
Across the vast ocean, through many storms and wind gusts, after many weeks, the massive vessel anchored at the state docks in none other than Mobile, Alabama. After all the goods had been unloaded and the captain was doing his final walk through, he heard a little chattering coming from behind one of the doors on deck. Cautiously he opened the door. Incredible! Unthinkable! ...a little monkey? Sitting forlornly, looking at him with great big brown eyes, the monkey seemed to be saying, “Help me.” As the captain stepped forward and reached down to pick him up---WHOOSH--he streaked past the captain, raced across the deck and jumped, yes JUMPED, to the docks!
After many long days and many frightful experiences wandering through the streets, the hungry little monkey found a very comfortable live oak tree which he decided would be home....It just so happened that this tree was in the Currie backyard.
Waking up one morning and having gone out to play (as usual), Anna and Patrick found this hungry and friendly little monkey. They decided to keep him and to name him Pickety-Pockety.
That very morning began the many adventures of all the Currie kids and their mischievous little friend, Pickey-Pockety.
©2010 Patricia J. Currie
Little Pickety-Pockety had many naughty adventures. [This is, by the way, is not a true story.] This was one way truths from Scripture took on a very real setting. As we performed many of the everyday tasks, these stories would bring fun and life and a lesson to the kids.
Author Anne Ortlund wrote a book several years ago entitled Children are Wet Cement. It is an excellent book, but more importantly, this is a foundational concept when thinking about spirit training. We are always inscribing thoughts, ideas, views, perspectives. Conciously and subconciously, an assimilation process is ongoing. Two questions, maybe one and the same, we have to ask ourselves, What does the finished product look like? What am I imprinting on my children?
We probably should look way ahead and then work our way backwards. If I want my children to be intimately connected with the Father, hearing the Holy Spirit, beginning to understand the kingdom of God, knowing how to put into life what the Bible says, displaying the fruits of the spirit, loving one another, caring for the lost and hurting... That’s a big bite! What little things can I do today to instill these in them little by little, practice by practice?
One way is story telling. Helping them learn attitudes and truths by hearing about other people and characters like Pickety-Pockety, a make-believe monkey.
What are some other ways we train the spirits of our children-disciples?
- Use scripture to learn God's perspectives on life situations.
- Be there in the crisis; instruct in non-crisis situations.
- Role play; act out situations. It is fun.
- Share from the arts--music, books, paintings, plays.....expanding cultural experiences
to learn about the beauty and the excellence of God
- Have a "Family Night" once a week when fun activities and treats are
Overall, we have to understand that our children are never more open to the Lord than in the first twelve years [Barna]. Jesus loves the children. He wants them to come to Him. The Spirit of God is working with you as parents to accomplish this.