Gonna Get Your Goat

YOU WILL NEED: A piece of paper for each person in your family and a Bible.


See who can say “Unique New York” the most times correctly in 10 seconds. Let each person in your family have a turn.


See who can say “Red Leather, Yellow Leather” the most times back to back without making a mistake. Let each family member try a few times.

SAY: It might seem impossible to say “Unique New York” or “Red Leather, Yellow Leather,” but it’s not—it just takes practice. There are other things in life that take practice too.

ASK: Have you ever heard the expression, “Don’t let them get your goat”? Or, “They got your goat”?

ASK: What do you think this expression means?

SAY: For someone to “get your goat,” it means that they made you mad or frustrated.

SAY: Goats have a calming affect on horses and a long time ago, people who trained horses would put a goat with a horse before a big competition or a race. Those who didn’t want the horse to win in the competition sometimes would sneak in at night and steal the goat. They wanted the horse to be frustrated and upset so that it wouldn’t compete as well.


Let everybody in the family answer each of the following questions:

ASK: What makes you frustrated or upset? (What “gets your goat”?)

ASK: What hurts your feelings?

ASK: If you could change anything about how people at school (or work) treat you, what would you change?

ASK: If you could change anything about how people in our family treat you, what would you change?

ASK: What are some things people do when they get frustrated or upset? (Sometimes they say mean things, pout, get mad, complain, etc.)

SAY: In the same way that it takes practice to say, “Red Leather, Yellow Leather,” self-control takes practice too. Instead of getting frustrated or upset quickly and doing something you know is wrong, you can control your actions and always have the right response, even when people “get your goat.”

SAY: Listen to the kind of actions that God wants us to have.

Read Galatians 5:22-23 from your Bible.

SAY: These are the responses that God wants to show in our lives. I’m going to read the verse again, but this time I want you to repeat each of these character traits after me.

Re-read Galatians 5:22-23 from your Bible but pause after each trait.


Give each person in your family a piece of paper. For this game you can either wad up the paper or make a paper airplane with it (if you know how) or both.

Take turns seeing who can throw the paper the farthest.

SAY: In the game we wanted to see how far we could go with our paper, which leads us to a great question, how far are we willing to go to do what’s right? In other words…

ASK: The next time frustrating things happen to you, what can help you show self-control and choose the right response?

ASK: What are some bad things you can do when you feel frustrated or upset?

ASK: What are some good things you can do when you feel frustrated or upset?

Here are some suggestions to help you be careful not to do the wrongs things when you get frustrated and upset. Tell me which ones you think might help the most.

-When you begin to get upset, try to get away from the situation. Go to another room. Get away from the person who is upsetting you until you calm down.

-When you feel frustrated, count to ten before talking to give yourself time to make sure you are showing self-control with your words.

-They next time you feel this way, talk to Jesus. Pray and tell God how you are feeling and why.

-Instead of choosing how to respond in frustration, go to your parents and ask them how you should respond.

-Know what the Bible says about how you should respond when you’re upset.


Take a few minutes to list any family prayer requests and to pray. Be sure to pray for any situations that are frustrating or upsetting people in your family.

This family devotion is from:

72 Family Devotions for Spiritually Training Your Kids
ON SALE for $5.99. Regular price: $9.99 USD. Nonfiction.
Featuring 72 action-packed, easy-to-lead family devotions. Set aside a night or two each week for a “special time” where you and your kids can have family fun together and learn valuable lessons from God’s Word. No advanced planning is needed. Anyone can do this. The ebook contains devotions concerning a variety of topics including salvation, fear, trust, sin, forgiveness and much more.

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