Father daughter Devotions with Dad on joy not sullenness

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Choose Joy (1 of 3)

For dads of daughters only:

Do You Smell Something?

Let me begin this father/daughter devotional by saying I love the smell of laser printers. You probably never consider the aromatic qualities of office equipment, but I do.  Let me save you from making a goon of yourself by trying to smell-sample all the printers at Office Depot.  Hands down, Brother wins the blue ribbon for sniff-ability.  Mmmm-mmmm.  Lock me in a room with a Brother laser printer and I will inhale deeply.  This exercise feeds my inner writer.

Now, not all toners are created equal.  In fact, those cheap refills that you buy online actually stink.  No, I do not mean they just streak and print with poor quality.  If you stick your nose over the machine and take a big whiff, some of the “made in China” toners smell more like melting plastic.  So, now you know. Back to the father-daughter discussion.

In your home there is another smell you have to learn to detect, Dad.  Have you had a whiff of your children’s attitudes lately?  Like any odor, we grow accustomed to the ones we are around a lot.  We adjust to colognes, room fragrances, printer aromas, and even disagreeable smells.  Even well meaning fathers sometimes do not notice the putrefying attitude their kids–especially daughters–have developed.

Think about your daughters for a moment. A lot of girls today develop sulky, pouty attitudes.  Their gloom and self-pity literally stink.  A kind person may ask your daughter, “Are you having a good time?”  And she shrugs and says, “I guess so.”  That stinks!

Our pleasure-laden, wow-filled world has developed a generation of unhappy youth.  If I, as a father, do not teach my daughters to be joyful, they will keep going to lower and lower levels to find happiness.  They will learn to control Mom and Dad by how far their bottom lip protrudes.  “What’s the matter, honey, can I help?”  Boy, imagine being married to a girl like that?  Her husband will have to tiptoe around her on the mopey days and spend his entire life trying to satisfy her whims.

One of my daughters began a trend of morning pouties.  She would wake up grumpy, slink down the hall with a scowl on her face, and cause everyone to steer clear in fear.  Even after nap time, it would be a good hour before her cloud of gloom lifted.  Not only did this burn my nostrils, but I knew it displeased God as well.

I made a rule. You, little girl, do not get to leave your bed until I see a smile.  Turn your joy on.  Master your emotions little one, before they master you.  We have worked together on attitude improvements for a couple years now.  Today, she bounces out of bed and greets the world with a groggy smile.  Still, since some days do not smell as good as others, she will occasionally have to march back to the mattress to reorient her attitude.  However, emotional odor control only takes minutes now, instead of the full hour it may have taken when we began intervention.

Fathers, take a good whiff of your daughters’ attitudes today.  I hope you do not smell anything as bad the stench of those fish guts my boys and I forgot in a Ziplock bag for two days.

__________

Dad, share this story with your kids:

Disappointment

“Rusty, Rusty!” Misty called.

“Yeah?”  He was in the garage tightening the chain on his bicycle.

“I was just inside, and guess what I saw Mom doing.”

“Uh, making pickle and mustard sandwiches?”

“Gross!  No, she’s packing suitcases.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t you see?” she said, leaning down to where he knelt.  “We’re going on a surprise vacation.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Why not?  Why else would she pack suitcases?”

“I think they are going on a trip.  Not us.”

Misty’s forehead wrinkled.  “What?  They can’t just leave us behind.”  She spun around and marched back in the house.

Mom was zipping up a suitcase in the living room.  “Misty, I need you to pick out some underclothes and get your sandals.  Put them in this case here.”

“Okay, Mother!  Are we going on vacation?”

“Well, daughter, no.  Your father had a last minute idea to take off a couple days from work and get away for a couple nights.”

“All right, where are we going?”

“Well, sweetheart, he wanted to have some time alone—just he and I.  So you and Rusty get to spend a couple days at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.”

“Oh.”

“So, get your things packed.”

Misty walked into her room and sat down on her bed.  She stared at her sandals.  She sighed.

Mom walked by the room and looked in.  “Do you have your stuff together?”

Misty looked up.  “Can we go with you guys?”

Mom sighed.  “Not this time.  You’ll have fun at your grandparents.  Now get your things.”  Mom hurried out to finish packing.

*       *       *

“It’s not fair,” Misty said after Mom and Dad had left.

Rusty had opened the sliding glass door to his grandparent’s backyard.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he stepped through the door and began sliding it shut.  “I’m going to go see if I can catch that big frog I caught when—” Rusty closed the door in the middle of his sentence, which he finished as he ran across deck and down toward the stream.

“Uhhh!” Misty groaned as she slumped into the sitting room.

Grandma walked in and sat down.  “My goodness, girl, you look like your bulb has burnt out.”

Misty looked up.  “What do you mean?”

“Your light.  You know, we’re supposed to let our light shine.  You look more like a black hole than a light to me.”

Misty sighed.  “I just want to go with my mom and dad.  They are going to have fun without us.”

“You don’t like being here?”

“Yes.  But they get to stay in a hotel, eat at restaurants, and see new places.”

“Oh, I know what you need.  You’ve lost your joy.”

Misty asked, “Well, if I could have—”

“Uh-uh,” Grandma cut in, “joy doesn’t depend on what happens.”

Outside, Rusty whooped and hollered as he chased after an amphibian.  “Woo-hoo, he’s a monster!”

“Look at your brother,” Grandma says.  “He’s in the same situation you are.  But he’s being joyful.”

“Yeah, but he likes slimy animals.”

“Do you think he likes restaurants?”

“Yes.”

“But he’s decided to be happy even if he couldn’t go along.  See?  That’s how joy works.  You find something to be happy about anyway.”

Misty watched Rusty run across the yard.  “I guess so.  But they could have at least bought us milkshakes or something.”

“Misty, you’re being difficult.”

“Sorry.”

“Let me tell you about a girl your age who was very disappointed.”

“Is this a true story?”

“Yes.  Her name was Sarah.  She was the daughter of farmers. She could play with the cats, feed birds, and ride her horse all the time.”

“That sounds fun,” Misty said.

“It was fun.  But then, Sarah’s mother and father had to move off the farm.”

“What happened to her animals?”

“They had to leave them behind.”

“That’s mean.  Why did they take Sarah out of the country?”

“Well, honey, sometimes adults have to do things that kids don’t understand.”

“Where did they move?”

“They got an apartment in the city.”

“In a big city?”

“Yes, in a very big city.  The apartment was in a big building with hundreds of other apartments and lots of other people.  The streets were crowded and dirty.  And there were no animals anywhere except a few dogs.”

“Was she sad?”

“Yes.  She thought life should make her happy.  She thought she would be happy again if she could just get back to the country.  So, she decided to do just that.”

“How?”

“By walking.  While her parents were still unpacking boxes in the apartment, she walked out the door, down the hall, down the stairs, and out onto the busy sidewalk where people walked everywhere.”

“That’s scary!”

“She was a determined little girl.  She just knew she would be happy again if she got back to her farm.  She started walking in the direction they had come from.  She walked and walked down the street.  All she saw were more buildings, cars, and people.  She kept walking and started seeing different buildings with big smokestacks and train cars moving in and out.  Then she saw a nice grassy area, with picnic tables, trees, and a big pond.  She thought this looked kind of like home.  She thought she might be getting close.”

“Was she?”

“Not hardly.  After she got through the park, on the other side she found restaurants, bars, and convenience stores.  There were more cars here, so she didn’t cross the street, but just kept walking past all the businesses.”

“Was she scared now?”

“Very scared.  It was starting to get dark.  She decided to go back.  So she headed back in the direction she had come from.  Now, the street took her through an area where a lot of little houses were.  People were leaning on their trucks drinking beer and playing loud music.  She—”

The phone rang.

“Oh, who could that be?” Grandma asked.  She got up, “I’ll be right back, hon.”

Find out what happens, next time.

_______________

What was wrong with Misty’s attitude when she found out that her parents were going away for a couple days?

Why did Rusty have a different attitude?

What could Misty have done to be more joyful about her situation?

Do you think Grandma understands what Misty is going through?

What areas do you have a hard time letting your light shine?  Homework?  Washing windows?  Broccoli?

What can you do to be more joyful?

_________________

_________________

Read the following scripture with the family:

Joy in Pregnancy

Luke 1:23-49

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of [Zacharias’] ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  For with God nothing shall be impossible.

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.  And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

_________________

Why could Elizabeth have been grumpy?

She was pregnant and uncomfortable. She may have wanted a daughter not a son. She may have not really wanted a baby at this time.

Why could Mary have been upset?

She was pregnant and unmarried.  This would give her a bad reputation.  She may have been having morning sickness about now—especially after traveling to see her cousin.

Why were they joyful?

Because they looked at what their heavenly Father was doing through them.

What challenges have you faced where you had to pursue after joy?

What do you do to be more joyful when things try to get you down?

Role Play: You ask God for new clothes.  Then, someone you can’t get along with gets a whole closet full of new clothes.  How do you keep your spirits up?

By thanking God for blessing that person.  By finding the positive in the situation.  By choosing a good attitude in spite of emotions.

_________

Memory Verse

I Peter 4:13-14

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

_________

If you have benefited from this father-daughter devotional focus, pass it on to help another father to lead his daughter in joy.

 

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