You’ve heard the phrase “don’t make me laugh!” a million times … but this is the opposite approach we should take to marriage. As we enter the holidays, here’s something to think about to inject new life into your marriage and family:
Laugh together. Think about how to make each other laugh uproariously.
Life is tough. Things get serious. If we stop laughing part of us dies. In a very real sense, to stop laughing is to stop living.
When was the last time you and your spouse laughed together? When has your whole family had to grab their stomachs because they couldn’t stop laughing? There’s actually a theological power behind humor. Gordon Smith, in his book Called to be Saints writes:
“We could speak of humor as essential to Christian wisdom…Humor—insofar as it arises from the good, the noble, the excellent and the worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8)—is a sign of faith. How can we laugh unless we know that evil is but for a time? Faith means we can delight in the moment, in the company of friends, in the ironies of life. And we can laugh.”
In other words, of all people, Christians should be the ones who laugh the most, not the least. We should be quick to say “make me laugh.”
But our humor will look different. Smith again: “It is for this reason that some suggest that in the dramatic arts, comedy is actually deeper and more profound than tragedy. The lightness of the comedy assumes the deep order of creation; we can laugh knowing that all is well and will be well. And yet it must be stressed that humor at its best, true humor, never degrades another person or another people. Also, something is very sad when we assume that a comic can be funny only if sexuality is part of the routine. We urgently need a humor that is God-honoring—perhaps even a humor that makes God laugh with us.”
One of my heroes, Charles Spurgeon, actually prayed that God would save him from “overly serious saints.” To be human is to laugh. Made in the image of God, we are the only creatures who do laugh. That’s saying something very significant, right there.
If it has been too long since you’ve laughed—so long, in fact, that you can’t even remember the last time you have—something very important is missing in your life and marriage spiritually, theologically, something is askew.
May it never be that our kids or our spouses think they have to leave the family to laugh that family is only about work, commitment, and routine. That’s a prescription for disaster.
It isn’t silly to cultivate laughter; it’s an act of faith. It’s not “worldly” to want to be healed or restored with laughter. It’s an act of worship.
Let’s help each other get closer to God. Let’s say to each other “make me laugh.”